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Winter Motorcycle Maintenance - Put Your Bike to Bed for the Winter

Having a shop winterize your bike can cost over $200. But if you can change the oil in your car, you can easily winterize your own bike and save most of the cost. Just pick up the items we show here and gather up your tools. The winterizing process takes less than two hours and starts at the nearest gas station.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Step 1: Fill the tank and add fresh fuel stabilizer

Step 2: Change the oil and filter

Step 3: Fog the engine

Step 4: Drain the carburetor

Step 5: Change the final drive lube

Step 6: Critter-proof the air intake and exhaust pipes

Step 7: Lube the chain and all pivot points

Step 8: Install a "battery maintainer"

Step 9: Check the coolant freeze protection

Step 10: Spray the bike with WD-40

This may sound strange, but a light coating of WD-40 over the entire bike does a great job of preventing corrosion. I got this tip from a bike shop service manager who swears that his bikes come out of storage looking better than customers’ bikes that aren’t sprayed. In the spring, just drive it to a self-service car wash and hose it down. It’ll look great.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Socket/ratchet set
    • Allen wrench
    • Rags
    • Wrench set

You'll also need an oil filter wrench, oil drain pan, rubber gloves, oil funnel, bendable funnel, a battery maintainer and a coolant tester.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Fuel stabilizer
    • Engine oil
    • Oil filter
    • Fogging oil
    • Gear lube oil
    • Steel wool
    • Sandwich bag
    • Pink tape
    • Chain lube
    • WD-40

Comments from DIY Community Members

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February 20, 10:03 PM [GMT -5]

I changed the oil after the fogging, I don't need to run the engine if it is going to be stored for long periods. I also took the battery out and put in on my bench, it is in a better location plus I can keep a good eye on the charger. Been doing this for five years with no problems. Make sure to check the tires before covering, if at all possible put the bike on a stand to get the tires off the floor. Make sure you have a good breathable cover. I had a friend in Hawaii who covered his long storage metal item (after coating with WD-40) with terry cloth. It lets the metal breath and absorbs the humidly. His wife did this all the time with her sewing machine after use and it never rusted.

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Winter Motorcycle Maintenance - Put Your Bike to Bed for the Winter

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