You’ve seen them out there: hard-core Maine riders who hop on their motorcycles in the rain and the cold and hit the road late into the season. Plenty of others limit their road time to warmer weather. After all, riding is about enjoying yourself.
Eventually, a Maine winter forces even the hardiest riders to put their bikes up for the season. These tips will help ensure your ride is ready to go when our days get longer and the weather warms up.
Keep it Covered
If you can’t store your motorcycle in a garage or shed, make sure you protect it properly from the elements.
DO: use a breathable cover designed for motorcycles .
DON’T: use a tarp or a cotton sheet; they trap moisture, which can lead to mildew or rust.
Check the Fluids
The American Motorcyclist Association recommends that you:
- Top off the gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer, then run the engine for a few minutes to spread the stabilizer through the system.
- Check your coolant to ensure your bike is protected against freezing weather.
- Change the engine oil either before you put the bike away, or before you take your first ride in the spring.
If your motorcycle has an alarm system or other features that can drain the battery, invest in a charger to keep the battery alive. Otherwise, the AMA says, make sure it has a full charge when you put it away and recharge it once a month. You can also maintain a trickle current to keep the battery charged.
Keep it Clean
Both Honda and the AMA say you should clean your motorcycle thoroughly before putting it into storage. Special treatments are available to help avoid oxidation, fading and keep your bike looking sharp.
Honda recommends that you:
- Change your brake and clutch fluids every couple years;
- Clean the area around the outside of the spark plugs to ensure debris does not get into the cylinders.
A little preparation before and during storage will ensure that when it’s time to ride in the spring, you won’t have anything to worry about – except where to go! How about the Lakes Region or the White Mountains? Spring can’t get here soon enough, can it?
Tune Up Your Insurance
While you’re taking a break from riding this fall and winter, why not come in to Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance and talk about your Maine motorcycle insurance coverage options? If it’s been a while since we’ve done a review for you, let’s talk about how we can help you performance-tune your motorcycle insurance – and Maine home and auto insurance, too. Just contact Noyes Hall & Allen at 207-799-5541. We’re independent and committed to you.
(Thanks to our friends at Safeco Insurance for providing some of this content.)