The summer of 2016 has ended and the fall season is in full swing as we quickly approach Halloween. Now the fall is by far, my favorite season to ride. The cool weather helps the bike run beautiful, most afternoons provide the perfect riding temperatures and the foliage reminds us of the 4th of July fireworks that we were watching just the other day. Well, it seems as though it was just the other day!!! It's that thought that has me writing today about winterization. It's a rare trait in humans that we are being realistic about the things we love to do, like riding through the winter. I hear it all the time, "I ride all year long"!! I even have people tell me they ride in the snow!!!!!! I've ridden dirt bikes in the snow as a kid and let me tell you, I need to actually see you on the road in the snow with my own two eyes before I believe that you ride your bike in the snow. That being said, I will generally ride up until we get our first major snow storm before I lay the bike up and do my general service/maintenance and winterize her. If you are still riding, the coming days are supposed to be a treat for us. After this week, I ask that you become realistic about the likelihood that you are going to ride much for the remainder of the season and perform your winterization service so you can start off the 2017 riding season on a good note and not headaches and spending money.
First thing to do is fuel stabilizer. Ride the bike until almost out of fuel, put the correct amount of fuel stabilizer in your fuel tank and fill the tank as close to absolutely full as possible, run the bike long enough to get the newly treated fuel through the entire fuel system, done, Don't start it again until you are ready to ride again.
Next up is your anti-freeze/coolant. This is the time to flush the whole cooling system and add brand new anti-freeze. This is one of the most overlooked areas of winterizing a motorcycle. Most Harley owners can skip this step. LOL.
Next up is your battery. I am a firm supporter of Battery Tenders. A good quality battery is not cheap, protect your investment by making sure you get the most life out of your battery. Battery tenders are different then battery chargers. Leaving your battery attached to a charger for too long, will damage the battery. Battery tenders will maintain a charge but not overcharge the battery.
Next, lock the bike up so it'll stay put and be safe until next season. If your bike has a center stand, nows the time to use it. If not, but you own a center style bike jack, lift up enough to lock the jack in and strap the bike down. Keeping the pressure off the tires is the goal. This will help prevent dry rot and flat spots.
Last up, cover your scoot!! I can't tell you how many horror stories i've heard over the years about damage sustained while the bike was laid up for the season in the garage. Things that could've been prevented with a simple cover. It'll be a wise investment to buy a good quality cover that'll last you many seasons to come, while also providing the protection she deserves.
For those of you who read this page regularly, e-mail me and let me know you read it. You can also put in a request for a certain "tech tip" you'd like to read about. At rAt Cycles, our customers are our number one priority. Until next Sunday, keep the rubber side down and log a few miles for me!!
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