How To Prepare Your Dirt Bike For Winter Storage
When the winter approaches, many riders say goodbye to their dirt bikes as they enter the off-season. After that last race or casual ride with friends, you wash your bike and place it in storage. All set, right? Not quite. Winter prep is much more than simply washing and storing your bike in the garage or other covered area. Whether you're a new rider or someone who has gone through winter prep before, these steps are useful as guides and reminders for riders of all skill levels. If you haven't already, thoroughly wash your bike and treat the plastics with a silicone treatment.
Change your Engine Oil and Other Liquids
Unless you've changed your oil in the last few weeks, go ahead and knock this out. Since the bike will be sitting for a few months, you don't want dirty oil to be lying inside the bike too. Change the oil and filter then let the bike run for a minute or two to coat the external parts with fresh lubricant.
From here, we'll address your gas. Now, when left idle for months on end, gasoline can turn gummy which can cause havoc on your fuel system. If the tank is somewhat full, moisture can get into the tank and start rusting the metal. You have two options here. One is to allow the gas tank to completely drain, which only requires you to run the bike until the fuel runs out. If you drain your tank, use a fogging oil to coat it to ward the effects of rust. The other option is to add a fuel stabilizer like Sta-Bil to a full tank and let the bike run so it mixes into the fuel well. Fuel stabilizer helps with moisture and keeping the fuel in liquid form. This is really only needed if you'll be storing your dirt bike for longer than three months.
Finally, add new anti-freeze to your cooling system.
Ensure your tires are fully inflated to the appropriate capacity. In cold weather, your tire pressure will naturally drop. Doing this will help offset the effects of the cold.
During winter preparation, lubing and greasing your bike's metal parts is crucial. To keep moisture at bay, take time to grease the chain, cables, sprockets, bearings, foot pegs, kickstarter, and other similar areas that need to have motion.
Saving Your Bike Battery
Whether you leave the battery in or out of the bike, you need a battery tender to keep it at full charge. These do a good job of not overcharging but simply delivering enough juice to keep it operational. Without a battery tender, the time in storage could result in a dead battery when you go to start the bike up.
Store the Bike on a Stand
If you can, store your dirt bike on a stand while in storage to help lessen the effects of gravity on your tires and suspension. Flat surfaces can create flat spots on your tires, which is a no go. Make sure the stand is stable and won't be able to rock while unattended.
Where will you store your bike? In your home garage, backyard shed, or elsewhere? This area must be protective, so rain, snow, natural debris, and small animals don't cause issues while not in use. Use exhaust plugs, tape, or whatever else you have on hand to cover up this hole. Small animals could crawl inside for a winter home, which can be bad for your bike and them. If you don't have access to a garage or shed, consider renting a storage unit for a few months, which offers the benefit of the totally enclosed protection you need.
Got all these steps down? Then you're all set for the winter. When spring rolls back around, your bike should be in good condition following a pre-check.