Any winter rider knows that there are special motorcycle accessories that can make cold-weather riding more enjoyable. However, some bikers may not understand that winter riding also requires specific maintenance protocols to keep your bike in good working order, and it goes beyond motorcycle parts to forming new habits. For example, using quality coolant and changing out the oil and filter before the winter is in full force. However, beyond oil and antifreeze, there are at least five other things you should get in the habit of doing this winter.
1. Check Tires Regularly
Before you go out riding this winter, it may be a good idea to a set of motorcycle tires on sale that are specifically intended for snowy conditions. However, beyond purchasing a new set of tires, you should get in the habit of routinely checking your tire pressure, both before and after a ride. As the temperature drops, you can lose tire pressure.
2. Maintain the Battery
While you are looking for motorcycle parts online, consider purchasing a spare battery. The winter months can wreak havoc on your current battery because you will be using more power then you do during summer riding. Therefore, you should either have a spare or get in the habit of checking the output. A good battery should have a reading somewhere above 12.6 volts.
3. Clean and Lubricate Vulnerable Parts
Winter snow and rain will create all sorts of muck on the roads. All of that dirt, salt, ice and moisture can cause damage if not cleaned regularly. Also, salt can quickly dry out your chain and other parts. Therefore, be sure to lubricate all moving parts. Also, to prevent damage from salt, wash your bike frequently. In fact, it is not a bad idea to spray down your bike after every ride. If you choose to wash it down after every trip, then be sure to spray the undercarriage and any little nooks and crevices, ensuring that salt is removed.
4. Treat with Anti-Rust Spray
Another essential winter maintenance tip is to spray your bike with an anti-rust solution. You want to apply this compound to any surface that is vulnerable to corrosion. For example, brake disc, gear pedal sprockets and undercarriage. This spray will create a watertight seal, preventing moisture build-up. However, a one-time application will not suffice. You should spray your bike after you clean it to ensure the best protection.
5. Park Inside
Last, the cold weather can negatively affect your bike’s engine, battery and cooling system. Therefore, to reduce the risk to these vital components, you should park your bike indoors whenever possible. If you do not have a garage, you could always use a storage shed for some protection. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to an indoor space. If you can’t park inside, then invest in a high-quality cover.
While winter riding can be incredibly fun and even necessary, you must keep in mind that cold weather will affect your bike differently than warmer months. Therefore, you need to take the appropriate precautions to ensure the health of your motorcycle and your well-being. Before you adventure into the cold, be sure to go to your favorite parts supplier and look for everything that will winter maintenance easy.