Laying up for the winter

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  • #8962

    I know it’s summer in the UK (and elsewhere in the world) but here’s a few tips for those of us with cooler weather at the moment.

    If you want to lay your bike up for the winter, I suggest the following tips:

    Check over the motorcycle for any mechanical problems.

    Change the engine oil and oil filter

    Fill the gas tank, add stabilizer according to the instructions on the can, and run the bike for a few minutes.

    Remove the battery from the bike. Check the battery electrolyte level and top up if necessary, some local garages keep the acid. Clean the battery terminals with a wire brush and connect a Battery Tender or similar trickle-charger, these monitor the battery’s health and charge when necessary.

    Clean and wax the bike. Wax will provide protection against the condensation and damp.

    Cover the bike with a breathable fabric, ie cotton sheet or similar. If possible, keep the bike in a warm garage.

    Make sure the bike is locked up and the registration and other papers are removed in case the bike is stolen.

    Remove the keys and put them somewhere safe (where you will remember them in the Spring!)

    Say goodbye and kiss the bike if you want, but go back and start it every month to show it you care.

    Hope this helps someone. Anything I’ve missed?

    Urban Terrorist

    I have never laid a bike up over winter!! If you can ride fast in the bad weather, your unbeatable in the summer!!!

    More than 2-strokes is masturbation!!

    GSX Rat

    In response to redbullets post – laying up alternative style:

    Check for mechanical problems. These will be one of two types. Type one, that death rattle from the cam chain, the squeeling brakes, the loose fairing etc. these can all be safely ingored until they become type 2’s. Type 2 faults are otherwise known as mot failures ie they need sorting over the winter as the guy that normally shrugs his shoulders at your old and blowing exhaust may not be there next year and you could end up having to take it to a proper garage (god forbid), you know the ones that are completely anal, even insisting on stuff like indicators!

    Change the engine oil and filter. This will normally not be required as the bike will be running a total loss lubrication system, generally accepted values are 25% up the exhaust and 75% out of the cardboard and red foliac crankcase gasket you made last year. Filtration not required as it isnt in the bike long enough to get dirty.

    Pull the gas tube off the carbs, spilling petrol everywhere whilst you drain the petrol into a suitable (read: anything) container. Extra kudos here for being drunk and smoking whilst attempting this. Fill with white vinegar, and water, cheaper than stabilizer and cleans the tank to boot. Run bike to empty carbs and ensure problems starting again come spring.

    Remove seat to reveal white sulphated quatermass type mess where battery used to be. This is when you remember the overcharging problem you had earlier in the year that you temporarily fixed by putting a larger headlamp bulb and running with the lights on. Generally best to just replace seat at this point and go for a pint, hunting round for something that’ll fit come spring. Mental note to buy 2 new crimps coz when you try to get them off the battery they’re bound to snap off.

    Do not under any circumstances be tempted to clean the bike. that layer of road shit, flies and grease that you have spent all year building up will protect the bike from damp all winter.

    Cover the bike with a fresh layer of matt black where various scrapes throughout the year have started to expose, horror of horrors SHINY CHROME

    Now may be a good idea to look for the insurance and mot documents that you last saw when you taxed it. As a general rule the MOT has run out about 3 months ago, or if you are just going to tax the bike the insurance lapsed a week previous (damn – double expense!)

    If you can get away with it, now is the time to lug the bike through the front door and into your centrally heated spare room. Extra points for high rise flats (UT!) Dont forget the drip tray – its cheaper than a new carpet!

    Remove the keys but DO NOT put in a safe place, you might think it’s a good idea but come spring you’ll be tearing the house apart looking for them and arguing with the missus coz “she must have moved them”

    Now thats all done its off to the pub – WAHEY!!

    GSX750 Ratfighter / SR125 Rat / GSX600F / Beamish250 / Honda70 Rat

    Blackboard paint – Covers a multitude of sins!

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