Motorcycles are the pride and joy of their owners. But during winter, it’s important to store them so that they don’t get damaged by the snow and ice storms that New Jersey often sees.
Unfortunately, simply placing a motorcycle in the garage isn’t enough. If you’re a bike owner, you should read your owner’s manual to learn how to store it so it will be ready to enjoy the following spring. But in addition to the manual, there are a few general tips every motorcycle owner can follow:
- Change the oil. The oil in a motorcycle’s engine should be changed every three months, but it should also be done before the bike is stored. Knowing that the engine has fresh oil (and that the oil tank is full) means that this is a step you don’t have to do when the bike is taken out for its first ride next year. When changing the oil, remember to also change the oil filters so everything is new and clean.
- Wash the bike. This doesn’t have to be a professional clean; a simple wash using soap, a sponge, and a bucket will work just fine. Not only will the dirt and grime that’s built up be easier to clean before the bike sits for several months, but cleaning it will also help to protect the bike’s finish.
- Fill the gas tank. Like changing the oil, filling the gas tank will ensure that your motorcycle is ready to go as soon as you’re ready. In addition, having a full gas tank will also help prevent rust from forming inside the tank.
- Place in storage. Once the above steps have been completed, the bike can then be moved to its new home for the winter months. This spot absolutely must be dry to keep rain, snow, and ice from damaging the bike; and it should also be warm. Once the bike has been moved, it’s important to give all the parts time to cool down before proceeding to winterize it.
- Bag the mufflers. The mufflers need to be covered over the winter months because little critters like mice or even small house cats could use them as a place to nest when they’re looking for a warm spot. You can use muffler plugs for this job, but a much more affordable option is to simply place bags over the mufflers and secure with rubber bands.
- Remove and charge battery. Most motorcycle batteries are located under the seat, and it should be taken out to ensure that it will still be in good working condition the following spring. When taking the battery out, it’s important to know that red wire means positive, and to remember which side the red wire was connected to. Then, charge the battery using a trickle charger, which will provide it with a small ongoing electrical charge that will keep it in good shape.
- Cover the bike. Lastly, the bike needs to be covered for winter and that’s best done with an actual motorcycle cover. If the bike didn’t come with one, invest in one. A cover will provide an added layer of protection from dirt, animals, and the elements, if it’s exposed to them.
Riders should also be prepared with the name of a good attorney in case anything should happen when their motorcycles hit the road again. If you’ve gotten into an accident this season, or you get into one next season, don’t forget about us at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. We are experienced winter weather motorcycle accident attorneys in New Jersey, and we’ve worked on many of these types of cases. If you’ve been hurt, you may be eligible for compensation. Don’t wait another minute to call (609) 240-0040. There is a statute of limitations on motorcycle accidents, so we should review your case right away!