About a week ago I was a silly naive person and I thought the rise in temperature, the sunshine and the dry roads were a sure sign that winter was over, I was slightly premature to say the least. This week we have gone back to below zero, snow, icy rain, ice, high winds and fog….and that was just Monday.
Of course this means that the Triumph has gone back into hibernation and the ratty looking Tenere has come back out again. However it got me thinking about a couple of things that I will address in this blog. Firstly, what should you do when you take a bike off the road for a few weeks (hopefully winter will be over in a few weeks) and secondly what you should do before you sling your leg over it again and ride off to the horizon.
So first off, battery care, take it from me, whatever claims the company makes about them, even if you are only going to not use the bike for a couple of weeks take it off if the weather is going to get cold and put it in a nice warm place ( I think batteries make a nice talking point when used as a decoration in the living room) or if the weather is going to be warm enough keep it on a trickle charger or battery tender. There is nothing more annoying than that click of the solenoid and then nothing after...ok there is but this is not a blog about that!
Next tires, there is always some pressure change, warmer temperatures will raise the pressure, colder ones will lower it and there is always the possibility of some pressure loss over time. When you get the bike out again check them while they are cold because last thing you want is to wonder what happened to the handling of your bike as you go to make friends with a hedge.
Next, well this is a personal one; clean your crash helmet if you are not going to use it for some time. Nothing worse than putting on a crash helmet that has been left to ferment for a few weeks, apart from the click of the solenoid of course that is worse…or that other thing! If you don’t know how to clean your helmet then look it up on the net, or give to the better half, they will know what to do with it!!!!
Next up, water is bad for your bike. If you are a lucky person and have a heated garage then you can go and do something else now, if you are normal then read on. Water can get into your fuel, just the humidity in a garage can do it and this can cause all sorts of problems for an injection system. Best bet is to treat your fuel with some sort of additive that was designed to get round this problem. Of course the other, more preferable option, is to take the bike into the house, it makes sense from a security, maintenance and aesthetic point of view.
Water might be bad but so is putting your bike away dirt and covered in bugs and, so clean it before you put it away. Also this makes sure when you do go out in the sun you will be doing it on a sparkly bike and that is always pleasant. When you have cleaned it make sure it is dry, rust and other corrosion affect things a lot quicker than you might think so it is worth making sure of this. When cleaning make sure all the dead bugs are off. Those little dead bodies attract moisture, rot and produce all sorts of chemicals that can leave some yucky marks on your paintwork…oh and clean your leathers as well; those same beasties will be rotting on them to. If you don’t know how to do this, tell your better half about rotting beasts on your leathers and then watch them clean them!
Yeah, dream on dude!
Of course there are many other things you could do when storing your bike, but those are a few of the essentials. However there is also the question of what to do while the bike is in storage? If you have taken my advice maybe you could use this time to start looking for a new better half, after all I am sure you will now need one.
Have fun and stay safe