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This article contains tips and information for winterizing motorcycles. It has been gleaned from websites, post by members on the PRCL and general discussion. If you're lucky enough to live in an area where year round riding is possible, that's fabulous. In Pennsylvania, some of us are lucky enough to ride pretty regularly through the winter. It's a good idea to consider winterizing if you think your bike(s) may sit for longer than a few weeks.

Engine Oil

Change engine oil at end of season and again before you ride. Logic being that there are acids in the oil from the riding season that are bad for the motor. And at the end of the winter there'll be condensation inside the engine that will drain when you change the oil.

Fuel and Fuel System

Stabilize fuel by adding a fuel stabilizer. It's important to leave your tank full. Aging gas creates gunk in your fuel system. If possible either empty your fuel system by turning off your petcock and running it try, or empty your float bowls. Short of this, at least make sure you've run enough fuel into the system that stabilized fuel occupies the entire system.

Battery Care

There are a few schools on battery care. Many folks either remove their battery or keep the battery charge topped off with a battery tender. It's been claimed that setting the battery on a concrete floor has a draining effect on the battery. Most folks hold the belief that cold is bad for a battery. If you can't tend the battery, at least keep it in a warm dry area.

Concerning battery tenders: There are a few types of batteries on the market today. From simple led acid, to sealed, and gel batteries. There has been a lot of discussion and debate over tending certain battery types. If you know of any good information or guidelines, please let us know and we'll post it.


Some folks recommend putting a small amount of oil in each cylinder cylinder to help avoid rust and seizing. Consider this when preparing a bike or engine for long term storage.

Coating Corrosive Parts

It's been suggested that coating parts prone to corrosion with WD40 or another oil base product is a good idea. This is not only good for storage, but it's also good to do when riding during the winter. The oil can help minimize the effects of road salt.

Wash and Wax

Wash and wax your bike. There are a few good reasons to wash and wax your bike before putting it up for the season. Cleaning the bike makes it easier and more pleasant to bring it out of storage. Cleaning will remove any damaging or corrosive materials that may be on the bike. Additionally it's easier to spot leaks and weeps that may require attention on a clean bike.


Lastly, consider raising the bike off of the ground using shop stands or over-inflating tires a bit (10psi). This is said to avoid flat spots on the tires that can result from sitting for long periods of time.