Have you ever gazed at your motorcycle after a chilly winter, feeling that itch to experience the wind in your hair and the thrill of the road under you?
If you’re nodding in agreement, you’re not alone. I’ve been there, and it’s a feeling every rider understands.
In this article, I’ll share my tried-and-true steps to de-winterize your motorcycle from its winter slumber.
Read this article, and by the end, I promise you’ll be all set for those sun-soaked adventures ahead.
Table of Contents
Here’s How To De-winterize A Motorcycle
These are some important steps you must follow to de-winterize your motorcycle:
1. Wash The Motorcycle
It might seem basic, but washing your motorcycle is an essential step in de-winterizing. Over winter, your bike accumulates dust and dirt despite using a good motorcycle cover.
If you don’t wash your motorcycle, the accumulated dust will stick to the engine case and exhaust pipe due to heat, which will eventually ruin the shine of your motorcycle.
So, the first step in de-winterizing a motorcycle is to give it a good wash with wax-foaming soap and rinse it with water spray.
Let your motorcycle dry and apply shine protection polish to protect paint shine from sun rays.
2. Thoroughly Inspect Everything
The next step is visual inspection. It’s an essential step in de-winterizing your motorcycle. First, check for any oil leakage beneath the engine case.
After that, inspect the oil leakage from front and rear suspensions. Inspect the stains and rust on the chain, sprockets, and other chrome parts.
Next, open the seat and check the wire harness for any cuts or damage. Inspect the rodents’ presence inside the muffler and air box opening.
3. Charge The Battery
If you have read my article on storing a motorcycle for winter, you must have disconnected the battery.
If not, it must have gone into a deep-discharge state and requires tendering.
Before starting the engine, you must tender the battery with a small battery charger. This will revive the battery’s health and wake it up from a deep-discharge state.
If your motorcycle battery is aged, you might have to replace it.
4. Perform An Engine Flush
Engine flush is an essential step to clean all the dust accumulated inside the motorcycle engine.
Due to continuous movement, various parts wear and accumulate in the engine oil. You must have seen it while changing the engine oil.
I advise you to perform engine flush if your motorcycle is old. However, you can skip this step on new motorcycles.
Here’s how to perform engine flush on a motorcycle:
- Start your motorcycle and idle it for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Open the oil dipstick and add engine flush liquid.
- Run the engine for the next 10 to 15 minutes.
- Open the drain plug nut and drain all engine oil.
- Tighten the drain plug nut, add fresh engine oil, and idle for 3 to 5 minutes again.
5. Change Engine Oil
If you have already changed the engine oil in the previous step, you can skip this. However, if you didn’t perform engine flush, you should at least change the engine oil before going on a ride.
Even if you did change the oil before winter, it’s a good idea to do it again now. Old oil can contain contaminants that could increase the wear, which eventually damages your engine.
Make sure to use the right type of oil recommended by your motorcycle’s manufacturer.
6. Drain The Fuel Tank
If you left fuel in the tank over winter, it’s probably gone stale and could clog your fuel system. Also, the ethanol is a hydrophilic that absorbs moisture from the air.
Riding your motorcycle with old fuel, the engine will run lean, and temperatures rise. These increased temperatures will make the exhaust pipe red-hot and may damage the exhaust valves.
It’s a good idea to drain the tank and fill it with fresh fuel. If you used a fuel stabilizer, you might be able to skip this step.
7. Check Tire Pressure
Tires can lose pressure over time, especially in cold weather. Check that your tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure.
This is crucial for maintaining good traction and handling on the road. It’s better to remove cold air and inflate your tires with fresh air.
8. Clean The Brake Pads
The next crucial de-winterizing step is inspecting your braking system, and you must not forget it before going on a ride.
Brake pads can accumulate rust and debris over winter. Remove the pads and give them a good cleaning.
If they’re worn down, replace them. Also, check the brake fluid level and top it off if necessary.
9. Clean And Lube The Chain
Lastly, clean and lubricate the chain. This is crucial for maintaining smooth operation and prolonging the life of your chain.
If you forgot to lubricate your motorcycle chain before storing it for winter, it must be rusted. In that case, you may need to replace the chain.
If you have already lubricated your motorcycle chain, it’s essential to clean and lubricate it again before going on any ride.
You can buy a Motul chain care kit from Amazon that contains cleaning and lubing spray for O-Rings, X-Ring, Z-Ring, etc.
After doing this, your bike is ready for your first summer ride.
By following these steps, your motorcycle should be ready to hit the road as soon as the weather allows. Remember, some maintenance can go a long way in ensuring a safe and enjoyable riding season.