While some will continue to ride through winter with just a decent coating of ACF-50 and some warm gloves, there's that time of year where some of us will decide to put the bike away until the spring. Here are our steps in order to help to get your bike ready for hibernation...
Give your bike a good wash. Get rid of the summer grime, such as those stubborn bugs, brake dust and tar deposits. A good wax will help protect the bodywork, and consider applying a good coat of ACF-50 or XCP to the bike, even if you're not planning on riding - this will help keep corrosion at bay while it's in the shed or garage and help protect against any salt deposits that may still be on the roads come spring. Make sure that you dry the bike off properly - taking the bike out for a short ride if the roads are dry will help with this. If you have a chain, throughly clean and lube it!
Fresh fuel. We suggest brimming the tank with super unleaded, and also using a good fuel additive to help neutralise the ethanol content now found in most fuels - something like the Milers VSPE ethanol protectant (OIA11047) or Frost Ethomix (OIA00555) will be ideal. Having a full tank not only means that you have lots of fuel for when spring appears, but it doesn't allow rust to form as you're not leaving any room for air inside the tank. Once you have a tank full of fuel, run the bike up to temperature to allow the fresh fuel to pass through the fuel system. If you have carbs fitted, turn the fuel taps off and allow the carbs to run dry, or drain them yourself.
Protect your battery. It's very important to keep your battery hooked up to a charger so it doesn't discharge. There are lots of battery chargers out there, so it's important to make sure that you have one that is relevant to the battery fitted to your bike - most BMW's will come with lead-acid batteries but some models are starting to appear with lithium batteries which require a specific charger. If it is easy to remove the battery from your bike, you can bring it indoors and keep it on a trickle charger - also recommended if you do not have a power source where your bike is kept. Again, we carry a large range of battery chargers to cover all options.
Plug the exhaust and airbox. Ever bought a bike and discovered that a family of mice have been keeping warm in the airbox when you've come to replace the air filter? Chances are this happened over winter, so to help prevent this from happening it's a good idea to try and plug the exhaust and airbox. If it is difficult to gain access to your airbox, laying down traps or bait in your garage or shed might help!
Put the bike on stands and under cover. If you have stands, now is the time to use them! Keeping the bike off the ground will help to keep your tyres from forming flatspots - if you don't have any stands, check out our range of stands. If you can't keep the bike on stands, making sure the tyres are properly inflated and moving the bike fowards and backwards over the winter months will help. A good bike cover will help keep dust off your bike, and a synthetic indoor bike cover will prevent against moisture forming.
When your bike emerges from winter storage, make sure to check it from top to bottom. Now is also a good time to give it a service and change the fluids!