Winterize motorcycles now to avoid issues later

  • Published
  • By Pat Hansen, 75th Air Base Wing Safety

HILL AIR FORCE BASE – Performing motorcycle winterization now, makes for a better riding year by not having to fix and address issues caused from not winterizing.

Drain the fuel because if fuel sits unused for more than 30 days, the octane rating drops, and the fuel itself goes bad. Fittingly, this is known as bad fuel, which may make starting difficult in the spring and can damage the engine if it runs through.

Fuel isn’t the only thing that goes bad if a motorcycle or scooter sits unused for too long. The battery is also affected. More specifically, the charge inside the battery is affected.

Don’t be surprised if the bike doesn’t start after it’s been sitting for several months. The best practice is to get a battery tender, and connect it, either on the bike, or out of the bike. Don’t use a regular battery charger, as these tend to overcharge and eventually ruin the battery.

A personal garage is ideal for winter storage, but inside storage can usually be rented for $150-$200 for five months.

Another option is a solid synthetic cover. This protects the motorcycle from the elements and also from theft.

The costs associated with indoor or covered storage may be worth it if they help avoid maintenance costs in the spring.

For more information, call Pat Hansen, 75 Air Base Wing Motorcycle Safety Program manager, at 801-777-7233.