Winter Storage

That time has come here in Ontario.

Some have already stored their bikes, some keep it ready for any final decent riding days.

Buck has already mentioned a fantastic service for storing your bike through the winter here. This post is for those who, like me, will store the bike themselves.

I don’t claim to be an expert on this, but I’ve done quite a bit of research and am providing you with the info I intend to use for my storing process.

First off, I’ve heard some complaints about ‘Stabil’, the fuel additive that keeps gas fresh through storage. Not that it doesn’t do the job but that bikes stored with ‘Stabil’ run ‘crappy’ after the winter. As an alternative ‘Sea Foam’ apparently works great. It is a fuel additive that, among other things, cleans injectors and carbs, adds lubricity, restores power, removes moisture, cleans carbon, stabilizes fuel, smooths rough idle, and assures fast starts. I’ve had trouble finding it so far but when I do I will post the source (you can check some stores in the shops section of the sidebar).

The instructions for storage using ‘Sea Foam’ involves adding 1/3 of the bottle, filling up the gas tank, and riding for about 5 minutes after warming the bike up before parking it.

I also suggest removing your battery and putting it on a trickle charger throughout the winter. This will insure battery power for the spring so you won’t have to wait to get back on the road again!

If you have a chain driven bike, I suggest thoroughly cleaning and lubing it before storage. Again, this will reduce any work come the spring and get you back on the road immediately.

I’ve read it is a good idea to change the oil for storage. Used oil has certain acids and contaminants that leech out during prolonged idle periods. It has been suggested you put in cheap oil to store throughout the winter, then change with your usual oil and a new oil filter come the spring. See our oil changing video tutorial here.

Another idea is to wrap bags over the exhaust pipes to keep the moisture out.

I’m storing my bike in my clean and dry garage this winter. Ideally you should put something under the bike to keep it off the concrete – like a blanket. I also wrap it in a blanket to prevent any dust and moisture that might occur. I plan on doing some work on it throughout the winter so having access to it will make the work that much easier.

I also like to clean my bike before putting it in storage. I always say, ‘A clean bike is a happy bike!’.

Hope this helps out and if you have any tips of your own please do share in the comments!

Also, keep checking in to Rubber on the Road for work updates and general bike talk throughout the off-season!

About brent
Motorcycles, movies, music, photography, politics. These are a few of my favourite things.

2 Responses to Winter Storage

  1. Stacy says:

    SeaFoam is terrific. In the US, you can find it at Napa Auto Parts. I’d be happy to send you a few cans of SeaFoam in exchange for some TIMBITS.

    • brent says:

      I contacted SeaFoam headquarters and they said in Canada SeaFoam can be found at Napa Auto Parts and Carquest. I didn’t find it at PartsSource here, but yesterday a friend said he picked up a can at a PartsSource in Whitby, Ontario.

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