Winter is coming, as they say in a certain well-known TV show. Winter may already be here depending on when and where you're reading this, which means that bikers all over the world are reluctantly storing their machines and waiting for spring.
However, it shouldn't prevent you from going out for a ride. Without the cold weather hurting your safety and performance, you and your bike can endure everything that winter throws at you with the proper maintenance and care.
To help you take care of your bike in the winter, here are the top 5 most important points on motorbike maintenance advice.
1. Check the Battery's Condition
We advise routine battery health checks because winter puts a lot of stress on the battery due to cold starts, thick engine oil, and the usage of extra electrics (lights, bar warmers, etc.). The voltage should be checked first; a good battery should be over 12. 6v.
After that, lubricate the terminals and check to see that nothing is dirty or loose. If the battery has to be recharged, do it before your subsequent ride and monitor the voltage. If it is fast depleting, you might want to replace it.
2. Inspect the tires
Check the tyres before leaving - during the cold weather, the pressure can drop by as much as 2 psi for every 10°C drop in temperature.
Additionally, you may want to think about replacing the tyres on your bike with winter-ready rubber, which can improve traction and handling in snowy and wet weather.
Tip: For winter riding, carry a can of Tyre Puncture Sealant Bike Tire Repair Patch Craft. You won't have to wait on the roadside in the bitter cold weather; this emergency puncture repair will get you back on the road after a puncture.
3. Use top notch coolant and antifreeze
If your bike has a basic cooling system, make sure to top it up with premium coolant or antifreeze suitable for winter. Use antifreeze with a low freezing point (ideally below -30°C) to prevent it from freezing in the system when the bike is left left outside.
Never substitute coolant or antifreeze with water, and keep it filled up all winter long by checking it frequently.
4. Lubricate the chain and other moving parts.
In the winter, dirt, moisture, oil, salt, and ice can seriously interfere with your bikes controls. To prevent this, lubricate all moving components on a regular basis. The brakes, pedals, and throttle are all parts that need attention.
Tip: Install a Scottoiler device, which will lubricate the chain automatically while you ride, to make chain maintenance easier.
5. Before the winter, replace the oil and filter.
It takes a lot of effort to start your bike on a cold morning, so you need high-quality engine oil to lubricate and protect moving parts. To ensure that the engine is well protected before winter sets in, we advise replacing the oil and filter.
A quick tip, be careful to prepare your bike for storage if you're putting it away for the winter so you can swiftly restore it to peak performance in the spring. If possible, store your bike indoors or get a sturdy cover for it. Use a battery tender to maintain the health of your battery. Finally, give your bike a thorough cleaning before putting it away for the season.
A determined rider can survive the winter perfectly fine with little planning and a willingness to live a little bit on the edge since riding is an experience that never stops - not even for the cold!