How To Winterize A Motorcycle

Preparing a motorcycle for the off-season or winter months is a crucial maintenance aspect. Prepping the engine to protecting the exterior are essential elements of keeping your bike in good shape. In addition, you must follow a few actions to protect your bike while in storage.

The season for riding motorcycles is winding down as the cold weather sets in. Your prized possession can be in trouble if you don’t know how to winterize a motorcycle. You will likely store your vehicle for the winter unless you live in a southern or western state. The good news is that it’s never too late to learn how to winterize your bike.

Stabilizing the fuel is among the first steps you need to take. Changing the oil is also essential, as old oil can turn acidic in the cold. Cleaning and covering the bike are obvious actions you must execute regardless of the weather. Moreover, choosing the proper storage can also be very crucial.

Steps to Winterize Motorcycle

Oil and oil filters, a lubricant, and a fuel stabilizer are some of the things you’ll need to winterize your motorcycle. In addition, you’ll need an anti-freezing tool, your transmission, brake, clutch fluids, and some cleaning products. Finally, prepare a motorcycle wax, a WD-40, and a tire pressure gauge. Once you have these, you’re all set to learn about how to winterize your motorcycle.

Changing the oil and applying lube

Before storing your motorcycle for the winter, change the oil and install a new filter. In addition to safeguarding the engine and lubrication system while in storage, changing oil can prevent corrosion. Apply a thin layer of oil to the cylinder walls and pistons if you’re storing your bike for over four to six months. Pull the spark plugs and pump some oil into the spark plug holes. After that, run the engine a few times to coat it and swap out the spark plugs.

Motorcycle parts like chain drives, cables, pivot points, and controls must be greased. Lubrication can prolong the life of your bike and help mitigate damage and rusting during winter. Take your motorcycle for a five-mile trip to warm things up before lubricating the chain. Before lubricating your bike for storage, you should clean every component thoroughly.

Fuel treatment and fluid levels

While your motorbike is in storage for the winter, your gas tanks can corrode if left empty. Add a fuel stabilizer and replenish the gas tank to roughly 90% capacity to lessen the likelihood of damage. Run the motorcycle after adding the stabilizer to allow it to pass through the engine. You can also empty the gas tank and fog the interior with oil to prevent rust damage.

It’s imperative to top off the antifreeze because, if not done, it could accumulate water in your cooling system. Additionally, you should replace and top off the fluids in the clutch, brakes, and transmission. Maintaining fresh fluid will prevent moisture buildup and maintain your motorcycle’s internal pipes and components. Over the winter, avoid adding water to your antifreeze since it can freeze and rupture the tank.

Riding your bike out

A clever way to avoid your motorcycle from getting rusty because of the winter is to ride it out during this season. To accomplish this, you’ll need to clean your vehicle thoroughly and, if necessary, replace the filter and change the oil. Getting a service at this juncture ensures that everything runs smoothly when the bleak midwinter arrives.

Check all of the bike’s essential components after it has been cleaned, lubed, and shielded. If some details aren’t up to standard, replace them immediately and take care of any minor issues. You’ll also need to spray your bike and its electrics to protect them from the coarse and sludge of the winter roads.

Other Options to Winterize Motorcycles

True heroes out there ride their bikes every day during the winter. Others hide their joy and pride for fear of encountering numerous problems on the road. The good thing is that there are some ways you can do to winterize your motorcycle and ensure it performs well after the season. Winterizing your motorcycle also aids you in driving safely.

Waiting until spring

Some people might tell you that covering your bike during the winter will keep it warm and rid you of any starting problems. Instead of merely covering the motorcycle with a synthetic cover, isolate the battery. This step ensures that the battery doesn’t drain. You can also take out the fuel line and all petrol from the tank for some added protection. However, if you’re on a full tank by the time winter comes, use a fuel stabilizer.

Clearing out the coolant

Depending on the forecasted temperature conditions and coolant settings, you can empty the coolant. The coolant hoses should not freeze and crack if you use the proper coolant. Remove any water from the coolant system and flush it with a specialized bike antifreeze or coolant.

Keeping the battery and tires intact

You could be rolling heated grips and other insulated garments from the bike, making the battery especially important. A recommended action is to connect the battery to a smart charger at night to help improve its life. Keeping the battery charged, whether storing or using the bike in winter, helps improve its performance.

The tires are also essential because they are the only component that keeps the motorcycle in touch with the road surface. Swap them and ensure that the pressures are at the recommended levels before riding. If more than two-thirds are worn, replace them with tires designed for colder and warmer conditions.

Keeping the bike and chain clean is also recommended, paying particular attention to the interior of the brake calipers. You can shield the pistons and seals from damage by mopping up the salt and grit every month.


If you plan to keep your motorcycle in storage for an extended period, you should consider updating your insurance coverage. This step anticipates any unexpected thing that could happen to your bike. And by taking these steps above on how to winterize motorcycle to heart, you’ll no doubt be able to sleep well during the cold season.

About The Author

AutoMotto Staff

We are a team of enthusiasts thriving to provide you with helpful advice on buying everything you may ever need for you vehicle.

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