Getting Your Bike Ready for Autumn / Winter
Some people choose to lock their motorcycles away during the colder weather; but we don’t think that’s any fun at all! But your bike will need some extra TLC during the autumn and winter months. Here are our top five essential motorcycle maintenance tips for safe and happy riding this autumn and winter.
1. Give your motorbike an oil change
Changing the oil is essential for keeping your motorcycle running smoothly, particularly at this time of year. Old oil becomes contaminated with dirt, and this can corrode the workings of your motorcycle and cause the engine to wear more quickly.
You should always change the oil after leaving your bike running for a few minutes first, to make sure the engine is at its working temperature. Once you’ve drained the old oil, make sure you’re replacing it with the right viscosity – you’ll find this in the owner’s manual if you’re unsure. New, clean oil will keep your bike’s engine running as it should throughout the autumn and winter.
2. Make sure you keep the battery charged
As the weather gets colder, there’s a good chance you’ll be riding your motorcycle less. The longer you leave your bike without running it, the higher the possibility that the battery will lose its charge. In addition, the chemicals in the battery work less efficiently in lower temperatures.
The best thing you can do for your battery is to run your motorbike as regularly as possible, but there are a few other ways to keep it maintained between rides. A trickle charger can be useful if you can store your bike somewhere with a power supply. Greasing the terminal connectors will also help protect the battery by keeping moisture out.
However, if your bike is likely to be unused for longer than two weeks, replacing the battery before you take it out again is a sensible precaution.
3. Check your tyres regularly
The road conditions during autumn and winter tend to be far more dangerous than at other times of year. Wet roads, particularly if they’re covered in mushy leaves, require a good tyre tread depth for your bike to maintain its grip – it’s important to check often for signs of wear.
You should also check the tyre pressures regularly at this time of year. Tyre pressure tends to reduce in colder weather, and under-inflated tyres can be highly dangerous.
4. Keep it clean
Washing your bike regularly is highly important during autumn and winter. The lower temperatures and wet, dirty roads can cause corrosion, as can salt if the roads have been gritted. Ideally at this time of year you should wash your bike after every ride, removing all dirt from even the hard-to-reach areas. When you’ve washed and rinsed it thoroughly, tip your bike to each side as far as you can to make sure the maximum excess water is removed.
If time is tight and you know you won’t be able to clean your bike that regularly, an alternative is to spread a layer of grease over every exposed surface and leave it on for the whole winter – it can be removed with paraffin when the weather starts to get warmer.
5. Soften your suspension
A softer suspension setting offers increased grip on slippery roads, and enables you to judge road conditions more accurately.
If your bike is regularly maintained, and you have all the right protective gear, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t continue to enjoy your motorcycle throughout the autumn and winter. Happy riding!
If you need spares or advice...
MPS offers a huge selection of motorcycle parts and products for most of the world’s most popular motorcycle brands including Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Harley Davidson and many more. Call us on 0151 345 7810 to find what you’re looking for.