8 Tips for Preparing for Winter

8 Tips for Preparing for Winter

Posted by Ben Baker on Oct 21st 2016

Old Man Winter is fast approaching and has already blown some of his cold breath in places. If you live in a place where you can’t ride in the middle of January, then it’s time to start winterizing your ride.

Here’s what you need to know:


Clean that bike up. Give it a good going over. Wash and then wax the metal. Put a protectant on the rubber surfaces too. Your tires will thank you.

Change the oil

Yeah, you may not need to change the oil yet, according to the miles you’ve put on since the last change. Do it anyway. You don’t want old motor oil sitting in the vital parts of your iron steed during the winter.

Lube the movers

If it moves, put some lubricant on it. While giving the chain a shot of grease is common sense; there’s more that moves. Shoot some lube into the cables, fork surfaces and any place that moves.

Protect the tank

Gas tanks will rust if left alone. You can prevent this by filling the tank completely with fuel and a winterizing treatment. The bike shops and most good auto parts stores sell a variety of winter fuel treatment products.


If you have a kick starter and no battery, skip this suggestion. If you do have a battery, you need to protect it too. Winter battery tenders will monitor your battery’s charge all winter and keep it topped off. A good tender will not overcharge the battery.

Make sure the terminals are clean. Any hint of corrosion, clean them up. The tender must have a solid contact.

Rotate your tires

We don’t mean swap the front tire for the back and vice versa. Roll your tires. Don’t leave one part of the tire in contact with the ground all winter. Bike lifts are great for this. Lift the ride and the tires are off the ground.


If you can’t do this, roll your bike a few inches and kickstand down again. If you are parked on concrete, but something like plywood under the tires to protect them from the concrete.


If you live in a place where temps regularly drop below freezing and stay there, you already know to check the antifreeze levels in your cage. But what about your ride? Unless your garage is heated, it’s going to be cold in there too. You don’t need to pull that bike out in the spring to discover a cracked coolant system.

Check the antifreeze levels. Add what you need to to meet the protection level for your region.

No pests.

Plug your pipes. Seriously. Shove something in them to keep wintering Disney Friends out of the exhaust. Steel wool works great. Plastic bags do work, but mice are known to chew through them. Best idea: wrap steel wool in some bright plastic and put it in the pipe.