Act now to ride out winter
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TAKING MEASURES NOW CAN PRESERVE YOUR PRECIOUS BIKE THROUGH COLDER MONTHS AND SAVE YOU HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS, SAYS MATHIEU DAY
Let’s face it: riding a motorbike in torrential rain isn’t what most of us call fun.
So if you’re thinking of parking up during winter here’s a few must-do hints before you put away the keys for a few months.
Put rego on hold
If you won’t be riding your bike for the whole winter, put the registration on hold for the time you don’t plan to be riding.
This will save money as you’ll be cutting your annual fee by a quarter to a half, depending on how long you decide to be off the road. The process is simple and can be done online with the click of a mouse. Just head to the NZTA website: transact.nzta.govt.nz/
Change your oil
In general motorcycles run oil that needs to lubricate not only the engine, but also the clutch and gearbox.
Before parking for winter, change the oil to remove any contaminants from the system and prevent blockages forming. It’s also a great time to change the oil filter so your bike is ready to go in spring.
Tyres need special attention.
Make sure they are at the correct air pressure and not partially flat before storage.
If possible store your bike on a centre stand — this will take most of the weight off the tyres and prevent them from squaring off.
If you don’t have a centre stand, roll the bike forward and back a couple of metres once or twice a month.
Clean and lubricate the chain before storing it to prevent rusting. This can save hundreds of dollars and extend the chain’s life.
Fuel in the tank can cause multiple issues if left over a long period. In the worst case scenario it will create blockages in the fuel lines, fuel filter and carburettor.
Fill the tank with fuel to prevent rust forming while the bike is parked, and add a fuel stabiliser. This stops the fuel from degrading and helps prevent blockages forming.
Disconnect the battery to prevent it discharging and ruining your first ride of the new season.
Better yet, remove it and store it in a warm, dry place, connected to a trickle charger.
This will ensure the battery is in prime condition when it goes back into your bike.
Clean your bike
To avoid dirt and grime causing your bike to corrode in the off-season, give it a thorough wash and wax then lubricate any parts susceptible to rust or corrosion, particularly your chain and grease points.
Plug the exhaust and air intake — a rag or duct tape will do — to prevent any creepy-crawlies (or small objects placed by children) finding their way into places they shouldn’t.
Finally cover your bike to keep it out of the elements.
On the road again
Before heading out on the road, remember to update your registration, replace the battery and check tyre pressures.
Don’t forget to check the lights are working and give the brakes a quick test before hitting speed to make sure that you can stop safely.