Pests: Mice love to move into motorcycles and can do a lot of damage. We’ll leave you with a pair of muffler plugs to prevent both pests and moisture getting into the pipes. Just leave a Post-It on your seat to remember to take them out when you start up again! We advise stuffing something bright and obvious into air intake scoops for the same reason – the brighter and more obvious, the less chance there’ll be to forget to remove them before starting the bike up.
Leather: Seats and other leather items can easily crack so we treat all leather articles with a deep conditioning dressing. Anything leather will come out soft, flexible and our conditioning treatment will add years to its life.
Cover: If you’re keeping your bike outside, use a well-ventilated cover. Bad ones trap moisture so make sure you get a breathable one with tie-downs. If you have a garage, just throw a blanket or sheet over it to keep dust off but still keep air circulating round the bike. We recommend Nelson-Rigg covers, starting at £25 depending on the size of your motor-cycle.
Tyres: Slightly over-inflate your tyres to store (remember to return them to correct pressures when you ride again). Use a scissor-jack to lift your bike (we stock good ones at £60) and store it with wheels off the ground. This prevent the flat spots that can appear on tyres after a heavy bike has stood in the same place for months. Failing that, stand the bike on a piece of carpet and move it, or rotate the wheels, every month.
Lastly, don’t stand the bike on bare concrete – it’s porous so mould and moisture will infiltrate under your machine. Again, stand it on an old rug or carpet with a tarp, plywood or other waterproof barrier underneath.
To run or not to run? There are two schools of thought. We feel that starting up your engine periodically to ‘warm it up’ can lead to condensation building up again inside the engine from by-products in the oil. If you’ve taken the trouble to do a proper job protecting your bike for winter, our view is: don’t keep starting it up.