Winter is coming. Just like all the winter wear comes out of the closet to help you tolerate the cold weather, bikes also need some extra love during these months to function at their optimum level. Extreme temperatures always have an effect on the bike, but there are steps you can take to mitigate them. Read on to learn more.
1. Store your Bike Well
If you have access to a climate-controlled garage or workshop, then nothing like it. You need to keep it away from snow and rain as much as possible. However, if that’s not possible for you, then make sure to store your motorcycle in a safe and clean area which is relatively free from moisture. Keep your two-wheeler away from other electric appliances.
2. Invest in a Good Cover for your Bike
During winters, we immediately bring out all our winter wear such as coats, jackets and sweaters. The same way, you need to invest in a good cover for your bike. Regardless of whether you keep your bike indoors or outdoors, you must keep it covered when not in use. This is to avoid moisture building up on the surface of your bike, so remember to clean it well and dry before covering it up. You can easily find many covers on e-commerce websites. It’s advisable that you buy a breathable fabric rather than plastic.
3. Use Anti-Rust Once in a While
However much you try, it’s not always possible to keep your bike completely moisture-free. Therefore, it’s a great idea to use an anti-rust spray before covering it, so that you can avoid corrosion to the bike due to rust. There are also some water repellent fluid sprays which you apply to your bike to ensure further protection.
4. Take Good Care of Battery
If you do not plan to use your bike for the entirety of winter, it’s best to remove the battery from the machine and keep it indoors in a dry, safe place. Otherwise, remember to clean the terminals and regularly check the wiring to make sure it’s all intact.
5. Change the Oil
You would have experienced that it’s sometimes really difficult to start your motorcycle on a cold winter morning. Here’s where the oil becomes really important. The process of combustion creates a lot of byproducts. During the summer, these byproducts easily wear off; however, during the winter, they tend to become mixed up with the oil to form acid, which could lead to bad consequences. Therefore, it’s essential to change your oil with far more frequency than you otherwise would.
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6. Save your Pipes from Rodents
Small creatures like rats and squirrels love inhabiting small and warm spaces like your exhaust pipe and air intakes for protection from the freezing temperatures. To avoid a nasty surprise while trying to start your bike, you can take this additional step. Block the entrance to your exhaust pipe and air intake by inserting some newspaper or steel wool in it. You can also apply some brightly-coloured plastic bags, as this will remind you to remove them when it is time to take your bike out for a spin again.
7. Take Care of Tyres
We often forget to look after the tyres of our bike, but they are, in fact, the components that undergo the most wear and tear. The low temperatures of winter can lower the air pressure of your tyres easily. So make sure to check the pressure before going for a ride. Additionally, because it can be quite dangerous to ride on icy roads during winter, your bike must have very high quality tyres. Otherwise it’s best to go for new ones.
8. Wear Appropriate Riding Gear
Since visibility is usually low during and the weather is unpredictable, the roads can be very slick and dangerous to ride on during winter. You can avoid any damage to the vehicle and to yourself by riding at a slow speed and wearing a jacket or helmet with reflective neon stripes. You can even stick these stripes on your bike, so that you are clearly visible to oncoming traffic.
9. Lubrication is Essential
You should do this even when it’s not winter, but during the cold months this becomes even more important. You can buy easily available chain lube spray to use the lubrication on the chain and all pivot points such as brake and clutch levers, the kickstand, the foot stands, etc. This ensures that the chain doesn’t get rusted up and won’t be vulnerable to brittleness or breakage.
10. Buy a Comprehensive Insurance Policy
It’s common knowledge now among bike owners that one needs to purchase at the very least a 3rd party liability bike insurance policy as it is mandated by law. However, you should consider buying a comprehensive insurance policy, as it offers protection for not only a third-party, but for your own bike as well. It also covers you in case of natural calamities such as fire, flood, earthquakes, etc. During winter the risk of these calamities is higher and therefore getting this type of insurance would be very prudent.
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We understand that being a new bike owner and experiencing a harsh winter can be daunting. Always remember to not let your bike insurance policy lapse, so that you have continuous coverage in case of any unfortunate incidents. Plus, if religiously follow these tips, then you will have nothing to worry about every time you go on a joyride. You can now plan your next bike riding trip to the Himalayas without a worry!
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