Winter Storage and Spring Start-up

Tools Needed:
  1. General maintenance tools (metric socket set, screwdrivers)
  2. Spark Plug Socket
  3. Oil pan
  4. Oil filter wrench
Other Items:
  1. Motorcycle engine oil.
  2. Oil filter (OEM or your filter choice)
  3. Fuel stabilizer
  4. A gas can filled with your favorite octane
  5. Anti-Freeze mix


Time: 1 - 3 Hours

Winter Storage

Step 1 Add the fuel stabilizer to your gas tank. It helps if the tank is not completely full.

Step 2 Top off the fuel in the tank.

Step 3 Start the motorcycle to let the fuel and stabilizer mix into the carbs/ fuel lines. Yes, do this also for fuel injection. (Yes you can use the fuel in the tank with the stabilizer in the spring)
Step 3a You also have the option of turning the fuel tank petcock to off and running the motorcycle. Once it begins to sputter, turn the choke all the way on to finish off all the fuel in the lines and carbs and the bike will quit.

Step 4 Again, top off the gas tank as full as you can get it. You may need to also add more fuel stabilizer. This will reduce the risk of moisture and rust forming in the gas tank.

Step 5 Change the oil and the filter.

Step 6 Remove each spark plug, place a tablespoon of oil in each cylinder (or use a fogger), and re torque plugs back on. It is also a good idea to do the same to the valve seats (requires access past carbs, top down).

Step 7 Ground the plug wires or coil wire and crank the engine a few times to coat the cylinder walls with the oil (not needed if you used a fogger).

Step 8 Remove the battery and place in a dry place (not on the garage or basement floor). Use a battery conditioner, like Battery Tender Junior to keep a fresh charge on the battery all winter long. This will help you battery life.

Step 9 Make sure you coolant level is full in the radiator and reserve tank. So if you used water only, or a racing based coolant, you'll need to either completely drain it and/or add some antifreeze with distilled water mix (50/50). Make sure the coolant you use is aluminium friendly!

Step 10 Cover / plug intake and exhaust. Best to cover the intake at the air box. Masking tape works well, as do old socks. This is to help keep some moisture out and also critters and insects.

Step 11 Lift wheels off the ground. You can use rear and front stands, pieces of 2x4s, and so on. This is to prevent dry rot in the tires, so they don't dry out, crack, and become brittle.

Step 12 Cover the motorcycle with a breathable cover. This is not always necessary, but a good idea. Make sure it is breathable as not to trap moisture under the cover. An old sheet is just fine.

Spring Starting

Step 1 Change oil but not the filter. (Oil may turn acidic)

Step 2 Look over the tires. This includes pressure, tread depth, cracking, and so on.

Step 3 Check over all the nuts and bolts making sure none are loose.

Step 4 Clean up any dust, grime, salt, or other dirt off the motorcycle.

Step 5 If you have a chain, make sure it's clean and lube it.

Step 6 Verify brake lever and pedal pressure. Also check the brake fluid. Fluid other than clear has contaminants in it and should be replaced.

Step 7 Check the coolant level, make sure it has been replaced at service intervals.

Step 8 Remove exhaust and intake plugs. Clean out the airbox. During storage, mice tend to enjoy using air filter boxes as homes, and insects like it as a home in the summer.

Step 9 Check out your riding gear and clean up as needed.

Step 10 Install the battery, test it before hand to make sure it has a decent charge.

Step 11 Take it easy your first few days back on the motorcycle, your skills will need a checking as well.