Effects of Colder Weather on Your Motorcycle
The unfortunate reality is that many motorcycles are ridden less in the cold winter months. Trips are shorter and less frequent which means you should be giving extra TLC to your bike. Those of you not storing the bike over the winter and who do anticipate taking your bike out for a ride to Bob’s instead of just starting it and letting it sit in the driveway should know:
- Colder weather and shorter trips are harder on your bike’s oil. An engine needs to reach full operating temperature to burn off harmful deposits. To prevent this, minimize short trips on the bike and consider more frequent oil changes.
- Colder weather is also harder on your battery. Definitely consider a battery tender in the colder months to serve as your maintenance charger. It will keep the battery fully charged and at a warmer temperature so your bike starts more easily.
- Your tire pressure fluctuates with temperatures so will drop more easily in colder temperatures. It’s important to check tire pressure more frequently in the winter. Something to consider if you are not already doing, is to use nitrogen in your tires. Nitrogen is more stable in colder temperatures because there is no moisture in nitrogen like H2O.
- The fuel tank should be ¾ full with stabilizer at all times when riding less frequently.
- Technical glitches can occur so it is always a good idea to check your heated grips, seats, and gear prior to your first winter ride.
Have Your Bike Ready to Ride When the Weather Warms Up
To some, Winter means the end of the riding season, but at Bob’s Service Department it means the beginning of project season! Winter is the perfect opportunity to get ALL the things done you put off last season. Don’t let your bike be out of commission next season, enjoy uninterrupted riding all season long. Before you put the bike away, do a full inspection (or let Bob’s expert techs take a look!). The less surprises when it’s time to bring the bike back out, the better. Certain mechanical issues take time to repair so now is the time to make those time consuming repairs…while you’re not riding as often!
- Throttle and brake cables
- Truing Wheels
- Seals and leaks
And if you are considering adding bells and whistles, do it in the winter so there will be no hassle when it’s time to ride!
- Custom paint jobs
- Light upgrades
- GPS installations
The Basics of Motorcycle Winteriztion
The days are getting colder and snowflakes will be falling before you know it so we want to be sure our customers know the basics of bike winterization. If you are not storing your bike at Bob’s over the winter months, be sure to consider the following:
- Have you purchased fuel stabilizer?
- You should not wait to change your oil in the spring…do it before!
- If you aren’t riding it in the winter, DON’T START THE BIKE!
- Use your center stand and balance the bike so both tires are off the ground..your tires should not be touching the concrete.
- Have you removed your battery and connected it to a battery tender?
- Wash your bike before storing it and lubricate anything that moves.
Safe Motorcycle Tires
With cooler fall weather approaching and the potential for leaves and other slippery debris on the road you need to confirm your tires are safe. If you can’t stop by Bob’s please use our check list below to help determine if it’s time for new rubber to make your ride both safe and enjoyable; any one of these items may be reason to replace your tires.
- Is your tire pressure set correctly? Do you check it EVERY TIME you ride?
- Tread depth should be AT LEAST 1/32” (remember this is the MINIMUM!) Dave replaces his at 3/32”
- Sidewalls should show no signs of cracking or bulging ANYWHERE, check this carefully
- Date stamp should indicate your tires are no older than 5 years since they were produced, under ideal conditions
- Uneven wear can cause hops, vibration or poor handling; causes can vary but all are reasons to replace
- Is your valve stem holding air when you wiggle or bend it slightly?
- Are your wheels true and round or are there dents from hitting a pothole or other road debris?
Click HERE for Photographs from our Can-Bus 101 Tech Session
Pointers for Buying a Vintage Motorcycle
Dave Grunberger, one of our resident vintage BMW gurus, has a few pointers when purchasing a vintage BMW motorcycle.
- Make sure that a vintage motorcycle fits your personality. Are you some who has the time and interest in maintaining a rare motorcycle?
- Make sure the motorcycle hasn’t been sitting. The engine runs best when they are used regularly.
- How are the tires and what is the general appearance? That can tell you a lot about how the owner cared for the bike and if he/she took care of routine maintenance. If you still have some doubts….don’t forget that we offer pre-purchase inspections for older bikes too.
Ready to schedule your next appointment?