The Cleveland area has been blessed with some great weather this fall. There is still some time to take in the gorgeous fall colors in our Metroparks. Using motorcycles and scooters are great way to get around town. But, once the winter weather starts to hit our area, it is not safe to ride these vehicles due to slick and slippery roads.
Once you are ready to store these vehicles, it is important to properly prepare them so you can easy start them up for use when the weather warms up.
Motorcycle Winter Storage
A motorcycle or scooter should be stored in proper conditions to keep them protected during the off-season month either in a garage or a storage unit. You can find storage tips specific to your motorcycle in your owner’s manual. It is important to read and follow these directions before storing your vehicle:
- Before you place the motorcycle in storage, make sure that your registration and license and insurance are up-to-date.
- If you are planning on storing a motorcycle in a garage or a storage unit, place the motorcycle on a pallet or piece of wood off the floor. Doing so will help protect the tires from deflating during storage.
- Before storing, change the oil in the scooter or motorcycle. This will remove the excess sludge and dirt in the engine and will allow easier start-up of the motorcycle when removing from storage.
- Clean the motorcycle and completely dry it before placing in storage. Spray protective oil on every metal surface of the motorcycle to help prevent rusting.
- Check the tires to make sure that they are properly inflated when you place the motorcycle in storage.
- Cover the motorcycle or scooter in a cotton tarp, sheet or blanket while it is in storage. Do not use a plastic cover as this will allow moisture to be trapped under cover and cause damage to the metal surfaces.
- If storing in a self-storage facility, make sure to check your specific rules and regulations before storing.
Winter Storage Tips for Bicycles
Once it gets too cold to ride a bicycle, you will need to decide where to store it for the off season. Deciding where to store your bike depends on where you live and if you have ample inside storage space. It is more ideal to store a bike inside rather than outside to protect the mechanics from the elements. If you do need to store a bicycle outside (such as if you are living in a dormitory and you cannot keep it in your dorm room), make sure the bike is locked in the most secure possible way and it is covered to protect it from the elements. If you are storing the bike in a garage, it is still a good idea to lock it up for protection. Hanging a bike on a wall is one of the best ways to store it when you aren’t riding it. The weight of the hanging bike when hanging will not hurt the wheels
Century Cycles shares some great tips for protecting a bike during storage during the colder months. If you can store you bicycle in a garage or basement, there are important things to do to prepare it for storage to keep it in good working condition:
- Do not park the bicycle for too long on a concrete floor. Concrete draws moisture out of the tires causing dry-rot and premature aging of the tires If you need to store it on a floor, add a protective rugs or other covering under the tires or place on top of wood blocks.
- Remove water bottles and electronic devices that are attached to the bicycle. Store them in a warm, dry place.
- Thoroughly clean the bike before storing including the spokes, bike seat, hand gripes and gears. Dirt, mud and road salt can cause corrosion to the bike’s frame all year-round, but especially if the bicycle has been sitting unused for a few months.
- Inspect the entire bicycle for any damage that will need to be repaired before storage including the gears, brakes, cables and tires.
- Before storage, get a full tune-up for the bike. This will help prevent getting it done in the spring and it will be safe to ride as soon as the weather breaks in the winter.
- Fill up the tires to the recommended pressure during storage.
- Lubricate the chain and cables which gives an extra layer of protection against corrosion during storage.
Making sure that your motorcycle, scooter or bicycle is properly prepared for winter storage will keep it in great condition so it can be used for many years to come. Beat Cycles in Lakewood is great local choice for bike repair and sales. It is located just across the street from Men’s Cuts. If you need to ride during the winter months, it is very important to follow all safety rules for riding on slick roads. Keeping safe on the road is always a priority with riding motorcycles, scooters and bicycles.