How to Take Care of a Motorbike During Winter: Top 5 Tips
The sheer cold of winter is tough for any vehicle. However, this does not stop life from going on, which means you still need to get out driving even if it is freezing. Just as you require special, warm clothes to survive the winter, your motorbike also needs pretty much the same sort of special treatment. Engined bikes need to be driven regularly, but their frequency greatly reduces during winter.
The pandemic is not helping either as the roads tend to remain closed – putting a hold on driving altogether. This compromises the bike’s safety and reduces the performance levels over time. Thus, motorbike owners need to know the right methods of bike maintenance during the wintertime. The purpose of this article is to give you some idea about the most effective procedures to be followed during winter.
Tip 1 – Wrap Your Motorbike
Just as you need jackets and sweaters to stay warm during the winter, so does your bike – especially if it is parked outdoors in the open. Ensure that the vehicle does not get wet due to humidity and moisture. The best way to do this is to use a cover or wrap that prevents any water from seeping into vulnerable parts of the machinery.
Some owners use a water repellant spray, but this is not recommended cost-wise, as you would need a ton of spray to last you through a year. Instead, opting for wraps or covers is a cost-effective approach. You can obtain those from anywhere and get them installed without much fuss.
A car or motorbike wrap cost may vary depending on the material used. However, the utility they bring far outweighs the meager amount you need to pay to acquire one. You can pick any color and thickness of your choice. These materials are model-specific, making them premium items or customizations for any vehicle.
Tip 2 – Assess the Battery Health
Cold temperature can completely disrupt the functionality of a battery by raising the viscosity level of the fluid inside, which solidifies the fluid and hampers the flow of electric current within. Due to this reason, the motorbike would take longer to start, and at times, even fail to do so.
Applying force to start a cold-compromised battery affects the bike’s performance and damages the battery itself. Regular battery checks are crucial during such times. You need to keep it charged, ensure that the terminals are tightly connected, and apply an occasional dash of grease onto it.
During battery checks, find out if the voltage level is above 12.6V or not, as this is the limit. Going below that point, the battery starts to degrade. Make sure all the terminals are clean, tight, and properly connected. While driving, if you notice an excessive level of battery drain, know that it is time to have it checked by a professional.
Tip 3 – Apply Antifreeze
Many motorbikes come with a standard cooling system that is quite good at its task but might become a hassle during the winter. In such cases, make sure you add an antifreeze or winter coolant – preferably of high quality – that will prevent the system from freezing up if the vehicle is parked outside.
The antifreeze needs to have a low freezing point so that the cold temperature does not change its state. Using water instead of antifreeze will not work, as water has a higher freezing point than the latter. Keep an eye on the antifreeze levels inside the machine, and make sure you keep it full at all times.
Tip 4 – Replace the Oil and Filter
While this might not sound as crucial as some other factors mentioned in this article, this point indeed has deep relevance to the overall health of the motorbike. As you know by now, the cold affects the battery, which leads to problems in starting the engine.
However, it is not just the battery that contributes to this issue. Poor quality engine oil, or the lack of it, can also produce the same outcome, although damages are incurred on the machine in the process. It is wise to replace the oil and filter before the cold months kick in. Chances are, this increases the durability of your motorcycle significantly.
Tip 5 – Lubricate the Chain and Other Parts
A motorbike’s chain is the most important moving part in it. Taking good care of it is key. If not maintained properly, they will start getting rusty over time, something which is accelerated during the winter months. Rusty chains affect the efficiency of the vehicle and present a risk to the rider as they may get stuck or ripped off, leading to unfortunate accidents.
Many motorbike owners apply excessive lubricant and forget all about it for a long time. This is not ideal. Instead, you should be using lubricants in small amounts but maintain a regular schedule. Let the bike rest for a while after applying the lubricants, as it ensures that the fluid reaches even the tiniest of gaps to maximize the efficiency of the moving parts. Anti-rust sprays can be used along with the lubricants to prevent rusting of the machine’s interior.
Various safety tips can help you better care of your motorbike during the cold winter. Take care of what you need to do and act accordingly. We believe this article has provided you with some of the effective methods that can help you keep your motorbike in top-notch conditions throughout the cold months of winter.