Tasks You Should Complete When Taking Your Motorcycle Out Of Storage

Posted on: 22 February 2017

If you own a motorcycle, then you may be thrilled that the vehicle requires less maintenance than a regular car or truck. While this is true, you do need to attend to certain maintenance tasks in a timely manner to prevent breakdowns and general repair issues. This is especially true if you have not used your motorcycle in some time. Keep reading if you want to learn about some of the things you absolutely should do before you start using your motorcycle.

Use A Fuel Additive

If you do not use your motorcycle regularly or if you have put it away for the winter, then it is highly likely that the gas in the tank is stale. While most types and grades of gasoline are stable for at least several months, the gasoline will break down over time. The amount of time that it takes for the gasoline to become stale depends on the amount of gasoline in the tank and whether or not the fuel is in direct contact with water and oxygen.

Gasoline degrades because it is highly refined and volatile. The volatility of the gasoline allows it to vaporize and burn to create energy for your motorcycle. While this is a good thing to feed your engine, the volatility means that some of the reactive compounds in the gasoline will evaporate. The result is thick gasoline that can easily clog the fuel filter. The fuel also will not burn as well.

While stale gas can be a problem for cars and trucks, it is a much bigger issue for motorcycles. There simply is not enough gas in the tank to resist degradation over an extended period of time. 

Before you store your motorcycle, it is a good idea to add a gasoline stabilizer to the tank. If you did not do this beforehand, then you should purchase a fuel restorer instead. This additive helps to thin out the gas and to clean residue from the carburetor so your engine can run properly. When you pour the additive into the tank, also fill it with new gas as well. Topping off the tank mixes new gasoline with old gasoline.

Check Tires Carefully

When you do not use your motorcycle a lot, the tires may lose a significant amount of air in between rides. A tire loses air for a number of different reasons. Air is lost through an osmosis process. Basically, the material that makes up the tire allows air to permeate through the casing. Leaking valve stems as well as holes or flaws in the core can cause leaks as well. Also, air may seep around the very edge of the tire casing. Air can be forced out of the tire as well if you hit an object or puncture the tire. 

Thin treads can allow for the release of tire pressure too. You probably understand that it can be incredibly dangerous to ride a motorcycle with poor tires. The tires remain in constant contact with the road, and they must retain good pressure and a proper tread for you to ride safely. Tires also go through a great deal of wear and tear and need to be replaced often. A typical tire should be replaced after five years of active use. Active use refers to the amount of time that the tire is actually used. 

Although replacements can and should be made after five years, tires should also be replaced if you see a worn tread, cuts, cracks, or the constant loss of tire pressure. Think about replacing the tire as well if it merely feels old. For example, if the tire pulses or vibrates when you ride, then this is a sign that a replacement is needed.

Checking tire pressure and filling the tires is another thing you should do when the motorcycle sits for some time. Recommended tire pressure will be listed on the tire itself. If the pressure is low, do not drive the motorcycle to the nearest gas station. You should fill the tire at home before riding the motorcycle. A simple and inexpensive air compressor works well for this. 

Contact a company that specializes in motorcycle repair for additional advice.