Lockdowns, working from home, lack of daylight and poor weather could mean you will have a laid-up motorbike for even longer than usual this winter.
Ever at hand and ready to share their expertise on all things biking, the Bikesure team offer some timely advice for keeping everything safe for your laid-up motorbike.
1. Keep a clean machine
You’ve put in the hard miles now give your bike a little TLC before it goes into mothballs for another year. It sounds a little obvious but many people put cleaning the bike off until another day, which probably never comes. But there really is no time like the present when you have a laid-up motorbike.
Give the bike a thorough wash and polish straight after your last ride as water, salt and stuck on splashes of mud can damage the metal and paintwork. That will also mean the bike will be sparkling when the weather turns and you can hit the road again.
2. Go for higher tyre pressure
If you have a laid-up motorbike for long periods the tyres can develop bulges and become mis-shapen. To help prevent this you should slightly over inflate tyres which will help them keep their shape.
If possible wheels should be lifted off the ground and set on the bike’s main stand or two paddock stands. If this isn’t possible, put some carpet, sacking, cardboard or blocks of wood under the wheels so they don’t rest on a cold concrete floor.
3. Find a good home for your laid-up motorbike
Ideally your laid-up motorbike can be stored for winter in a corner of the garage where it is easily accessible but out of harm’s way. If you don’t have a garage of your own, consider hiring some space in a lock-up near your home.
Alternatively find a sheltered spot in your garden and invest in a specialised bike cover to protect it from the harshest weather winter has to offer.
4. Give your battery a trickle treat
Cold can be a killer for the battery on your laid-up motorbike, especially if it is sat in it day after day without use. It is no surprise that failed batteries are the single biggest cause of breakdowns and starting failures at this time of year.
You can remove the battery from the bike and keep it in the warm but it’s probably more convenient to plug in the trickle charger to keep it in top condition.
5. Stop the rot on your laid-up motorbike
Spray corrosion protectant over the exhaust of your laid-up motorbike and cover it with a rag rag to let it breathe. Condensation can still develop within exhaust pipes so regularly remove the rags and start the bike up. You don’t need to take it out for a run but let it tick over until it reaches normal running speed. Turn the bike off, let it cool down and reapply corrosion protectant and rags.
7. Top up the fuel and oil
A full tank of petrol will prevent the inside rusting during the winter. Petrol can leave a sticky mess that can block injectors or carbs if you don’t flush it through by starting the bike regularly. Make sure you take a few minutes to start her up, and let her tick over every couple of weeks. You can also use special additives such as Silkolene Pro FST to help prevent petrol clogging.
Make sure you change the oil of your ;laid-up motorbike too. Old engine oil can contain acids and sludge or dirt which will settle in the bottom of your tank if the bike is left stationary for long periods.
8. Keep your laid-up motorbike safe
A laid-up motorbike can be vulnerable so it’s best to make sure it is well secured. Fit a good lock, the best you can afford, and preferably one with a strong ground anchor. Good security for your bike could actually save you money by earning you a discount on your insurance.
9. Out of site, but not out of mind
Don’t forget about your laid-up motorbike completely over the winter. When it is laid up it’s a great time to get all those jobs done that you had been planning.
So take the opportunity to get a spare key cut, shop around for new leathers, and fit those accessories you had been dreaming of. You never know, if you put them on Santa’s list now they may even get delivered in time for Christmas.
10. Get the right insurance for your laid-up motorbike
Even if you have a laid-up motorbike for an extended period this winter, you shouldn’t allow your insurance to lapse or cancel the policy.
Thieves aren’t put off by the dark nights of winter, they are encouraged by them. Comprehensive insurance offers complete protection with cover for your bike if it’s stolen or damaged accidentally or maliciously, while Third Party Fire & Theft covers you for theft or damage by fire.
Bikesure offers specialised laid-up motorbike insurance covering bikes and scooters while they are off the road. Policies include:
- Cover for off-road bikes
- Cover for normal and sports bikes
- Cover for bikes that are not road legal
- Low premiums
- Easy payment options including direct debit options
And with Bikesure there are other specialist policies available — you can even get insurance that will cover your helmet and leathers.
For a better deal on your motorcycle insurance contact the experts at Bikesure. Our best deals are usually available over the phone so call 0808 599 1419 to speak to one of our experts or book a call back at a time that suits you.
30 iconic motorbikes to mark 30 years of Bikesure