Back again, huh? You’re really a glutton for punishment at this point. Where were we again? Oh yeah, motorcycles, cold weather. Storing them for cold weather? Riding them in cold weather. What was it?
We went over several ways of prepping our bikes for those frigid months ahead, pulling batteries and battening down the hatches, but what about those of us that don’t want to completely dismantle our sleds? Just because the sleigh bells are jingle jangling doesn’t mean a day won’t come where there’s snow on the ground, but the streets are clear, mostly.
It’s just the right amount of sunny after work. The temps are a little higher than they have been, and you’ve had just about enough of winter and snow and cold wind that you could puke. You get home from work, and just for the sake of hearing it pop, you turn the key and cross your fingers and bang! Almost half surprised, you jump back and make a beeline for your gear. Take this cold wind, sludgin’ through the snow, and holiday cheer, and shove it right up your aftermarket pipes! You hop on and crack that throttle and You. Are. Gone! BRAAAAAAAAP!
Tell me that’s not how it feels. Winter gets old quick for a biker. I’m already over it. So, the moral of the story is if you’re going to start it, ride it! Seriously—a lot of people will tell you to start it once a week or once a month, but remember, cold starts are hard on engines. If you are going to start it, make sure to let it get up to operating temperature before you take off. Often times, starting in the cold weather can be taxing on your battery, especially if you’re not using a tender. Idle RPMs may not always charge your battery to full power, so it’s best to get on down the road with your frozen self and do it right.
“Ya got air mice in them tires, boy?” Check your tire pressure if you’re going out cruising in the winter months. Air expands and contrasts with the fluctuation of the temperature. What may be your recommended tire pressure at ninety degrees is a different story at thirty-one. You don’t want to take off down the road with your spongey, floppy, noodle tires sliding all up in someone else’s lane.
Whether you’re riding this winter or storing your bike, down time is always a good time for maintenance. Change your oil and filter. Check and replace brake pads. If you have a chain, lube it. The winter months are also a good time for a change in look and upgrades as well. Last year, I painted my tins and upgraded the stereo set up. Never underestimate how bored you can get and how much you miss your bike in those long, cold lonely winter months. Don’t let her slip away. Stay connected, because sooner or later, the weatherman will be calling for highs in the 80s.