Taking care of your dirt bike is an important part of being a responsible dirt bike owner. You cannot hope for your bike to maintain itself and you need to make sure that you are planning for the needs of your bike for each season. No matter what kind of dirt bike you own, you will have to care for its needs all year long, including winterizing it properly.
Winterizing your dirt bike involves putting a fuel stabilizer in your gas tank, removing the battery, and storing it on a stand. You will also need to make sure to take care of any repairs and maintenance needs before you winterize your bike. This process will make sure that your bike is ready to use when the winter is over and the riding and racing season is back in full swing.
If you are ready to learn more about how to winterize a dirt bike, read on!
How do dirt bikes need to be winterized?
There are two methods of winterization for your dirt bike. You can pick the fast method or the full winterization method. The full winterization method is always the preferred method for your bike care needs but sometimes the fast winterization process has to be done due to limitations related to your personal situation.
This is a really easy method that cuts out a lot of steps for your needs. You will be able to do this on short notice as needed.
Put a fuel stabilizer in the gas tank and run the bike for 2 minutes. This will allow the stabilizer to get through the entire engine before you store your bike.
Remove the battery (if applicable) from the bike and put it onto a smart charger. This is the best way to keep the battery secure and ready to use for your needs when the winter is over. These chargers can keep your battery charged safely for months at a time.
Some people will opt to not deal with the battery for their quick winterization process. This is almost always a mistake as the battery will slowly drain power throughout the year as the bike sits. You might end up needing to buy a new battery if you leave it attached to the bike for the winter. This is usually only $35 to $90, but you might still want to avoid it because there is no need to replace a battery if you could have just trickle charged it for the winter.
This process takes an awhile but is well worth it. To do things this way for the safety of your bike and for the ease of your process of bringing the bike back to use again after the winter is over. You will want to be sure to try and make time for this process if at all possible each season.
Put fuel stabilizer in the tank and follow the same 2-minute run process as in the fast winterization process. You will want to make sure that you get the right fuel stabilizer for your particular bike for optimal results. Try to make sure that there is not a large amount of fuel in the tank as well.
Turn the gas off if your bike is equipped with a petcock that makes this easy to accomplish. You will usually find it on the left side of the bike. This keeps gas from evaporating or leaking during the months that it is stored in the winter.
Do a complete oil change and replace the oil filter. This makes sure that the oil will not clog the filter and get too old and thick to be used when you start up the bike when the winter is over. You will want to make sure that you have all the right elements in place to allow your bike to start up and run with ease when you are ready to start using your bike again.
Clean the air filter so it’s ready to go. Leaving it dirty all winter will make it that much hard to clean next season.
Wash your bike and polish it to create a protective layer. This is one of those steps that many people skip but you will be so glad that you did not skip it when you pull your bike out of winter storage and it is clean and ready to use.
Lubricate the chain to make sure that there is no mud or rust that can stick to the chain and ruin it while your bike is in storage for the winter.
Check the tires to make sure that they have the right pressure. This might need to be checked again before you ride the bike after the winter is over.
Double-check coolant levels and flush the coolant every season unless your bike manufacturer recommends otherwise.
Remove the battery (if applicable) and place it on a trickle charger/battery tender. The battery will survive the winter readily with this storage method and be ready to use when the winter is over.
Make sure to store your bike on a stand preferably with a cover so that it will not fall over or be scuffed or scratched while it is in storage. The stand will keep the suspension from sagging over time and keep the tires from developing flat spots.
Consider putting a plug in the exhaust to keep out any unwanted moisture and critters.
Is it bad to leave your dirt bike in the cold?
While you can ride your bike in the extreme cold, leaving it in the cold when it should be in storage can be very bad for the moving parts and the engine of the bike. The cold often is accompanied by moisture and your bike might suffer all kinds of problems due to being stored in the elements without a cover or proper winterization for the off-season.
The cold is not as much of a risk to your bike as skipping the proper winterization steps and keeping it away from excess moisture. Your bike will thank you for making sure that the place where it is stored is dry even if it is not warm.
How do you fog a dirt bike engine?
Fogging is the process by which you spray oil directly into the intake tract. This coats all the internal components. This process is commonly done on 4-stroke engines. This is not an absolutely necessary process, and if you are going to do it, you need to remove the air filter first. Make sure that you follow all the other proper full winterization processes after you fog the engine.
Fogging will not allow you to skip all the other essential steps for winterizing your bike safely. Fogging will also not make it possible to store your bike in the elements for the winter.
Winterizing your dirt bike is important
You should never skip the full winterization process for your dirt bike unless you really cannot avoid having to do the fast winterization process. The full winterization process is much better for your bike in many ways and makes it much more likely that your bike will be ready to ride and enjoy when better weather comes around. Winterizing your bike protects it from damage related to long-term storage and weather.
If you have a garage or other location away from moisture to store your bike, this is the most ideal place to have your bike wait out the winter months. If you do not have a garage, make sure that you get a quality cover for your bikes storage needs. Being sure to take care of your bike in the winter is an essential part of preparing it to be used when the weather improves and riding and racing season comes back around. You will be glad that you learned how to properly winterize your bike when you see how easy it is to bring your bike out of storage each year.
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