One of the most important steps you can take is to change the oil and filter prior to storage. Oil has a nasty habit of absorbing combustibles and other junk. You don’t want to leave this in the engine over the winter. So, take your Harley® out for that final ride of the season to get it good and warmed up. On the way home, stop by the gas station and top off the tank, allowing just enough room for the stabilizer additive.
While your Harley® is still good and hot, change out the oil and filter. Given the price of lubricants vs. the price of your drivetrain, it may also be a good time to change out the transmission and primary chain case fluids.
Next, following the directions, add fuel stabilizer to the topped off fuel tank. Gasoline is made of compounds that over time can evaporate and leave behind sludge that can gunk up the fuel system. Depending upon where your bike is stored, temperature changes during the winter months could cause condensation to build up inside the fuel tank and the key reason it is important to make sure the tank is full prior to storage.
Run your Harley® for 5 minutes or so to get the fresh oil and stabilized fuel throughout the engine. If it has a petcock, turn it off. It is not necessary to run the carburetor out of fuel if you are using a stabilizer.
Give your Harley® a good wash and wax. Not just a quickie, but the full treatment. All the dirt and grime will eat away at its finish over the winter months.
Check the air in the tires, and suspension if it applies, adjust appropriately.
Pick your storage spot well. You want to store your Harley® in a well-ventilated area and cover it with a BREATHABLE storage cover. Don’t use a cover designed to keep the rain out, because it will keep the moisture in which will diminish the finish.
Tuck the bike into its cover and dream of warmer days.
One more thing, it is NOT a good idea to go out and start the bike occasionally during the winter. If you start the bike and it does not get completely warmed up, condensation can develop inside the motor. As a rule, don’t start your Harley® in the winter unless you intend on riding it to reach its full operating temperature.
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