Two-wheel maintenance: this is how the motorcycle survives the winter unscathed

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So the motorcycle survives the winter unscathed

Two-wheel maintenance: this is how the motorcycle survives the winter unscathed-maintenance

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This is how the two-wheeler survives the cold months: Before the motorcycle is put into hibernation, it must be thoroughly cleaned.

Source: dpa / srw

Two-wheel maintenance: this is how the motorcycle survives the winter unscathed-maintenance

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Jacking up the machine relieves the tires during the several months of downtime.

Source: dpa / srw

Two-wheel maintenance: this is how the motorcycle survives the winter unscathed-two-wheel

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Anyone who mothball their motorcycle according to the rules of the art can park it in a dry garage for the winter. Who does not have this possibility …

Source: dpa / srw

Two-wheel maintenance: this is how the motorcycle survives the winter unscathed-survives

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… a tarpaulin from a specialist retailer can help. The motorcycle should at least be covered after cleaning to protect it from wind and weather in winter.

Source: dpa / srw

After the last tour of late summer, it’s time for motorcyclists to prepare their machines for winter. With these tips, downtime won’t become a problem until next season.

W.hen the days get shorter, this is also the time for many motorcyclists to winterize their machines. If bikers mothball their two-wheelers at the end of the season, they cannot avoid a thorough cleaning after the last ride of the year: "This is the most important thing so that the motorcycle survives the winter months undamaged," emphasizes Achim Kuschefski from the Institute for Two-Wheeler Safety (ifz).

The big cleaning campaign starts the day before in the case of heavily soiled vehicles: If parts of the plastic cladding are speckled with stubborn fly remnants, the ADAC recommends soaking the affected areas overnight with wet cloths and a mild detergent and carefully wiping them off. For a complete wash, motorcycle owners have to find a wash box – it is forbidden to wash vehicles on the street, at the garage entrance or in the garden.

When prewashing with a high-pressure cleaner, the Club advises you to be extremely careful: only spray the motorcycle gently from a great distance, otherwise water can penetrate electronic components or bearings and damage them. Never aim the jet directly at the wheel hubs, swingarm, steering head bearings, levers, radiators, tires or chains.

It is safer and more thorough to clean the machine by hand with a sponge or a soft brush and to use the foam brush at the washing area for pre-wash.

Cooled in the wash cycle

Achim Kuschefski sees it the same way. “When it comes to hand washing, the easiest thing to notice is if a screw is missing somewhere or a part is defective or worn,” he mentions another advantage. In order to better get into hard-to-reach corners with the sponge, he advises dismantling the cladding parts – "but only if someone is sufficiently skilled in their craft".

If special motorcycle cleaning agents are used for the major cleaning, bikers should take a break after arriving at the washing area so that the machine can cool down. If you spray the cleaner on hot engine or exhaust parts, you risk burning yourself in and leaving permanent stains, warns the ADAC. The same threatens when using such agents in blazing sun.

The wash cycle is followed by peeling. “Be very thorough,” emphasizes Kuschefski. If moisture remains in cracks and depressions, the machine will rust much faster than if everything is dry.

Fill metal tanks, empty plastic tanks

Areas that are difficult to reach should be blown out with compressed air if possible. “The preservation of all metal parts with multifunctional oil offers additional protection against corrosion. But be careful not to get any of it on the brakes and tires when you spray it on. ”This extra treatment is not necessary for motorcycles that are wintered in a dry and well-ventilated garage.

After washing, there are still a few things to do to make the motorcycle winter-proof: The experts from ADAC and ifz recommend removing the starter battery, charging it, storing it in a dry and cool, but frost-proof place and recharging it from time to time. Special trickle chargers do this automatically.

So that metal tanks do not rust on the inside, they should be filled with fuel up to the top edge. “The best way to do this is with a canister,” says Kuschefski. Plastic tanks, on the other hand, should be as empty as possible after the last tour, as fuel components can evaporate through the tank wall over the winter.

Jacking up the machine relieves the tires during the several months of downtime. There are special stands for this. If necessary, a stable beverage crate that is placed under the engine will do the same.

Off to the garage!

Otherwise, motorcyclists should at least increase the tire pressure – according to Kuschefski by around 0.3 bar – so that the rubbers are not damaged by spring: they can downright break down.

Not everyone has the option of storing their motorcycle in a garage. At least it should be protected from wind and weather with a breathable tarpaulin from a specialist retailer.

The General Association of the German Insurance Industry reminds that the theft or fire protection of motor vehicle comprehensive insurance only exists for bikes with seasonal license plates during the winter break if they are in a "pacified area", for example in a garage or a yard with a gate.

The street in front of the house is taboo anyway: As long as a vehicle is deregistered due to the seasonal restriction, it is not allowed to park on public property.

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