Ride it, don’t store it.
I moved to New York from Texas,
and I’ve never had to store my bike
in the winter. What is the best way
to store a bike? They say the snow
won’t go away until April 2016.
Since the MXA wrecking crew
lives in sunny Southern California,
we never have to put our race bikes
in storage. But before we were
MXA guys, the wrecking crew lived
in New York, North Dakota and
Washington, so we know a thing or
two about cold weather.
The best way: Without a doubt,
the best way to winterize a bike is
to ride it. If that isn’t possible, start
with the following steps.
Clean it: Wash your bike thor-
oughly, then start it and run it long
enough to evaporate any moisture.
It would be good to ride the bike
(even just around your driveway) to
help dry up moisture in the wheels
Lube it: Once every part of the
bike is spotless, spray the chain
with a water-dispersing lubricating
oil. Wipe off the excess lube and
then spray chain lube on the chain
(spinning the wheel in both directions). Next, take the lubricating oil
and spray the footpeg pivots, shock
threads, shift lever and any other
folding, moving or bending parts.
Air it up: Fill the tires up to 15
pounds of pressure.
Fuel and fuel stabilizer: If you
can, fill the gas tank all the way
to the top and add fuel stabilizer
(after you add the fuel stabilizer, you
should run the engine long enough
to get the stabilizer throughout the
fuel system’s lines and throttle body).
Why should you fill the tank to the
top instead of draining it? Because
a full tank leaves less room for
condensation to form.
Change the engine oil: Change
the engine and tranny oil with new
oil for storage.
Change the water: Although
this isn’t a must-do, it is smart to
drain the water from the engine and
replace it with fresh coolant.
Brake fluid: Brake fluid is prone
to collecting water over time. Your
best defense against this is to make
sure that all the master cylinders are
full. If it is old fluid, replace all of it.
Get the wheels up: Make sure
that the tires are off the ground
when you store your bike. It doesn’t
hurt to spin the tires once a week or
so just to spread the lube around.
No plastic: Don’t cover your bike
with a sheet of plastic; instead, use
an old blanket or cloth tarp.
Start it up: Any time you get a
chance to start your engine during
the dead of winter, do so, but be
sure to let it run for as long as possible. Running the engine is good for
it, but running it for 5 minutes is not
going to get it hot enough to achieve
the sealing and lubrication effects
you want. If you can’t start it and
let it run for a reasonable amount of
time, don’t start it.
Getting it ready to run: Once
you decide that winter is over,
follow these steps before riding your
bike: (1) Change the engine oil again
(yes, we know that you didn’t get it
dirty, but it is best to change it after
it has collected moisture over the
winter). ( 2) Air up the tires (they will
lose it in storage). Re-lube everything
that you lubed before you stored it.
Be prepared to change any fluids
that don’t seem up to snuff on the
first ride. ( 3) Warm it up. If it has
been sitting for a long time, start it
up and let it run for a couple minutes. Then, check for leaks of any
kind. Look at the radiator hoses for
cracks and cycle the brakes a couple
of times before riding the bike.
The last Honda CR125 sand CR250s were in 2007.
BLOWING THE COBWEBS OFF HONDA
In regards to MXA blowing our dreams of a new Honda
two-stroke out of the water in the November 2015 issue, I
have always wondered, what year did Honda stop making
Honda vice president Koichi Konda made a formal
announcement in 2007 that there would be no more
Honda two-stroke motocross bikes after that year. True
to Konda’s word, Honda has not made a CR125 or CR250
in almost 10 years. We don’t expect them to start any