Tips for Winterizing Your Harley

Winter is coming!

Most folks hate it, a couple love it, and many don’t even know what it is. We’re looking at you, Florida!

For those not fortunate enough to live south of the snow belt, it also means the end of riding season. But obviously, you can’t just park your Harley in the garage and call it a day. There are certain, crucial steps you’ll want to take when you stow it away for the season.

At least, if you want your precious ride to function properly when spring rolls around. So if you’re new to the world of Harley or to frigid climates, our members are here to help. That much is clear after Wizardofaus headed to the forums in search of advice on winterizing his Harley.

“Ok, not that I’m new to PA where it gets colder that a witch’s tit. Just never had a bike to put to bed over the winter cold. In Australia it’s pretty much ride all year unless it’s pissing down with rain. Then I park the old girl in the garage [until it’s] ready for its next time out. Anyone have a favorite plan for tucking their ride away? I have a cover coming and all the wash and wax I can carry in a bucket, so I’m good there. But does anyone fog the cylinders/fuel tank?”

“Ride to the gas station. Fill the tank with non-ethanol premium. Leave enough room for STA-BIL. If non-ethanol isn’t available, use Marine STA-BIL. Ride around 10 minutes. Change your oil and filter. Wash and wax bike. Cover Bike. Put steel wool in exhaust. Cover Bike. I put Battery MINDer on once a month, for a day. Some guys leave it on, but I don’t trust that.”

“Steel wool helps keep mice, rats, bugs, and spiders out of the exhaust. Battery Tender is typically a Deltron unit. Harley makes them too, but Battery Tender is cheaper. Battery Tender is a small float charger that will maintain charge in your battery without overcharging. I change the oil (did mine last weekend) and put it away in a heated facility (a friend owns a golf course and lets me park in the heated area with his golf carts), plug the tender in, and leave it. I also fill the tank and use STA-BIL. Never had any issues/problems.”

On the other hand, some folks don’t like to cover their bikes in an effort to deter critters.

“I don`t cover bikes,” says Mike. Mice like things under covers, and they don`t like coming out into the open (they`re shy).”

But even the risk of mice might be worth it if you live in an ultra cold climate, according to Ron.

“Because some people on here said a cover causes condensation, I didn’t use my HD cover a few years ago. It was the coldest winter in 30 years, and my bike was in an unheated storage unit. One weekend it was -30 with high winds. I went to put my Battery MINDer on a few days later, and my bike was under a 1/4” of ice. I had to defrost the bike with a hair dryer. Luckily the unit had electricity. When I got it defrosted and toweled off, I covered it, and no more condensation.”

No one (surprisingly) mentioned this yet, but it’s also a good idea to store your Harley with its tires off the ground. This will prevent the tires from flat-spotting and help them last longer.

All of which are great tips that a lot of folks will put to good use in the coming weeks. Do you have any advice on the best way to winterize your Harley?



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