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Ask a Mechanic......Parking your motorcycle for the winter? Here’s what you need to know

In today’s column we discuss motorcycle maintenance for the winter.
Nida Zafar
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Every week, we take your questions about what is going on under the hood of your vehicle and pose them to a knowledgeable mechanic in the Greater Toronto Area. In today’s column we discuss motorcycle maintenance for the winter.

Dear Ask a Mechanic,

I bought my first motorcycle this spring, and after a summer of driving around the province, I’m thinking ahead to what I need to do this winter as I won’t be driving it. I live in a condo and have an indoor parking space. Is there anything I should do before parking it for the season? Helmet head

A number of important steps need to be taken to park your motorcycle for the winter, according to David Heilman, owner of Studio Cycle Group Inc., a Toronto-based business selling and servicing all types of motorcycles. The first thing you’ll want to do is inflate the tires to 45 PSI to avoid flat spots. Removing the motorcycle’s battery is the second thing on Heilman’s list. “There’s always going to be some sort of draw on the battery. If you leave it in the motorcycle, chances are by the springtime, the battery will be dead and you’ll have to replace it.” A fuel stabilizer needs to be added as the final touch. Heilman said without this, “the gas will go stale after three months” of not being used. The bike should run for a short period after this to ensure the stabilized fuel gets into the fuel lines, injectors (or carburetor, if it’s an older model). For future reference, if you plan use your motorcycle throughout the winter, Heilman says you should get high silica compound tires, ensure the bike passes a maintenance check, and keep it clean and free of salt.

Ask a Mechanic is written by Nida Zafar, a reporter who grew up in a house full of mechanics in Scarborough, and occasionally poses your questions to her dad or brother. You can send your questions to wheels@thestar.ca. These answers are for informational purposes only. Please consult a certified mechanic before having any work done to your vehicle.

 

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