How to Winterize Your Motorcycle Even When You Don’t Want to

Winter isn’t quite here yet, and that means it’s the perfect time to start thinking about how to winterize your bike. It’s something that no avid rider looks forward to—it means no more rides, no more fun until the ground thaws out. But if you want to protect your bike and prevent corrosion that harsh winter weather is sure to bring on, here’s how to make sure you get that motorcycle properly winterized.

winterize your motorcycle

 

  1. Don’t put it off just because you don’t want to do it. Unless you’re a daredevil on par with Evel Knievel, you probably aren’t going to be riding once the roads start icing over. You want your bike winterized before that starts. Don’t wait until the flakes are falling to start worrying about your bike. Your winterizing can be reluctant—as long as it happens.

 

  1. Get rid of any moisture. How? Start by starting the bike and warming up the engine. Moisture is what’s going to rust and corrode away your engine. Warm it up, and then turn it off. Take out your spark plugs and then use a turkey baster (preferably after it’s been used for Thanksgiving, and not before—just make sure it’s clean), and draw up some of the engine oil, squirting it into the spark plug holes. Make sure each hole is thoroughly coated and then put the plugs back in and drain the oil from the crankcase.

 

  1. Put fresh oil in the crankcase. Use the old filter, but put in new oil. You’ll replace the old filter and the oil in the spring, so the old one is fine for winterizing. This will make sure that there is no moisture accumulation that could damage your engine.

 

  1. Fill the tank all the way. Preferably, use a fuel that has fuel stabilizer. If your bike isn’t fuel injected, drain the float bowls, as fuel in this area will just congeal and clog up your bike come spring.

 

  1. Keep your battery charge. Like any vehicle battery, it’s naturally going to discharge as it is not in use over the winter. You can keep it charged by purchasing a Batter Tender.

 

  1. Cover it up or Get it off the ground.  Store your bike in a garage or at the very least cover it and try if possible to get your bike off the ground. The goal being to keep your bike out of the harsh winter elements as much as possible.

Tips for “Fly and Ride” Motorcycle Vacations

Say you want to take a motorcycle vacation in another country? Or even just across the country, but you don’t want to waste half of your vacation riding to the place you actually want to experience? While motorcycle riding is about the journey, not the destination, once you’ve exhausted all of the journeys in your area, it may be time to start considering a “fly and ride” vacation. This way, you can spend more time enjoying new roads and the open air, than traveling to your newest ride.

Fly and Ride Motorcycle Vacations

Of course, unless you’re willing to spring for a private jet, you may not be able to take your beloved bike with you. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Before you get on the plane, research the motorcycle rental companies located at your destination. Find one that has a bike you are familiar with and a reasonable rate. You are likely going to want to reserve the motorcycle before you arrive, so that you are guaranteed a vehicle. Some companies even provide luggage storage services and may pick you up at the airport, so you don’t even have to worry about finding the company once you’ve arrived.

 

If you are adventurous, this might be the perfect time to check out a bike you’ve always wanted to test out but have never before had the chance. Many riders opt for the same model as they own, to make the transition smooth and easy. Before signing your contract, make sure you know the rental requirements, the local helmet and safety laws, and any insurance that needs to be filed.

 

Packing is probably the most difficult aspect of getting ready for a fly and ride motorcycle vacation. If you are planning on being gone for more than a week, you likely have a lot of gear you want to bring, no matter whether your climate is hot or cold. Unless you can find a way to carry all of that gear onto the plane, the best way to make sure it arrives at your destination safe and sound and on time, is to ship it.

 

Consider this: most airlines charge a steep fee for checking more than one bag (or even for checking a single bag). Those fees multiply exponentially if your bag is over the weight limit. And then there is the possibility that your bag or bags won’t actually make it to your destination, throwing a huge wrench into your plan. Instead of adding all of those costs and uncertainty into your trip, pack everything up a few days before you board the plane and ship it to your hotel.

 

To reduce space and keep your pack organized, try rolling your clothes instead of folding them and packing outfits together so you don’t have to dig to find what you are looking for. And have a safe flight and a great ride!

What You Should Know about Traveling by Motorcycle in Mexico

If you are considering taking a motorcycle trip through Mexico, the first thing you want to know is that it is going to be hot. If you are a lover of the desert, you are in for some fantastic vistas, windy roads, and incredible rides. Aside from the abundant wildlife and the unique, almost extraterrestrial environment, you may be concerned about how dangerous it may be to travel in Mexico. Others of you probably don’t care—motorcycle riding is already a dangerous pursuit, why not add a little more danger in?

Motorcycle in Mexico

In general, reports of Mexico’s danger have been largely exaggerated, especially if you are a smart traveler. Governments and media alike have disseminated not necessarily false, but inflated claims of violence against foreigners, especially “migrant” travelers, like motorcycle riders, who are constantly on the move and sometimes difficult for the government to track. Largely, these reports play into a fear that the public has already cultivated.

 

But, let’s be honest. There are bad people everywhere. There are likely parts of your own city or town that you avoid because you know only trouble waits there. Mexico is the same way. If you want to stay safe, there are some parts that you avoid. If you want to enjoy the sun, sand, and people, there are plenty of places in Mexico that are welcoming, friendly, and perfectly safe.

 

Every border in the world has seen some turmoil. Right now, the border between the U.S. and Mexico is experiencing a little bit of tension, but it’s nothing like, let’s say, the border between the Ukraine and Russia right now. If you are crossing the border on one of the major thoroughfares, going through border control, however, you’re not going to have any problems, just as the hundreds of thousands of people who do that every year have absolutely no problems.

 

One of the biggest lies that is told about Mexico is the high murder rate. The truth is that more people are killed in Washington D.C. each year than are killed in Mexico’s capital city. There is just as much gang activity in any large U.S. city as there is anywhere in Mexico. For some reason, people really enjoy talking up all of the dangers in Mexico when those same dangers exist in the U.S.

 Mexico motorcycle trips

The best way to get into Mexico is to cross the border in the morning. Stay somewhere close to the border the night before and cross as early in the morning as you can. Like any highway, driving at night can be dangerous and should be avoided. Be respectful, especially of police officers. If an officer tries to fine you on the spot, ask them to lead you to the nearest station, where you will be happy to pay a fine for any laws you have actually broken. Use your head and you’ll be perfectly safe!