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Caring for your bike through winter

Many bikers use their machine for twelve months of the year, but some tuck them away through the worst of our winter weather. So we asked Philip Youles of Philip Youles Motorcycles for some sound advice to keep your pride and joy in tip top condition . . .

1. Healthy hibernation – If your bike will need servicing in the next few months, it is better done before you store it away for winter; then you’re good to go in spring.

2. Give it a good clean – Do this now, rather than leaving oil, salty deposits and other road muck on it for the next few months.

3. Then use a specialist water-based treatment to spray the bike and protect it from the damp weather – Try products such as Scottoiler FS 365.

4. Use a bike cover to keep the dust off of it.

5. Think carefully about where you store your bike – You don’t want people brushing past it in the garage or your kids leaning their push bikes against it in the shed.

6. If you have one (or two) paddock stands, use them to take the weight off of the tyre(s) whilst it stands still for extended periods of time. If you don’t have paddock stands, you must check the tyres regularly to ensure that they are not slowly deflating.

7. Does your bike have an alarm and immobiliser? – If not, now might be the time to invest in bike security.

8. Security devices don’t have to be expensive – consider installing a movement sensor and alarm in the garage, or securing the bike to a ground anchor with a chain and padlock?

9. Connect your battery to a trickle charger – an alarm system will slowly drain a battery and you may need a new one just when you want to ride out for the first time again in spring. How annoying will that be?

10. Check the bike occasionally, just for your own peace of mind . . . and if you need a biking ‘fix’, visit your local dealership, have a coffee, talk bikes . . .

My advice would be . . . Don’t leave it in storage until spring . . . Even if you are a ‘fair-weather biker’ and don’t have to use it every day you should still take advantage of dry, bright winter days for a ride out. All you need is warmer layers of protective clothing.

Philip Youles Motorcycles are based in Pendle Street, Blackburn and in Bury New Road, Salford, Manchester http://www.youlesmotorcycles.com/

Thanks for the advice Philip