Winter is slowly approaching and soon there will be a time when you will need to prepare your bike for short winter sleep. If you want to get your bike clean, shining and ready for action in spring, the following steps are for you.
First, you should find a place to keep your bike over the winter. This place should be dry. It can be your own garage or sometimes dealers offer Ducati owners use their own garages for storing purposes.
Let’s start with engine related issues. If you’re going to stop riding your bike for more than a month, you should know you cannot leave any petrol in it. If you have spare time, make a last ride on your Ducati. This way you can warm its parts and top off all petrol it has. In case you don't have enough time, just pour out all you have in your tank.
Check your oil. If it’s not clean, change oil and oil filters. Then add fuel stabilizer to tank. You don’t need to fill your tank with stabilizer otherwise you'll have a hard start in the spring. Then it’s time to take care of cylinder rings and pistons. Pull the spark plugs and add some oil there (fogging oil is a good idea). As bikes have exposed metal parts, they are likely to rust or corrode. Applying a little of corrosion inhibitor on them is a good idea. Remove the battery. Don't forget to charge it and put in a dry clean box.
Clean your bike. You'll need warm water, soup, towels and wax. Wash your Ducati as dirt can damage it. Note it’s important to dry your bike as water can cause corrosion. If you decide to wash outside of the engine, use degreaser for that purposes. After washing a bike it would be better to use wax on chrome parts and paint surfaces. Wax will help to keep moisture away. After you’ve washed and dried your bike, use some breathable piece of fabric to cover your bike. This will help to protect your Ducati from dust, dirt and UV exposure.
If you have stands, put your Ducati on them. Stands protect tires and enhance bike’s stability. If you don't have stands and the place there you plan to keep your Ducati is not absolutely dry, use some huge piece of plastic to cover the floor and cover your bike with waterproof fabric.
That’s it. These actions are also good if you plan not to use your bike for more than 30 days. Just use this simple list of preparations and you will pass the winter without any serious harm or damage.
- 13 May 2009, 15:58