As the world gradually slows due to COVID-19, things we once took for granted quickly become luxuries. As I sit here now, at my desk in my own home we (New Zealand) are currently at an Alert Level 4, complete lockdown, all non-essential businesses are closed and we are advised to only travel outside for exercise (around our block) and to get food, medicine etc. So, I write to you from across the ditch on how you, and your motorcycle can best prepare for the potential lockdown of Australia.
Firstly, you’re going to want to give your bike a good clean. Having it sitting in your garage while dirt, oil & other grime eats away or permanently stains isn’t going to do you or the ride any favours in the long run. We recommend Putoline’s Dirtbike Super Cleaner Pro, a great solution for your road or off-road machine, this cleaner is hard on dirt, grease, oil & other grime without damaging any rubber or plastic surfaces. Provided in a convenient 1L trigger spray bottle for easy application.
Contrary to common belief it isn’t recommended to drain your fuel tank as it will cause your seals to dry out which can lead to gas leaks, contaminated fuel can add a painful delay to your return to riding, post lockdown. Fill your tank as much as possible to prevent excess moisture absorption from the air and top off your tank with some Fuel Stabiliser and then run for a few minutes to ensure the stabiliser gets through all your injectors or carburettors. We recommend spraying your bike with silicone before storing, for the best application, spray into a rag or cloth and wipe evenly over your motorcycle. The Silicone will prevent any rust from forming due to damp air. Avoid getting any on your tyres, brakes, grips or footpegs and don’t over apply as it will just drip off and onto the floor creating a hazardous mess.
Unless recently done it’s a great idea to change your oil and oil filter, having a fresh coat of oil sitting in the bike prevents grime and dirt from soaking for several months. After replacing the oil run the bike for a few minutes to get the new oil around your engine ensuring all parts are coated with fresh oil.
Most modern motorcycles have several systems that run when the bike is off such as alarms, any accessory products and the motorcycles ECU. After prolonged inactivity it is almost guaranteed that your battery will be flat, we recommend a battery maintainer to keep the battery at proper charge to avoid costly battery failure. Oxford manufacture some of the best battery maintainers/chargers, ensuring your battery is ready to go when you are, and preventing a costly replacement.
Replace your air filter, again this is to just assure that you are ride ready once lockdown ends, and you can once again burn some rubber. Along with your air filter we advise you check the wear of your chain, sprockets and brake pads and replace if necessary. Combine with an exhaust plug to prevent moisture in your pipes to ensure your bike starts quick and easy after hibernation.
While sitting stationary for long periods of time your tyres can develop flat spots. It is best to take the weight off the tyres by lifting the bike with a front and rear lift stand. If new stands are out of your budget, we recommend moving the bike forward or back a bit every week to prevent flat spots developing. Finally, you’ll want to prevent any excess dust and dirt build up on your motorcycle, Oxford bike covers are an affordable solution for preventing dust and dirt build up on your motorcycle, ensuring it remains clean and tidy.
My last tip is simple, make sure you have plenty to do. Whether working on the bike, mowing the lawns or cleaning the house, it’s essential you stay occupied and don’t fall out of routine. If you do find yourself bored, remember, it’s the perfect time to do all those tasks that were going to get done “tomorrow”.