End of Season Maintenance

Whether the riding season in your area lasts only four or five months, or as long as ten months, most of us will let our motorcycles remain unridden for a long enough period of time that it is best to prepare it for a season of rest.

November typically brings weather throughout the northern tier of states that is not very good for motorcycling. Most parts of this great country of ours experience two or more months of weather that is not considered part of the riding season. The air temperature alone gets cold enough to cause hypothermia without adding the wind chill from sitting atop a motorcycle while blasting down the road at legal speeds – even at 45 mph. And many areas will have snow on the ground before the month is out. Some of you may be cold-blooded enough to prolong the season a few extra weeks, but for most, there is a period each year when your motorcycle becomes a lonesome friend sitting quietly in the garage.

Before you park it for a season of inactivity, this is a great time to get your end of season maintenance done. It is recommended that you change the oil and oil filter to remove contaminants – dirt, deposits, acids and moisture – that can lead to corrosion inside the engine. Other fluid levels should be checked for proper level. If the fluids are due for replacement based on miles ridden since the last change (check your manual and service history), this is a good time to do that and any other maintenance tasks that you may have been putting off.

Your mechanic likely is not very busy at this time of year. He (she) would probably appreciate your visit, too! And you know your bike will be better for it. Then when spring comes next year (it is not that far off, after all!), you’ll be ready to go without a visit to the mechanic before planning your next big ride. After you get it back from your mechanic, fill the gas tank and add the appropriate amount of fuel stabilizer (such as Stabil) before parking your Wing. Wash and wax the bike and inflate the tires. The battery should be disconnected from the motorcycle (negative terminal first) and trickle charged at least every 30 days, per your Gold Wing Owner’s Manual. (Refer to your battery charger manual for more charging details.) Take good care of your Wing, and your Wing will take good care of you!

Ride Smart & Be Safe!

Bruce & Melissa Thayer

Former MI Asst. District Rider Educators

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