ACME Cycle Chicago

Acme prides service and repair of all brands of motorcycles,  We offer oil changes while you wait and discount tires while you wait.  Why not check us out?

I forgot to do winter maintenance on my motorcycle, now what?

I think we have all committed this oversight, including myself.  It's the fall and you figure that you will still get out and ride your motorcycle.  Before you know it, it's too cold to ride and that bike of yours is going to sit in a garage until spring.  You just park it and that's it.  

What should you have done back in the fall?  First, make sure you have a half tank of fuel and add fuel stabilizer to it.  Run the bike for 5 minutes so the stabilized fuel gets into the carbs.  Second, add a motorcycle specific battery tender to gently keep the battery exercised over the winter.   

You didn't do that, so what now?  In most cases you are going to have a weak battery and degraded fuel.  The best option is to get a battery tender to gently charge the battery overnight.  Once charged, your battery will better be able to get the bike started on the old fuel.   

Now it's time to evaluate your fuel situation.  If the fuel is a couple of months old, it has already started to separate and some of the additives have evaporated.   If you only have a little fuel in the tank, add fresh fuel and swish it around.  If you have a half tank or more,  add some fuel stabilizer.  The stabilizer won't restore the spoiled fuel, but it will prevent it from getting worse.   Add only the recommended amount of stabilizer, too much doesn't help.  Fuel stabilizer only has a shelf life of a few years, so that old stuff on the shelf isn't going to help.  If your fuel absolutely stinks, you should drain it out and start with fresh fuel.  If you are unsure about draining the tank yourself, bring it over to the shop and we can take care of it. 

Now you have a stronger battery and more willing fuel.  Give it a go.   Once running, go ahead and ride through that tank of fuel.  The bike may not run perfectly, but that's the price you pay for not doing your winter maintenance.  


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