Motorcyclists and COVID-19: what can you do in this period? (Continuously update)
2020 was a difficult year for motorcyclists. Staying home, they say, stay away of crowds. No motorcyclist wants to stay home. I know it. I know how it feels. But there’s still things we can do during this time. I will share you with some ideas from me and my collogues.
- Winterize your motorcycle
It’s cold out there (except the Californian folks) anyway, you feel cold and so do your bike. It’s time to prepare it for the winter. For most modern motorcycles, just add some gas stabilizer to your tank and plug a battery tender is good enough. Though some people I know would drain the oil, too. In my opinion, draining the oil is risky for the internal of engine might get rusty if your place is humid. What I do is leave the oil there and do an oil chance right before I decide to start riding it again.
For the carb folks, you have more processes to do but hey, carb’s been there for decades and ancestors have lore to tell. First you might want to drain the gas in your carbs. You can do this by turn your petcock to “off position” and let your bike idle until it’s dry. Next is the gas tank treatment. Again, I’d do it the lazy way – just leave it there for the winter (might even top it up a little) and empty it in the spring. Gas does go bad, so the engine will run crappy if you are using old gas, and your carb won’t like that. The rest is the same: the engine oil and the battery. I prefer to have the battery detached from the bike. It might be a problem for modern bikes because you have to mess with all the settings again, but for the old timers, it doesn’t affect anything.
2. Start your custom motorcycle project
I don’t know about other people, but I can be very creative when bored. Actually, I started my cafe racer project in winter (December, just before Christmas) and it took me 2 full years to finish it. When I was working on the project, every time there’s a breakthrough, it was during winter time. You will have more time to spend in the garage than riding outside, so why not start something? It could be customizing your motorcycle, modifying your garage to make it a motorcycle themed man cave, or restoring an old timer. Sky’s the limit!
3. Sell your spare parts
You just gotta have some spare parts. don’t you? The stock fenders, headlight bulbs, turn signals, exhaust… those things worth $0 to you but another one might just be dying for it. Time to give them a shower, take pictures, and put them on eBay! If you don’t know your stock parts number, you can simply search it on those OEM parts websites (Partzilla is my go-to). You can earn some cash while cleaning your garage, make more space for other things or a shiny new machine.
I will continuously update this article if there’s more sparks.
Nationality is unknown, Ryan is an experienced rider and custom bike builder, spending most of his time in garage trying to make things work. He rides, he writes, and he misses In-n-Out.