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Put the bike away right

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Comes a time every year when the scoot must go to bed, yes? There are several things you can do to make sure she starts right up and rolls true come spring time. I like to think of it this way, I wouldn't just hop on the bike in the spring for the first ride of the year, I take the time to give it a good once over, twice! You can make sure its ready to go when those early spring days invite a quick ride.

First thing is to fill the tank, all the way, but make sure you put some fuel stabilizer in first. I really like the new Stabil for ethanol fuel. Amsoil is also making a good stabilizer, but with all this fear about Ethanol in gas, my confidence is with Stabil for ETHANOL. You Minnesota guys have been dealing with ethanol longer than us, and I have heard some horror stories...

Next is the battery, either pull it and put in somewhere you will remember to monitor its condition, or invest in a $29 batter maintainer and leave it hooked up over winter, but not before you top up the electrolite.

Next, air up the tires, inspect them for wear and punctures. If you are going to need new tires in the spring, write down the sizes and look for deals over the winter. Same with the chain or belt. Get that one last ride in, warm up the chain and really grease it down, whatever lube type you use, now is the time to cover the chain liberally and let it soak in over the down time.

Grease any zerk fittings, (mostly older bikes and dual purpose bikes) and liberally coat rubber and leather surfaces with protectant. If you are going to be covering the bike, avoid plastice tarps and covers that dont breathe. Use an old blanket, sheet or quality bike cover. If you are leaving it outside, make sure that when the wind blows, the cover wont rub and chaffe paint or other surfaces.

Lastly, with todays liquid cooled bikes, its is imperative that your coolant, just like your cars, is up to snuff. With air-cooled bikes of old, that was never a care, but if you have a liquid cooled bike, you must maintain the coolant to beyond what you think the lowest temps will be.

Do all these things and your faithful steed will be ready to go in the spring. It will avoid costly repairs in the spring, and when that "new bike" lust hits you in the spring, your properly cared for and stored bike will be worth more!!$$

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