The best way to keep your bike in good condition in the winter is to ride it, but that isnt always possible unless you live in sunny climates. Motorcycle and other off-road vehicle owners should not only prepare their rides for winter storage, but also for any non-riding period that is longer than 2 months. The correct preventative measures and maintenance will ensure optimal engine health and function after storage.Rust: The most reported issues arising from long storage are body and parts rust, fuel becomes contaminated, battery power drains, and corrosion of the engine. In an ideal situation your motorcycle or dirt bike should be stored in a low humidity, temperature regulated environment away from UV light. Some motorcycle dealers or bike shops for a nominal fee offer winterizing and storage service. Most people will store their bike in their freezing garages. That is why proper winter preparation and maintenance is absolutely necessary. By covering any windows in your garage, it will help to prevent temperature changes and condensation from the sun's radiant heat. Clean your motorcycle: Wash your motorcycle thoroughly. Then you can ride it around for about five minutes to help dry the moisture in the wheels and linkage. Waxing your motorcycle before storage is very important as it will create a protective barrier against rust and moisture. Also a light spray of WD-40 or similar lubricant on the engine parts and the frame will protect your motorcycle against corrosion. Cover your bike: Choosing the right material for covering your motorcycle is very important. Plastic sheets absorb moisture and hold it against your motorcycle that can cause rust. Condensation is trapped by tarps or plastic sheets by not allowing air exchange. Another problem with tarps or plastic sheets are that they often attach themselves and bond to your motorcycle's body paint in the cold. This ruins the paint job when removed costing you extra money to repaint your motorcycle. There are specially designed motorcycle covers that prevent moisture absorption and allow air exchange keeping your bike in top condition. If you can't afford a motorcycle cover you can use an old blanket or cloth tarp instead to keep dirt and grime off your motorcycle. Oil: By changing your oil to a winter grade oil it will ensure that you have an easy start up in the spring. Even if it is not time for an oil change, it is a good idea to perform an oil change. While riding the internal combustion created acid byproducts in your existing motor oil which can cause corrosion to your motors inner surfaces. Take the used oil to a recycle location in your community for proper disposal. Engine Fluid: Even though it is not a must-do, it is very smart to drain the water from the engine and replace it with fresh coolant. Bikes that are water-cooled need to have the correct antifreeze in the cooling system. Keep fluids full in your motorcycle. Do not drain the bike of water, oil, air or gas. Gasoline: Gasoline breaks down overtime and creates compounds that clog the fuel system. Fill your tank with fresh gas, drain the fuel line and carburetors and add a fuel stabilizer. By following these steps it will prevent gasoline from decomposing and stop moisture collection inside your fuel system. Brake Fluids: Brake fluids are hygroscopic, or water-absorbing. Chances are, if you haven't changed your fluids in the past year or two, a lot of moisture has been absorbed which cause engine corrosion. Battery: The battery should be disconnected and removed from your motorcycle to prevent current drain. A dead battery is a very common start-up problem motorcycle riders face in spring. By charging your battery every few weeks it will maintain its charge. Tires:Cold temperatures affects tire pressure. Remember: The colder it gets the more the air in your tire compresses. This lowers your tire pressure and will causes premature wear. By lowering the tire pressure to 15 PSI, monitoring your tire pressure and using a motorcycle paddock, lift, or stand to lift your bike's tires off the frigid garage floor will help with the decrease in tire pressure. It also doesnt hurt to spin the tires once a week or so. It will help in spreading the chain lube and move the wheel-bearing grease around. Lubrication: Make sure to lube your engine's cylinder walls with engine oil. This will prevent corrosion and rust. By not lubricating your motorcycle's cylinders, premature ring and piston wear is a very likely possibility. Spray chain lube on the chain and spin the wheel in both directions. Makes sure to take the lubricating oil and spray the foot peg pivots, shock threads, shift lever, and any other folding, moving or bending part on the bike. Start her up: Any chance you get to start your engine during the dead of winter, do it. But you need to be sure to let it run for as long as you can. Running the engine is good during the winter and running it for about five to ten minutes will get it hot enough to achieve the sealing and lubrication effects you need. If you are unable start it and let it run for the recommended time, dont start it at all. When you decide that winter is over and you are ready to hit the trails again, you should follow these steps before heading out: Drain the fuel and replace it with new fuel. Change the engine oil once again. No, it didnt get dirty, but it is best to change it after it has collected moisture over the winter. Fill up your tires with air. They will be at a lower PSI and will have also lost pressure over the winter. Re-lube everything that you lubed before you stored the bike. It is also a great time to check under the bike for any signs of leaks. Do this after you warm up the engine. Change any fluids that dont seem up to snuff on the first ride. If you followed every step provided, your motorcycle will work exactly as it did on the last day you rode it. How perfect is that?