Yeah, that’s what I am doing here, but considering how the seasons have been going this year, just maybe I am not so far ahead of the curve?
What I am talking about is packing away old Betsy for the season. I don’t pretend to be an “expert” even though I have read a lot of reports on the subject. My preferred method contains a bit of everything I have read, heard about, and just gosh darn done. Does it work? Well I bought my bike new in 1970 and it still starts on the second kick and looks good enough for the Harley guys to take pictures of it. My Betsy is a 1970 Honda SL 350, and it runs like a champ, the paint still shines, and its bright work is “pit-less”. Which means to me, I must be doing something right. In a nutshell, here’s what I have been doing for the last 42 years:
- The bike is always parked in the garage on anti-fatigue mats (get them at Home Depot). This protects the tires from the cold concrete.
- All alloy parts; side covers, timing covers, jugs, everything in satin gray, is sprayed with WD-40, be generous!
- Plugs are pulled and WD-40 is sprayed into each cylinder head, kick-starter is depressed to move oil around piston, and plugs are replaced.
- Soak chain in WD-40, while turning the rear wheel.
- Paste wax the rest of the metal work on the bike; tank, fenders, handle bars, exhaust, everything, do not buff out.
- Fill the gas tank with gas and add STA-BIL, then run engine. Some believe you should drain the tank, but this has worked well for me with no rust in my tank.
- Since my bike gets so little use (10,500 miles since 1970) I change my oil in spring, not fall.
- All rubber and vinyl parts are wiped down with Armor All.
- Battery is removed and placed in basement on a trickle charger. And the battery box is sprayed with WD-40.
- Last, but not least, the bike is covered with several cloth sheets and mothballs are scattered around the bike (mice).
Come spring, clean up everything and your ready to… ride on.