Jumping the Gun

Sep 06, 2012 View Comments by

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:

  1. 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.
  2. All alloy parts; side covers, timing covers, jugs, everything in satin gray, is sprayed with WD-40, be generous!
  3. 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.
  4. Soak chain in WD-40, while turning the rear wheel.
  5. Paste wax the rest of the metal work on the bike; tank, fenders, handle bars, exhaust, everything, do not buff out.
  6. 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.
  7. Since my bike gets so little use (10,500 miles since 1970) I change my oil in spring, not fall.
  8. All rubber and vinyl parts are wiped down with Armor All.
  9. Battery is removed and placed in basement on a trickle charger. And the battery box is sprayed with WD-40.
  10. 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.

Tags: , , Categories: Wayne's World

About the author

A Wisconsin farm boy, I learned how to ride a cow, before a horse and way before a motorcycle. I first started riding on my 16th birthday and I took my first real ride at my party: I pulled a wheelie and dug a trench in the lawn, which sent the bike in one direction and me in another. I was irrevocably hooked!