As we find ourselves in difficult times, yet again, here are a few tips to help better store your bike during the lockdown
This time last year, we were hoping and praying and almost certain that we’d be in the clear by now and that the pandemic would be a tragic tale in the history books. But once again, we find ourselves in the same place again. I’ll get straight to the point. The imposition of the lockdown means we motorcyclists need to park our beloved machines again and we absolutely should. We have done it in the past and we can do it again. But this time around, let’s make the process a little more exciting and instead of reveling in the ‘Thrill of Riding’, let's discuss the ‘Thrill of Parking’ your bike safely and securely and maintaining it, so it’s all ready for you when it's time to hit the streets again.
You will be parking your bike in for a long time and unless you cover it, it is bound to gather dust and dirt, so you must be wondering why this tip. But cleaning it now will ensure that all the dirt, grime and gunk will not harden to a point where removing them will possibly scratch or scuff the surface it is on. Plus, you get to have a long therapeutic session of cleaning your beloved machine. I mean who doesn’t love to do that. It could be that one last date before you meet again.
Irrespective of whether you have an open or closed parking, it would be wise to cover your bike with a bike cover. This will help keep your bike clean, protect the paint from the elements and will offer a good buffer for the pesky cat that always loves to scratch the seat. Don’t fret if you don’t have a bike cover, a couple of old bedsheets and strategically placed clips will do the job just fine as well. If your bike is parked in a place where snakes and rodents are found, be careful when you take the wraps off and inspect the bike thoroughly for any surprises before you get on.
No, I don’t mean that you take your bike out for a spin every now and then. Ideally, if you have the technical know-how and the confidence to, you should disconnect your battery and have a battery tender handy for if/when you need to jump start your bike. Another option would be to start the bike once every few days and let it idle for a few minutes to ensure the fluids stay fresh and the battery remains charged as well.
When parking your bike, ensure that you park it on the centre stand if it has one and that the tyres are well inflated and aren’t making contact with ground. If your bike doesn’t have a centre stand then make sure you roll the bike forward and back a little every time you go to start it up to ensure that the tyres don’t wear out unevenly.
You should ensure that you clean and lubricate parts like your chain and levers to ensure that they don’t dry up and become stiff or all gunked up due to lack of use.
These are just a few basic tips that will help you better maintain your beloved machine during these trying times. It will also allow you to interact with your machine in some way which is better than not at all. Always ensure that you go when there is no one around, properly sanitise yourself and your surroundings and most importantly, wear a mask (I cannot stress this enough). The CDC is recommending that we double mask to get the best safety. These are trying times and we do not want to be a part of the problem. Please stay home, stay safe and we’ll get through this together, separately!