As the Autumn season ascends into winter and the halcyon days of summer are a memory, preparing ones motor bike for slumber until the blooms of spring is an essential aspect of ones iron loved one.
Firstly. the battery should be removed, placed in a room temperature environment and place it on a wood block and hook it up to a trickle charger. These are small 12 volt (providing its a 12 volt and not 6 volt battery) chargers that maintain the charge of the battery and will not over charge regardless of how long it is connected. It is best to leave the charger attached to the battery until it is ready to be put back into the bike until spring. The chargers are available in different brands for about $50.00 at your local motorcycle dealer (Battery Tender), Canadian Tire (Motomaster) and Budd's BMW (BMW Motorrad). Read the manual on how to use the charger for application as mine is a positive ground so the usage is different from most negative ground machines.
Secondly, petrol should be drained from the petrol tank by either a siphon or removing the petrol lines from the Petcocks, thus opening up the Petcocks and draining the petrol into a jerry-can with a funnel. Moreover, the petrol should also be drained from the carburettor(s) via a drain plug or running the bike dry. Some believe that fuel stabilizer is the answer but there is no substitute for fresh fuel in the spring. Old petrol thickens and is not healthy for carburettors, fuel lines and combustion chambers. Be sure to dispose of the petrol in an environmental fashion and not as lighter fluid for the fallen and raked leaves.
Thirdly, wash the bike with a good bike wash (cover carburettor and electrical components) and, if possible, use a leaf blower to dry after the wash. Please use caution when choosing the correct product for cleaning and read the label!!! Some are not to be used on aluminium, I found out the hard way and spent hours re-polishing the cases to remove the damage. After drying the bike, use a good metal polish (Autosol) and/or polish chrome and painted parts with a good car wax( I like Turtle Wax Ice). Do not use any plastic or rubber enhancers on tires, grips or seats, this can be dangerous because they can make everything slippery and difficult to manage. Lastly, cover the bike with an applicable cover, tarp or an old bed sheet to keep off the dust and other vermin that can infiltrate the machine through the winter months.
Hopefully we will be blessed with good riding weather through October and early November, the Halton Hills, Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough and the escarpment through Niagara offer fantastic roads to enjoy the vast colours of fall. I have been riding these areas for over sixteen years and have enjoyed the scenery, roads and people of Southern Ontario greatly and believe that this area is one of the best places to live. My bike is now 35 years old and have been preparing it for winter most every year. These procedures can help promote the longevity, condition and usability of any bike. As well, I must insert that the mechanical expertise and advise of Rick Harret of Highway Cycle at Clappison Corners (Mechanic to the Norton in the movie 'One Week'), has kept my bike running better than ever and keeps me embracing the magnificence of the Niagara Escarpment and Golden Horseshoe.