Some customers prefer to prep and store their own motorcycle for the winter season (WINTERIZE YOUR BIKE). It is in the best interest of both you and your customers that you educate them on the steps necessary to properly winterize and store their Harley-Davidson®  motorcycles for the cold winter months ahead. Providing a lesson in winterization will help build customer loyalty and give you an opportunity to sell customers the necessary products. This advance preparation will help ensure their motorcycles will be in prime operating condition when the time comes to hit the road in the spring.

Mt. Baker Harley Davidson Winter Service Tips


Customers who are technically apt, comfortable turning a wrench, have the right tools and have dry, indoor storage should be properly prepared to take on the responsibility of winterizing and storing their own motorcycle. If they are equipped to handle winterization, walk them through these essential steps.

  1. Have the right tools and supplies to do the job. Having the proper tools and products to winterize a motorcycle is necessary. Taking short cuts now can be very costly next spring. Run through the following steps with customers; and if there is anything they need, do a store walk-around to help them gather the proper supplies and tools.
  1. Fill gas tank with premium-grade gasoline, adding the appropriate amount of fuel stabilizer for the tank’s capacity. Filling the tank helps prevent rust and corrosion-causing moisture from forming inside. Adding Harley-Davidson® Fuel Stabilizer, P/N 94874-10, keeps the fuel fresh and prevents the gasoline from breaking down during cold conditions, which could result in “gummed-up” or varnished fuel lines, injectors and carburetors. Run the motorcycle for a few minutes to ensure a good mix of stabilizer and fuel.
  1. Change engine oil and filter, as well as the transmission and primary fluids while the engine is still warm. Follow the instructions and procedures as outlined in the owner’s or service manual. The Cruiser Cradle Wheel Chock, P/N 92900001, can make performing such maintenance procedures easier. It keeps the bike upright while being worked on and permits easy access to both sides of the vehicle.
  1. Lubricate and adjust clutch and throttle cables. Follow the instructions and procedures as outlined in the owner’s or service manual. Harley Lube, P/N 94968-09, is perfect for lubricating clutch and throttle cables. The handy needle dispenser allows for precision application.
  1. Make sure there are no oil leaks and that the stabilized fuel has circulated throughout the fuel system. Start and run the motorcycle. Keep it running long enough to ensure there are no oil leaks and that the stabilized fuel has circulated throughout the fuel system, and then turn off the motorcycle.
  1. Thoroughly wash and clean the motorcycle. Cleaning bike surfaces of dirt, insect splatter and caked-on road grime will prevent damage to the finish over a storage period. The Harley® Bike Wash Kit, P/N 94701-09, includes all the essentials required to thoroughly clean a motorcycle – Sunwash®  Concentrate cleaner, Bug Remover spray, Wash Mitt, Soft Detailing Pad, Synthetic Drying Chamois and a Microfiber Detailing Cloth.
  1. Detail and wax the motorcycle. Detailing and waxing is an important step in protecting motorcycle surfaces over the cold winter months. The Harley Detailing Kit, 94702-09, has everything customers need to protect painted and chrome-plated surfaces and to refurbish and refinish metal motorcycle parts. Proper care before storage means the motorcycle will shine brightly for its first spring ride.
  1. Choose a clean, dry location in a garage or storage area that is out of direct sunlight. Stored motorcycles should be kept out of direct sunlight to prevent UV rays from fading bike surfaces. They should not be stored near corrosive elements such as pool chemicals, fertilizer and salt, or near freezers, electric heaters or furnaces, which emit gasses that can deteriorate rubber components. The Cruiser Cradle Wheel Chock, P/N 92900001, will keep the bike upright for efficient storage.
  1. Properly store the battery. Disconnect, remove, check and clean the battery, then connect it to a battery tender to keep it operational over the long winter months of inactivity. A product such as the SuperSmart® Battery Tender,®  P/N 94654-98B, plugs into a standard AC outlet and can stay connected throughout the entire storage period. It’s better than a trickle charger, because the “smart” feature turns itself on and off as needed, so the battery never overcharges.

10. Lock and secure the motorcycle. Keeping a motorcycle locked and secure while in storage provides customers with peace of mind. Harley-Davidson has an extensive line of security products to safeguard customers’ investments, including cable, shackle and chain locks and kits for motorcycles along with locks for helmets, windshields, saddlebags and detachable.

11. Cover the motorcycle. A motorcycle should always be covered during storage. Be sure to use one of the Harley-Davidson® “breathable” indoor covers, such as the Motorcycle Super Shield Cover, P/N 98744-09. These covers allow condensation and moisture to escape in order to prevent corrosion. What about detachable accessories? The Detach Depot Wall Rack, P/N 93100005, provides versatile, secure, off-the-floor storage for detachable accessories – saving valuable shelf and floor space.

12. Don’t start the motorcycle until it’s time to ride in the spring. The motorcycle has been properly winterized, so there is no need to start it up until the spring riding season.