Screwdriver tip: preserve the vehicle

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Screwdriver tip: preserve the vehicle
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Screwdriver tip: preserve the vehicle

Screwdriver tip: preserve the vehicle
To the nitty-gritty

First time out, then downtime. It is a shame when the mobile pedestal degenerates into a worthless heap of metal and plastic. If stored correctly, however, the motorcycle will remain tasty for many years.

Thorsten Dentges

12/13/2003

The vernacular teaches that if you rest, you rust. But what if you don’t have the time for your hobby and the machine is carelessly in the corner? Without proper preparation and care, it will go to waste. Soon it will be different again, the owner swears. If this vow is kept and if the stand has already been damaged, the resuscitation of the parked machine can turn into a tragedy. You should also take care of important insurance issues before decommissioning. For example, a retirement insurance linked to liability or partially comprehensive insurance is only valid for one year. Please note: The motorcycle must be parked in a locked parking space in order to be able to assert claims in the event of damage. Real lovers of their motorcycle, on the other hand, take care of everything early enough and take care of it accordingly during their long break. Some vintage and youngtimer fans have even created a whole arsenal of deregistered motorcycles, which are fun just by looking at them. Regardless of the reasons why the motorcycle is to be stored for a long period of time, certain rules for vehicle conservation apply. MOTORRAD shows how things get down to business.

Screwdriver tip: preserve your motorcycle

1. Wash and clean, take a shower! The dirt has to go, because it attracts moisture and thus promotes corrosion. First spray the motorcycle with a complete cleaner (recommended: Dr. Wack S100; Gericke HG Performance) and then steam it off. Do not point the steam jet directly at the bearings – otherwise lubricants could be flushed out. Washing with soapy water, a sponge and a brush is gentler. Then dry the motorcycle carefully, look for any remaining dirt and remove it with a rag. 2. Liquids The operating materials should be replaced before a longer standstill. Make sure to change the oil when the engine is still warm in order to flush out as much of the aggressive combustion residues as possible from the old oil. If necessary, also change cardan and gear oil. It is also advisable to renew the fluid for the brake system, because brake fluids are hygroscopic, i.e. they attract water, which in turn causes corrosion. If the coolant is not more than two years old, it can stay in it. Prerequisite: the water level is correct and there is sufficient frost protection. However, if the system has not been used for more than a year, it is better to completely dry it out. 3. Fill the emptied and dismantled tank with around half a liter of preservative oil and swivel it out well so that the entire interior comes into contact with it. Then empty out the excess oil and dispose of it properly. It is best to store the tank in a room with as little temperature fluctuation as possible. 4. Carburettor In any case, empty the float chambers of the carburettor before long periods of inactivity! Deposits from fuel residues sometimes form on the nozzle assemblies after just a few months. And that means a lot of work: complete disassembly and cleaning of the carburetor. 5. Battery: She prefers things dry and not too cold. Therefore remove the battery. If it is not maintenance-free, check the acid level, if necessary top up with distilled water. Store frost-free and recharge quarterly or permanently connect to a freshness-keeping device. 6. If you park your motorcycle for a long time, you should put a little preservative oil in the candle hole. Then rotate the crankshaft a few times to distribute the oil in the combustion chamber. To do this, engage a gear and turn the rear wheel several times. 7. Brakes Make sure that the disc and pads do not touch each other, especially with cast brake discs. If they rust together over time, a new, usually expensive, brake disc may have to be found. Therefore push the brake pistons all the way back before storage. 8. Paint, metal and rubberMore than just cosmetics: pampering your motorcycle with the appropriate care products from the accessories trade is an effective way of preventing aging processes. Rubber becomes brittle over time. However, glycerine and talc from the pharmacy keep it supple. The same protective effect is provided by special silicone-based plastic deep care products. They also prevent fading and can also be used for rough plastics. Never use multi-purpose sprays such as WD 40 or Caramba, because these agents remove the plasticizers from plastic and rubber. Paint and smooth plastic surfaces must first be polished and sealed with a hard wax to ensure a fresh shine. However, please do not apply either of these with paper towels, but rather with special soft textiles to avoid scratches. Before doing this, carefully examine the surface for damage and repair it. Treat all metal surfaces, especially chrome and aluminum parts, thoroughly with special metal cleaners (e.g. Autosol, Nevr Dull) and then rub in preservative oil. Thoroughly clean the chain and lubricate it well on all sides with chain spray. 9. Treat electrical connections with contact spray and then seal them with pole grease or Vaseline. This avoids corroded connections. 10. It goes without saying that if you don’t have a suitable room, such as a garage, parking space in a barn or the like, you should get rid of longer mothballing. In order not to park the motorcycle in the living room at home, ask your dealer for a rental space. It is important that the machine is kept dry and protected from sunlight. Paint, plastics and the tire rubber are sensitive to UV radiation. Also recommended: the protective cover from Corrodom (phone 06222/3879291, www.corrodom.de; from 40.85 euros). This “full-body condom” exudes a rust inhibitor in which the fully packed motorcycle is effectively protected from corrosion. Whether protective hood or not, relieve the wheels as much as possible, and also set the lowest preload on the spring elements. Properly prepared, the motorcycle can stand still for years.

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