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Advice on getting bike ready for winter


Breadsnapper
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I am new to biking so forgive my ignorance. I am slowly learning how to maintain my bike and already thinking about winter. Question is what is the best thing to use to protect the electrics for winter. I was thinking of using an electrical grease on the connectors etc. Would this be ok or is there something more specific to protect the electrics?

Cheers in advance Dave

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If you are laying it up you need to give it a thorough wash, make sure it is totally dry, then spray ACF-50 over all the mechanical and electrical bits. Make sure you don't get it on the brakes or the seat. Also put on centre stand to get tyres off the floor.


If, on the other hand you are going to use it all winter, as many of us do, the above treatment will do a good job of keeping salt at bay.


There are several videos on YouTube about washing and spraying bike. The Missenden Flyer has a couple of good ones.

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My bike lives outside.. and my preparation for winter is to wash it... allow it to dry, give it a quick spray over with ACF and then cover it.


and thats all.


Bikes aren't that fragile. and standing for say... 4 months will do it no harm whatsoever. Dont think that starting it every now and then.. warming up the engine is a good thing - it isn't. leave it alone.


I know some people take steps like filling the fuel tank and adding stabiliser.. or doing other things like raising the bike off the ground. but in my experience, you dont need to do any of that either... just wash and dry it.. give it a spray of ACF then park it up. cover it and forget about it. maybe plug it into a battery minder.. to keep the battery charged up. or be ready to charge the battery when you put it back on the road.. especially if it has an alarm that might be a slow drain. My bike doesn't have an alarm.. so all I do is charge it up when the bike is parked up.. and then at the end of the winter.. charge it up again. and thats it.


The big enemy for bikes during the winter is the salt/grit mix they use to clear snow.. the grit can damage paint and coatings and the salt will then attack metal. But if the bike never sees salt.. is never ridden when the roads are gritted then this isn't going to be an issue for you.


If the bike was going to be out of use for a year or more..then there are things that need to be done.. but for 4 months? just a few very basic steps.

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Thanks for the replies. I'll be using the bike throughout winter as I only work 3 miles from my house.

Dave

 

In which case.. before it turns very cold. wash and dry it.. ACF it. ONCE and then use it through the winter.. the ACF will protect it during the worst weather... the bike will get mucky (but the ACF will continue to work) Then.. once the weather turns and the risk of snow and more salt/grit vanishes. wash off the ACF and you're good to go for the spring and summer.


Washing and reapplying ACF.. which some people do, is actually a waste of time. you only have to apply it once.. then leave it strictly alone. ignore the dirt and muck, the bike will be perfect under the dirt.... ACF is brilliant stuff.. which doesn't wash off with rain. It will only come off with warm sudsy water.


Its designed for use on aeroplanes.. jet engines and the like and is only applied once a year. thats how good it is. flying at 300mph or more through rain storms wont wash it off.

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Don't get the aerosol can as this is a very expensive and inefficient way to apply ACF-50. I use the little hand sprayer, which I top up from a larger bottle, and also a paraffin gun attached to my compressor when I do mine. If cold weather I warm the ACF-50 in a bath of hot water to make it flow better. It is also better if the bike is hot, e.g. after a run, when you wash, dry it and apply the ACf-50. You will get lots of smole from the exhaust when you first run it after application but that quickly disappears.

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A can lasts me 5 winters. That works out at less than £3 a year.



The thing is.. ACF is a super thin liquid, what this means is that when you spray it on - as thinly as possible - it spreads. it creeps into all the nooks and crannies over the course of a few days. you don't need much nor do you need to be 'thorough' as it spreads all over the bike on its own. Its wasted on plastics. so just a dab on fixings. just be sure to cover the brake disks and callipers so there is no danger of stray droplets getting where they shouldn't.

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All of my bikes since 1996 have lived outside under a cover. My winter prep was to do...f**k all.


Maybe I've been extremely lucky but surprisingly none of them dissolved into a pile of rust. After the winter, I used jump cables from the car if the battery was flat and went for a ride to charge it up.


When I get my next bike, I'll do the same. Of course if people feel better doing other things then that's cool with me.

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It's only August!

Deary me.


Tesco don't even start putting out the Christmas stock until next week.


Good tips above. I need to start winterising my bike and some heated grips on it.

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