Motorcycle Isolation Hibernation

Motorcycle Isolation Hibernation

Motorcycle TLC

Using the second wave isolation to your advantage.

Whimsically looking back to those days of riding on the daily?
Is your bike currently in Isolation Hibernation?
For a lot of us, the second wave of Covid-19 is giving us the blues more than it did the first time.  The first lockdown had us spring cleaning, picking up new hobbies and taking some down time for self-care.  Alas, this round of restrictions has us tearing out our hair in despair, screaming “NOBODY PUTS BABY IN THE CORNER!” – quote from the film Dirty Dancing.
You are not alone in feeling this way, and unfortunately Patrick Swayze isn’t going to swoop in and save the day, so for now it’s time to give your motorcycle baby some TLC before you tuck it in.


how to keep your motorcycle in top condition during lockdown:


P E T R O L .

Keep a full tank, less air in the tank means less condensation build up & minimises corrosion.  ‘Moist’ is one of the most disliked words in the world… your motorcycle also feels the same way.
Start your bike and let it idol every week or so, this will circulate the fuel and prevent any yucky build-ups.

fill up your motorcycle tank when your not using it 

B A T T E R Y .

If you don't start your bike on the regular, the battery will drain & eventually go flat. To avoid this disconnect the battery or alternately connect a trickle charge unit.   

When it comes to removing the battery terminals, it's best to check your owners manual.  This is our preferred method to keep your electrics safe:

  1. Turn the key in the ignition to ON
  2. Remove the main fuse
  3. Turn ignition to OFF
  4. Locate your battery (typically under the seat)
  5. Disconnect the negative (-) BLACK
  6. Disconnect the positive (+) RED
  7. Cover the terminals so there is no contact, or remove the battery
  8. Reconnect the main fuse

removing the main fuse on your motorcyclehow to remove a motorcycle battery

trickle charger is a power unit that connects to the wall which constantly “tickles” the battery and keeps your battery at 100%.  Sort of like putting your moto-baby on a drip to keep it alive during a coma.  Not a pleasant image, but it is all about the battery survival! These chargers are great tool all year round, they don't overcharge and will significantly increase the life of your battery.
You can grab one of these at your local motorcycle store.  

A trickle charger for your motorcycle battery 

T Y R E S .

Pump your tyres up high & check 'em every few weeks. If your bike is sitting still for months on end the tyres will gradually lose pressure & distort in shape from sitting in the same position.  The recommended PSI will be in your manual or printed on a sticker either on your swingarm or chain/belt guard. 

HOT TIP: Tyres should only ever be filled/checked when your bike is completely cold. If the tyres are warm, the reading can be inaccurate.
You can use a small gauge to see what the pressure is before you head to the nearest servo, or wait for them to cool as much as possible before filling them up.

how to pump up your motorcycle tyres

In this case your motorcycle manual is not always the bible, if your tyres have been replaced, the air pressure may be different (found this one out the hard way after riding months on end, 10psi lower than recommended - wow what a difference air can make!) so get on your hands and knees and start squinting for the fine print!

how to check the tyre psi on your motorcycle

C L E A N  U P .

Well, it ain’t gonna clean itself!  Leaving your motorbike neglected and dirty will not only hurt it’s feelings, it’s going to the hurt the mechanics of your bike (e.g. the chain).  They say “Karma’s a bitch”, so once restrictions begin to ease and you're ready to let down your hair and go full throttle… well it’s possible you won’t get far when the dirt, moisture and rust builds up over time. how to clean and detail your motorcycle

C H A I N . (If applicable)

Your first signs of neglect is usually evident in your chain.  Neglect and rust are the ultimate enemy to your moto baby and you! The only time rust should be in your life is if you are having a Rusty Nail (great cocktail for isolation).
Follow these steps:

  1. Warm it up! Go for a short ride in your local area to get the chain turning.  This will make it easier to remove stubborn dirt and rust.

  2.  Launch your motorcycle onto its middle stand or a motorbike stand.
    **NB Rolling your motorcycle onto its middle stand (if it has one) can be tricky so if you haven’t got the technique right, get someone to help you…  Even if you got strong arms like Patrick Swayze, there is a certain technique to launching your “baby” into the air. *Flash back to the lake scene in Dirty Dancing* using the centre stand on your motorcycle
  3. Spray chain cleaner on your chain whilst spinning the back tyre, let it sit for 5 mins. 

  4. Scrub-a-dub-dub with a soft metal brush and work some elbow grease. how to clean your motorcycle chain
  5. Now, blast off!  Using a high pressure hose, rinse off the dirt, grime and old grease. (*Hot tip: Your local “Clean yourself” car washes are great for doing this but you can get an el cheapo at Bunnings for around $50)
    cleaning your motorcycle chain
  6. Soap it up. Use a foam extender so you can really say “sud-off”!  Spray your whole motorcycle if you like and pay particular attention to the back tyre area.

  7. Repeat step 5.

  8. Wipe off excess water and allow your baby to air dry, it doesn’t like moisture. motorcycle chain maintenance
  9. Lube your chain (NOT WD40! Actual motorcycle chain lube).  Spray the chain like step 3 but be sure to NOT get any excess on the back tyre and rim. Slip N Slides are for other activities, not motorcycle to clean and lube your motorcycle chain 
  10. Admire your hard work, and look up the recipe for a Rusty Nail (For whiskey lovers… you. are. so. welcome.)
    admire your clean motorcycle chain

HOT TIP: If your motorcycle chain has stubborn rust that won’t bugger off, spray WD40 on the chain, and let it sit for 10mins.  Elbow grease is your best measure.  Think of it like an isolated arm work out . MAKE SURE YOU REMOVE ANY EXCESS GREASE! Ice skating is a great winter style activity, but not for your motorcycle, WD40 on your tyres can have you slipping and sliding around. Repeat steps 3-9.


C O V E R  U P .

Grab that beautiful 1000 thread count sheet yo' mumma bought you and keep your baby tucked in. Using a blankie or sheet instead of a plastic rain cover will soak up moisture & prevent rust as well as dust.  If in doubt, hit the shops and get yourself a decent cover.

cover up your motorcycle during hibernation

how to keep your moto-brain in top condition during lockdown:


Even if you identify as a ‘lone rider’, there is no denying that humans are social mammals and despite the pandemic it will not be forever.  Start linking up with local motorcycle groups on Facebook so as soon as the government gives the all clear, you can be hitting the road with new riders!


We all know bikes aren't made to be locked up, don't be ashamed to go give your bike a hug every day or so, it’s good for your soul!  Isolation is sending us all a little crazy, so we believe it is socially acceptable to embrace your moto bestie!
So if its watching your favourite motorcycle movie, buying some new gear online, or reading a book (preferably your manual) by your motorcycle we THOROUGHLY ENCOURAGE IT!

We are NOT mechanics, we are just your average moto-junkies.
If you are ever in doubt or unsure please consult a professional!

1 comment

  • Craig

    Great advice, just have to pick on 2 things.

    The tyre pressure on the side wall is the maximum cold pressure for maximum load. Refer to tyre placard for correct pressure for bike and load.

    Chain, point 5. Please do not blast off. You will force water and crud past the seals where you don’t want it to be. Wash off gently, or if using a pressure washer, keep it at a distance to minimise water pressure.

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