If you ride near Dallas you know there are about two weeks out of the year where the weather is just perfect for riding. There are a handful of days in spring and a few more in fall. The rest of the year we have face melting heat and humidity or cold and rainy, sometimes both in the same day. We’re experiencing the few gorgeous days of fall, but before long the cold weather will set in.
Now is the time to get ready. The right gear can keep you and your bike protected. Plus, we’ve got a promo that helps you get the cold weather parts you need at 10% off.
Unfortunately, cold weather can ruin a motorcycle battery. Batteries aren’t cheap, and it’s frustrating to think you’re going for a ride only to find your bike won’t start. If a battery loses more than 20 percent of its charge, it can lose its capacity to fully charge. Cold temperatures make engine oil lose some of its viscosity, so moving the pistons is harder, requiring more power to start the bike in the first place. A cold bike and a cold battery are never a good thing.
Bikes also tend to get less use when the weather is bad. The average motorcycle battery will start to struggle after only a few months of not running.
You won’t mean to park it for weeks, but a string of bad weather days will add up, and sitting is hard on batteries too. Your bike doesn’t get the normal charge during rides. It’s best to get in the habit of using a battery tender or trickle charger, that way you don’t have to worry about it.
Battery Tender vs. Trickle Charger
A battery tender is technology you can hook up to your battery and leave it. The device will monitor your battery and if it starts to lose its charge, the battery tender will automatically kick on to top it off. Once the battery is back to a full charge, the tender shuts off until it is needed again. You don’t ever have to worry about monitoring or overcharging.
A trickle charger will also keep your battery healthy, but it’s best not to hook it up and forget about it. If you do, the battery could become overcharged. It’s better to just hook up a trickle charger intermittently.
Using a battery tender helps prevent parasitic drains. Newer bikes have technology that draws a small current even when the bike isn’t in use. Your alarm system, infotainment, and diagnostics sip at your battery’s power even when you’re not riding, and the drain quickly starts to add up. A battery tender automatically adjusts to prolong your battery’s life.
Protecting Your Bike from Winter Weather
It’s best to keep your Harley® indoors, in a garage for those of you whose significant other won’t let you bring it in the living room. Putting it in a shed or carport is better than leaving it exposed to the elements. If you live somewhere that gets heavy snow, be wary of weight. Sometimes accumulation can cause unstable structures to collapse, and it sucks if that means your bike gets crushed.
How to Choose a Motorcycle Cover
Don’t just throw a tarp over your bike. Plastic and grommets could scratch the paint. Even worse, humidity can build up underneath causing corrosion and oxidation. It’s better to buy a motorcycle cover.
When choosing a motorcycle cover for your Harley®, size does matter. Large motorcycle covers will typically work for bikes like Sportster S, Iron 883, Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight. Get an extra-large cover if you ride a Pan America or touring bike, or if your motorcycle has windshield or exhaust modifications, sissy bars or other features that increase its size.
The best way to ensure fit is to look up or measure your bike’s dimensions. You want the length from front to back, height at the top of your handlebars and width at the widest point. If you have questions, you can always use the chat feature at the lower right corner of your screen.
If you’re cover shopping, look for one that’s waterproof, that deflects heat and that has a soft inner lining. That way it keeps out the elements while protecting your Harley’s® paint and chrome. A good cover has straps so you can secure it – covers don’t do much good if they blow off when the weather gets bad. It’s also helpful if it’s lightweight and can be easily compacted so you can take it with you when you travel.
Now through October 31, 2021, BGHD customers can get ready for cold weather with 10 percent off tenders and covers. Learn more about our October parts special or stop by and shop today.