We hate to admit when hunting season is over. We REALLY hate to admit it when we didn’t bag that elusive buck this year.
When you get back to camp next year you may find you never unpacked that leftover lunch from your field bag, or emptied that coffee from your thermos, but the worst surprise of all would be finding a ROKON under the lean-to that wasn’t properly stored for the winter! As you brush the pine needles off the makeshift canvas cover (your cousin let you borrow for moving that cordwood a few Septembers ago) you feel something scurrying from beneath. The red squirrel that has called your bike home this winter crawls out from under the tarp and dashes into the stonewall nearby. You pull cover off the bike to find acorns, leaves and bits of fabric that look like pieces of your favorite orange hunting vest scattered across your rear cargo rack. Worse yet your battery is dead. You use your ROKON’s trusty backup pull-starter to breathe life into the sleeping beast, but something is wrong: your bike is running rough, it refuses to idle properly and you can’t get the battery to hold a charge. You slap yourself on the head as you realize that with a bit more forward- thinking, all of these inconveniences could have been avoided.
Many riders keep their bikes running all year long, but some of us need to park our bikes at camp or store them for long periods of inactivity. There are steps that can be taken to avoid the situation above and they are much easier than you think!
FUEL – Ethanol quantity in today’s gasoline is horrendous. The stuff breaks down seals, eats fuel lines and solidifies into a crusty mess that clogs idle and main carburetor jets. Preventing Ethanol breakdown over periods of inactivity can be accomplished by using a high quality fuel stabilizer such as Ethanol Shield fuel treatment. This stabilizer prevents corrosion and removes water from your fuel. It also slows the breakdown of ethanol. In addition to the stabilizer, make sure your tank is nearly full of fresh gasoline prior to storing your ROKON. A tank that is left half full or nearly empty will allow for the buildup of moisture that will corrode the inside of steel tanks and discolor plastic tanks. Moisture will also degrade your fuel and cause atomization problems in the spring.
BATTERY – Even the best batteries can only handle extreme cold without activity for so long. Many batteries will gradually become depleted and eventually you will not be able to recharge them to their full capacity. There are steps you can take to prevent this. First, consider using a Battery Tender to preserve the life of your battery. These automated devices draw very little electricity and will ensure that your bike is always ready to start. If your bike is to be kept outside or in an uninsulated garage or shed, consider removing the battery from the bike and storing it in a climate controlled environment.
STORAGE LOCATION – While climate controlled basements or garages are ideal storage locations for your Bike, they aren’t an option for everyone. Sometimes under the back deck or even just under a tarp is our only option. If your bike is to be stored in this manner you should take steps to keep the elements at bay as well as the critters. Consider using a fitted Storage Cover for your bike to prevent sun fading and moisture damage. Keeping mothballs under the cover will help to keep invasive critters away, just be sure you place them in an open container and avoid direct contact with your bike’s finish, covers or seats.