Updated: Nov 21, 2019
You know you've done it...classes are in session and *BOOM* cold. With a few stray leaves skittering across the road you realize your moped isn't much different. One of the last soldiers still standing. But instead of putting the moped away with proper care, your "fuc*s" meter drops to zero. There the moped stays. From blown in leaves, to snow drifts changing like dunes, all the way to an elite mouse hotel, ending the torture with meat and mashed potato colored snow banks. Ain't nothing wrong with that....just have to do it the right way!
Chances are if you're riding a moped that's double your age, a heated garage just might not be in the budget.(or maybe it is, and you like to take short cuts?) This is a quick write up to help you get your steed through winter stored outside. Living in the rust belt can have its perks, such as beautiful cruises through wildly colorful orange,red and brown forests during fall, to blossoming pinks and whites along the same route for spring. However with beauty comes a bunch of bullshit rust.
Rust is enemy number one. Even being within sight of a road can cause rust corrosion from salt. How can we prevent it? First off, keep your ped out of the drive way, and away from the curb. Anything to minimize salt spray is going to help us immensely. With a quick search on eBay this cover is a really great option. It's made of fiber so it won't melt on your exhaust after rides, and it will be sure to stand up to the winter weather. We'll want to snug the cover in quite tight, but be sure there is some airflow to prevent moisture build up. If you're looking for a cheaper motorcycle cover, avoid PVC covers at all cost. They easily rip with weird pantyhose style runs when they get super cold. They also do more than keep water out, they keep it in. We'll go into detail about moisture later.
Enemy number two - Rodents. Like the employee of the month, mice are just as annoying. Doing way more work than they need to, while de-engineering your life making you miserable. Mice eat only really important things like air-boxes and wiring harnesses. So this is where we're going to focus on. Although I have had very little issues with mice when storing my scooter/moped completely outside year after year, one thing I can recommend is steel wool or better yet copper wool so it won't rust. Mice refuse to eat through it. A quick bunch wrapped around where the wiring harness enters the motor would be a key place. Another spot would be that little flat just above the motor. Maybe you have some rodent repellent tricks of your own. Feel free to share them in the comment section.
Enemy number 3 - Moisture Now it's not only an annoying word to your Girlfriend. Things getting "moist" on your moped will be enough to get you just as disgusted as her. Your motor is the most susceptible to this one! Have you ever notice when it gets really warm quickly during the spring, sometimes concrete in the garage or even the road looks wet? That's called condensation. It can happen when cold weather quickly goes warm. Just as bringing a cold soda out of the refrigerator will make it sweat due to moisture accumulating on the cold surface. If you've been around mopeds for more than a few years (Chances you aren't reading this and are already writing a comment) you'll know mopeds are notorious for "soft seizing" . In this case the cylinder is just like the cold soda can, it accumulates moisture. Instead of it eventually evaporating and going away harmlessly, it often leaves behind corrosion in the form of rust, holding the piston in place. How can you prevent this? By cylinder fogging. It's simple and it's cheap insurance. Here are the directions, just so you know how easy it is to do.
1.Start engine and remove air filter.
2.Spray fogging oil into air intakes of running engine.
3.Shut engine off after 10 seconds.
4.Remove spark plugs.
6.Attach extension tube and spray fogging oil into each cylinder for 3 seconds.
7.Replace spark plugs. So easy a caveman can do it! *Rolls eyes* This is definitely one of the more important on this list, do it.
Enemy number 4 - Gas Ethanol gas, it was a great thought. However within 30 days the "corn gas" can be seen separating in a bottle. By 90 days there is a clear separation of gas and ethanol. When gas separates like this your detonation time changes and can also cause severe build up in your carburetor, causing your moped to lie dormant until the cows come home. i.e. forever. One of the best products I have found is Starbrite fuel stabilizer.
I have had mopeds go the whole winter and start up first kick when the fuel was properly stabilized. It's a little bit more expensive but so very worth it. I would also recommend draining your carburetor and filling your gas tank completely prior to storage. Draining the carb is pretty self explanatory, how ever maybe some of you are scratching your head over the full fuel tank. Rust needs oxygen to break down metal. If you've properly treated your fuel, filling the tank completely eliminates the chance for moisture and oxygen. Thus inhibiting rust advancement. Lastly Enemy number 5 - Dry rot What is dry rot? Dry rot is that odd cracking that shows up on old tires(sometimes new) that haven't moved in ages. Sometimes only forming where a wheel went flat. Rubber has compounds within the rubber to "condition" the rubber of the tire. These compounds can only be brought to the surface through the heating and bending during normal use. If your tire goes flat and awkwardly rest on a flat spot, chances are come spring you may have some dry rot marks. To prevent this I make sure all tires are completely sealed and do not have any slow leaks. If you can't beat the slow leaks, simply keeping weight off the tires will save the tires from dry rot. See quick and well kinda painless? A little work this fall will have you cruising early this spring with out a hitch! Yeah right its a moped....it'll find something else to go wrong, trust me. At least by performing these quick checks and modifications, you'll have a lot less to figure out this spring! Ride on and remember , please spay and neuter your peds.
As you're probably wondering what is up with all the odd eBay links to different products, I will explain. I am an eBay affiliate, I have products that I have personally tested in the shop and decided that these ones make the cut. If you decide to buy an item from any of my links, I receive a small portion of eBay's (10%) profit on the sale. My goal is to someday afford a sandwich per day with my moped/motorcycle knowledge. Purchasing through the links DOES NOT raise the price. The price remains the same only I get a couple pennies per purchase. Thank you so very much! Without you the reader I would be some awkward chick talking to herself on the internet. If you didn't read the whole blog be sure to leave your comment about what you think the article is about. If you like my salty/brash/informational blogs please share! See you again soon!