The last Friday of November marked my final motorcycle ride for 2017. The temperature was 2 degrees Celsius and the sun was beginning to set as I ebbed and flowed around the gentle corners. Albeit a brief 20 minute ride, I was very quickly reminded of the penetrating chill of a November wind. With my last ride, comes the winterizing of the motorcycle. Some people do it, while others do not. To each there own; a statement repeated much in my life. For myself, the winterization process allows me to both mechanically and emotionally finish the riding season.
I found a fantastic article last year to get your bike ready for winter. The main areas that one needs to pay attention to are the motorcycle’s fuel, carburetor, oil and filter, spark plugs, battery, liquid coolant and lubrication of cables. It is always an interesting process to remove much of a bike’s trim and access these parts. Don’t be scared!!! It really doesn’t take much to service this stuff. For example, at the start of the year I decided to wire a USB charger for my phone to the bike’s battery. It was the first time I had removed the gas tank. I’m happy to report the charger worked seamlessly and the gas tank was successfully reinstalled. New this fall was changing my spark plug. I was SOOO excited when it fired right up! The new spark plug is ready to ignite the 2018 season.
Although I shouldn’t get ahead of myself since I wont uncover my KLR650 for at least another 4 months. I rode a lot last year logging over 14,000 km. Most of those quiet kilometers were on my own. Riding allows me an opportunity for personal reflection and self-centering (written about here) which contributes an emotional component to the end of the riding season. During the winter, I try to find activities that can fulfill that ever present need. But, I have to admit that none of them are as fun and satisfying as my motorcycle.
I’ve just covered my bike for the winter and I already have plans for three trips next year. Trip ideas will come and go over the winter. The planning will be my therapeutic crutch to limp me towards the spring, where I will be eagerly awaiting the first ride of the season. Like all denied pleasures, I admit there will be moments of weakness during the long, cold and dark winter. In my garage, I might gaze a little too long and reminisce of the road we once shared. I will abashedly raise a corner of the warm protective blanket, gaze upon the shimmer of a sleeping body and disappear into a dream, where we will be one yet again. “Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.”