For those of us who love winter riding, a whole new brand of fun is about to begin, but for those who don’t, it’s time to start thinking about hunkering down! Not only when it comes to yourself and your loved ones—but your CFMOTO ATV or CFMOTO side by side, too.

Indeed, with any ATV company or side by side manufacturer’s products, you can’t just leave them in a shed all winter and expect them to run perfectly come spring. Off-road vehicles of all sorts require a bit of TLC in terms of their surroundings and regular wintertime care if you want them to hit the trails roaring when the weather warms.

Don’t worry, though; it’s nothing extensive! Below, CFMOTO, maker of premiere off road vehicles, has a few helpful how-to’s.

Why Not Just Any Shed Will Do

Not to short-change sheds or anything—when properly built and maintained, they make fine storage spaces for CFMOTO ATVs and CFMOTO side by sides. You’re probably wondering, though, with the power and reliability that comes standard with a CFMOTO, why so much attention must be paid to how you store it. If they can handle mud, rocks, slick terrain, you name it—why can’t they handle sitting idle and uncared for?

Moisture: An Insidious Threat

From rusting empty metal gas tanks to attacking your vehicle’s exterior, moisture accumulation is a big problem in areas where winter gets humid. Without proper care, you could come back to an exterior that’s far less lovely than you left it. Plus, when water meets cold temperatures, it freezes and expands, posing major issues for your cooling system and other engine parts in severe enough conditions.

ATVs and Side by Sides are Designed for Regular Use

Not that you can’t store them—it’s perfectly possible and surprisingly simple, as we’ll get into! However, when the tires hit the trails, many facets of your ATV and side by side are made to spring into action at a moment’s notice; sitting around just isn’t for them. Fuel, for example, rapidly goes bad if not used, and batteries die in similar circumstances. Tires can sustain damage, called flat-spotting, if they sit too long and take your vehicle’s weight without doing their job: helping it to move.

Like we said, though, storage is more than within your grasp—it just requires a bit of forethought and care.

Simple Storage Techniques

Combating moisture damage and inactivity this winter is easy. First, consult your owner’s manual for model-specific tips and detailed, by-the-step procedures. While the advice below is great for many ATVs and side by sides, all lines are built differently and require different kinds of care. Who better to describe it than the manufacturer themselves?

Consider your climate and storage conditions, too. A Minnesotan ATV rider, for example, will need to worry more about the effects of the cold than one residing in Arizona. A shed with poor ventilation might lead to a vehicle that’s subject to more water damage, while one with proper ventilation might not.

Fend Off Fuel Tank Damage

Depending on what type of fuel tank you have—metal or plastic—prepping your fuel for long-term storage will look a little different. Plastic tanks usually do well when completely drained, while metal tanks appreciate being filled with fuel and stabilizer to prevent condensation (water accumulation), though this tends to be an issue only in super-humid climates.

Regardless of the route you take, be thorough! If you’re draining all your fuel, don’t forget that in the fuel lines and carburetor, and if you’re using stabilizer, run your engine for a bit after filling your tank to allow it to seep through all the necessary parts.

Discourage Rodents

Though it might not look like it to you, your ATV or side by side is a great winter home for all sorts of pesky critters. It’s full of undisturbed, protected spaces. Block up your muffler—just remember that you did it before starting your machine!—so you don’t need to serve any unexpected eviction notices. Filters are also popular targets.

Be Kind to Your Battery

As we said, batteries don’t fare well when left to their own devices in the cold. It’s best to store that of your ATV or side by side in a warm place so that it doesn’t sustain temperature-related damage. Ideally, too, you should purchase a trickle charger. These handy little devices use a small amount of charge to keep a battery nice and juiced up when it isn’t actively being used or when it’s forced to endure extreme cold. Wintertime riders often swear by them.

CFMOTO: For a Revolutionary Ride

When you need a machine with strength, power, and reliability through all four seasons, look no further than a CFMOTO. Use our online CFMOTO Dealer Locator now and discover a whole new side to riding, courtesy of some of the best machines around.