Riding a motorcycle in the winter time is a recipe for disaster. Even if you don’t live somewhere icy, even cold temperatures can considerably harm motorcycle machinery. Most motorcyclists store their bikes away during the cold months of the year. Storing a motorcycle can be tricky, especially if you want it to be riding-ready come spring time.
Whether you’re resting it in your garage for a couple weeks or sending it to storage for years, you’ll need take a couple special steps to protect your motorcycle whenever you store it. That counts double in winter, when you have to protect it from the elements on top of everything else. That’s why we've put together this step-by-step guide to winterizing your motorcycle. Follow these steps to help make sure your bike’s ready to ride when the weather warms up.
Change the oil.
All motorcycles are different, so before you do this, make sure to read through the owner's manual. Figure out the type of oil, size of oil filter, and amount of oil you need for the change. You should always change out the oil in your bike before you put it into storage for an extended period of time.
Give it a bath.
Get some soap, a sponge, a bucket, and a hose. Roll up your sleeves and get to work. Make sure you thoroughly dry off your bike after washing it, too. Washing your bike off is an important way to make sure grit doesn’t damage it while you’re storing it. Drying it off will prevent rusting.
Fill up the gas tank.
If you leave your bike’s gas tank half empty in storage, rust might start to develop inside the tank. If you fill it up without a stabilizing agent and leave it sitting in storage, gunk may build up inside the tank. Before you store your motorcycle, add a gas-stabilizing chemical such as Sta-bil to the tank and then fill it up.
The bottle will give you directions as to how much to add to the tank before filling it with gasoline. Make sure you add the agent first and then fill up the gas tank. After you add both the gas and the agent, run your motorcycle’s engine for around five minutes. This will help make sure the stabilizing chemical runs through the entire engine. When you’ve done all that, your gas tank and engine will be ready for winter storage.
Find a safe space to store your bike.
You should keep your bike in a place where it can’t be knocked over, damaged, or stolen. We always recommend storing your bike in a climate-controlled storage unit.
Only follow the next several steps after you’ve actually placed your bike in your preferred storage area. Make sure the mufflers and battery are cool to touch before proceeding.
Cover the mufflers.
After you let the mufflers cool down, use plastic bags to cover them up. Secure the bags with rubber bands to keep them from falling off. Placing these bags over the mufflers prevents pests from crawling inside them.
Remove and charge the battery.
You don’t want the battery corroding and calcifying to the bike while it’s in storage. Check your owner’s manual to see exactly how to remove your motorcycle’s battery. In most bikes, it involves removing the seat and unscrewing the battery from the case beneath it. After you’ve removed the battery, connect it to a trickle charger.
Trickle chargers supply a little electricity to your motorcycle battery constantly as long as they’re plugged in. This electricity keeps the battery charged and stops it from corroding during lengthy periods of inactivity.
Cover your bike.
This will help you preserve the nice shine you gave your bike after washing it. It’ll also keep bugs and other pests from landing on or infesting parts of the motorcycle.
If you need a safe, ideal place to store your motorcycle, look no further than Storage Direct. We have a wide variety of rental storage units of any shape, size, or specification. Whether you have one bike to store or twenty, we have what you need.