Storing Your Bike – What You Need to Know To Have Your Motorcycle Ready for Winter

It’s damn near that horrible time of year.

Time to work in the shop through the long, cold lonely winter.

For us bikers, the saddest time of the year is when the machines are put to rest for an extended period of time. You just don’t have enough space in your garage to hold the pain of waiting three months to ride again. It happens, and with that in mind, here are some tips for proper motorcycle storage.

Make sure that you’ve found the appropriate space to keep things copasetic for your bike, free from intense humidity or extreme temperatures, and most of all, the place should be safe, and not so far from home.

Another great enemy of bikes is direct sunlight; try to keep it away from the sun, since sunlight can fade paint and weaken plastic parts. If your storage space has windows, cover them with opaque material to minimize these effects. In some instances, you might consider taking your bike to a self storage facility, these places are usually very safe, and will keep your motorcycle free from rust, corrosion and fading.

If you search well, such facilities can offer great pricing and discounts, and in some cases, total insurance coverage.

However, the storage process includes some preventive care for your bike. Many people suggest you do a thorough cleaning of your bike before storing it, like using a chain degreaser to clean and lubricate the chain and cylinders, getting an engine-cleaner for other mechanical areas, changing the oil, and even getting a decent fuel stabilizer. If the bike will be stored for less than 4 months then a good winterizing fuel conditioner or stabilizer will do the work, if not, then you should consider draining the carbs, and refueling your tank with fresh gas. It is also crucial to get a proper bike cover; a regular sheet or tarp can accumulate and retain moisture, and could possibly harm your bike. Any damp fabric can breed mildew. Proper bike covers are made of humidity resistant material, which might include a layer ofporous material to let the fabric breathe.

The battery should be removed from the motorcycle and placed in another physical location, since usually bikes have a tiny electrical drain when the power switch is off, and eventually the battery could sulfate and be useless. If you are really meticulous with your motorcycle care, then you should consider charging the battery every two weeks, and replenishing the cells often with distilled water.

Waxing and cleaning the surface of your bike is important too; wax acts as a protective barrier against rust and corrosion. The exhaust and muffler are usually fast to rust so it is crucial that you lubricate them (WD40 works well). Once you’ve done this, cover the holes and mufflers with a regular shopping bag to prevent rust from accumulating.

Finally, pay your bike a visit once in a while in that icy garage, check tire pressure and turn it on for a few minutes to keep fuel running and in a stable condition.

When the good weather finally comes once again, my friend, you’ll be ready to roll out…


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