6 Steps to Properly Store Your Motorcycle for the Winter
Written by Eric Ellis and edited by Vicki Sanfelipo.
Shared with the permission of Hupy & Abraham
With cold and even snowy weather coming to the northern USA, many riders are getting ready to store their bikes until more suitable riding conditions in spring. While some motorcyclists keep their bikes ready to ride just in case there is a nice day, many of us need to rely on storing our bikes so that they are safe from rough conditions and will be ready to go when the warm weather returns. Making sure that your bike is properly stored will guarantee that it will be in good riding condition when you’re ready to head back out on the road.
Following these five tips will help preserve your motorcycle in top riding condition during the winter.
- Find a Secure, Climate-Controlled Storage Location if possible:
Secure a storage space that is climate-controlled and spacious to protect your bike from damage during winter. With a climate-controlled space, moisture won’t build up and cause damage to your bike while it sits until spring. There are times that is not possible but having storage that is 50 degrees or above reduces condensation and more drastic changes in temperature. Note; If you must store in cold storage: Follow the tips below and stuff a rag in each pipe to keep critters from nesting in the pipes.
- Clean and Protect Your Bike:
Thoroughly wash your motorcycle before storing it to prevent dirt, grime and bugs from damaging the paint and finish. Apply wax for added protection and use a cover to shield it from the elements & dust. With a proper cleaning, when it comes to your first ride of the new season, your bike will look excellent as you peel back that cover to find your beautiful bike waiting for you.
- Use Fuel Stabilizer:
Before storing your bike, add fuel stabilizer and top off the fuel tank to prevent fuel-related issues such as water that causes tank rust during the winter.
- Change the Oil:
Replace the oil with fresh, clean oil and a new filter to ensure a smooth start when you’re ready to ride again in spring.
- Maintain the Battery:
Attach a battery tender to your motorcycle’s battery to prevent it from draining over the winter. Most battery tenders come with a “pigtail” that attaches to your battery and left there so it is easy to plug and unplug the battery. Just zip tie the plug to the frame near the seat for easy access. If you do not have your motorcycle in a climate control setting or you are unable to attach a battery tender because of where it is stored, take the battery out. Put it on a piece of cardboard on a bench or the floor and put a battery tender on it.
6. Maintain the Tires:
If your bike doesn’t have a center stand, consider getting a center stand scissor jack to lift the tires up off of the floor and keep the them in good condition. This will help avoid flat spots and dry rot. Be sure to check the tire pressure again in spring since tires often lose air with cold temperature fluctuations. Check tread, date stamp on the tires.
Tip: Make sure you follow all these steps when storing your bike and you’ll keep it in top riding condition for the next riding season. If you have any questions or concerns about storing your bike, contact a knowledgeable motorcycle dealer or shop. Many shops and dealerships offer motorcycle storage services year-round, which is a great option if you don’t want to worry about storing your bike. Many will also do an inspection and oil change before you pick the bike up so you know it is ready to hit the road!
Hupy and Abraham has been an advocate for motorcycle riders for decades by promoting awareness with our “Watch for Motorcycles” campaign. They have supported Accident Scene Management training for over 26 years. We’ve even put together a video showing proper winter storage tips that you can watch here: https://www.hupy.com/video/motorcycle-winter-storage-tips.cfm. For more important riding news, tips and videos, stay tuned to HUPY.COM.
Hupy and Abraham is here to help motorcyclists after an accident as well. If you’ve been injured in an accident, call Hupy and Abraham right away at 800-800-5678. We’ve helped over 70,000 clients receive over $1 billion for their injuries and will fight for the compensation you deserve.