While motorcycles are fun to ride, there occasionally comes a time when you need to place your motorcycle in self-storage. Whether it’s just for the cold seasons, or it’s going to be more long-term, there are several steps to take to prepare your bike for proper storage so it doesn’t deteriorate.
Parking Spot or Enclosed Unit?
First, determine whether you want to keep your motorcycle in a parking spot or in an enclosed storage unit. There are pros and cons to each choice, and the one you ultimately choose will depend on your budget and preferences for storage.
While an enclosed unit (typically outdoors) offers the most protection from the elements and weather, it can also be the more expensive option, unless your plan is to store it inside a garage or shed on your property. Indoor storage units that you can rent don’t always allow storage of vehicles. However, if you are looking for storage in NYC or another large metro area, renting a unit for motorcycle storage may be your only option. An outdoor parking space, on the other hand, can be convenient and is usually less expensive as well. You also have the option of storing another vehicle with it if needed. If you’re storing outside, make sure that the storage area is away from trees and other falling debris. In addition, if you choose to store your motorcycle outside, you’ll need to invest in a good quality cover for it.
Choosing a Cover
You’ll want to choose a motorcycle cover that’s going to cover the entire bike and all its accessories. Whether you store it outside or inside, a cover is a good idea to protect your bike’s mechanical components and keep it looking cosmetically appealing.
If you’re storing the motorcycle in an enclosed unit, then a cheaper one might be fine as it’ll just keep dust off and protect it from any potential water leakage. If it’s being stored outside, on the other hand, you’ll need to make sure to get one that has a snug fit so it won’t blow off as well as one that’s made of high-quality materials that resist fading and wear from the sun, wind, and rain.
Mechanical Steps for Proper Storage
Before storing your motorcycle for the season, such as just for the winter, be sure to add fuel stabilizer to any fuel that may be left in the tank. If you’re storing it for a longer period, such as a year or more, draining the gas may be a better option. Be sure to drain it from the carburetor bowl as well.
Also be sure to disconnect your motorcycle’s battery. It’ll help the battery last longer so it doesn’t drain as quickly. However, when you go to start it back up again, you should be prepared for it to need a jump start or a new battery entirely. The battery may be better off kept at home on a battery tender so it can maintain its charge.
While storing your motorcycle, be sure to put it on its center stand if it has one. If it doesn’t have one, consider purchasing and installing a center stand before you store it. Using center stands helps to keep the weight off the tires, preventing unwanted flat spots.