Motorcycle Winter Storage Tips: How to Keep Your Bike Safe and Sound

April 28, 2024

Motorcycle Winter Storage Tips: How to Keep Your Bike Safe and Sound

With the risk of ice and snow, riding your motorbike in winter can be perilous so it is often best to consider using motorcycle winter storage. Not only will this stop you from having an accident but it will also help with the longevity of your motorcycle.

Motorcycle storage tips. Image shows the front wheel of a motorcyle parked in the street.

Within this article we are going to talk you through our motorcycle winter storage tips and how to keep your bike safe and sound. 

Preparing Your Motorcycle for Storage

Before you place your motorcycle into storage, you will want to thoroughly wash your motorcycle. You don’t want to risk anything staying on your bike that could cause erosion  such as water or salt. With this in mind, you will also want to make sure that it is completely dried after being washed. 

You will also want to counter corrosion on your exhausts, brakes etc. by spraying a light oil or better still, a specific corrosion protectant onto them. You will also want to change the oil before placing your motorcycle into winter storage. 

When it comes to the battery, you can either choose to remove it over the winter period or install a connector to the terminals and use a maintenance charger to keep it topped up.

Choosing the Right Storage Location

You need to choose your motorcycle winter storage location really carefully. Indoors will be best because you know it will be safe from theft and from the elements. This could be a corner in your garage where it is not going to have people constantly brushing past it. You will want to pick an outdoor space that is well ventilated and has minimal risk of damp. 

If you need to store it outside, you will need to make sure that you buy a specialised outdoor bike cover. And make sure to lock it up.

If you don’t have a garage or shed but would prefer to keep it indoors, self storage will be an excellent, cost effective solution. A self storage unit will be well ventilated and will keep your motorbike at its optimum temperature. 

Monitoring and Maintenance During Winter Storage

Once you have picked a good motorcycle winter storage spot, you will still need to make regular checks on your motorcycle. This will allow you to catch any issues early and help the longevity of your motorcycle. 

If you do realise that there are issues with your current motorcycle winter storage, you will be able to rectify them or change where you are storing your motorcycle. 

You may also want to keep your fuel tank topped up so you can warm up your bike by turning it on. There are arguments for and against doing this. Some people believe keeping the fuel tank topped up will prevent rust and warming up your bike will get it to a good temperature. Others argue that keeping the fuel tank topped up could lead the fuel tank to degrade and warming up your bike will cause condensation that could lead to rust. If you do decide to do it, make sure to do it in a well ventilated area.  

Reactivating Your Motorcycle After Winter

When you get your motorcycle out of winter storage, you will first want to give it visual inspections, making sure that there is no rust or corrosion. You will also want to check under the bike for any leaks such as oil or brake fluid. 

When it comes to the oil, it is not always necessary to change after your motorcycle has been in winter storage, particularly if you changed it before you placed it into storage. You will still want to check it because it is possible for condensation to build up in the oil pan which could lead to rust if left untreated. 

Next you will need to check the chassis. Take some lubricant and lube up any linkages or flex points, such as those that connect to the suspension. Whilst doing this, look for any minor damage or even cracks that could be occurring along the weld lines. These probably wouldn’t have started over the winter, but you should do an annual check of your chassis anyhow to catch any damage early. 

You must make sure to take the proper steps when bringing your motorcycle out of winter storage. This will help you to catch minor issues early and increase the longevity of your motorcycle.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Winter Storage

There are many common mistakes that can happen when placing a motorcycle into winter storage and many of them can be easily avoided.

Firstly, not preparing your motorcycle properly before you place it into storage can lead to rust and corrosion. You need to make sure that you clean and dry your motorcycle, change your oil and add corrosion protectors to areas such as your brake pads. 

The next mistake is not performing regular checks. It would be really easy to forget about your motorcycle in the winter, once it is in storage but you need to make sure to check it regularly. This will help you to catch any issues early and rectify them. 

The third mistake is ignoring the importance of a good cover. This is extra important if you are storing your bike outside. It will protect your motorcycle from the elements, helping to stop rust and corrosion. 

Motorcycle Winter Storage

When it comes to motorcycle winter storage, it is really important that you get your motorbike prepared before you place it in storage – clean it, dry it, change the oil etc. And you must find winter storage where your motorcycle will be safe from theft or the elements. This could be by storing it in a garage or within a self storage unit or by using a specialised cover, if you are storing it outside. Once it is in storage, you will want to make regular checks to it so you can catch any damage early. 

When winter is over and you are ready to get it out of storage, you need to make sure to check it for rust, corrosion or leaks. 

Doing this will help to lengthen the lifespan of your motorcycle and allow you to go on many more rides once the warm weather comes back. 

If you feel that the best motorcycle winter storage for you would be using self storage, please click here to find your local store.

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