motorcycle in dark garage with sunlight coming through windows

Winter Motorcycle Storage: Protecting Your Ride from the Cold

September 27, 2023

As the leaves turn golden and the temperatures drop, motorcycle enthusiasts face a familiar dilemma: how to store their beloved two-wheeled companions during the harsh winter months. Winter motorcycle storage is a critical aspect of motorcycle ownership, as it helps protect your investment and ensures your bike is in top condition when riding season returns.

Follow these steps to help you store your motorcycle safely and effectively during the winter.

1. Choose the Right Location

The first step in winter motorcycle storage is finding the right location. Ideally, you should store your bike in a dry, cool, and well-ventilated area. A garage or a dedicated storage unit is perfect, as it offers protection from the elements and potential theft. If you don’t have access to an enclosed space, consider using a motorcycle cover to shield your bike from snow, rain, and UV rays.

2. Clean and Prepare Your Motorcycle

Before putting your motorcycle into hibernation, give it a thorough cleaning. Wash and wax the exterior to remove any dirt, grime, or bug residue. Clean and lubricate the chain, and make sure the tires are properly inflated. Cleaning your motorcycle before storage prevents corrosion and helps maintain its appearance.

3. Change the Oil and Filter

Changing the oil and filter before storing your motorcycle is a good practice. Used oil can contain contaminants that may corrode engine components over time. Fresh oil will help protect your engine during the dormant period. Also, consider lubricating the throttle and clutch cables and pivots.

4. Fuel Stabilization

Gasoline left in the tank for an extended period can deteriorate, leading to engine problems. Add a fuel stabilizer to your tank and run the engine for a few minutes to ensure the treated fuel circulates through the system. This helps prevent fuel degradation and keeps your carburetor or fuel injection system clean.

5. Remove or Charge the Battery

Cold temperatures can be harsh on motorcycle batteries. If you plan to store your bike for an extended period, consider removing the battery and storing it in a warm, dry place. Alternatively, you can keep the battery connected to a battery maintainer or tender to prevent it from losing its charge.

6. Protect the Tires

To prevent flat spots and cracking, it’s a good idea to elevate your motorcycle off the ground. Motorcycle stands or wheel chocks are excellent for this purpose. If you can’t lift the entire bike, at least rotate the tires periodically to prevent flat spots.

7. Cover Your Motorcycle

Even if your bike is stored indoors, using a motorcycle cover is a smart move. It provides an additional layer of protection against dust and potential scratches. Make sure the cover is breathable and fits your motorcycle snugly.

8. Maintain Adequate Ventilation

Proper ventilation is essential to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to rust and corrosion. Crack a window or use a dehumidifier if you’re storing your bike in a garage or storage unit to ensure adequate air circulation.

9. Regular Check-Ups

Don’t forget about your bike entirely during the winter months. Periodically check on it to ensure everything is in good condition. Start the engine occasionally and let it run for a few minutes to circulate fluids and keep everything lubricated.

Winter motorcycle storage is a necessary part of motorcycle ownership, ensuring your bike remains in excellent condition when spring arrives. By following these steps and taking the time to prepare your motorcycle properly, you’ll be ready to hit the open road as soon as the weather permits. Remember, a little maintenance now can save you a lot of time and money in the long run, allowing you to enjoy many more riding seasons on your trusty machine.

Sablich Insurance Group is licensed in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
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