Unless you live in a region with fair weather all year round, it’s important to properly store your motorcycle for winter. Since simply throwing a cover over it in your garage is often not enough, we have compiled 7 steps you can follow to make sure your bike is ready come spring time.
Steps to prepare your motorcycle for storage
Inspect & clean surface
A great first step to prep your motorcycle for long-term storage is to thoroughly clean it. This will give you the opportunity to inspect for damage or problem areas, but also make sure you have removed water spots or bug guts that can damage your finish. Once cleaned, make sure it is thoroughly dry. As another layer of protection, add a coat of wax to act as a barrier against moisture and rust and spray any exposed metal with WD-40 to prevent corrosion.
Change oil & filter
Changing your oil now will not only make starting your bike back up in the spring easier, but fresh oil is easier on your motorcycle’s system as it sits in storage. Go ahead and change the filter too while you’re at it.
Prep fuel system
When you take your bike out for the last time this fall, fill your tank as much as you can. As fuel sits, it ages and its chemistry can change, leading to sludge that can affect the carburetor. Adding the proper amount of fuel stabilizer will stop the gas from deteriorating, protecting your carburetor. Once you added stabilizer, let your bike run for a few minutes to allow the treated fuel to cycle through.
It’s important to double-check your motorcycle’s brake, clutch, and coolant fluids. Refer to your motorcycle’s manufacturer’s recommendations and replace or refill your fluids as needed. If you are storing your bike where temperatures could and will dip below freezing, make sure you have the appropriate levels of anti-freeze to prevent your engine from freezing.
The best way to protect your bike’s tires is to store it off the ground, which can prevent uneven wear or flat spots. If that won’t work, ensure your tires are filled to the max recommended volume and pop its center stand. Prevent flat spots by rotating your front tire once a week. Another way to protect your tires while in storage is to put a piece of plywood or carpet down over the concrete to prevent moisture.
Your battery may drain even when the ignition is off, so there are two different things you can do to maintain your battery while your bike is in storage. Firstly, you can remove your battery altogether and trickle charge it throughout winter. Secondly, you can leave your fully-charged battery attached, and charging once a month. Doing either of these two things will make it easier to start your bike back up next spring.
Find an ideal spot
The ideal spot to park your motorcycle for the winter is a temperature-controlled garage would be ideal but if that isn’t possible, a spot in the corner of the garage away from any windows will do the trick. A fitted, breathable cover can help further protect your bike from not only dings and scratches, but dust and moisture too.
Insurance – to cancel or not to cancel?
Once your motorcycle is properly stored, you may think that you can cancel your motorcycle insurance policy. This may not be the best idea. If you live in an area that could potentially have some warmer weather during winter, you wouldn’t be able to take your bike out for risk of an accident or damage. Also keep in mind that while in storage, your motorcycle is still at risk of theft, fire, vandalism, or storm damage. Without proper insurance, you would be on the hook to cover the bill. ‘Lay-up’ insurance may be an option, so call your insurance company to see if this coverage is available to you.
If you are looking for affordable motorcycle insurance, get a free quote today for SafeAuto Motorcycle Insurance brought to you by Dairyland.