Motorcycle Storage Maintenance Preparation Tips
Some parts of the world have climates that allow you to ride year ‘round (we’re looking at you, Florida). For the rest, motorcycles eventually go into offseason extended storage.
Storing a motorcycle for an extended period of time (commonly known as “winterization”) calls for some maintenance to keep a bike healthy during its inactivity. Here are some storage preparation tips before you send your motorcycle into hibernation:
Treat the Fuel
Ethanol fuel in your motorcycle can go bad in just 30 days. And when it goes bad, it causes oxidation that attacks engine components. Carburetor parts are especially vulnerable.
Fuel stabilizers slow the breakdown of fuel to prevent oxidation inside the engine. Follow the directions on the bottle to get the right amount, top off the tank, and run the engine a bit to work the stabilizer through the fuel system. If you have a carbureted engine, your bike’s owner’s manual shows you where the fuel petcock is. Shut it down to cut off fuel to the carburetor, then drain the fuel out of the carburetor float bowls.
Coat the Cylinder Walls with Oil
Disconnect the spark plug wires and get your spark plug socket. Remove the plugs and pour a teaspoon of oil in each cylinder. Next, with the motorcycle in gear, spin the wheel a couple of times to turn the engine over and coat the cylinder walls. Before you put them back in, inspect the spark plugs and replace any that are damaged or dirty.
Disconnect the Battery
If your bike isn’t near an electrical supply, disconnect and remove the battery. And if it is, disconnect the battery and leave it in the machine, using a battery tender to keep it healthy and charged over the storage period.
Use a Motorcycle Cover
Dust will settle on a machine over time, even in a clean garage. Wash and wax your motorcycle and get a cover to protect it over the storage period. Even under a cover, get some exhaust plugs to protect your motorcycle from rodents and other pests that may want to nest in your bike’s engine.
Are you putting motorcycle in storage for a while? Watch the video above to see for yourself how to winterize a motorcycle.