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.

Motorcycle storage preparation tips

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. 

Gold Eagle Sta-bil fuel stabilizer

Maxima fuel enhancer stabilizer

Yamalube fuel stabilizer

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

Change the Oil

Like old gasoline, used oil can do a number on motorcycle engines. It’s acidic, and can be harmful to pistons and other engine components. Take some time to change the oil and filter before shutting it down.

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. 

Lubricate the Motorcycle

Protect any point where there’s movement between parts with lube. Control handles, cables, and forks should all be protected. This is also a good time to use some chain cleaner and chain lube to protect the chain and have it ready to go for riding season.

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.

DelTran Super Smart battery tender

Protect the Tires

Concrete floors can damage tires over time. Getting your machine off the ground with a motorcycle stand prevents flat-spotting the tires, so you can get more mileage from them.

Motorcycle storage protection cover

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.  

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