With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, Old Man Winter is knocking at the door. For motorcycle owners, November is typically the last month of the year to get out and ride if you live in an affected part of the country. Once the calendar turns to December, it’s often time to pack the bike way and store it for the winter. To help get your bike ready for a season of hibernation, we’ve shared a list of storage tips from the folks at UltimateMotorcycling.com below.
1. Have a storage facility
An enclosed space or shed will help protect your bike from elements that lead to corrosion. Dry is good and heated is optimal. Covering your bike with a dust cover is also a good idea.
2. Have insurance
Make sure your motorcycle policy provides sufficient coverage year-round and while in storage. If you’re stowing the bike at a storage facility, ask if the facility operator has insurance that covers its contents. Many will not so it’s up to you to do your due diligence on this issue.
3. Properly prep the engine and other internals
A fresh oil and filter change will prevent sludge and other contaminants from building up in the engine and transmission. Drain and refill any separate sump with fresh lubricant. For shaft drive bikes, drain and refill the rear drive unit with fresh fluid. You should also consider using a fuel stabilizer or fuel line antifreeze to prevent condensation from forming in the fuel system. Check with the manufacturer about draining the carburetor for storage. It might also be a good idea to replace in-line fuel filters and crankcase breather filters.
4. Cylinder bore protection
Remove each spark plug and put 15-20 cc of motor oil in each cylinder. Place a rag over the spark plug hole and rotate the engine briefly to coat the cylinder bores, then re-install the spark plugs. Make sure the plugs are grounded when rotating the engine. Check the condition of the spark plugs and spark plug wires and caps and replace if they are worn or damaged.
5. Prep the cooling system
Check the coolant levels for the proper level and check for leaks. If the bike is due for a change and flush, do it. Be sure to clean any bugs and gunk out of the radiator as well.
6. Charge the battery
The battery can be removed and stored in cool, dry place and hooked up to a battery tender to charge it monthly. Or you may choose to let it remain mounted on the bike and charge it the same way. Follow the battery manufacturer’s recommendations.
7. Cover exhaust and intake openings
Cover outlets with a plastic zip-lock or similar bags. Check, clean or replace the air filter.
8. Apply protectant coating
Plastic, rubber, and vinyl exposed materials benefit from a protectant. Lubricate cables, pivots, and controls per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Check hydraulic hoses and fuel lines for leaks, cracks, and wear. It’s best to do each of these steps after a thorough wash and dry.
9. Inflate those tires
Keep the tires inflated to normal pressure and if the bike is parked on a side stand, move it a bit opccasionally to keep flat spots from forming. If on a center stand, rotate the front tire on occasion.
10. Lubricate the final drive
If the final drive is a metallic chain, lubricate it with chain lube according to manufacturer’s specifications. Grease zerk fittings on the suspension or drive system.
Where To Rent a Motorcycle Near Me
Not many experiences compare to the thrill of a motorcycle ride. For those that choose not to purchase one or simply want to see what all the excitement is about, a motorcycle rental is a popular option. Find a sport bike, dirt bike or luxury motorcycle for rent in your area through Rent It Today–nationwide motorcycle rental listing provider.