There are several reasons why you need to store your motorcycle for an extended period of time. You may be going on a holiday and you will not be using the motorcycle for a while. Winter and the bad road conditions at certain times of the year are also a reason why you may want to keep your motorcycle tucked away in the garage.
Storing your motorcycle for a long period requires some basic preparations. You want to keep the motorcycle protected and well-maintained so that you can use the bike again when the time comes. Here are some of the tips on how to store your motorcycle correctly.
Fill Up the Tank
One of the first preparations to make when you want to store your motorcycle is filling the fuel tank to the brim. After filling the tank, turn on the engine for a few minutes to allow fuel to cycle through the system.
A full tank is the way to go for two reasons. First of all, a full tank leaves no room for gas and other residue to build up inside. You can also add a fuel stabilizer to prevent the fuel from deteriorating inside the tank.
The second reason is engine health. With a full tank, you will be able to start the engine when you want to use the motorcycle again without having to bleed the system or worry about muck clogging the carburettor.
Change the Oil
Another important step to take before you store your motorcycle is changing the engine oil, especially when you have used the current engine oil for more than 1,000 miles. Engine oil deteriorates at a much faster rate than fuel, so it will turn from the golden and clear form to black and mucky faster than you can anticipate.
Replacing the oil filter and doing a quick oil change is great for keeping the engine clean and healthy while the motorcycle is in storage. You can also consider filling up the brake, clutch, and coolant fluids before storage.
There is another approach you can consider, and that is draining the fluids altogether before you store the motorcycle. Many mechanics believe this is the best way to store a motorcycle, but you’ll have to top everything up before the next use. Some additional maintenance steps may also be required before you start the engine again.
Take Care of the Battery
Most motorcycle batteries require minimum to zero maintenance these days. You don’t need to fill the battery compartment with distilled water or recharge the battery regularly to keep it healthy. Before storing your motorcycle for an extended period of time, however, you should disconnect the battery from the rest of the motorcycle and use a trickle charger to keep the battery healthy.
Of course, you can also keep the battery on the motorcycle with some extra steps. You want to minimize the discharge rate by switching off any electronic component on the bike. It is also a good idea to charge motorcycle batteries at least once a month especially with the lightweight motorcycle batteries that have a smaller capacity.
One more thing: apply petroleum jelly to the connectors or battery terminals to prevent rusting. This is a handy trick to use whenever you need to store your motorcycle over the winter.
Preparing the Tyres
For tyres, your best bet is to store the bike with the tyres off the ground. You can use a stand or a temporary jack to lift the entire motorcycle. There is no need for big equipment for this job; you just have to keep the tyres a few inches off the ground, so the weight of the motorcycle and the floor temperature aren’t damaging the tyres.
If lifting the motorcycle is not possible, then fill the tyres with nitrogen until they reach the optimum air volume or pressure. Nitrogen is much better than air because it is more consistent and isn’t as prone to changes in temperature and pressure.
Wax and Dry
Last but not least, do a thorough cleaning and make sure the motorcycle is completely dry before you store it. Any moisture can quickly cause rust, especially during the colder days of winter.
Similar to the battery terminals, you can use petroleum jelly to protect certain areas of the motorcycle from corrosion. WD-40 and other solutions work just as well, especially for protecting things like the exhaust pipes and joints or bolts.
Waxing helps because the wax will also prevent moisture from penetrating the motorcycle. Before you tuck the bike away for an extended period, do a quick wash and wax and you will prevent many common issues from ruining the motorcycle.
Now that you have completed the necessary steps to prepare the motorcycle for storage, it is time to store the bike properly. Make sure you store it in a dry and warm place if possible. Avoid exposing the motorcycle to the weather directly and invest in a good motorcycle cover for extra protection. Your bike will be ready for you by the time you want to ride again.