Motorbikes are one of the most fun modes of transport you can ever ride, whether you are traveling around on a huge Harley chopper or if you’ve just got your license and still have that hair-dryer-sounding 125cc bike you love.
While they may be fun modes of transport in good conditions, they can be difficult to ride and maybe even dangerous in some situations when it comes to wintertime.
Storing Your Bike Safely
Many motorbike owners across the US will put their motorbikes into storage during the winter and through periods when they know they won’t be riding them, such as long holidays or working away for a few weeks at a time.
The benefits to using a storage unit over storing your bike in your own garage or on your drive are that your storage unit will generally be safer and more secure, and your bike won’t be visible to would-be thieves when you are not around.
Don’t risk your much-loved bike; put it into storage when needed, but make sure you store your bike correctly.
Here are seven tips for storing your motorbike in a storage unit.
Lift the Bike Off of The Tires
While a car can manage perfectly well on tires that aren’t at their best, a motorbike does need tires in excellent condition.
It’s because of this that we recommend raising your bike off of the ground if you’re planning to store it for more than a few weeks.
Tires prefer to be kept off the ground at all costs if the bike is not being used regularly, and this should be a top priority for you.
Keep It Trickle Charged
Any vehicle that has been sitting for a long-time risk running the battery low and not being able to start. This is the same for motorbikes, just as it is for cars.
We recommend two courses of action in this case, the first and preferable course of action is to keep the motorbikes battery trickle charged, and the second is to disconnect the battery if trickle charging isn’t an option.
Many storage units within the US don’t have the option for a reliable and continuous power source within your unit, which can make trickle charging your bike difficult; in this case, we would recommend disconnecting the battery, but if there is an option to keep your bike trickle charged this is definitely the preferable way to go.
Start It Up Every Few Weeks
To keep your bike in good condition, it’s recommended that you start it every few weeks and give it a bit of a run.
It’s up to you what interval you decide on when leaving your bike for a few weeks or months, but generally, we would suggest every 2 to 3 weeks, your bike should get started and allowed to run through just to keep it in good condition.
If possible, spending 5-minutes riding it around is a great way to do this, but if you cannot start your bike every few weeks, for example, if you’re out of the country, then your bike should be ok but may make some grumbling noises on its first outing after being sat for a while.
Just as a side note to this tip, you will need to take your motorbike out of your storage unit before you start it up; most storage units will not allow you to run the engine inside.
Full or Empty Tank
There are two schools of thought as to whether or not you should leave gas in the tank of your engine, and each one has its valid points.
A full tank – Leaving your bike with a full tank of gas protects the tank and the lines from corrosion and rust, especially in conditions where heat and moisture are not easily controllable.
Empty tank – the issue with leaving your tank full of gasoline is that modern kinds of petrol go off very quickly, and it’s likely that debris and gunk may block the bike’s injectors or carburetor if it is not started regularly.
Our recommendation is that you leave your bike with a full tank of gas if you can go and start your bike every few weeks but empty the gas as much as possible if you need to leave your bike undisturbed for more than a few weeks.
Block Off the Holes (but be sure to mark it)
This tip applies to bike owners who will be leaving their bikes in areas that may be prone to rodents.
Small rodents such as mice and rats will find any small hole to make their home, which is why it’s important that you lock off holes in your bikes, such as the exhaust and air filters, just to stop rodents from making their nest inside.
If you are blocking off the holes, make sure you leave yourself a very visible note to remind yourself to unblock the holes before starting your bike back up again!
Over Inflate the Tires
Remember how we said above that tires don’t like to be left for many weeks taking your bike’s weight? That’s because tires are one of the most finicky parts of being a bike owner, and they need to be treated with the greatest respect.
If you are leaving your bike for a few weeks or longer, we would actually recommend slightly overinflating your tires to account for the loss of pressure they will experience while sat unused.
Keep It Insured
Last but not least on our tips for storing a motorcycle article is one regarding insurance.
Many state laws differ in attitude to taxing vehicles that are not used, but for every storage unit in the US, you will need to display that your bike is fully insured before and during the storage period.
This also applies too if you are storing your bike in your own garage or on your drive for any length of time. In that case, you’ll definitely want to insure your bike just in case it gets stolen or damaged.