Storing Your Motorcycle – What You Need to Know
Storing a motorcycle properly is essential to maintain its condition and prolong its lifespan. Here are some steps you can follow to store a motorcycle:
- Clean the Motorcycle: Thoroughly clean the motorcycle to remove dirt, dust, and any corrosive substances. Use a mild soap, water, and a soft cloth. Avoid using high-pressure water as it might force water into sensitive components.
- Fuel Stabilization: If you plan to store the motorcycle for an extended period (more than a month), add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank and run the engine for a few minutes to ensure the stabilized fuel reaches the carburetor or fuel injection system. This helps prevent fuel deterioration and carburetor/gasoline-related issues.
- Oil Change: Change the oil and filter before storing the motorcycle. Fresh oil helps prevent moisture buildup and protects internal components.
- Tires: Inflate the tires to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. If possible, store the motorcycle off the ground to prevent tire flat spots. You can use a motorcycle stand or wooden blocks placed under the frame.
- Battery Maintenance: If the motorcycle will be stored for an extended period, consider disconnecting the battery or using a battery tender/maintainer to prevent it from losing charge. Some modern motorcycles may have battery management systems that maintain the battery’s charge level.
- Coolant and Antifreeze: Ensure that the coolant and antifreeze levels are appropriate for the climate conditions. Check the motorcycle’s manual for guidance.
- Cover: Use a breathable, waterproof cover to protect the motorcycle from dust, moisture, and direct sunlight. Ensure the cover is securely fastened to prevent it from flapping in the wind, which could cause scratches.
- Indoor Storage: If possible, store the motorcycle indoors to protect it from the elements. A garage or a dedicated storage area is ideal.
- Security Measures: Consider using a high-quality lock or chain to deter theft if you’re storing the motorcycle in a location where security might be a concern.
- Regular Checkups: Even if the motorcycle is in storage, periodically check on it to ensure there are no issues developing. This can help you catch any potential problems early.
- Proper Ventilation: If you’re storing the motorcycle in a closed space, ensure there’s adequate ventilation to prevent condensation and moisture buildup.
- Documentation: Keep all relevant documentation, such as the owner’s manual, registration, and insurance, in a safe place.
Remember that these are general guidelines, and it’s essential to consult your motorcycle’s owner’s manual for specific storage instructions and recommendations from the manufacturer.