How to Prepare A Motorcycle for Long Term Storage
Your motorcycle allows you to spend exhilarating days on the open road with no cares but the journey ahead. When riding season is over, it’s time to take care of your motorcycle so that it can stay in good condition in storage. Winterizing your vehicle properly ensures that you get many years of enjoyment out of your investment and reduce the possibility of avoidable repairs. This is how to winterize your motorcycle for long-term storage.
Before your motorcycle goes into storage, perform routine maintenance like cleaning its exterior, adding a fuel stabilizer and fuel treatment through the system, and drain fuel from the carburetor. Change the spark plugs, the oil, and fuel filters. Also, inflate your tires to the correct pressure levels so that they don’t go flat during storage. If possible, check the tires periodically during their storage because tires tend to lose more air in cold weather. By making sure your motorcycle is in peak condition for storage, you can have peace of mind that it won't rust or have any problems internally with its fuel or oil.
Use A Garage or Storage Unit
Storing your motorcycle in a garage or storage unit will keep it out of the elements and in an environment with less temperature fluctuation. Quite simply, storing a motorcycle outside in the winter or any season isn't a good idea — not even with a cover. There are too many elements that play that can damage your motorcycle in the open-air such as humidity, rain, snow, pests, UV rays, frost, and more. Instead, you should store your motorcycle in a shelter such as a garage and keep it covered as well.
The extreme temperature fluctuations that happen Outdoors between day and night in certain seasons can also have disastrous effects on the longevity of your motorcycle. If you don't have space in your garage, or if you don't want a garage, it's important to store your motorcycle in a long-term storage facility. This option is also useful if you prefer to have space in your garage for other accessible seasonal items or if you want to convert your garage to a recreational space.
Check The Tire Treads
Before storage, it’s also important to check to see if the tires will be ready for the next time you take your motorcycle out on the road. Since the middle of the tire is in most contact with the road, this part wears out first. After a long summer of riding your motorcycle, your tires may not be fit for the next season and need to be replaced. Measure your tread depth easily by checking your tire’s built-in wear indicators that are in the rubber tread grooves. If one of the tire grooves has a segment of rubber that is raised, the tire should be replaced.
Check for Other Tire Defects
It’s not just damaged tread that can cause instability on the road, but other defects can indicate a need for tire replacement. If you notice any cracking or dry rot along the sidewalls, the tire must also be replaced. If the tire has a worn-out square profile, it won't lean properly when you turn, which is dangerous. Any punctures or holes in the tire should be repaired, though it’s better to just replace the tire for safety.
Also, if a tire is too old, it should be replaced — no matter what condition it is in. Even if there is still tread on a 10-year-old tire, don’t be deceived. The rubber has aged and hardened and won't grip the road like a newer tire. To make sure your tires are still soft enough, stick your fingernail into the rubber. It should have some “give” and not feel rock hard.
Prepare a Winter Emergency Kit
Winter can do quite a number on any automobile, especially motorcycles. So, keep a winter emergency kit near your motorcycle when it's in storage so that you have everything you need to keep it in good condition. For instance, it's useful to keep a pump to inflate tires, extra lubricants, oil, a fuel stabilizer, and the other items that you used to winterize your motorcycle nearby. If you need any of them for any reason, it's easy to access them without having to go to the store.
Protect Your Motorcycle From The Elements
Protecting your motorcycle from the cold is a must if you want it to run properly in the spring. That’s where Storage Rentals of America comes in. We offer safe, secure, and clean storage locations designed to protect the items that mean the most to you. Utilize our drive-up storage units for your motorcycle and gear. Our storage units are perfect whether you need short or long term storage.
What Size Storage Unit Do I Need for a Motorcycle?
Most motorcycles can fit in a 5×10 storage unit. All motorcycles can fit in a 10×10 storage unit. Opt for an drive up storage unit instead of a parking space so you can store your motorcycle in an enclosed space in order to protect it from the elements. It also provides you with an additional layer of security. When you make your reservation, be sure to let them know that you plan to store a motorcycle. Our staff will work with you to ensure you get a storage unit that works with you.
Checklist for Long Term Motorcycle Storage
Whether you’re storing your motorcycle for the winter or spring, there are some necessary steps you need to take to prepare it for storage.
- Clean the Exterior: Clean your motorcycle thoroughly because leaving dirt and grime on the bike can damage the paint finish. Be sure it is bone dry.
- Add a Gas Stabilizer: Fuel has a shelf life of approximately 3 or 4 months. Make sure you add a fuel stabilizer to your tank. For long periods of storage, run your bike and repeat the process.
- Protect the Carburetor: Run fuel treatment through the system, turn the bike off, turn off the fuel supply to the carburetor, and drain any remaining fuel from the carburetor. This avoids having a clogged carburetor caused by the evaporation of fuel that leaves a sticky film behind.
- General Maintenance: Change the spark plugs, oil, and fuel filters. Inflate your tires properly to prevent them from getting flat.
- Extra Protection: Consider putting the bike on a lift-rack to protect the tires and covering it to block out dust.
- Update Insurance: When it comes to motorcycle insurance be sure that your coverage is updated to include Storage Rentals of America as the location your vehicle is being stored at.
Worry-Free Storage Solutions
The benefits of storing your motorcycle with Storage Rentals of America include:
- Well-lit, clean, and affordable drive-up storage units to suit your storage needs. From motorcycles to full size cars, we have storage units of all sizes.
- Flexible lease terms, which include long-term rentals with great discounts and short term plans perfect for seasonal or temporary storage.
- We protect what’s important to you with high-level security measures such as electronic gate access and 24/7 video monitoring.
- With many convenient locations in Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Carolina, self-storage is close by.
What Documentation is Required?
You’ll need to bring in three documents when you come in and rent with us. A government issued ID like a driver’s license or passport, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Check with your insurance provider to see if your policy covers storing your motorcycle in long term storage and bring in a copy.