No matter how much or how little you use your motorcycle, you are sure to find that storing it in a garage is the best way to go. Keeping your bike in a garage keeps it safe from the elements and from theft. It also gives you a handy and comfortable setting to perform maintenance and repairs. In this article, we provide smart tips on how to store a motorcycle in a garage. Read on to learn more.
What You'll Learn Today
- Tips For Storing A Motorcycle In A Garage
- 1. Lay a good foundation
- 2. Don’t leave your tools and accessories scattered about
- 3. Lift your motorcycle out of the way
- 4. Begin with a clean motorcycle
- 5. Keep your battery charged
- 6. Maintain a consistent temperature
- 7. Lubricate all the moving parts
- 8. Make sure your gas tank is full
- 9. Store your motorcycle with fresh oil
- 10. Top off your antifreeze
- 11. Protect the tires
- 12. Keep pests out
- 13. Inform your insurance company
- Storing Your Motorcycle in Your Garage is a Smart Idea
Tips For Storing A Motorcycle In A Garage
1. Lay a good foundation
Before you roll your motorcycle into your garage for storage, be sure the floor is in good shape. A clean, comfortable, crack free floor makes it easier to take care of your motorcycle, and it just looks better.
Instead of a stained, cracked concrete floor, why not put in some good looking PVC tiles? You can even match the color of your bike if you want to.
2. Don’t leave your tools and accessories scattered about
Put in a good cabinet system that provides organized storage space for your tools and your gear, such as your helmet, jacket and gloves.
You can self build a storage system, or just check your local home improvement center or online for prefab systems that are easy to install. Getting your motorcycle paraphernalia and other items stored in the garage organized will give you a lot more room.
3. Lift your motorcycle out of the way
Another thing that will give you a lot more room in your garage is a car lift. When you install one of these handy items, you can get twice the storage space in your garage. Just lift your motorcycle up and park your car underneath.
4. Begin with a clean motorcycle
When it’s time to store your bike in the garage for winter, start off with a clean bike. Give it a good scrub and polish at the outset, and apply a good coat of wax.
If you do ride in the wintertime, be sure to keep it free of mud, dust and road salt throughout the cold months. Keeping your motorcycle clean prevents rust and helps extend its life and maintain its resale value.
5. Keep your battery charged
Invest in a battery tender to preserve the life of your battery during the months when you are not riding. You don’t want to keep the battery plugged into a battery charger because this can cause damage. Be sure to get a battery tender. This device powers itself on and off rather than constantly delivering power to the battery.
You could also remove the battery and store it in a climate controlled setting, hooked up to a trickle charger. If you leave the battery installed through the winter, start your bike up about once a month.
6. Maintain a consistent temperature
If the temperature inside your garage fluctuates above and below freezing, moisture can condense on items in the garage. This can cause rust to develop, as well as causing damage to various parts of your motorcycle, such as the clutch cables, throttle, shifter and kickstand.
To prevent this, you could heat your garage, or you could create a room-within-a-room to store your bike in a climate controlled area. Alternately, you could invest in a motorcycle cover to protect your bike against temperature extremes.
At the very least, cover your bike with a quilt, blanket or sheet. Don’t use plastic or a tarp because this will only make matters worse when condensed moisture builds up inside.
7. Lubricate all the moving parts
Making sure your motorcycle is well-oiled before storing it for the winter is another good way to prevent rust buildup. Parts you’ll want to pay attention to include:
- Cylinder walls
- Spark plugs
Having all these parts thoroughly cleaned and well-lubricated at the outset of winter will go far to protect them from damage caused by excessive cold and condensed moisture, as well as the excessively dry air we sometimes have in the wintertime.
After you’ve lubricated all the moving parts of the bike, spray all exposed metal parts with WD40 to protect against rust.
8. Make sure your gas tank is full
A full gas tank will not develop condensed moisture inside. Fill up your tank before storing your bike for winter, and add a bottle of fuel stabilizer when you do. Take your bike for a short ride just after doing this to be sure the fuel stabilizer has circulated throughout the fuel system.
Alternately, if you plan to store your motorcycle for longer than six months, you could drain the fuel tank and line it with fogging oil to keep rust at bay.
9. Store your motorcycle with fresh oil
Before putting your motorcycle into storage, change the oil and install a new filter. Old oil sitting in the engine through the winter can cause corrosion. Be sure to use oil that has been especially formulated for use in the winter.
10. Top off your antifreeze
Before storing your motorcycle for winter, be sure the coolant system has plenty of antifreeze.
11. Protect the tires
You don’t want your tires to develop flat spots from sitting in the same position all winter. There are three ways you can avoid this:
- Lift your motorcycle off the floor by putting it up on stands.
- Hoist the rear of the bike up to relieve the rear tire of the heaviest weight. Be sure to lower the bike once a month and rotate the front tire to prevent flat spots.
- Fill the tires to their maximum capacity and park on some plywood or old carpet to help protect the tires against damage caused by condensed moisture. If you do this, roll your bike around once a month to prevent flat spots.
12. Keep pests out
Mice, rats, chipmunks and bugs may decide to take refuge in your motorcycle unless you plug up any openings that might give them access.
Use muffler plugs to close up the exhaust and intake pipes. You might also want to use a muffler cover for added protection.
13. Inform your insurance company
Make sure your insurance carrier knows that you keep your motorcycle inside. Keeping your bike protected against damage caused by the elements and against theft and vandalism can help lower your insurance rates.
Storing Your Motorcycle in Your Garage is a Smart Idea
Storing your motorcycle safely and securely in your garage for the winter can take a bit of work, but it’s well worth it. In fact, keeping your motorcycle indoors year-round is a smart way to protect it against the ravages of winter and all sorts of man-made dangers.
Safe storage brings lower insurance rates and peace of mind. When you take good care of your motorcycle (or your bicycle for that matter), you can expect to enjoy it for many years.