Proper storage of your motorcycle will save you time and money when it’s time to take it back on the road. Many motorcycle shops profit every spring from owners’ failure to prep their machines for the off-season. Take care o key areas that need attention before and during long-term motorcycle storage. Now, during the winter lull, is the perfect time to make sure that your motorcycle is stored and prepared to get back on the roads when weather permits.
Thorough clean your bike before storing it, as bug guts and water spots corrode paint over time. Dry it completely, then add wax to protect against moisture and rust. Consider using a corrosion inhibitor to protect plastic, metal, rubber, and carbon fiber surfaces from oxidation and corrosion.
Check the battery fluid level. Low battery acid causes sulfation, resulting in a short between internal plates. This is a common failure, simply due to neglect. Maintenance-free batteries still require upkeep. Warm storage and periodic charging provides the longest battery life. Battery maintenance systems will keep your battery fresh when not in use.
Fuel System Prep
Ethanol fuels have become an issue in motorcycles, as it’s much more hygroscopic than regular gasoline, meaning it holds dissolved water. This can lead to corrosion and carbon deposits that ruin fuel systems.
Fuel treatments help avoid problems while your motorcycle is resting. If you don’t already use a treatment on a regular basis, take your bike for a short ride after adding it, getting it completely into the system before storage.
For carbureted motorcycles, run fuel treatment into the system, switch the petcock to “off”, then drain the carburetors. For vacuum petcock systems, simply drain the carburetors.
Replace Engine Oil
Motor oil acts as a lubricant and aids in the filtration system. The oil holds small particles in suspension until they reach the filter, where most of them will be trapped and removed from circulation. Carbon is created in the chamber slowly separating and rising to the surface when a motorcycle is stored for too long. This deposit is extremely corrosive. Replace engine oil and filter before storage.
Consider your tire care when storing your bike. Tires are porous and will lose air while in storage. A soft or flat tire will develop a permanent flat spot if left in one position for an extended period of time.
Store your motorcycle on its center stand or paddock stands. If this isn’t an option, consider slightly over inflating the tires and periodically moving the bike, so the tire is not in the same position for too long.
Cover It Up
A properly fitting motorcycle cover provides both outdoor and indoor protection. Indoors, it will protect your bike’s paint and body from dust, minor impacts that may occur, and keep moisture out so it doesn’t get trapped underneath and create corrosion/rust.
Mice and other rodents commonly hide inside exhaust pipes, making nests out of air filters. Cover up your air intake and exhaust openings with plastic bags. Just remember to remove the bags before firing up the bike!
Even if you aren’t planning on taking your motorcycle out this winter, it is still key to maintain Motorcycle Insurance coverage. If you have questions or are concerned about the cost, talk to an agent today! We’d be happy to help you work out a coverage plan that works for you and your bike.
About Sine Insurance
At Sine Insurance Group, we are dedicated to providing you with custom tailored insurance policies to protect your assets. Our comprehensive packages have been expertly crafted to serve St. Louis and the surrounding areas for the past 25 years. For more information about our products, contact us today at (636) 947-1177.