Winter has officially arrived and with it comes weather conditions which make motorcycling both very difficult and more dangerous than usual. Due to this, many keen motorcyclists choose to pack their bike up over winter and leave it in storage until the weather grows warmer again. This is a sensible solution to the inconvenience of the unpredictable British elements.
There are a number of factors to consider when storing your bike. Between inflating the tyres, tending to its various fluids, and plugging any gaps in the body, it’s not quite as simple as locking your bike in the shed and getting it out when spring arrives.
Here, we outline some tips for storing your motorcycle over winter to ensure it remains in peak condition.
Prepare your bike for storage
To ensure your motorcycle remains in optimal condition through the harsher months, it’s crucial to carry out a few maintenance tasks. These include a thorough clean, the application of an anti-corrosion spray to any areas of exposed metal and regreasing any cables or links if needed.
It’s advised to remove the bike’s battery and store it in a warm place, to prevent it from dying. After removing the battery, brim the fuel tank and change the oil. Prevent damp in the exhaust pipe or other gaps from which air could escape, by stuffing it with old rags. Finally inflate your tyres slightly more than necessary, as this will help them keep their shape while not in use.
Find the best storage spot
Your motorcycle will remain in the best condition if you store it inside. An enclosed shed or garage will do the job, preventing it from being damaged by the cold or damp. However, even though it’s stored inside, it’s essential to cover your bike to protect it from dust and condensation. A motorbike cover would be ideal, but if you don’t have one available, a few old blankets will suffice. Ensure you store the bike away from any windows, as exposure to sunlight can damage its paint.
It’s important to take precautions against theft of your motorbike, as it would be costly to replace. Ensure your shed and garage locks securely and consider installing a burglar alarm if you’ve not already done so. Motorbike insurance will protect you against theft and damage, so it’s well worth investing in a good policy.
Suspend your bike
Your bike’s tyres can become flat if it’s unused for a long period of time. This can partly be prevented by overinflating the tyres, however, the best way to keep them in good nick is to lift the bike off the ground. You can use paddock stands to suspend it in the air or if you don’t have access to those, place an old piece of carpet between the tyre and the ground, so that less pressure is placed on the tyre. If you opt for the carpet method, remember to rotate the wheels every few weeks.