Motorcycle storage is a necessity for every bike owner, but one size doesn't fit all. In mild climates, owners need to know how to protect a motorcycle from rain, rust, and corrosion. And in the parts of the country that see cold, snowy conditions, how to store a motorcycle for winter is on the minds of many. In summer months, UV rays from the sun can damage your bike. Even wind can pose a threat, because it kicks up dust and other debris, causing the same effect as a sandblaster. What's a motorcycle owner to do? Here are the best motorcycle storage solutions to keep your bike in great shape.
No matter where you store your bike, you'll need to cover it. A cover will protect your motorcycle from scratches if stored indoors, and guard it against the sun and keep the snow off of it outside. Still, a cover won't prevent dents if something falls against it, and it provides far less protection from temperature fluctuations than indoor motorcycle storage, which is always the best option. Another tip: Avoid covering your bike with a sheet of plastic, as it will trap moisture that can corrode the metal surfaces.
Residential Garages for Motorcycle Storage
If you have a residential garage, it's a great option to get your bike out of the elements. (Bonus: It will protect your motorcycle from theft, too.) However, there has to be enough room for a buffer space. Cramming it in between the lawnmower and the wall can dent or scratch it, and the same thing can happen if there isn't enough room for you to maneuver tools and equipment safely around it. Need to make space? We've got garage organization tips galore. And keep in mind, you'll still want to put a cover on it to protect it from dirt and scratches.
Motorcycle Storage Sheds
A metal or plastic storage shed is a popular choice for those who don't have space in a garage (or who don't have a garage at all). Similar to a garage, in a motorcycle storage shed your bike will have its own space and is less likely to get knocked around or scratched. A shed will keep it dry and safe from the sun, snow, and wind, but it doesn't provide as much protection from very high and very low temperatures as a garage does. If freezing temperatures are common in your area, you may want to look into another type of storage for your motorcycle in winter.
Motorcycle Storage Units
Vehicle storage units are one of the best choices for motorcycle storage. Vehicle storage offers all of the important features of other storage options, with none of the drawbacks. Putting your bike in a storage unit will protect it from extreme weather and give your motorcycle a space of its own. Many storage facilities offer climate-controlled units to eliminate any concerns about temperature or humidity affecting your ride.
You should have no problem finding a drive-up unit, meaning you can easily get it in and out of storage. Plus, since a motorcycle doesn't require as much room as a car, you can get a smaller unit while still giving your bike maximum protection.
Long-Term Motorcycle Storage
If you're storing your motorcycle for winter or while you go out of town for an extended time, there are a few steps you should take to ensure it stays in good shape. Prepare your motorcycle for long-term storage with these tips:
- Service your bike, lubing the chain as well as the cables, and change the engine oil, too.
- Run some fuel stabilizer through the fuel system, following the directions on the packaging for the stabilizer-to-fuel ratio.
- Wash your motorcycle and wax it with a quality product. Also, treat the seat with a good leather conditioner.
- Check the tire pressure and, if there is wear, replace the tires before putting your motorcycle in storage.
- Take the weight off the tires when the bike is in storage by investing in a stand or making your own; this will help ensure the tires don't deflate.
- Remove the battery from your bike as the last step before putting it in storage. Consider investing in a battery minder, which will cycle on and off periodically to keep your battery charged. Keep it and the battery in a warm, dry place at home.
Taking care of these important tasks will keep your motorcycle in top condition and ensure it's ready to ride when you're ready to take it out of storage. Happy riding!