Motorcycles are more than just machines; they are a passion and a lifestyle for many riders. However, motorcycle ownership comes with a responsibility to properly store and maintain the vehicle, particularly during the off-season.
Improper storage can lead to damage, corrosion, and other problems that can ruin the bike’s appearance and performance including motorcycle failure to start after sitting for long.
The first step in proper motorcycle storage is understanding the common problems that arise when motorcycles are not stored correctly. Exposure to moisture, dust, and other environmental elements can lead to rust, corrosion, and degradation of the bike’s paint and finish.
Additionally, exposure to sunlight can cause fading and cracking of the motorcycle’s components. Furthermore, if the bike is not properly secured, it may be subject to theft or damage from accidents.
Various Ways to Store Motorcycles
To ensure that your motorcycle stays in top condition, it is essential to store it properly. There are several ways to store a motorcycle, depending on your living situation and available space.
Indoor storage is the most effective method, as it provides a controlled environment that can protect your bike from external elements. However, outdoor storage is also an option, particularly if indoor space is not available.
Proper motorcycle storage also involves the use of motorcycle covers. Motorcycle covers serve as a protective barrier that shields the bike from dirt, dust, moisture, and other harmful elements. There are many different types of motorcycle covers available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
In addition to covers, there are several other storage options that can be used to protect your bike. Motorcycle stands can be used to elevate the bike, allowing it to stay upright without the need for a kickstand.
Hanging racks can be used to store the bike vertically, freeing up valuable floor space. Shelves and storage containers can be used to store accessories and gear, keeping them organized and out of the way.
Proper motorcycle storage involves more than just putting your bike away for the off-season. It requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a willingness to invest time and resources in protecting your investment. By following these storage tips, you can ensure that your motorcycle stays in top condition for years to come.
Motorcycle Storage Ideas
1. Indoor Motorcycle Storage Ideas
Indoor storage is the preferred method for storing motorcycles. It provides a controlled environment that protects your bike from external elements that can damage its paint, finish, and components.
Let’s discuss the benefits of indoor storage, location options, and tips for proper indoor motorcycle storage.
Benefits of Indoor Storage
Indoor storage offers several benefits that make it the preferred option for storing motorcycles.
- Firstly, it provides protection from the elements. When stored indoors, your bike is shielded from rain, snow, and other environmental factors that can cause rust, corrosion, and degradation of the bike’s paint and finish.
- Secondly, indoor storage offers security. Your motorcycle is less likely to be stolen when stored indoors, especially if you take additional security measures such as locking the doors and windows.
- Thirdly, indoor storage offers convenience. Your bike is readily accessible, and you don’t have to worry about moving it every time you need to use it.
Location Options for Indoor Storage
When it comes to indoor storage, there are several location options to consider, depending on your living situation and available space. Let’s discuss some of the most common indoor storage options:
a. Garage: A garage is an ideal location for storing a motorcycle. It provides ample space, protection from the elements, and easy access. If you have a garage, it is recommended to use it for storing your bike. However, if you are sharing a garage with other family members, it’s essential to ensure that your motorcycle is stored in a secure and designated area.
b. Basement: If you have a basement, it can also be an option for storing your motorcycle. Basements provide protection from the elements and are typically secure. However, it’s important to ensure that your bike is not in the way of foot traffic or other items stored in the basement.
c. Storage Room: If you have a storage room or a spare room, it can be an option for storing your motorcycle. These rooms provide protection from the elements, but they may not be as secure as a garage or basement. It’s important to ensure that your bike is not blocking the entrance or exit to the room.
Tips for Indoor Storage
Proper indoor motorcycle storage requires some preparation and attention to detail. Here are some tips for storing your motorcycle indoors:
- Clean and Dry: Before storing your motorcycle, it’s important to ensure that it’s clean and dry. Any dirt, dust, or moisture on the bike can cause damage over time. Use a soft cloth and mild detergent to clean the bike thoroughly, and ensure that it’s completely dry before storing it.
- Use a Battery Tender: If you plan to store your motorcycle for an extended period, it’s essential to use a battery tender. A battery tender will keep your bike’s battery charged, preventing it from dying and prolonging its life.
- Use a Stand: When storing your motorcycle, it’s recommended to use a stand. A stand will keep the bike’s weight off the wheels, preventing flat spots and other damage. There are many different types of stands available, so choose one that’s compatible with your motorcycle.
- Cover the Bike: Using a motorcycle cover is essential when storing your bike indoors. A cover will protect the bike from dust, dirt, and other harmful elements. There are many different types of covers available, so choose one that’s designed for your motorcycle’s make and model.
- Check the Tire Pressure: Before storing your motorcycle, it’s important to check the tire pressure. Ensure that the pressure is within the manufacturer’s recommended range to prevent damage to the tires.
- Check the Oil Level: It’s also essential to check the oil level before storing your motorcycle. If the oil level is low, top it up to the manufacturer’s recommended level.
- Elevate: Elevating your motorcycle can help prevent damage to the tires and suspension. You can use a center stand or paddock stand to elevate the bike. If you don’t have a stand, you can use blocks or wood planks to elevate the wheels.
- Drain the Fuel: If you plan to store your motorcycle for an extended period, it’s recommended to drain the fuel tank. Old fuel can cause damage to the engine and carburetor. If you don’t want to drain the fuel, you can use a fuel stabilizer to keep the fuel fresh.
- Lock It Up: Finally, it’s essential to ensure that your motorcycle is secured and locked up when stored indoors. Use a heavy-duty lock or chain to secure the bike to a stationary object, such as a post or wall anchor for security.
Generally, indoor storage is the best option for storing motorcycles, as it provides protection from the elements, security, and convenience. When storing your motorcycle indoors, it’s essential to choose a suitable location and follow the proper storage techniques.
Make sure that your motorcycle is clean, dry, and covered. Use a battery tender to keep the battery charged, a stand to elevate the bike, and a heavy-duty lock to secure it. By following these tips, you can ensure that your motorcycle is stored safely and in top condition.
2. Outdoor Motorcycle Storage Ideas
Sometimes, indoor storage may not be an option due to limited space or other constraints. In such cases, outdoor storage can be a viable alternative. However, outdoor storage comes with its own set of challenges and requires extra precautions to protect your motorcycle from the elements.
We will discuss the benefits of outdoor storage, location options, and tips for proper outdoor motorcycle storage.
Benefits of Outdoor Storage
While indoor storage is the preferred option, outdoor storage can also provide some benefits.
- Firstly, outdoor storage can be more convenient. If you live in an apartment or have limited space, outdoor storage may be the only option available.
- Secondly, outdoor storage may be more accessible. If you use your motorcycle frequently, storing it outdoors can make it easier to access and use.
- Thirdly, outdoor storage can be more cost-effective. Renting indoor storage space can be expensive, and storing your bike outdoors can save you money.
Location Options for Outdoor Storage
When it comes to outdoor storage, there are several location options to consider. Let’s discuss some of the most common outdoor storage options:
a. Driveway: If you have a driveway, it can be an option for storing your motorcycle. However, it’s important to ensure that your bike is not blocking access to the driveway or parked in a way that obstructs traffic. It’s also essential to cover your motorcycle with a waterproof cover to protect it from the elements.
b. Carport: If you have a carport, it can be an option for storing your motorcycle. Carports provide some protection from the elements, but they may not be as secure as a garage. It’s important to ensure that your bike is covered with a waterproof cover and secured with a lock and chain.
c. Motorcycle Cover: If you don’t have access to a driveway or carport, you can still store your motorcycle outdoors by using a motorcycle cover. A cover will protect your bike from the elements, but it’s essential to ensure that it’s waterproof and fits your motorcycle properly.
d. Motorcycle storage shed: This is another option where one can DIY a storage shed or hire a handyman to build one using such materials as wood and metal. This can be built on the garden next to the house.
e. Motorcycle storage pod: These are prefabricated units that are sold complete and easy to setup to store a bike. They are usually made of light composite materials.
Tips for Outdoor Storage
Storing your motorcycle outdoors requires extra precautions to protect it from the elements. Here are some tips for proper outdoor motorcycle storage:
- Choose the Right Cover: When storing your motorcycle outdoors, it’s essential to use a high-quality, waterproof cover. The cover should fit your motorcycle properly and provide full coverage to protect it from rain, snow, and other elements.
- Park on Solid Ground: When parking your motorcycle outdoors, it’s important to choose a flat, level surface. Parking on uneven ground can cause damage to your bike’s suspension and wheels. It’s also essential to avoid parking on grass or dirt, as moisture can seep into the bike’s components and cause damage.
- Use a Lock and Chain: To prevent theft, it’s important to secure your motorcycle with a lock and chain. Choose a high-quality lock and chain that’s difficult to cut or break. It’s also essential to lock your motorcycle to a solid object, such as a post or fence.
- Maintain Your Motorcycle: When storing your motorcycle outdoors, it’s essential to maintain it regularly. Check the tire pressure and oil level regularly, and ensure that your bike is clean and dry. Lubricate the chain and other moving parts to prevent rust and corrosion.
- Remove the Battery: If you plan to store your motorcycle outdoors for an extended period, it’s recommended to remove the battery. This will prevent it from discharging or freezing, which can damage the battery. Store the battery in a cool, dry place, and keep it charged using a battery tender.
- Cover the Exhaust: When storing your motorcycle outdoors, it’s important to cover the exhaust. This will prevent moisture from entering the exhaust system, which can cause rust and corrosion.
- Use a Fuel Stabilizer: If you plan to store your motorcycle outdoors for an extended period, it’s recommended to use a fuel stabilizer. Fuel can degrade over time, which can cause problems when you try to start your bike. Adding a fuel stabilizer will keep the fuel fresh and prevent problems when you’re ready to use your motorcycle again.
Generally, outdoor storage can be a viable option for motorcycle storage, especially when indoor storage is not possible. However, outdoor storage comes with its own set of challenges, and it’s essential to take extra precautions to protect your motorcycle from the elements.
Choosing the right cover, parking on solid ground, using a lock and chain, maintaining your motorcycle, removing the battery, covering the exhaust, and using a fuel stabilizer are all important steps to ensure that your motorcycle stays in good condition while stored outdoors.
With the right care and attention, your motorcycle can be safely stored outdoors for extended periods, making it easier to access and use when you’re ready to hit the road.
You may also read: Comparison between dirt bikes and motorcycles
3. Motorcycle Covers
A motorcycle cover is an essential accessory for every motorcycle owner, whether you store your bike indoors or outdoors. A good motorcycle cover provides protection from the elements, keeps your bike clean, and prevents scratches and dings.
Lets discuss the benefits of motorcycle covers, types of covers available, and what to consider when choosing a motorcycle cover.
Benefits of Motorcycle Covers
There are several benefits of using a motorcycle cover:
- Protection from the Elements: A motorcycle cover provides protection from rain, snow, and other elements that can damage your bike’s paint and components. It also protects your motorcycle from UV rays, which can cause fading and damage to plastic parts.
- Keeps Your Bike Clean: A motorcycle cover helps keep your bike clean by preventing dust and debris from settling on the surfaces. This reduces the need for frequent cleaning and maintenance.
- Prevents Scratches and Dings: A motorcycle cover protects your bike from scratches and dings caused by accidental bumps or contact with other objects.
- Discourages Theft: A motorcycle cover can also deter theft by making it more difficult for thieves to identify and access your bike.
Types of Motorcycle Covers
There are several types of motorcycle covers available, each with its own set of features and benefits. Let’s discuss some of the most common types of motorcycle covers:
i. Outdoor Covers: Outdoor motorcycle covers are designed to provide protection from the elements when your bike is parked outside. These covers are made from durable, waterproof materials and are designed to withstand the harsh outdoor conditions. Outdoor covers are typically thicker and heavier than indoor covers and may have added features like UV protection and reflective panels.
ii. Indoor Covers: Indoor motorcycle covers are designed to protect your bike from dust, scratches, and other damage when stored indoors. These covers are typically made from lightweight, breathable materials that are gentle on your bike’s paint and finishes. Indoor covers are designed to be easy to use and can be quickly removed when you’re ready to ride.
iii. Half Covers: Half motorcycle covers are designed to protect only the top half of your motorcycle, leaving the bottom half exposed. These covers are typically used for outdoor storage and provide protection from the sun, rain, and wind. Half covers are lightweight and easy to use, making them a popular choice for motorcycle owners who need to store their bikes outdoors for short periods.
iv. Full Covers: Full motorcycle covers provide complete protection for your motorcycle, covering the entire bike from top to bottom. These covers are typically used for long-term outdoor storage and provide protection from all types of weather and environmental conditions. Full covers are usually made from heavy-duty materials and may have added features like UV protection and reflective panels.
Considerations When Choosing a Motorcycle Cover
When choosing a motorcycle cover, there are several factors to consider:
- Size: Ensure that you choose a motorcycle cover that fits your bike properly. A cover that’s too small may not provide adequate protection, while a cover that’s too large may be difficult to handle and may flap in the wind.
- Material: Choose a motorcycle cover made from high-quality materials that provide adequate protection from the elements. Outdoor covers should be made from waterproof and breathable materials, while indoor covers should be made from lightweight, breathable fabrics.
- Features: Consider the features you need, such as UV protection, reflective panels, and vents. These features can provide additional protection and make the cover more convenient to use.
- Ease of Use: Choose a motorcycle cover that’s easy to put on and take off. A cover that’s difficult to handle may discourage you from using it, which defeats the purpose of having a cover.
- Price: Finally, consider the price of the cover. While it’s important to choose a cover that provides adequate protection, it’s also important to stay within your budget.
4. Additional Storage Ideas
In addition to indoor, motorcycle covers, and outdoor storage options, there are several additional storage ideas that motorcycle owners can consider.
These storage options can help maximize space, protect your motorcycle from damage, and keep your garage or storage area organized. Let’s discuss some additional storage ideas for your motorcycle.
i. Motorcycle Lifts: A motorcycle lift is a great option for those who have limited space in their garage or storage area. A lift allows you to lift your motorcycle off the ground, providing additional storage space underneath. Lifts come in a variety of sizes and styles, from manual lifts to hydraulic lifts. Lifts can also make it easier to work on your motorcycle or perform maintenance tasks.
ii. Wall-Mounted Storage: Wall-mounted storage options can help free up floor space in your garage or storage area. Wall-mounted racks and shelves can be used to store helmets, gloves, jackets, and other gear. Wall-mounted storage options can also help protect your gear from damage and keep your garage or storage area organized.
iii.Trailer Storage: If you have a trailer, you can use it to store your motorcycle when it’s not in use. Trailers can be parked in a garage or storage area, providing protection from the elements and making it easier to access your motorcycle when you’re ready to ride.
iv. Overhead Storage: Overhead storage options can provide additional storage space in your garage or storage area. Overhead racks and shelves can be used to store gear, parts, and other items. Overhead storage can also help protect your items from damage and keep your garage or storage area organized.
v. Motorcycle Tents: A motorcycle tent is a great option for those who want to store their motorcycle outside but still provide protection from the elements. Motorcycle tents are made from waterproof materials and provide protection from rain, snow, and UV rays. Motorcycle tents are easy to set up and take down and can be stored in a compact space when not in use.
vi. Motorcycle Bags: Motorcycle bags are a convenient option for those who want to store their motorcycle gear and accessories. Bags come in a variety of sizes and styles, from small saddlebags to large backpacks. Bags can be used to store helmets, gloves, jackets, and other gear, and can be easily transported from place to place.
vii.Storage Units: If you don’t have space in your garage or storage area, you can consider renting a storage unit. Storage units provide a secure, climate-controlled environment for your motorcycle, protecting it from the elements and theft. Storage units also provide additional space for storing gear and accessories.
Generally, there are several storage options available for motorcycle owners. Indoor storage options include garages, sheds, and storage units, while outdoor storage options include motorcycle covers, tents, and locks.
Additional storage options, such as lifts, wall-mounted storage, and overhead storage, can help maximize space and keep your garage or storage area organized. When choosing a storage option for your motorcycle, consider factors such as climate, security, and convenience.
With the right storage solution, you can protect your motorcycle from damage, maintain its value, and ensure that it’s ready to ride when you are.
Maintenance Tips During Storage
Maintenance is an essential part of owning a motorcycle, and proper storage can help prolong the life of your motorcycle. Here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind when storing your motorcycle:
- Clean and Lubricate: Before storing your motorcycle, clean it thoroughly to remove any dirt, grime, or debris. This will help prevent rust and other damage while in storage. After cleaning, lubricate any moving parts, such as the chain and cables, to prevent rust and keep them in good working condition.
- Fuel and Oil: It’s important to properly prepare your motorcycle’s fuel and oil systems for storage. Fill the fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer to prevent the fuel from breaking down and clogging the carburetor or fuel injectors. Change the oil and oil filter to remove any contaminants that may have accumulated during use.
- Battery: The battery is an important component of your motorcycle and requires special attention during storage. Disconnect the battery and store it in a cool, dry place to prevent damage from temperature extremes. Charge the battery periodically to prevent it from going dead.
- Tires: Properly storing your motorcycle’s tires can help prevent flat spots and other damage. Inflate the tires to the recommended pressure and store the motorcycle on a flat surface to prevent the tires from developing flat spots. It’s also a good idea to periodically move the motorcycle to prevent the tires from developing flat spots.
- Cover: A motorcycle cover can help protect your motorcycle from dust, dirt, and other debris during storage. However, it’s important to choose a cover that’s made specifically for motorcycles and allows for proper ventilation to prevent moisture buildup.
- Check Periodically: Even when in storage, it’s important to periodically check on your motorcycle. Check the fuel and oil levels, battery charge, and tire pressure. Starting the motorcycle periodically can also help keep it in good working condition.
By following these maintenance tips, you can help ensure that your motorcycle is properly stored and maintained, ready for your next ride.
Proper storage of your motorcycle is crucial to ensure that it stays in good condition and is ready to ride when you are. Whether you’re storing your motorcycle indoors or outdoors, there are many storage ideas that can help keep it safe and protected from the elements.
From using a motorcycle cover to choosing the right storage location, the tips covered here can help you keep your motorcycle in top shape.
It’s also important to remember that maintenance is a key component of motorcycle storage. Taking the time to properly clean and lubricate your motorcycle, prepare the fuel and oil systems, and check the battery and tires can help prevent damage and ensure that your motorcycle is ready to ride when you are.
By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can help ensure that your motorcycle stays in great condition and is always ready to hit the road.
So whether you’re storing your motorcycle for the winter months or for an extended period of time, these storage ideas and maintenance tips can help you keep your motorcycle running smoothly and looking its best for years to come.