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How to Properly Store Your Motorcycle in a Garage

08/28/2023

Need to keep your motorcycle safe from the elements? Storing your bike in a garage keeps it protected, not only from precipitation and cold weather, but also keeps it secure from vandals or thieves. How you store your vehicle depends on the time of year, as well as the age and value of your bike, but here are some general storage tips and tricks that apply to any motorcycle:

1. Remove all gas

Start the storage process by emptying your bike’s gas tank since leaving any gas in the tank can clog the fuel filters and cause corrosion. First, disconnect the fuel line from the petcock and let all the gas empty into an approved container. After you’ve emptied all the fuel, start your bike and let it run until it stalls, so you can ensure all traces of fuel are removed.

washing motorcycle on stand outside

2. Wash your motorcycle

No matter the season--and no matter how long you intend to store your bike—give it a good wash first. Remove all grime, road grit, and bugs, since they can damage any type of coating you have on your bike, from clear coat to anodized aluminum, polished metal to stainless-steel. Hose down the bike and use a motorcycle-specific cleaner to remove any stubborn grime and dirt. The better you take care of your bike’s finish, the fresher it will look for years to come.

3. Change the oil

While your bike needs to be gas-free during storage, you need to keep oil in your motorcycle’s engine. Oil lubricates and preserves your bike’s filtration system, but dirty oil can quickly damage the engine while the bike’s not in use during storage. Perform a quick oil change so that your engine’s ready to go when you’re ready to ride again.

4. Disconnect the battery

Disconnecting the battery is an especially important step if you’re storing your motorcycle during the colder seasons of the year. When batteries freeze or completely discharge, it dramatically reduces its lifespan. Remove the battery for storage and connect it to a battery tender to maintain the battery’s charge and ensure it’s ready to use when you pull the bike out of storage.

Black Widow Motorcycle FlatStoppers
Black Widow Motorcycle FlatStoppers
Black Widow's FlatStoppers are compact, and work with the Black Widow Motorcycle Dolly

5. Keep the tires elevated

When a motorcycle sits idle for a few months, flat spots develop on tires if they’re touching the ground. Over time, flat spots can become permanent, and you’ll likely need to replace the tires completely the next time you want to ride it. Luckily, there are some easy ways to keep tires properly elevated for the duration your bike’s in storage. By investing in a high-quality dolly — along with innovative FlatStoppers that fit perfectly in the dolly track—you can keep flat spots from developing during storage.

6. Keep your bike covered

Even though you’re storing your bike in a garage, it needs to be covered. Not only will this protect it from abrasive dirt and debris, but it will also keep sunlight from damaging the bike’s paint job and finish. An uncovered bike is also the perfect hiding place for mice and other pests to nest inside of exhaust pipes.

A breathable, waterproof cover also prevents moisture and condensation from causing rust or corrosion. That’s why you should never use a plastic cover—it traps too much humidity and damages your bike’s finish. Invest in a high-quality cover to prevent damage to your bike—and to keep any furry surprises away when you bring your bike out of storage for your next ride.

7. Install security cameras

If you want to give your bike an extra level of protection, specifically from vandals or thieves, strategically placed security cameras in and around your garage are an excellent deterrent. Choose an option with motion-activated alarms to stop any trespassers in their tracks.

Store your bike the right way

Taking the proper steps to store your motorcycle can not only extend the lifespan of critical components like the battery and the engine, but it also makes it easier on you when you’re ready to pull your bike out of storage and go out for a cruise.

Follow the tips above—and invest in the right storage products from Black Widow Pro—and you’ll keep your bike safe during storage, no matter the season.

Have any motorcycle storage tips or tricks of your own? Let us know in the comments below!

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