How to Store a Motorcycle for Winter
Can you ride a motorcycle in the winter? There are some daredevils who can ride their bike any time of the year (yes, even through the winter!) but most motorcycle owners now prefer storing their rides as the cold season approaches.
If you’re one of the people who belong to the latter group, you need to know how to store a motorcycle over the winter. You don’t just quit riding your bike and stash it away on a corner until the next riding season, right? That’s just not how it’s done. If you really love your bike, here’s what you need to do to properly store it over the winter.
Motorcycle Winter Storage: How to Store Your Motorcycle for the Winter
Have a safe place to park it in. Having a garage or a shed is a definite plus, since parking your motorcycle in a secured area can do a lot to protect it from the damaging effects of the elements. Your bike and harsh weather don’t mix, so you wouldn’t want to expose it to too much snow, ice, or strong winds. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with premature corrosion, a potentially dead battery, and a disgustingly grimy bike.
If you don’t have a garage, consider building a shed or invest in a high-quality, semi-custom winter motorcycle cover to give your bike the protection it needs until the worst has passed.
When choosing a cover, consider the quality of materials used and how well it is made. Ideally, it should offer:
- Multi-layered protection. Choose a cover with at least three layers of materials. It should have a tough outer layer that forms an almost impenetrable barrier against the damaging effects of the elements, a micro-porous film to prevent mold, mildew, and rust formation, and a soft fleece interior to keep the exterior finish virtually scratch-free.
- Snug fit. You’ll want a cover that provides a perfect or near-perfect fit since it provides the best protection. Basically, you have three choices: universal-fit, custom-fit, and semi-custom fit. Universal-fit covers are the most affordable and are readily available at most automotive stores, but the quality is rather poor while custom-fit covers provide the perfect fit but are too expensive for most bike owners. If you want a high-quality cover that provides a snug fit without paying too much for it, look for a semi-custom winter motorcycle cover.
- Superior craftsmanship. For maximum durability, seams should be ultrasonically-welded and double-stitched.
Note: For superior protection, use a high-quality winter motorcycle cover – even if you store your ride in a garage.
Change the oil. Skipping this step is one of the worst things you can do when storing your bike for the winter. Aside from lubricating your engine, the engine oil is responsible for keeping harmful contaminants in suspension until they reach the filter. If you don’t drain and change your oil before storing your bike for the long haul, you can expect potentially serious damage to the engine gears, bearings, and rubber seals. Consider changing the filters while you’re at it.
Pay special attention to the fuel system. Since ethanol fuels tend to absorb and hold water, leaving the gas tank half-empty will corrode the interior surfaces of the tank and gum up the carburetor. Avoid this by topping up your gas tank and don’t forget to add a fuel treatment additive before storing your bike.
Give it a thorough cleaning. Your bike deserves more than just a quick hose down after all the dirt and grime it accumulated during the previous season, so it’s time to give it what it truly deserves: a good and thorough wash.
Start by taking off all the removable parts and accessories, including the seat and fairing side panels, and pay particular attention to the chain and brakes. For best results, use a grunge brush and an appropriate degreaser for the chain and a disc cleaner for the brakes.
After taking care of the dirtiest parts of your bike, give it a thorough wash and dry it off completely. Don’t skip this part if you want to keep it rust- and mold-free during the long winter season. Once it is completely clean, apply a coat of wax to provide an added layer of protection.
Take the battery off. Keep the battery in a warm, dry place after taking it off. Ideally, you should place it near a power source so you can charge it from time to time. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a dead battery in the spring. Remember to clean the terminals before hooking the battery to a trickle charger to ensure a good connection and proper charging.
Check your tires. Inspect tires for signs of wear and tear and check the inflation pressure. When in doubt, read the owner’s manual to verify the proper inflation pressure for your tires. Using jacks or paddock stands can keep the weight from your tires and prevent flat spots.
Stuff the exhaust. Prevent critters and other pests from making a nest in the exhaust by stuffing it with a rag or plastic bags. While these may work, using a muffler cover can provide better results.
Looking for a Winter Motorcycle Cover? You Couldn’t Go Wrong with Seal Skin Covers
We know that you love your bike and will do everything to protect it. That’s why you need a high-quality winter motorcycle cover. While not all covers can give the protection it needs, you can be sure that Seal Skin Covers can.
Made with five layers of high-quality fabric, reinforced grommets and an elastic hem cord, Seal Skin™ Supreme Motorcycle Covers offer unmatched strength, durability, and an extremely snug fit. We’re also throwing in a 10-year warranty on all our products as a bonus.
At Seal Skin Covers, you’ll get superior quality covers at the best price. But don’t just take our word for it: you’ve got to try it to see what it can do for your baby! Want to ask questions about our products, exchange, and refund policies? Call us at 800-915-0038 Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST and we’ll gladly answer them for you.