Prepare your motorcycle for bike storage during the off season

Tips to prepare your bike for winter storage so you can be ready to roll next season.

Father and child preparing to store a motorcycle

When it's time to put your motorcycle into storage for the winter, here are a few things you can do to help protect and prepare it for the next riding season. Remember to check your owner's manual for storage tips specific to your bike.

Things to consider before motorcycle storage

  • Where will you store your bike? Do you have a garage, bike storage shed or other location?
  • How much are you willing to spend on motorcycle storage?
  • Will you be riding during the winter season or keeping your bike stored full time?

Prepping for motorcycle winter storage

  • Contact your insurance agent to review your riding history and discuss ways to help protect yourself with motorcycle insurance.
  • Make any necessary repairs such as new brakes, tires, coolant change, or other maintenance.
  • Clean, wax, and oil your bike to help prevent corrosion.
  • Change the oil and filter, then run the engine for a short period to circulate the clean oil.
  • Clean or replace the air filter.
  • Clean, adjust, and lubricate the chain, if needed.
  • Clean and lubricate all control cables, pedals and side stand/centerstand joints.
  • Remove the battery and store it in a cool, dry place.
  • Remove the spark plugs and pour a tablespoon of engine oil into the cylinders, then crank the engine over to coat them.
  • Inflate tires to correct air pressure and, if recommended, raise the bike so the tires are off the ground.
  • Cover the exhaust opening to prevent critters from taking up residence.
  • Cover your bike with a breathable cloth.

Before you take your bike out of the motorcycle shed and onto the roads again, be sure to talk with your insurance agent to make sure you feel you've selected the right motorcycle coverages.

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