For us motorcycle enthusiasts, the saddest part is when we need to put our toys to rest for an extended period of time. The reasons may vary, it might be winter, a long travel, moving into a smaller place, or maybe you just don’t have enough space in your garage. If this happens, then here are some tips for proper motorcycle storage.
|This is a guest post by Larry Kotta .|
The photos were inserted by Mike Werner.
First of all, you want to make sure that you have found the appropriate space where your little baby will rest, free from intense humidity or extreme temperatures, and most of all, this places should be safe, and not so far from home (if you don’t have enough space in your garage).
© AP Photo/David Zalubowski
Another great enemy of bikes is direct sunlight; try to keep it away from the sun, since it can fade paint and plastic parts. If your storage space has windows, cover them with opaque material to minimize these effects. In some instances, you might consider taking your bike to a self storage facility, these places are usually very safe, and will keep your motorcycle free from rust, corrosion and fading.
If you search well, such facilities can offer great pricing and discounts, and in some cases, total insurance coverage.
However, the storage process includes some preventive care for your bike. Many people suggest you do a thorough cleaning of your bike before storing it, like using a chain degreaser to clean and lubricate the chain and cylinders, getting an engine-cleaner for other mechanical areas, changing the oil, and even getting a decent fuel stabilizer. If the motorcycle will be stored for less than 4 months then a good winterizing fuel conditioner or stabilizer will do the work, if not, then you should consider draining the carbs, and refueling your tank with fresh gas. It is also crucial to get a proper bike cover; a regular sheet or tarp can accumulate and retain moisture, and could possibly harm your bike. As well, any damp fabric can breed mildew, thus putting in danger your seat material. Therefore proper bike covers are made of humidity resistant material, which usually has some porous material to let the fabric breathe.
Furthermore, the battery should be removed from the motorcycle and placed in another physical location, since usually bikes have a tiny electrical drain when the power switch is off, and eventually the battery could sulfate and be useless. If you are really meticulous with your motorcycle care, then you should consider charging the battery every two weeks, and replenishing the cells often with distilled water.
Waxing and cleaning the surface of your baby is important too; wax acts as a protective barrier against rust and corrosion. The exhaust and muffler are usually the fastest to rust so it is imperative that you lubricate them (usually WD40 works well), specially in the holes. Once you have done this, cover the holes and mufflers with a regular shopping bag to prevent rust from accumulating.
Finally, pay your baby a visit once in a while, check tire pressure, moisture accumulation, and turn it on for a few minutes to keep fuel running and in a stable composition.