If you own a motorcycle, the last thing you want to do is leave it outside, exposed to the elements and all of the potential damage that comes with outdoor storage. But when indoor space is limited or non-existent, what’s a responsible biker to do? Fortunately, there are some simple steps motorcycle owners can take in order to effectively store their bikes outdoors without sacrificing safety or causing wear and tear.
In this blog post, we’ll look at how to choose an appropriate storage location for your machine as well as ways you can protect it from moisture, dust, and other environmental conditions – ensuring that your motorcycle remains safe while stored outside. Read on for the best tips on how to store a motorcycle outside safely.
Things to Consider While Storing a Motorcycle Outside
When it comes to choosing a storage location, there are several factors to consider. Make sure you check the following before making your decision:
If possible, choose a spot where temperatures remain relatively consistent throughout the year. Extreme shifts in temperature can cause condensation build-up and increase rusting rates.
Exposure to water, whether in the form of rain or snow, can cause rust and corrosion. To protect your bike from moisture damage, choose a storage spot that is sheltered from the elements.
Direct sunlight can cause paint to fade and crack over time. Select an area with some shade to avoid these problems and help preserve the look of your bike.
In addition to temperature, moisture, and sunlight, be sure that you are adhering to any state or local laws regarding motorcycle storage. Some municipalities have specific regulations in place so make sure you familiarize yourself with these before setting up a permanent storage space outside.
Once you have selected a suitable location for outdoor storage, there are several precautions you can take to ensure the safety of your machine. Below is a list of items that may come in helpful if you plan on leaving your motorcycle outside:
- Motorcycle Cover– A waterproof cover will help keep rain and snow away from your bike’s components and keep the dust off too.
- Wheel Locks– This will help deter theft and vandalism by making it harder for someone to steal or vandalize your motorcycle while it is stored outside.
- Fuel Stabilizer– If you plan on not riding your bike for a long period of time, adding a fuel stabilizer to the tank can help keep the fuel from deteriorating.
- Oil Stabilizer– Similarly, adding an oil stabilizer to your bike’s engine can help ensure that it remains in good working order for when you are ready to take it out for a ride.
10 Tips on How to Store a Motorcycle Outside
1. Clean Your Bike
Before storing it outside, make sure you give your motorcycle a thorough cleaning. This will help keep dirt, dust, and other debris away from its components and reduce the amount of maintenance required when you are ready to ride it again.
2. Use a Cover
Using a cover will protect your bike from the elements and make it harder for potential thieves to identify your machine. Make sure you choose one that is waterproof and designed specifically for motorcycles.
3. Fill Up Your Tank
Adding a fuel stabilizer to your tank before storage can help prevent corrosion, oxidation, and the growth of microorganisms. You should also make sure that your fuel tank is full when storing it outside – this will help keep condensation from forming in the tank.
4. Change Your Oil
Changing your oil before storage can help extend the life of your engine and reduce wear and tear on its components. Make sure you use an oil specifically formulated for your machine.
5. Remove the Battery
If you plan on storing your bike outside for a long period of time, it is recommended that you remove the battery before doing so. This will help keep it from draining down and potentially damaging other components in the system.
6. Place It on Blocks
Using blocks or chocks to lift your machine off the ground will help prevent moisture from seeping into its components and reduce rust and corrosion.
7. Invest in Wheel Locks
Wheel locks are an effective way to deter theft and vandalism while you are away. Make sure you select ones that are specifically designed for motorcycles. The locks should be placed on the rear wheel to prevent it from rolling away.
8. Take Pictures
Take pictures of your bike before storing it outside. This will help document any existing damage and provide proof in the event of theft or vandalism while it is being stored. It will also provide a record of your machine before you start the storage process.
9. Choose a Suitable Area
Look for an area that is well-ventilated, sheltered from the elements, and has some shade to reduce paint fading and rusting. Choosing the right place to store your motorcycle is an essential step in making sure it remains safe and protected.
10. Check the Weather
Make sure to check the weather before storing your bike outside and adjust accordingly if necessary. This will help ensure that your bike is not exposed to extreme temperatures or conditions while it is in storage.
By following these tips, you can effectively store your motorcycle outdoors and protect it from the elements. Doing so will help keep your bike in good condition when you are ready to take it out for a ride.
7 Maintenance Tips
- Clean and wax your motorcycle before storing it outside. This will help protect the paint from corrosion and rust. It will also help keep dirt and debris from accumulating on the bike.
- Make sure to change the oil before storing your motorcycle outside. This will ensure that all of the old motor oil is removed, as well as any impurities that may have built up over time. The oil should be changed every 6 months or after 3,000 miles (whichever comes first).
- Check all the fluids in your motorcycle and make sure they are topped off before storing them outside. This includes the coolant, brake fluid, and fuel. If any of these fluids are low, fill them up before storing your bike outdoors.
- Use a good-quality motorcycle cover to protect your bike from the elements. This will help keep out dust, dirt, and water that can damage your motorcycle over time. Make sure you get a cover that is designed specifically for motorcycles and not just any generic cover.
- Keep your motorcycle out of direct sunlight as much as possible. The sun’s UV rays can cause paint to fade and crack over time. If you must store your bike in the sun, use a cover that has UV protection.
- Always keep your motorcycle off of the ground when storing it outside. This will help prevent rust from forming on the frame and other components due to moisture building up underneath it. Use blocks or stands to hold your bike off the ground.
- Finally, make sure you have a secure area to store your motorcycle outside. Use locks and chains if necessary to keep it safe from theft or vandalism. Consider investing in a good quality alarm system as well for extra protection. Following these steps will help ensure that your motorcycle is properly stored when it’s not in use. With the right preparation, you can keep your motorcycle safe and secure during any season.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should You Check the Stored Motorcycle?
You should check on your stored motorcycle at least once a month. This will help ensure that it is safe and secure and that all fluids are topped off. It’s also important to look for any signs of damage or wear that may need to be addressed before taking the bike out again. Checking your motorcycle regularly will help ensure that it’s always in good condition.
How Long Should You Store Your Motorcycle Outside?
The length of time you store your motorcycle outside will depend on the climate and weather conditions in your area. If you live in a region with extreme temperatures or frequent rainfall, it may be best to limit outdoor storage times to shorter periods (no more than six months). In regions with milder climates, outdoor storage can typically last up to one year. Regardless of the climate, it’s best to store your motorcycle indoors whenever possible. This will help ensure that it is always safe and secure.
Overall, it’s important to take the right steps when storing a motorcycle outside. By following these steps on how to store a motorcycle outside, you can help ensure that your motorcycle remains in great condition. Start by cleaning and lubricating your bike. Then you’ll want to raise it off of the ground to prevent any rust from building up from moisture.
Your bike should then be properly covered with either a custom-fitted or tarp cover. Finally, remember to check on your bike every couple of weeks for signs of grit and dirt accumulation on the engine and undercarriage, along with wear and tear on the wheels and tires. All in all, if you follow these guidelines, you can trust that any motorcycle stored outside will remain undamaged and looking fresh!
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