How to Prepare for Motorcycle Storage

motorcycle storageLike it or not the riding season is coming to a close.  If you’re lucky enough to live in a warmer climate your riding season may go on a little longer but with the short days and chance of bad weather, we will all be riding a little less.

weather we all will be riding a little less.  Hopefully, you’ve already secured motorcycle storage for the winter but it’s important to remember that no matter where your bike hibernates, how you prepare it for storage will determine how ready it will be for next season.

Anytime a machine sits for more than a month you should put some work into preparing it for that time.  Here’s a quick list of what you can do:

Motorcycle Storage Preparation List

  1. Clean everything
  2. Protect soft surfaces
  3. Protect the fuel system
  4. Change the oil

Cleaning everything is a great start to getting your motorcycle ready for storage.  Any little bit of oil, grease, dirt or road grime may contain chemicals that in the short term aren’t a big deal but over the course of a few months may be acidic or corrosive enough to cause real problems.  This is especially true of painted surfaces, bare aluminum, and plastics.

Protecting plastics brings us to our next point.  We HIGHLY recommend storing your bike inside to protect it from weather and UV damage, but if you have to store it outside get a tight-fitting cover and heed this step even more.  By soft surfaces, we mean anything that’s not metal or painted.  This includes plastic, leather, vinyl, and rubber.  Our recommendation is to apply PJ1 Renew and Protect to these surfaces to keep them from fading during the offseason.

Having old gas in your bike in the spring will likely lead to lots of frustration.  Allowing old gas to sit in your fuel system can clog your carburetor or fuel injectors, lead to damaged fuel lines due to ethanol in the fuel, destroy your fuel pump, and sometimes even damage your fuel tank.  Speaking of ethanol, if you can find ethanol-free gas we recommend filling up on that before storage.  Speaking of filling up, we recommend that too, especially if you have a steel fuel tank to ensure you don’t get any rust inside.  Lastly, use a good fuel stabilizer and make sure you run it through the system by letting the bike idle or driving a few miles home from the gas station.  Lastly, if your bike has a fuel shutoff valve, turn it off and let your bike run until the engine dies.

Changing your oil before you store your bike is a great way to ensure your motor will not just be ready for next season, but for many seasons to come.  During normal combustion in your motor sulfur is produced.  Since your cylinders aren’t perfectly sealed, some of this sulfur is going to mix with moisture also produced during combustion and create sulfuric acid.  This will build up in your engine oil, especially if you’ve got a lot of blowby in your motor.  If you let sulfuric acid sit in your oil over the winter it can slowly damage your motor.  To prevent this, make sure you change your oil and run your motor for a few minutes right before you send your motorcycle to storage.  When changing your oil use PJ1 4T Motor Oil so your bike is ready for next season!

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash