If you are a new to the world of motorcycling, or simply want to ensure that you are looking after your motorbike with the care it deserves - here are some motorcycle storage tips to help avoid any serious problems due to poor storage preparation as recommended by 'The Custom Choppers Guide'
Whether you are storing your custom chopper, or your other bike, you get to do a few things before storing your bike for a long period of time, such as during the winter months or if you are going away on holiday. Even if you store your bike for another reason, it is still necessary to take these steps to ensure it will be in good shape when you break it out of storage.
Keep your motorbike gleaming all year round!
Keep in mind that these tips are for short-term storage and are not the steps that should be followed for storage longer than a few months. Check with your local dealer or repair shop to learn more about long-term storage.
Motorcycle Storage Tip #1- Fuel: The best and most logical place to begin your storage preparations for your custom chopper is with the fuel system. Because unleaded gasoline has a short shelf life of only three to four week before deterioration begins, the fuel must be stabilized. Consider this: unstabilized gasoline oxidizes and turns to a substance that is pretty much like varnish after a short period. Some folks think that draining the gas tank and float bowl is the best way to go to prevent sludge build up. In reality, it is all but impossible to completely drain the fuel from the carburettor jets and small lines. For this reason, fuel stabilization is a much better method to use. You can buy any reliable brand of fuel stabilizer and add the recommended amount to a full tank of gas. Run the engine for 15 minutes or more to get the stabilized fuel into all the parts throughout the engine and fuel system.
If the bike is not running, it is better to drain the fuel system, empty the carb and fill the tank with fresh fuel than to do nothing. This will help prevent corrosion.
Motorcycle Storage Tip #2- Oil: Next, while the engine is still warm, change the oil to remove sludge that might deteriorate during storage. When you are ready to get up and riding again, you'll have fresh oil and not have to worry about this important maintenance step at that time. Of course, you should always use top-quality oil and you might consider using synthetic oil since this will last longer. Let the engine run for a short time to ensure that lubricant is distributed throughout the engine.
Motorcycle Storage Tip #3- Brake Fluid: If you haven't changed your brake fluid recently, this is a good time to take care of that. Dirty brake fluid can contribute to corrosion and cause the hydraulics to deteriorate. New brake fluid is light amber; if your fluid is dark or clouded, you definitely need to change the fluid by thoroughly flushing the system and filling with new brake fluid.
Motorcycle Storage Tip #4- Battery: For a long battery life, it is important to keep the battery charged if you are using the common lead-acid battery. If your custom chopper will be stored where freezing temperatures are possible, you will need to remove the battery from the motorcycle and store it in a dry place that will not reach below freezing temperatures. Do not place the battery on concrete; instead, store it on a work bench or other raised surface. You can obtain specialized chargers that will not overcharge your battery. A Battery Tender is one type of these products. If you use a trickle charger on the battery, you have to be sure not to overcharge the battery by running the trickle charger only one-half hour per day. To do this easily, set the charger up on a time that you can find from Asgard at a reasonable price.
Motorcycle Storage Tip #5- Clean, Then Lubricate: Storing your motorcycle with road grime and grit is a sure way to start corrosion and cause damage. Before storing, clean your scoot thoroughly. Wash and dry it completely, then apply a coat of wax.If you have a chain drive instead of a belt drive, lubricate the chain properly. All the moving parts like cables, pivot points, and centre and side stand should be lubricated thoroughly. A good protectant spray made specifically for metal can be sprayed on the frame and drive train to prevent rust and potential pitting.
A word of warning: if you have a pearl effect paint job, never allow any petroleum-based lubricants or other products that contain petroleum or petroleum derivatives to touch your paint. Also, do not use WD-40 on any motorcycle anywhere. Buy the right products for the job; your bike is worth it.
Motorcycle Storage Tip #6- Tires: Check the air pressure in your tires and be sure they are inflated properly. For those who have an air compressor, you can deflate the tires and then refill them to get rid of any moisture that may have condensed inside the tire. If the custom chopper is going to be stored in freezing conditions, you need to get both tires off the ground so they do not have any load on them. This is a good idea even if the chop won't be stored in the cold, but it is crucial for cold storage. However you choose to raise your motorcycle, make absolutely certain it is secure and will not fall. Bottle jack lifts have failed under long use, so be careful about the method you choose to use for lifting the load from the tires.
Motorcycle Storage Tip #7- Cover: The last step is to cover your motorcycle for storage. Use a cover that allows air to pass in and out so that moisture will not condense and become trapped under the covering. Plastic tarps are famous for allowing condensation to occur. If you are storing your bike in a place that creatures could possibly get into the storage area, cover your exhaust ends with plastic bags to prevent anything from deciding that your pipes look like a good hiding spot.
We recommend the Motorcycle Garage from Asgard. Made with galvanised steel panels, this storage unit not only delivers secure storage for your bike, clothing and riding gear, with its unique 5 point locking system - it also protects your bike from the rain and snow all year round. For more information and to order the motorcycle garage for your motorcycle or custom bike, browse through our motorcycle storage and security range.
Secure Motorbike Garage from Asgard.
So remember to follow each motorcycle storage tip every winter or before you store your bike for long periods of time. But we feel that we've covered the most important aspects of proper motorcycle storage preparation.