As we begin to pack up the Halloween decór and look toward the more jolly of holidays, there’s an underlying thought few are ready to make willingly: winter is practically here. And while there is certainly a lot to enjoy in the days ahead, for many, winter also means less sunny and warm days for your motorcycle.

So, how do you store a motorcycle over the winter? If you’re new to having a bike or perhaps you’ve relocated to a new area with more frigid winter weather, here’s a few simple steps you need to take to winterizing your motorcycle.

Prepare your motorcycle for storage

Long before you actually place your motorcycle into storage, it’s going to need some TLC. This includes a deep washing and scrubbing, removing any bugs, dirt, or other debris that could otherwise build up over time while in storage. It’s also recommended you wax and buff to protect the paint job, and even consider conditioning any leather seats.

Once everything washed up, fire up the motor to evaporate or blow away any excess water you may have missed.

The next step after washing focuses on fluids and making sure they are all fresh. For instance, old brake fluid will absorb water and coagulate, hardening inside the brake lines. So change out the brake fluid, get an oil change, and add a fuel stabilizer to the gas can.

You’ll also want deal with your motorcycle battery before winter by testing it for a good charge. For conventional batteries, make sure the water level is full, using only distilled water. If you’re using maintenance-free batteries, well, it’s maintenance-free, so you don’t need to focus on that. There are a few options of what to do to keep the charge, which include a trickle charger or a battery maintainer as well as simply fully charging the battery and disconnecting the negative cable.

Keep in mind, if you’re using a trickle charger, you will need an electrical outlet.

Lastly, you’ll want to cover your bike, even if you’re storing the fully enclosed unit. Even if you haven’t cleaned out your bike, a cover will prevent further dust or dirt from collecting and prevent any risk of moisture collecting on your bike as well.

Find the right storage features for motorcycles

With all the prep work done, you’ll have to find the right storage unit and features for your motorcycle. An obvious feature you’ll need is drive-up access, allowing you to pull your motorcycle directly into the unit. If possible, find a storage unit with climate control as well. This feature maintains a constant temperature and humidity level inside the unit, preserving your motorcycle through the winter temperatures.

Lastly, find a storage facility with good security features such as electronic gate access, video surveillance, and onsite management.

From here, it’s as simple as parking your motorcycle in the unit, tucking it in for a winter’s nap, and begin counting down the days until you can ride again.

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