As much fun as you can have riding dirt bikes, times still come when the bikes have to go into storage. If the bike will only sit for a few weeks, it does not really need any special care other than what you would normally do if you planned to ride again the next day. For longer periods of sitting idle, 30 days or more, you should take a few extra steps to make sure that the bike is ready to go whenever you can ride again.
1) Clean your bike. It feels strange to wash the mud off a bike built for the dirt, but do it anyway. Leaving a bike dirty and damp when you put it in storage encourages the development of rust. You can use soap if you want, but the main purpose of this wash has less to do with making the bike pretty, and more to do with making sure it stays in good shape. A good cleaning with water will work fine. Either let the bike sit outside until it dries, or wipe it down with a towel.
2) Add fuel stabilizer. Follow the directions on the brand of fuel stabilizer you purchase, and make sure you top off your tank with extra gas. You want as much gas as possible in the tank to keep out the air that can cause the inside of the tank to rust. Turn off the gas petcock and run the engine until it dies from lack of fuel.
3) Clean and lube the chain. Get the chain as clean as possible then thoroughly rub it down with chain lube. Work the links around a little while the lube is sitting on the chain to make sure everything is protected.
4) Inflate the bike’s tires to the maximum pressure. This keeps the tire from developing a flat spot. Place the bike on its center stand, or a racing stand. Ideally the front tire will be slightly above the floor, and neither the front nor back tire will have the bike’s full weight resting on them.
5) Cover your air filters. Bugs can make a mess of a filter, and squirrels seem to think air filters would make a great place to store their nuts for the winter. Aluminum foil works well to keep the filters bug and rodent free. A piece of foil over the tail pipe can also help discourage bugs and rodents.
6) Remove the battery. Place the battery on a wooden surface and attach it to a battery trickle charger that will cycle on and off. You don’t need a large charger, even the smallest 0.5 amp charger will work to keep the battery sufficiently charged to protect it.
*When winterizing your bike you can help have the bike ready for the next riding season by servicing all the liquids, coolant and brake fluid. Change the oil now, so it is fresh when you want to ride again.
For Dirt Bike maintenance parts and more, check out our sponsor partspitstop.com