How to Store Your Motorcycle for the Winter

Depending on where you live, you may choose to store and protect your motorcycle from the elements during the winter months. Proper storage will make spring start-up that much easier.


1) Warm your engine to operating temperature, then turn it off. Change the oil and restart the engine to circulate the new oil. You do not need to change the filter.

2) Fill the gas tank to the top and add a fuel stabilizing additive.

3) Turn the fuel petcock to the OFF position and run the engine until it quits.

4) Support the bike so that neither tire is touching the ground and let all the air out of the tires. If this is not possible, fill your tires to the proper air pressure and put the bike on its center stand. Rotate the tires periodically so that the same part of the tire is not touching the ground all winter.

5) Push the brake pads away from the brake discs.

6) Remove the battery and put it on a charger. Store it at a temperature above 32 degrees F and trickle-charge it once a month. If you are able to start and run the bike once a month, you may want to leave the battery in the bike and just disconnect the negative cable end. Run the bike until it is at normal operating temperature. If this is not possible (because it is stored indoors), crank the engine two or three times.

7) Wash and wax all the painted and chrome parts.

8) Lubricate the chain.

9) Store your bike in a dry, well-ventilated garage. Cover it with a cotton cover or blanket rather than a plastic tarp to prevent moisture and condensation from getting trapped under the cover.

Extra Tips:

* Make a list of everything you’ve done and attach it to a handgrip. This list works as reference and checklist for getting your bike up to speed in the spring.

* You may need to purchase a new battery in the spring even if you charge it periodically.

* Gasoline is extremely flammable. Storing your bike in areas where open flames, pilot lights, sparks and electric motors are present is dangerous.

* Do not run any gasoline engine indoors as they emit odorless carbon monoxide that can kill you.