How to Prepare a Dirt Bike for Long-Term Storage

Fall signals the end of a long riding season for most dirt bike enthusiasts, which means that their machines are likely to sit dormant during winter months. During this long period of inactivity, a dirt bike’s components can be affected by the gradual breakdown of fuel and other fluids, making it difficult to start the dirt bike when spring arrives. Preparing a dirt bike for storage can be a bit time-consuming, but you will be rewarded by an easy-starting and well-running motorcycle when its time to ride again.


  • Turn the gas tank’s valve to the off position. Unscrew the float bowl drain screw from the bottom of the carburetor, using a flat screwdriver. Drain the gas suspended within the float bowl into a container, and screw the drain screw into place.

  • Pull the fuel line off the carburetor and place it into a large gas can. Turn the fuel valve to the on position and allow the the gas tank to drain into the gas can. Turn the fuel valve to the off position and push the fuel line onto the carburetor.
  • Lubricate the dirt bike’s control cables, using a motorcycle cable-specific spray lubricant. Unscrew the clutch and brake lever pivot bolts, using a flat screwdriver. Apply a light coat of waterproof grease onto the pivot bolts’ shafts. Screw the pivot bolts into place.

  • Unscrew the front and rear brake master cylinder fluid reservoir lids, using a Phillips screwdriver. Top the reservoirs off with fresh brake fluid and reinstall the lids.
  • Remove and clean the air filter, using the cleaning method prescribed by the filter’s manufacturer. Coat the filter with a filter oil spray.
  • Connect the dirt bike’s battery, if it has one, to an automatic float battery charger. Connect the charger’s red clip to the battery’s positive terminal and the black clip the negative terminal.
  • Clean the dirt bike’s chain, using a toothbrush and grease-cutting cleaner, to remove dirt and oil buildup from the chain’s links. Spin the rear wheel to turn the chain and spray a light coat of chain lubricant onto the chain.
  • Spray the exhaust pipe and muffler with WD40 or a similar protecting oil to prevent corrosion from forming on the pipe’s exterior.
  • Clean the dirt bike thoroughly with soap and water to remove any dirt, mud and oil from the motor, suspension and frame. Dry the dirt bike with clean towels.
  • Inflate the dirt bike’s tires 5 lbs. over the recommended tire pressure to prevent flat spots from forming in the tire while the motorcycle is in storage. Cover the dirt bike with a motorcycle cover if it must be stored outdoors.

Extra Tips:

*Change your dirt bike’s brake fluid before riding it again after extended storage to remove condensation buildup within the brake circuit.

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