Storing Your Motorcycle For Winter

Storing Your Motorcycle For Winter

  • Updated: 2023-07-04

Every time winter comes, you’re faced with the same problem. You need to prepare your ride for the cold season because otherwise, you might find you’re unable to use it when the spring comes.

Unfortunately, storing it isn’t as easy as just parking it inside a garage and throwing a cover on top; it requires a lot more time and investment. Otherwise, you might not recover it in top running condition.

The first thing you’re aiming at is to make sure that when the riding season begins, your ride will get running a lot easier than it would if you were to fail to maintain it correctly.

Keeping moisture away

Depending on the type of motorcycle that you own, preparing for winter might include different steps, but there’s one thing that is true for all owners, and that’s needing to keep moisture away from of your vehicle because that’s what does the most damage.

One way you can prevent that is by adding a layer of wax on top of the finish, which will act as protection against moisture and rust.

However, before you do that, you first need to properly wash and clean your bike, because any water or dirt spots left over the cold season might corrode the material beyond repair. Make sure the vehicle is completely dried off before you apply the wax, or the process will not work as expected.

How to care for mobile parts

The general rule for this section is you should lube any components of your motorcycle that usually require that at some point. For example, the areas that you need to focus on include cables, fork surfaces, chain drive, major pivot points and so on.

Also, to help your lubrication system you’d better change your oil and filter right before the cold season starts and make sure you use a winter weight alternative when you do so.

Coating your engine’s internal parts in oil before the cold arrives will prevent moisture from affecting the materials, and thus protect the pistons and cylinder walls against rust.

Preserving the battery

If your battery remains hooked onto the bike for the winter season, there’s a chance it may self-discharge over time. A battery tender can help you with this issue since it keeps the battery topped while also eliminating the risk of overcharging.

In case you don’t want to invest in such an item, the best thing to do is to remove the battery from the motorcycle. If you decide you want a smart tender, make sure the electrodes are corrosion-free before you attach it. A grease coating might also help.

Gas tank rusting

The significant risk that your gas tank has to face is rusting during the winter season. Your fuel should be ready to run after your bike has been in storage for a few months, and what you can do to make sure that happens is to add a proper amount of fuel stabilizer.

Also, make sure the tank is full when you put your motorcycle into storage because this way you will prevent moisture from building up on the walls of the container. It helps if you add the stabilizer before making one more short trip, since this way it mixes with the gas and runs through the entire fuel system.

Antifreeze liquid

If you know that your area might be affected by below-freezing temperatures during the winter season, you have to make sure that you have enough antifreeze in your coolant system.

Should you not use this product, you might find out that the head cracked over the cold period and you won’t be able to use your bike in the spring, so it’s strongly suggested you consider it.

How to protect your tires

Perhaps one of the major issues of having to store your bike during winter is how you keep the tires undamaged since they’re forced to stay in the same position for a couple of months.

One way you can do this is by keeping them off the ground, by putting your bike on a stand. This way they won’t be affected by the weight of the vehicle. If you can’t apply this method, at least try to get the rear tire off the ground.

However, the recommended method if you do not own a stand and you’re not planning on getting one is to slightly rotate your bike every few weeks to make sure the tires aren’t left in the same position all winter long.

Use a cover

This article is mostly focused on technical advice, but there’s one easy thing anyone can do to preserve your vehicle, and that is putting a cover on top. It will keep dust off for one thing, but most importantly it will keep moisture out, which we already know is the greatest enemy of engine parts.

If you do not want to find the materials rusted or corroded in the spring, make sure you find a waterproof cover for your motorcycle.


This may not be as much of an important issue as the other points discussed, but it’s worth mentioning that if you’re planning to store your motorcycle outside you should have this aspect in mind. Our recommendation would be to have a closed storage space, for example, a garage, but if that’s not an option, you might have to improvise.

Using a cover might conceal it from wandering eyes, but the most efficient thing you can do is getting proper protection, such as a security chain or disk-locks. It’s important to remember that there isn’t such a thing as a thief-proof measure, they are merely designed to slow down the process.

On a brighter note, once you’ve prepared your bike for the cold season, you are free to experiment and decide which upgrades would be cool for the next spring.