Storing a motorcycle during the colder months or when unused for an extended period can be a concern for many motorcycle owners, especially when dealing with limited storage options. An unheated garage is a common storage location, but it’s essential to understand the potential risks and necessary precautions to keep your motorcycle in good condition.
While an unheated garage might not cause significant damage to the motorcycle for short durations, storing it for longer periods requires appropriate measures to avoid rust, corrosion, and deterioration of various components. Addressing these concerns is crucial when preserving your motorcycle’s longevity and performance.
In this article, we will explore the considerations and tips for storing a motorcycle in an unheated garage, including protection strategies, maintenance practices, and ways to avoid common storage-related problems. By following proper storage techniques, motorcycle owners can ensure their bikes remain in pristine condition and ready for the road when the time comes.
Before storing motorcycle in unheated garage, it is crucial to take proper preparatory measures to ensure its longevity and condition. Begin with a thorough cleaning of the motorcycle to remove any dirt, dust, or grime. A clean and polished surface will prevent the build-up of contaminants and provide a layer of protection during storage. Applying a good coat of wax is also recommended for additional protection.
Next, consider emptying all compartments and saddlebags on the motorcycle. Also, invest in a quality motorcycle cover, as this will provide better protection against dust and damage compared to a standard tarp or cloth sheet.
Another essential consideration is the floor on which the motorcycle will stand. Ensure that the floor is level, clean, and free of debris. If needed, use a cement mixer to create a hard, even surface. In case of storing the bike on an incline, use blocks or ramps to keep it stable.
Lastly, prepare the motorcycle itself for storage. This includes treating the fuel system to prevent ethanol degradation, lubricating moving parts, and checking the tire pressure to avoid flat spots during storage.
Protecting Against Moisture
Protecting against moisture is crucial when storing motorcycle in unheated garage. Moisture can cause rust, corrosion, mold, and fuel decay, which can lead to significant damage to your bike over time. One effective method to minimize moisture is by using a dehumidifier in your garage. Dehumidifiers work by circulating air through the machine, and then processing it to remove the moisture in the garage.
Another important step in protecting against moisture is to cover your motorcycle with a tarp or a high-quality motorcycle cover. This will help keep dust, debris, and moisture away from your bike while it is in storage. Additionally, make sure to wipe any dust off your motorcycle before storing it to prevent grime build-up and make it easier to clean when you take it out again.
Here are some more tips to consider when protecting your motorcycle against moisture:
- Ensure your garage is well-ventilated to reduce humidity and moisture levels.
- Periodically check your motorcycle for signs of rust or corrosion and address them promptly.
- Use anti-corrosion sprays on metal parts of your motorcycle to protect them from moisture damage.
- Perform regular maintenance on your motorcycle, such as oil changes and lubrication, to keep its components in good condition during storage.
By taking these measures, you can effectively protect your motorcycle from moisture damage while it is stored in an unheated garage.
Preventing Rust and Corrosion
When storing motorcycle in unheated garage, it is crucial to take measures against rust and corrosion. Rust, also known as “tin worm,” can be detrimental to steel and iron components if not addressed properly. Various factors, including moisture and oxygen, contribute to the formation of rust and corrosion on a motorcycle.
One key step to prevent rust is by starting with a clean motorcycle. Before storing the bike, give it a thorough scrub, apply a layer of polish, and finish with a coat of wax. Keeping the motorcycle clean not only enhances its appearance but also helps minimize the risk of corrosion.
Another crucial tip for storage is using a dehumidifier to control the moisture levels in the garage. A dehumidifier helps to maintain a dry environment, which can prevent rust and mould from forming on your motorcycle.
It is also essential to cover the motorcycle with a suitable cover while it is stored in the unheated garage. Opt for a cover that is breathable, yet water-resistant to prevent moisture from getting trapped inside, while still allowing air to circulate.
In addition, placing a moisture-absorbing material, such as silica gel or desiccant, near the bike can further help reduce the risk of corrosion. These materials can absorb excessive moisture and help maintain a dry atmosphere around your motorcycle.
When storing motorcycle in unheated garage, it is essential to take proper care of the battery to ensure its longevity and performance. One of the primary steps in this process is to remove the battery from the motorcycle.
Once the battery is removed, you should place it in a cool and dry location, away from any heat sources or direct sunlight. If the battery has removable screw caps, top up the fluid level with distilled or deionized water as needed. In case the battery is maintenance-free and doesn’t have screw caps, no additional action is required.
For extended storage periods, it is recommended to connect the battery to a trickle charger or a battery maintainer. This will ensure that the battery remains fully charged and avoids the risk of sulfation, which can damage the battery over time.
Additionally, it is important to regularly check the battery during the storage period to ensure its proper functioning. Visually inspect the battery for any signs of wear or corrosion and clean the battery terminals as needed. By following these battery care practices, you can help ensure that your motorcycle will be ready to ride when the warmer weather arrives.
Proper tire maintenance is crucial when storing motorcycle in unheated garage. Cold temperatures can cause the rubber to harden and deflate, which could result in a flat tire. To avoid this, follow these essential tire maintenance steps:
First, check the tire pressure and inflate the tires a couple of pounds higher than the normal riding pressure. This can help prevent deflation due to temperature fluctuations during storage. If possible, store the motorcycle on a center stand, which will relieve some pressure from the tires and help prevent flat spots.
Another important aspect of tire maintenance is protecting the tires from direct contact with the ground. Place a piece of plywood, carpet, or a rubber mat under each tire to create a barrier between the tire and the cold garage floor. This insulating layer will help preserve the tire’s rubber and prevent it from degrading during storage.
Finally, visually inspect the tires for any signs of wear or damage, such as cuts or cracks in the rubber. If you notice any deterioration, it may be worth considering replacing the tires before storing the motorcycle for an extended period.
By following these tire maintenance tips, you can ensure your motorcycle’s tires remain in optimal condition even during storage in an unheated garage.
Covering the Motorcycle
Using a motorcycle cover is essential when storing motorcycle in unheated garage. A cover provides protection from dust, moisture, and possible damage caused by environmental factors. It is important to consider the features of the cover before making a purchase.
A suitable motorcycle cover should have breathability and ventilation features to prevent moisture trapping. It must be made of light but durable material such as water-resistant nylon or polyester. A good cover will fit your motorcycle snugly without being too loose or tight, ensuring there are no pooling on the floor. To achieve this, make sure to pick the right size tailored to your specific bike model.
While choosing a cover, consider additional features that may provide extra protection for your motorcycle. These may include:
- UV-repellent material to protect paint and upholstery from sun damage
- Reinforced lock holes that allow using a lock to secure your motorcycle against theft
- Reflective panels for better visibility when parked on dimly lit areas
It is crucial to check the cover’s compatibility with your motorcycle brand and model before purchasing. Some covers may not fit certain styles or sizes of motorcycles, so make sure to verify the fitment beforehand.
Before covering the motorcycle, always ensure it is clean and dry to prevent any corrosion or mildew formation. Once covered, periodically inspect the motorcycle for any moisture build-up or other issues that may arise from long-term storage in an unheated garage.
When storing motorcycle in unheated garage, it’s essential to consider pest control measures to protect your bike from rodents and insects. Pests can cause significant damage to your motorcycle’s components, such as the wires, cables, upholstery, and bodywork.
One effective preventive measure is to use a high-quality motorcycle cover made from a material that deters pests. A well-fitting and secure cover can help keep rodents and insects away from your bike while it’s stored in the garage. Additionally, sealing entry points to the garage, like cracks and gaps in walls or doors, can keep pests from getting inside.
Maintaining a clean garage environment is also essential in reducing the likelihood of attracting pests. Avoid storing food, garbage, or other pest attractants near your motorcycle. Regularly clean the garage floor and keep clutter to a minimum to reduce potential hiding spots for pests.
Using traps, repellents, or even natural deterrents like peppermint oil can help keep rodents and insects at bay. Applying motorcycle lubricant to key areas like your throttle, shifter, and clutch cables to reduce the risk of moisture and rust, which can also deter pests. Regularly inspect your garage and the surrounding area for signs of pest activity and address any issues promptly.
Regardless if you’re storing motorcycle in unheated garage or a heated one, it requires implementing adequate security measures to prevent theft and vandalism. One effective way to enhance garage security is by installing a Garage Defender. This device prevents the garage door from being easily pried open, deterring opportunists from attempting to break in.
In addition to a garage defender, it’s advisable to install garage door deadbolts. These provide extra protection by preventing up-and-over garage doors from being opened forcefully.
Another consideration for securing your motorcycle in an unheated garage is to use a high-quality motorcycle cover. Investing in a motorcycle cover not only protects the bike from the elements but also serves as a deterrent as it keeps the motorcycle less visible and more difficult to access for potential thieves.
Finally, ensure that all entry points to the garage such as windows and pedestrian doors are secure. This includes installing locks on windows, reinforcing door frames, and using deadbolts or padlocks on doors, making it more difficult for intruders to gain access to the garage containing your motorcycle.
When storing motorcycle in unheated garage, it’s essential to perform periodic check-ups on your motorcycle to ensure its optimal condition. This includes checking the battery, tire pressure, and other essential components. Regular maintenance will help prolong your motorcycle’s life and prevent unforeseen issues when you’re ready to take it for a ride again.
Firstly, regularly checking the battery is crucial, as it can lose charge when sitting idle for an extended period. Remove the battery from your bike and make sure it’s stored in a warm place, topping it off with a charger periodically. If available, use a battery tender to maintain the charge and avoid any surprises when you wish to use your motorcycle again.
Next, monitor and maintain proper tire pressure. Inflating the tires a couple of pounds higher than the normal riding pressure can help keep them in good shape. Make sure you check the tires for any signs of damage or flat spots, and make the necessary adjustments as needed.
Lastly, pay attention to the fluids in your motorcycle. If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to change the oil and filter before storing it. Periodically check the levels and consistency of fluids, such as the engine coolant and brake fluid. Top off or change any fluids as needed to ensure your motorcycle remains in excellent condition.
By adhering to a routine of periodic check-ups, you can be confident that your motorcycle is well-maintained and ready for use once the warmer weather returns.
Final Tips On Storing Motorcycle in Unheated Garage
Storing a motorcycle in an unheated garage is a common situation faced by many motorcycle owners. With proper preparation and care, it is possible to prevent potential issues such as corrosion and damage from fluctuating temperatures and moisture. Taking time to prepare your motorcycle for storage and employing appropriate storage techniques will ensure its longevity and maintain its overall condition.
Key steps include ensuring proper ventilation, using fuel stabilizer, maintaining appropriate tire pressure, and protecting the motorcycle from moisture and corrosion. It is also essential to check and maintain the battery, either by removing it and storing it in a warm place or using a battery tender if available.
By following these recommendations, motorcycle owners can effectively store their bikes in unheated garages without risking potential damage. In summary, proper storage practices lead to a well-maintained motorcycle that will be ready for use when needed.