How To Store A Motorcycle In A Storage Unit

A common question which is often asked is how should I store my motorcycle in a self storage unit? Self storage units are the best option for storing motorcycles because you will have more security and protection than if you were storing your motorcycle outdoors. There is a trick to storing your bike in a self storage unit. We are here to help!

If you’re a riding enthusiast, you probably own one or two motorcycles. But there comes a time when you cannot continue riding, especially when it’s too cold outside. Or when you have to go work in a different town for some time, you can’t take your motorcycle. Sometimes you’re just looking for a storage room for your bike every night. The only thing that comes to your mind on these two occasions is proper storage needs for your motorcycle.

How do you store your motorcycle for a long or short time? What type or size of the storage unit do you need? Is there a special treatment you should give to your motorcycle before storage? How do you protect it from damage or theft? These are the questions you should ask yourself before taking your motorcycle to a storage unit.

This article offers a complete guide to storing your motorcycle. It includes the proper storage conditions and proper preparation before storage.

Choosing the Right Storage Unit

One main thing you should put in mind when choosing a storage unit for your motorcycle is whether it will offer the needed protection. The unit should protect your vehicle from damage caused by various weather elements as well as theft. You need to find your motorcycle when you come back to collect it, and it should be in good condition. Among the things you should look for in a storage unit include;

Amenities and Features

What does a storage unit have that will offer added storage benefits to your vehicle? One of the amenities you need to look for in the storage unit is the climate-controlled units that ensure your motorcycle stays in specific temperatures within the given time. It will keep both the climate and the humidity levels in check, so no weather changes interfere with your motorcycle.

A hand on a thermostat.
Consider renting a climate-controlled storage unit to ensure that your motorcycle is kept within the desired temperature range.

The control unit should offer exceptional security features such as CCTV surveillance or guards on watch 24/7. You should also find a unit with insurance cover, so you have peace of mind that you’ll be covered against uncontrollable damages. Such damages could be fire, storm, and water damage. Your personal motorcycle insurance cover can also protect it against theft or damage while in the storage unit.

Consider the Unit Size

A good storage unit should be large enough to fit it without squeezing and allow you to walk around it with ease. If you’re going to work on your motorcycle while in storage, ensure you get space to allow that. It should also have enough space to accommodate other amenities such as jackets and helmets. 

Because motorcycles almost feature the same size, 5-by10-foot storage space will be good enough for your bike. Storage size of 5- by 5-foot can also fit, but you’ll have to do a lot of lifting when storing it or taking it out.

The Storage Unit Cost

Another thing you should look into when storing your motorcycle is the cost of the storage unit. You need something that will comfortably suit your pocket size but also need something with the best features. Some storage units may require you to make an advanced payment. They may charge annually or quarterly. You can also negotiate the costs and get a good deal.

A cash on hand.
Make sure the storage unit offers all the features you need to safely store a motorcycle, even if you are on a budget.

How to Prepare Your Motorcycle for Storage

Before you put away the motorcycle in storage for either a short time or a long time, you need to prepare it. Apart from giving it a good cleaning, you also need to check on other things such as liquid, covering, and other things. Here’s how to prepare your motorcycle for storage.

Fill the Fuel Tank

To ensure no condensation takes place in the fuel tank after long-term storage, make sure the fuel tank is full. An empty or half-full tank is also prone to corrosions. Store your motorcycle with a full tank and let it run for a few minutes. Don’t forget a stabilizer that will protect your gas from deteriorating.

Change the Fluids

 Don’t leave any parts of your motorcycle exposed to corrosion and oxidation. Replace all the fluids before putting away your motorcycle for storage. The oil in the bike is probably contaminated and will damage your engine when stored for a long time.

A oil on the shelf.
You should always change all fluids before storing your motorcycle in a storage unit.

You should also check the brake fluids, the coolant, and the clutch fluids. If you’re going on your motorcycle in the winter seasons, consider investing in antifreeze. Once you check the fluids and replace the ones you need to replace, take it out for a small ride. You can also consider getting it from the storage unit from time to time to give it a short ride so it doesn’t condense.

Take Care of the Battery

One thing you should never overlook when storing your motorcycle is the battery. Batteries are the most vulnerable accessories of your bike and can die over long-term storage. You don’t want to run the risk of buying a new battery every time you take your motorcycle out of a storage unit. Proper care is mandatory.

Never forget to remove the battery and store it separately from your motorcycle. Keep the battery in a warmer place so it doesn’t crack and start leaking. Make sure the battery is fully charged throughout the storage period. You can consider connecting it to a trickle charger, so it stays charged throughout.

Take Care of the Electric Components and the Moving Parts

Other electric components of your motorcycle also need proper care in the storage unit. Disconnect the spark from the plug wires. Use a spark plug wrench to remove the plugs spray the cylinders with a can of fogging oil. Protect the internal walls of your motor. Don’t forget to clean the wires and the plugs and replace them carefully on your motorcycle.

Make sure all the moving parts of your motorcycle are well-lubricated before putting it in a storage unit. Use a light coat of oil to cover the internal components of your motorcycle so it doesn’t experience moisture buildup. 

A person spraying a lubricant on the motorcycle chain.
Lube up everything so they can withstand long-term storage and harsh weather.

You also know all the parts of your bike that need constant lubrication. Even in storage, they will still need to stay lubricated. Check the cables, chains, and controls. Lube up everything so they can withstand long-term storage and harsh weather such as that of winter.

Take Care of the Tires

Just because you’re not going to use your motorcycle for a long time doesn’t mean you store it with flat tires. Make sure the tires have maximum pressure before putting them away in the storage facility. Also, the temperature change can cause the pressure to reduce. If you’re nearby, you should check them from time to time. If not, the attendants will do the job on your behalf.

Make sure the tires won’t suffer flat-spotting due to long-term storage. If you’re going to store it for a long time and you won’t be there to fill the tires, you can take the tires off the motorcycle. You can also place them on a lift so they don’t lose pressure due to the weight of the motorcycle body.

Clean the Motorcycle

If you’ve been riding before taking your motorcycle for storage, it has some dirt and mud all over it. You can risk damaging your motorcycle if you store it with all the dirt and dust. Make sure you clean the body and all other components before storage.

A person cleaning.
Clean all parts of your motorcycle and apply some waxing coat to protect it while storing in a storage unit.

Also, consider applying some waxing to repel moisture and protect your bike throughout the winter period. The external parts will be the most exposed in the storage unit; hence need a high-quality waxing coat.

Your motorcycle needs to be clean and completely dry before you put it in a storage unit. Clean it properly and thoroughly wipe the water off to avoid putting it away with moisture. Any moisture left behind when you place your motorcycle in the storage unit can cause the growth of mold as well as rust.

Invest in Quality Motorcycle Covers

You can also consider giving your precious motorcycle some additional care by covering it in the storage unit. Covering your bike has several advantages, including protecting it from scratches, harsh sun rays, and snow. Make sure you only get a high-quality cover with perfect breathability features for your motorcycle. Don’t cover your motorcycle with a plastic tarp, as this can scratch off the paint. You can get a good quality motorcycle cover made specifically for your motorcycle.

Conclusion

Motorcycle storage is always a good idea when you’re not going to use it for a long time or need somewhere temporary overnight or a few days storage. But regardless of the length of time, you need to take proper precautions and ensure proper preparation before storage.

How you leave it in the storage unit will determine how you find it. If you leave it covered in mud, you’ll get it with rust and all kinds of damage. Keep your motorcycle in good storage condition, and you’ll get it ready for a ride back home when you come back to collect it. It’s your responsibility to protect your motorcycle from any risk of damage or theft.

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