Motorcycle Storage Tips

user 5907477
Group Organizer
Calgary, AB
Post #: 45
I have added a file for Motorcycle Storage Tips from Sunday for anyone who was not there.
Rob W.
Calgary, AB
Post #: 3
Ethanol fuels are hygroscopic, there are some new fuel stabilizers (STA-BIL) out there that can prevent the fuel from absorbing water which can cause tank rusting. If you burn premium grade fuel some companies do not put ethanol in their premium, don't know who they are you'll have to check that yourself and let us
From what i have read it is best to put your bike away with fresh oil in the crankcase as oil will contain acids from the combustion process.
It is also a good idea to not start your bike over the winter as fuel and moisture gets into the oil during the start cycle, if the bike isn't run long enough to cook this out of the oil there is a chance of rust starting in the crankcase, also moisture will sit in your pipes rusting them from the inside out.
Calgary, AB
Post #: 42
Motorcycle Storage

Before you store

Fill the fuel tank completely and add a fuel stabilizer.

Change the oil and filter if they haven’t been changed recently. It’s better not to leave dirty oil sit in a motor all winter.

If you have carburetors:
  • Shut the fuel petcock off – either turn it to the off position (onoff-res type petcocks) or to the on position (on-pri-res type petcocks). Make sure it really is off (so many old ones leak).
  • Drain the carbs completely – there should be a drain screw on the bottom of each carburetor. This is the most important step and will cause you the most grief if you skip it. Details of this operation vary so much from ‘bike to ‘bike that if you don’t know how to do it then get some help.
Fill the tires with the correct air pressure. Refer to the owner’s manual or frame sticker for correct pressures for your ‘bike.


If you can, support the motorcycle in such a way as to take the load off of the suspension. If you don’t have a centre stand, dirt bike stools work well for some ‘bikes or jack up the ‘bike and support the frame with jack stands or lumber.

If you are worried about corrosion, try a light oil (such as spray cooking oil – butter flavored is nice) covering over all of the metal parts. Cooking oil washes off well with soap and water later.

Keep your battery alive with regular charging, or get a tender. If the bike will be stored in a location that freezes, remove the battery and store it someplace that doesn’t freeze. It’s better not to use the ‘start it every once in a while’ method because this will refill the carbs with fuel and it is hard on your alternator.

After storage

Charge the battery and top it up with water (if required).

Open the fuel petcock and refill the carburetors – either turn it to the on position (on-off-res type petcocks) or to the prime position (on-pri-res type petcocks – after starting, turn this type of petcock back to the on position)

Change the oil if you did not change it before you stored it.

If you haven’t flushed the brake fluids within the last couple of years, flush the brakes with new fluid. Always flush hydraulic clutch fluid at least once a year.

Fill the tires with the correct air pressure. Adjust and lube your chain.

user 12971400
Calgary, AB
Post #: 24
You should mention to use only DISTILLED water in batteries... plain old tap water can cause problems due to mineral and other chemicals in the water.

I always use Distilled water for batteries or when mixing water/coolant (if not a pre-mix)

One thing you can use on the bike is lemon pledge... yeah it sounds odd but it is a nice thin wax, costs next to nothing and is a well known trick bikers have used for years... it wipes off much easier than cooking spray and all you need to do is buff it with a microfiber rag and you get a nice shine... I've use it as a quick detailer spray on my bikes for years with no ill effects...

Just don't spray it on the seats unless you like sliding around... it can protect the seat... but it does make most smooth leather or vinyl seats without a lot of texture to them rather slippery.

If you are storing the bike for less than 6 months it is sufficient to use some fuel stabilizer mixed in a FULL tank of gas making sure to run it into the fuel system.

I've never drained the carbs or FI system on any bike I've had over 22 years, running fuel stabilizer has worked well over the time I've been running bikes... I make sure to run through on the reserve so the stabilizer mix is in all the fuel passages.... Granted some old bikes did leak on the fuel petcock so you may have to turn that to the off position to prevent fuel from leaking into the engine and crank case in some bikes.

Some people say to run the bike dry but I've heard more problems with that method than anything else.... fully draining fluids would be fine for multi-year storage but other than that stick with the stabilizer and clean fluids.
A former member
Post #: 4
Thanks for the great tips :)
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