3 Steps to Safe Winter Storage

How you treat your motorcycle when it’s off the road is your ticket to your next great riding season.

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Sponsored by Battery Tender

Thinking about winter storage as we enter the tail-end of riding season can feel like a real drag – and not the kind of apex-clipping drag you may be dreaming of. Whether you’ve broken out the cool-weather gear, or you’re sneaking in a few more weekends at the local track – the time is now to start preparing for cold weather storage for your motorcycle if you don’t want to find yourself scrambling to properly store your motorcycle at the end of the season.

This simple three-step storage guide will help you get the most out of your motorcycle, even when it’s off the road.

Find a safe place to store your motorcycle

We know it should go without saying, but keeping your motorcycle out of the elements is the first step in proper off-season storage. If you’re in a region with harsh winters or extreme heat, this means keeping your bike in a climate-controlled garage or storage facility.


Temperature plays an important role in preventing your fluids from separating and more fragile components, like bushings and gaskets, from becoming brittle or compromised in any way. We’ve seen too many motorcycles left out during the winter with an ill-fitting cover as its only protection from the elements. This not only puts your bike at risk for unnecessary wear and tear, it also puts you at risk of your motorcycle being damaged by wind, the weight of snow, and even the odd chance of a rogue snowplow creating serious damage if it’s parked on the street.

If space is limited or you don’t have a garage at home, start looking now for a safe place to keep your motorcycle.

Keep it clean and covered

So you’ve found the perfect place to store your bike – either at your home or elsewhere – now you just need to get it ready to be parked for an extended period. That’s where making sure it’s clean and covered will become important.

Aside from just feeling wrong, storing your motorcycle when it’s dirty can lead to a variety of problems. Road grit, grime and dead bugs are the marks of a great adventure, but they can take a toll on clear coat and painted surfaces, aluminum components, and any polished metal finishes or stainless steel while being stored. This dirt and grime can often become permanently fixed to your bike, requiring professional detailing or component replacement to get it right.

The best way to prepare your motorcycle for storage is with a thorough bath, then once it’s completely dry, cover it with a high-quality vehicle cover to prevent dust or damage while it’s parked. Skipping the bath though and covering a dirty motorcycle is much worse than not covering it at all, as that grime and debris can get stuck in the fibers of the cover and ruin the finishes on your motorcycle. So, if you store your bike dirty you may as well forget the cover, too.

Don’t remove your battery, charge it

Once you find an adequate storage solution for the off-season and your bike is prepped for hibernation, it’s time to make sure your motorcycle can start for that much-anticipated first ride in the spring. Battery Tender is the most trusted name in battery care and motorcycle storage, and they offer a variety of battery chargers that will keep your motorcycle’s battery healthy and safely charged for the duration of its time off the road.

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine Featuring the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!