You reckon you’re bored right now? You have Netflix, Playstation, toastie makers and iPads to entertain you. Your bike will be sitting quietly with nothing to do or look forward to for a long time yet, so let’s show it some love.
It’s common in some countries to store bike through winter, but in Australia we tend to ride all through the year, so medium to long term storage isn’t something many have ever considered. So how do you properly store a motorcycle? Let’s look at 10 top tips for storing through the Rona period.
RUBBA DUB DUB
You need to wash your bike and wash it properly, not just hose it off. That means removing the plastics and cleaning right down into each and every crevice. Remove any bashplate and wash it as well as the underside of the bike. Don’t ignore the chain guide or footpegs.
Dry the bike well when you’re done. Compressed air is great for drying electrical components and hard to reach places.
It’s best to lift the wheels off the ground so if you have a stand, now is the time to use it. If you don’t have one, there are a heap stands available; some you need to lift the bike onto and some will lift the bike via a footpress.
If this isn’t an option, inflate the tyres to the recommended pressure and rotate them once a week or two to avoid damage.
For a complete tyre lovefest, you can fit a set of tyre covers.
STAY IN CHARGE
Nobody wants to get to the end of this only to get dressed for that first ride and find they’re bike won’t start because the battery is dead. Disconnect the battery from the bike and hook it up to a trickle-charger for the duration of lockdown. If you don’t have one you can remove the battery and store it somewhere dry and not too cold.
FIDDLE WITH FUEL
If this lasts for months then emptying the fuel completely is a good idea for carby bikes. Remember to run the bike so the lines are drained once you’ve finished the tank.
For EFI models, top the tank-up so there’s little room for moisture to accumulate. Use good quality fuel and not an ethanol blend – particularly on older models. Consider using a fuel stabilizer both in the bike and in any jerry cans of spare fuel you might have.
Do a fluid change that includes the oils, coolant and brake fluid. Unless you’ve done one or all of these recently, it’s best not to store a bike with old fluids that carry contaminants from previous use.
You’re also gifting yourself a freshly service motorcycle for when it’s time to twist the throttle again.
Don’t forget to lube your chain. Do this after you’ve cleaned it thoroughly. Your chain works its arse off for you – show it some love.
Depending on where you store the bike, rodents can be an issue in colder months, particularly if something has sat still long enough. Plug the exhaust to stop anything from finding a home. It’s difficult to keep electrical wires safe from their teeth and covering anything with cloth just gives them more comfort. Try using peppermint oil on cotton balls to keep the buggers away.
Get a bike cover for an added layer of basic protection for the outer surfaces. Covers are generally pretty cheap and easily available.
LET’S GET SLIPPERY
Spray WD-40 on your pipe to protect it from corrosion and discolouring. If you’ve bought any cheaper bolt-on bits and pieces it’s probably a good idea to give them a bit of a coating as well.
LOOK BUZZ, ARSEHOLES EVERYWHERE…
Thieves know that most everyone’s bike is at home during this period. Lock the bike up with everything you have and never let it be easily seen. If you’re using a chain then make sure it’s affixed to something that can’t be moved. Use an alarmed brake lock.
Get a motion alarm in the garage or shed. None of this is super expensive anymore, but all of it is cheaper than replacing a bike. There are good camera and smartphone app combinations that can allow you to keep an eye on your bike at all times too.
Let’s flatten the crime curve while we’re flattening the Coronavirus curve.
UNCLUTTER YOUR LIFE
Keep the area around your bike clean and free of clutter and ensure it’s not too damp or prone to getting wet in heavy rain – dampness is your enemy.
SPIDERS BE GONE!
Don’t forget to store your boots somewhere critters can’t get in too. Spray a dash of surface spray if you suspect spiders and such might like to make a home in there. Try and keep your helmet inside and somewhere safe and dry. Whatever you do, don’t forget to wash the dirty gear in your gearbag or it’ll smell like a zombie’s butthole by the time Rona passes.