Storing Your Motorcycle Outdoors: A Guide for Optimal Care

The open road, the hum of the engine beneath you, the crisp air brushing against your face; these are the sensations that define the freedom of riding. As a proud motorcycle owner, it's not only about the thrill of the ride but also about preserving that piece of machinery that serves as your ticket to adventure. One of the challenges that often confront riders is outdoor storage. Can your beloved two-wheeler withstand the wrath of the elements? While we would typically recommened finding covered storage, it simply isn't possible for everybody. In this post, we'll look at the best ways to ensure a ride stored outdoors maintains its shine for years to come.

1. Protecting Your Motorcycle from the Elements

If you plan on storing your motorcycle outdoors, it's essential to know that exposure to sunlight, rain, and changing temperatures can deteriorate your ride over time. UV rays can fade paint jobs and wear leather seats, moisture can cause rust, and temperature swings can impact battery life. Hence, investing in a high-quality, waterproof, and UV-protected motorcycle cover is a must. These covers provide a line of defense against weather elements, protecting your motorcycle from the harsh reality of Mother Nature.

2. Washing Your Motorcycle Regularly

Cleanliness is next to godliness, and it rings true for motorcycle maintenance. Washing your motorcycle isn't just about aesthetics; it's a preventive measure against corrosion and potential mechanical issues. Ensure a regular motorcycle cleaning routine, focusing on the removal of grit, bugs, and grime that may have lodged themselves in hard-to-reach areas. Use a gentle motorcycle-friendly soap, a soft brush, and don't forget to dry it thoroughly afterwards to prevent rusting. After washing, a coat of wax can add an extra layer of protection against the elements. This is important when using a cover and storing outdoors as mold and mildew tend to grow in cold, dirty places.

3. Regular Maintenance and Checks

Ensure frequent motorcycle inspections and maintenance to prolong your motorcycle's lifespan. Check tire pressure, change oil regularly, and keep an eye on brake fluid levels. Look out for signs of rust, especially on the chain, sprockets, and undercarriage. Using anti-rust sprays or lubricants can help prevent corrosion, keeping your motorcycle in top condition despite being stored outside.

4. Motorcycle Gear Maintenance

The longevity of your motorcycle gear is equally important as the bike itself. Helmets, jackets, gloves, and boots - these need to be stored correctly when not in use. Avoid leaving them outside, exposed to the weather, as it can degrade the material and compromise their protective qualities. Instead, store them in a dry, cool place indoors. Wash your gear according to the manufacturer's instructions and use leather conditioners for leather items to keep them supple and durable.

5. Security Measures

Lastly, don't forget about security. An outdoor motorcycle can be an easy target for thieves. Utilize a sturdy lock, preferably one that secures the bike to a fixed object, like a post. Additionally, consider a motorcycle alarm or GPS tracking system for added security. A simple Apple AirTag or a similar tracker can be the difference of finding a stolen ride or not. Also be sure to keep your bike out of plain sight when possible.

While storing your motorcycle outdoors is typically a last resort, it can be a viable option if no other option presents itself. We suggest inquiring about winter storage with a local motorcycle dealer if possible where you live. With that in mind, it does require a more proactive approach to maintenance and protection. By adhering to a thorough cleaning routine and taking security measures, you can keep your motorcycle in prime condition ready for the next ride - no matter where it's parked.