Storing Your Motorcycle During Isolation

For many bikers, this would usually have been a time when you’d have been taking the covers off and reintroducing your petrol-powered companion to the world once again.

Unfortunately, it appears that the time your motorcycle will spend in the garage this year will be extended, due to lockdown and social distancing. Storage preparation for motorcycles depends massively on the length of inactivity. Usually, for a period of more than three months, storage preparation steps will be needed in order to prevent damage in terms of static pressure, fuel degradation, and oxidation.

How to Maintain Your Motorcycle Tyres in Storage?

Tyres play an incredibly important role in a motorcycle’s functionality. Using the bikes centre stand, paddock stands, or a hydraulic lift, raise both wheels off the ground. If one of the wheels is still resting on the ground, place a block of wood under this wheel to ensure the weight of the bike is fully raised from the ground. Doing this will remove any static pressure that could potentially build on the bearings and bushing during isolation.

Naturally, tyres will lose some of their pressure over time. However, this loss in pressure can be accelerated by faults such as a damaged valve or, perhaps, a puncture. Before stowing your bike, check for any visible signs of damage, such as cuts and bulges in the sidewall. If the bike is remaining in storage for more than a month, it is advisable to roll the bike half a turn every few weeks. This will prevent any of the components from seizing. It is vital to check tyre pressure and the tyres’ general condition before reintroduction to the road.

Discover more about the right tyre pressure for your motorbike online today, or contact Michelin for further tips and advice regarding tyre maintenance.

What Do I Need to Do in Terms of My Motorcycle’s Fluids During Isolation?

In order to ensure that your bike will be in optimum working condition come the end of lockdown, you will first need to change both the oil and the oil filter prior to placing it into storage.

Ensure that the oil is topped up to the maximum level. Similarly, brake fluid, coolant, and hydraulic oil should all be replaced if they have not been recently. If you are unsure of when these were last replaced, the colour of these liquids is usually a good indicator. A murky coloured fluid will usually suggest that it needs to be changed. Drain all these fluids and refill them.

How long Does Petrol Last in Your Motorcycle?

In terms of fuel reserves, you should not be concerned about not having access to petrol over the course of lockdown. Fewer people are travelling which means that less petrol is being used. Fuel can last in a motorcycle tank between three and six months. However, if your bike is going to be sitting idle for this amount of time then we would suggest draining the tank before putting it into storage.

Running old petrol through your engine can result in a variety of problems, as the fuel can, inevitably, clog up parts of the engine.

Will My Motorbike Battery Die if Not in Use?

Newer batteries can last for between three and five months. However, the average battery will die within two to four months.

If your bike is going to remain stationary for an extended period of time, you do not want to risk battery damage, as this could cause it to become unusable post-lockdown.

The easiest way to avoid a flat battery during lockdown is to charge the battery using a trickle charger. This type of charger is available from a range of motorbike dealerships and online stores. Charge the battery for a few days and then take it off the trickle charge. Then, start the motorbike every few days and allow it to run for around 15m minutes. This should be enough to provide the battery with suffice charge over the course of storage.

A fully charged battery should read between 1.6-14V. It is inadvisable to store a semi-charged battery as this will eventually fall flat during storage.

Where and How Should I Store My Motorbike During Isolation?

Finding a secure, dry place with little to no change in temperature is crucial when choosing where to store your motorcycle during isolation.

Ensure that no items could potentially fall on top of your motorcycle. For example, if you are keeping your bike in your garage, keep any ladders out of the way. The last thing you want when you finally get to bring your bike out is a list of unwanted damages, that further postpone its return.

Purchase a cover that fits neatly around the bike, or failing that, use a bed sheet but, ensure it does not touch the ground, as this could cause condensation to build up on the frame.

Find the perfect tyre for your motorcycle...

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