> Is it safe to store your motorcycle in your garage in the winter?

Is it safe to store your motorcycle in your garage in the winter?

Posted at: 2015-04-14 
Is it ok to store your bike in your garage in the winter? Will anything happen to it because of the cold? Or will it be ok?

The only thing I can add to the already good advice is change your oil and filter before storing it. If you store it with dirty oil, the sludge will deposit in the bottom of the oil pan and will be much harder to get out in the Spring. If you change it before you store it, you don't have to worry about this and you can get right to the business of riding. My 85 Honda Magna spends the winter in an unheated garage.

Sure, it's safe.

I park my bike in the back of my garage every winter ( early Dec. until usually early April ). I give it a thorough wash to get all the grime off, add fuel stabilizer to a full tank of fuel, change the oil, lube the chain, etc.

I also connect a smart charger to the battery to keep the battery from draining while the bike sits ).

After all of this is done, I let the bike sit ( starting up a bike periodically just to idle for a few minutes can actually do more harm than good because of the condensation build up that occurs within the crankcase and exhaust ) until I bring it out again in the spring. Haven't had any issues thus far.

i keep my old honda out in the snow..with or without a cover, whatever happens.. i don't really do anything to except maybe take the battery and put it on the tender if i'm feeling fancy..

but it's a workhorse honda and it's 30 years old and didn't cost a lot so i probably wouldn't listen to me if i were you ;)

Change the oil and filter, add some Stabil gas stabilizer to the gas tank and fill the tank to the top. run the tank for 3 or 4 minutes to get the stabil/gasoline into the intake tract, remove the battery and put a trickle charger on the battery.

Don't start the bike until you are ready to ride in the spring. People in cold country do this all the time.


No it won't hurt it. Just put it on a trickle charger,keep the gas tank full with some Stabil in it. If it has carbs start it with the gas shut off and run it til it dies. Don't start it and let it run unless you can go ride it for about 30 minutes to warm the engine thoroughly. If it's going to sit for a very long time it doesn't hurt to remove the plugs and dump a tablespoon of oil in each cylinder and replace the plugs.

Terrible idea to "run it every now and again." Running an air-cooled engine for a couple of minutes condenses water from the exhaust in the pipes and from the blow-by inside the crankcase, which accelerates corrosion. To warm everything up you need to ride it for about 20 minutes. If you idle it for 20 minutes it may overheat because it is not being air-cooled.

The boundary-layer oil lubrication in bearings does not disappear over the winter because oil has low vapor pressure (it doesn't evaporate very easily) and reasonably high viscosity. If you are, like, totally paranoid about oil, take out your spark plugs and squirt a small amount inside your cylinders prior to long-term storage, put the plugs back in, and then do it again prior to startup. But this is not really necessary for a couple of months of storage.

It won't hurt most of the motorcycle for it to sit for a few months, but take out the battery and put it on a trickle charger. Batteries self-discharge over time (except for the new dry lithium-iron Shorai batteries which seem almost immune). Check the fluid level in the battery once a week. Keep the fluid level in the battery up with distilled water. Don't let the tires go flat. It is a good idea to change the engine oil, brake fluid and fork oil after the first ride in the Spring.

Heat and cold can loosen fasteners (nuts and bolts). Go over your bike's fasteners in the spring and make sure they are all reasonably tight. If you want to be scientific about it, get a shop manual for your bike which shows its torque values and use a torque wrench. A common mistake is over tightening and stripping out threaded aluminum parts.

If the bike has a steel fuel tank, leave it FULL and add fuel stabilizer for the winter. Leaving it FULL reduces the oxygen available to rust the inside of the tank. If the bike has carburetors, close the fuel petcocks and dump the gas out of the float bowls.

I know it seems like a lot of work--but motorcycles are not cars. They are more subject to the environment and vibrate much more. Once you get the hang of maintaining your bike you will look forward to it. Your bike will be more reliable. Guys who maintain their own bikes notice and fix problems sooner, and save money doing it themselves.

No, but it would be safe in mine.

Yes. Just put some fuel stabilizer if you plan to leave fuel in it..nothing will happen if its a water cooled engine while storing it what the hell is Canada talking about.

As long as it's not a water cooled engine it'll be ok.

but run it every now and again, to keep it oiled up