10 tips when storing your bike

Motorcycle Storage

With the increase in working from home, riders are more likely to be storing their bike away for longer periods, especially over Winter. Below are some of our top tips to make sure you store your bike the proper way.

However, if you are going to be riding, make sure you check out some of our other expert tips for motorcyclists:


Remember, when you insure direct with Bennetts, you get FREE access to BikeSocial and gain access to exclusive savings on essential Winter products, as well as the chance to enter amazing competitions and events all-year-round.


1. Wash (and dry) your bike

Sounds obvious, but after that last ride before hibernation, give your bike a really thorough wash. You don’t want to risk any water or salt eating away at the metal. Don’t forget to dry it too – remaining moisture can be the start of corrosion.



2. Pick a good place to store it and cover up

Make sure you think carefully about where you store your bike – a corner in the back of the garage, away from a common walk-way is a good option as you don’t want people/kids brushing past it or leaning their bikes against it. If you don’t have access to a garage or shed, a sheltered spot with a specialised outdoor bike cover will help keep out the elements. In insurance terms, Bennetts now class locked shipping containers, wooden sheds on a concrete base and metal sheds as garaged. Find out more about that here.



Paddock Stands

3. Use paddock stands - if you can

An excellent option for keeping your bike in a solid, sturdy position and to keep the bike’s weight off its tyres is to use one (or two) paddock stands. If you do not have the luxury of paddock stands, it is not a bad idea to slightly over-inflate your tyres over winter to help them keep their shape. Place an old piece of carpet between the tyre and the ground and move their position every few weeks to avoid flat spots. Just remember to return them to the correct pressures in spring.

4. Keep your battery charged

Batteries hate the cold, which is why winter is such a busy period for recovery services. You can either choose to totally remove the battery from the bike, or simply install a connector to the terminals and use a maintenance charger to keep it topped up. If it’s possible, go for the charger option as it means you don’t have to break out the tools every few weeks when you want to start the bike. It's important to use a maintenance charger designed for bikes, but there are plenty available at very affordable prices.

If your bike has a tracker wired into its electrics be aware that this can drain the battery in three or four weeks making a maintenance charger even more essential. Many trackers allow you to monitor battery condition via their app.


5. Counter corrosion

Exhausts, silencers fasteners and brake fittings can start to corrode quite quickly when a bike is not being used so make sure they are properly protected for winter. Before putting your bike away just after final use, (when cool enough to touch) spray a light oil or better still, a specific corrosion protectant such as ACF-50, XCP Rust Blocker, SDoc 100 Corrosion Protectant, ACS TC200 or Scottoiler FS365 on all metal parts (especially into exhaust ends and drain holes), then cover with an open weave cloth or rag to let it breathe. Just make sure you don't spray anything on the brake discs, calipers or the tyres.




6. Start your engine

Condensation in the air finds its way into the exhaust pipe, causing it to rot from the inside out, but it can also be caused by starting your engine and not letting it get fully up to temperature.

The best option is to go for a ride, but if you really want to start it in the garage, make sure there's plenty of ventilation, and that it gets fully up to temperature by waiting for the fan to kick in. Remember to allow the bike to cool before re-applying corrosion protectants and covering it up again.

7. Top up the fuel

There are two schools of thought when it comes to petrol tanks – full or empty. A full tank will prevent the inside of the tank rusting over winter, however some insist that it is better to drain it completely. A full tank is the best option as it's the moisture in ay air left in the tank that is absorbed into the ethanol, which can create a gunky mess.

Our best advice is to ride the bike as often as possible, but if you are laying it up, use a 'Super' unleaded E5 fuel. It's worth noting that in the central areas of the UK, Esso's Synergy Supreme+ 99 premium petrol is ethanol-free, except in Devon, Cornwall, North Wales, North England and Scotland, despite being labelled as E5.

motorcycle chain lock for keeping bikes safe

8. Lock it up!

Even if you're not riding your bike, there's still a chance it could be stolen. Fit a good lock (preferably with a ground anchor), taking the time to make access as awkward as you can for potential thieves... it’s not going anywhere for a while, so why not make it really difficult? An alarm and even a tracker are also great options. Check out the series of tests BikeSocial carried out on the top products on the market to see which may be best suited to you.  


9. Do the odd jobs you've been meaning to get done

Remember that spare key you have been meaning to get cut? That hugger you have thought would be a good idea to invest in? The taller screen to make the commute easier? Now the bike is off the road it is a great time to do those jobs that you never get around to doing in summer. 



10. Tax and insurance

If you’re not going to be riding it makes sense to cancel your road tax and declare your bike SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) here. Don’t forget to check when the MoT is due though to ensure you are legal when it goes back on the road.

Your motorbike insurance covers you for more than riding, so even if you are off the road for longer than expected you should think carefully before cancelling it. Thieves are still active at winter and the winter weather can cause storm damage to a garage or shed and the contents inside. It’s better to be safe than sorry and stay insured, and comprehensive policies will cover your bike if it is stolen or damaged by fire, accidental or malicious damage, with Third Party Fire & Theft (TPFT) policies covering if your bike is stolen or damaged by fire.


And finally, if winter proves just too long and you have the urge to get back on two wheels, make sure you check out our winter motorcycling tips on winter riding and winter bike maintenance.