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How to store and care for your motorcycle this winter

Putting a motorcycle into storage isn’t simply a matter of opening a door to a shed, garage or, even, the hallway to the family home, wheeling in the bike and forgetting about it for months on end. There are tried and tested steps that, when followed, will help ensure a bike remains in good condition and emerges from storage in favorable health.


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Pit Crew

Obligatory follow-up link to Fortnine's video about fuel stabilizer:

We find answers to all of your fuel stabilizer questions, so sit back, relax and soak it in. [Links below]FUEL ADDITIVES TESTED: K100 :
Intermediate Driver

Never, ever burn ethanol, fill it up with gas, maybe some seafoam or marine fuel preservative.  (If you burn ethanol, absolutely drain everything, it will absorb moisture and rust everything).  Check battery voltage once per month, trickle charge in January whether it needs it or not.  That's really all that's necessary for a few months of storage based on 50 years of experience.  Don't waste time or product.

Pit Crew

Disagree with the start it periodically advice.  Unless you intend to let it run for 20 minutes or so to get the engine and fluids fully up to temp and evaporate all moisture from fluids, exhaust, etc., don’t keep restarting the bike over the winter.  We used to think this was a good idea on our vintage Mustang but since learned that winter startups are usually too brief and encourage moisture accumulation in fluids, exhaust, etc.  Clean the bike, stabilize the fuel, change the oil and filter, put it on a Battery Tender/Optimate, store it in a dry location and leave it alone until you can ride it on salt free roads again in the spring.  In Wisconsin, where I live, that means you’re not likely to be riding it again until May.   

New Driver

I am a big fan of spraying the plastic and metal parts with WD 40 and wiping them down after cleaning the bike. The WD 40 will further clean the bike, displace moisture, lubricate and protect the metal from rust and corrosion. When I finished wiping the bike down, I spray a protective coating of WD 40 on any metal parts likely to rust. I do the same with my cars, spraying the engine, avoiding the belts. Best of all, they are always clean for wrenching.


Can you use both sta-bil and k111 together?


Drain the tank but no mention of running until the carb is empty? If you leave that nasty ethanol fuel in the carb you are certainly asking for trouble 6 Months later 😞


I add Sta-bil during the final fuel tank top-off so it runs through the fuel system. After the Harley is idling on the motorcycle lift I shut the petcock until the S&S is starved into silence, then scoot it against the wall, plug in the tender and cover it. 


Mostly good advice, but the huge No-No is periodically starting up the bike. Get it stored correctly, then throw the keys on the roof if that's what it takes to keep yourself from starting it until spring time. Change the oil and replace it and the filter with new as the last thing you do before plugging in the battery tender and walking away. Make sure the tank is filled all the way up with non-alcohol gas with stabilizer and make sure you've gotten enough miles on it that it is through your entire fuel system before you back it into the garage and put it on the lift. I prefer to let the air down to around 20 lb since the bike isn't going anywhere anyway. All the cleaning advice is spot-on, anything that can trap moisture will spend the winter producing oxidation.