While many San Diego motorcycle owners ride their two-wheelers year-round, some may occasionally need to retire their bikes for extended periods. Motorcycle storage at a trusted facility is the best answer when that’s the case.
Why should bike owners consider long-term safe motorcycle storage more carefully? Because there are a few things about storing an idle bike that make it different from other large items.
In addition to ensuring the bike doesn’t get stolen, an owner needs to think about specific steps to prevent parts damage. Just because a motorcycle isn’t running doesn’t mean it can’t suffer from wear and tear.
Here are some of the steps to take when you’re putting your bike up for a while, as well as some motorcycle storage ideas that will keep it in top condition when you’re ready to ride again.
Pros and Cons of Motorcycle Storage Rentals
The main benefit of using a motorcycle storage service is keeping your bike safe and clean when you’re not using it. Storage centers protect your motorcycle against the elements in a secure environment. Most storage facilities have tight security measures in place, which may include cameras, fencing, and even 24-hour security guards.
There aren’t many downsides to motorcycle storage, but you will need to get comfortable with not having constant access to your bike. You’ll also need to keep up with rental payments since storage facility owners are legally entitled to claim your property if you don’t.
Motorcycle owners in a budget crunch may want to find other options for storing a motorcycle without a garage. But for others, here are some of the aspects of motorbike storage to think about:
Preparing Your Bike for Motorcycle Storage
There’s a bit more to safe motorcycle storage than just rolling your bike into the space and closing the door. Especially if you’re planning on being without your motorcycle for a long time, there are a few maintenance steps you should take before putting your bike up.
Gas that’s left in the tank for a long time can cause damage, even when the motorcycle’s idle. After 30 days of non-usage, fuel can be exposed to oxygen, changing its chemical composition and leaving gum and varnish deposits in the tank.
For this reason, many motorcyclists empty their tanks before putting their bikes in long-term storage. If you don’t want to do that, add a fuel stabilizer to the gas left in your tank and run your motorcycle for a few minutes.
That will help prevent corrosion during storage for at least six months. If you’re storing your motorcycle longer than that, you’ll want to empty your gas tank and refill it before you ride again.
Change the Oil
Motor oil, believe it or not, has an expiration date. It will decompose when left to sit in the tank, even if you aren’t using your motorcycle. After a long stretch in the storage facility, motor oil loses its lubrication qualities and makes regular operation much more difficult.
Before you store your bike, change the oil. Fresh oil has less chance of breaking down while your motorcycle is idle and leaves much less of a mess than used oil.
Top Off Coolant
Open space in a coolant tank can lead to excessive moisture and condensation, which can result in slime, sludge, and other damage to your bike’s engine. Before you store your bike, fill your coolant space to the max with your favorite antifreeze, or mix it with distilled water.
Check Your Battery
For long-term motorcycle storage rental, it’s always best to disconnect the battery from the bike and store it in a climate-controlled space. A battery connected to an idle motorcycle can suffer progressive drain and lose its charge.
At the very least, you should disconnect the battery and leave it in the storage facility if you don’t have room at home.
A battery tender is a device that automatically charges your battery when its power goes below a specific limit. Your storage unit will need a power outlet for this to work. Disconnecting your battery is still the better option.
Protect Your Tires
Long periods of non-usage put a lot of weight on your motorcycle’s tires. This weight will result in spots that deplete air pressure and eventually cause the tires to go flat. For that reason, it’s best to store your motorcycle so that your tires aren’t under any weight.
The best choice is to take the tires off your bike and store them separately on their sides. If it’s a hassle, you can put your motorcycle on a high lift so the tires don’t touch the ground.
How to Safely Use Your Motorcycle After Storage
Once you are ready to pick up your motorcycle from storage, you should use precaution before hitting the road. Review the items below to ensure your bike is ready to ride:
- Battery: Many of the electronic features on your bike won’t function properly if they can’t access the correct voltage. Using a multimeter is one of the easiest ways to ensure your battery puts out as many volts as it’s rated for.
- Oil: If your motorcycle has been in storage for some time, you will likely need to change the oil. It’s a good idea to check for leaks and top off your fluid levels.
- Fuel: Bring some extra gasoline if you emptied your fuel system and gas tank before storage. Check that your fuel lines are connected if the bike isn’t starting. You may also need to clean out your carbs as excess buildup can form. If you didn’t empty your fuel tank, a fuel stabilizer should get your bike going.
- Brakes: Test your brakes by rolling your bike back and forth and make sure both brakes engage. Check brake lines, calipers, and discs for wear. If they expire, you might need to replace them before riding.
- Tires: Inspect your tires for any leaks. If the pressure is low, inflate the tires and make sure there aren’t any deformities. Parking your motorcycle in the same position for long periods can cause tires to develop flat spots.
You can avoid this process by using a high-end motorcycle facility. We give your bike regular maintenance to prevent wear and tear during storage at The Vault. Your bike will be clean and ready to go upon pick up.
Know Your Motorcycle Storage Unit’s Policies
Before you store your bike, get a rundown on the policies and conditions of the storage facility you’re considering.
Most storage companies will require your motorcycle to be in operating condition before you stow it away. This requirement can be a pain point since many riders put their bikes in storage because they’re not running. Just be clear on whether your storage facility will allow you to keep a non-running motorcycle in their units.
Storage facilities typically ask to see the documentation for long-term motorcycle safe storage, especially the ownership title and proof of insurance. Thieves commonly use storage units to hide stolen items, so storage companies need to know that you’re the proper owner of everything you store.
Insurance helps assure them that they won’t be liable for anything that happens to your bike that’s out of their hands.
Get clear on the storage facility’s access policy. Ask questions like:
- Will I have 24-hour access to your bike, or will it be restricted to business hours?
- Will anybody who works for the facility have access to your storage unit?
- What security measures are in place to keep others away from your motorcycle?
Finally, as with any business agreement, take a close look at the terms of your motorcycle storage contract. Feel free to ask questions about any conditions you’re unclear about.
On your end, be completely upfront about what you’re using the storage space for — don’t conceal or mislead facility management about the items you’re placing in their care. Owners have the right to terminate your agreement if you don’t follow their rules and policies.
Storing Your Motorcycle in San Diego
The Vault at Veloce Motors is San Diego’s safest, cleanest, and most secure spot for long-term motorcycle storage. We have over 13,000 square feet of space for storing your vehicle, with only three heavily secured points of access.
Veloce Motors’ Miramar location has 30,000 square feet for your motorcycle, with the same security measures as our downtown location.
Our storage spaces are reinforced with state-of-the-art motion detectors, sensors, and video cameras that capture all movement and stop crimes before they start. We also offer ongoing battery maintenance and tire pressure checks for your motorcycle as long as it stays in our care.
Veloce Motors’ storage packages come with in-and-out access, either as part of the storage fee or as an add-on expense. Our contracts for motorcycle storage are month-to-month with no limits or minimum times, and you can retrieve your vehicle with just 48 hours’ notice.
No true motorcyclist likes to be away from their bike for a long time — but things happen. When you know you’ll have to be off the road for a while, storing a motorcycle without a garage may be necessary.
With the proper preparation, awareness of responsibilities and expectations, and the security of professionals like Veloce Motors, motorcycle storage doesn’t have to be a hassle. We can’t make you miss your bike any less, but we can keep it safe and comfortable while you’re away.