Over the years, we’ve purchased our share of neglected motorcycles here at Cyclepedia Press LLC. Sadly, the demise of these motorcycles could have easily been averted without spending much money or taking too much time. If your motorcycle is going to be sitting for over a month without use you can perform some preventive maintenance to protect it from deterioration. Be sure to sign up for our FREE motorcycle maintenance software and FREE Common Service Manual at: https://www.cyclepedia.com/cyclepedia-my-service-records/
Clean the Motorcycle
Do not underestimate the effects that grease, grime and dirt have on a motorcycle. Dirt attracts moisture which causes rust. A clean, well polished motorcycle will stand up to the elements of storage much better than one that is neglected. [Motorcycle Cleaning & Polishing Products]
Get Rid of Old Fuel
Drain the fuel tank, fuel lines, and carburetor float bowl(s). New gasoline formulas are very corrosive and can destroy a fuel system if they are left to sit. If you must leave fuel in your gas tank for whatever reason, make sure you add a fuel stabilizer. [Motorcycle Fuel Stabilizer]
Coat Tank with Oil
If your gas tank is metal, remove the empty tank and pour a cup of engine oil into the tank. Flip the tank around to coat the inner surfaces thoroughly and drain off excess oil. Reinstall the tank. [Motorcycle Specific Oil]
Coat Cylinder Walls with Oil
Remove the spark plug(s) and pour about one tablespoon of engine oil into the spark plug hole(s) – reinstall the spark plugs. Kick the engine over several times (with ignition off) to coat the cylinder walls with oil. [Motorcycle Specific Oil]
Protect Drive Chain
Remove the drive chain. Clean the chain thoroughly with solvent and lubricate the chain with chain lubricant. Reinstall the chain or store in a plastic bag (you can tie it to the frame for safe-keeping). [Motorcycle Chain Lube]
Lube it Up!
Lubricate all control cables and pivot points.
Remove the battery and put it on a trickle charger. Store it in a cool, dry place. Do not store a battery in an excessively hot or cold place (less than 32° F or more than 90°F). [Motorcycle Battery Charger] – [Motorcycle Batteries]
Block up the motorcycle frame to raise both wheels off ground. You can use your center stand if your motorcycle is equipped with one. [Motorcycle Stand]
Keeping Moisture Out
Tie a plastic bag over the exhaust pipe outlet(s) to prevent moisture from entering. You can also use a exhaust plug available from any motorcycle dealership.
If you are storing your motorcycle in a humid or salt-air atmosphere, coat all exposed metal surfaces with a light film of oil. Do not apply oil to rubber parts or seat cover.
Kick her Over
Every 15 — 20 days, kick the engine over several times (with the ignition off) to redistribute oil film to all moving parts. If you motorcycle does not have a kick starter you can turn the rear wheel with the vehicle in gear.
Spend the money and get yourself a good motorcycle cover. Cover your motorcycle. [Motorcycle Covers]
These simple tips can save you a lot of time, money and frustration come riding season. Follow them and you’ll be rewarded with many trouble free riding seasons.
Be sure to check out the Cyclepedia Common Service Manual for more general motorcycle maintenance procedures at: https://www.cyclepedia.com/common-service-manual/