How to Store a Motorcycle for Winter

Harley-Davidson Tech Working on Bike

Whether this is your first winter with your new Harley or you’ve recently relocated to Atlanta from a warmer climate, you’ll need to know how to store a motorcycle for winter—and it’s a bit more complicated than throwing a cover over your bike or parking it in the garage! We’ve covered the dos and don’ts of winter motorcycle storage to help you get started.

Winter Motorcycle Storage: Our Top Tips

Proper winter motorcycle storage can make the difference between a bike that’s ready to ride come spring, and a bike that needs to go straight to your local Conyers service center. Here are our top three tips for how to store a motorcycle for winter:

  • Cover your bike. The best way to prevent moisture buildup and rust is to keep your bike protected with a quality cover. This is more important if your bike will be exposed to the elements, but the extra protection is valuable even if the bike is in a garage.Purchase a cover that’s large enough to reach over the entire bike. If you’re storing the bike outside, the cover will need to be fastened securely in multiple places so that it doesn’t blow off.
  • Use a tender or trickle charger. If you’re out of the saddle all winter, your battery will need a constant source of power. Trickle chargers and battery tenders provide your battery with the power it needs to last through the winter without losing its charge. 
  • Remove the battery. If your bike is being stored anyplace other than a warm, dry indoor area, then it’s best to remove the battery, bring it inside, and attach it to a trickle charger or tender.

Winter Motorcycle Storage: What Not to Do

Learning how to store a motorcycle for winter has as much to do with finding out what needs to be done as well as what doesn’t—and shouldn’t—be done. Keep these points in mind as you prepare to store your bike this winter in Cartersville:

  • Don’t start your bike up every week. Starting your bike up in the cold and then not taking it for a ride can do more harm than good. It’s hard on both the motor and the battery, and shutting off the engine before it reaches full operating temperature can cause moisture condensation and rust. (If you actually plan to go for a real ride once a week, that’s a different story!)
  • Don’t remove the battery if you don’t have to. Most of the time, removing the battery from the bike is your best bet—but not in all situations. If you have a heated garage available for storing your bike and there’s a nearby power source for hooking up a tender, then there’s no need to remove the battery from the bike. Otherwise, the battery should be removed and stored as described above.
  • Don’t drain the oil tank. Many riders swear by the merits of changing the oil immediately before putting a bike in storage for the winter. The presence of oil prevents unwanted moisture from forming in the reservoir, and fresh oil won’t corrode gaskets and seals.

Learn More About Winter Motorcycle Storage Options at Killer Creek Harley-Davidson 

Looking for a safe place to store your bike in the Roswell area? Ask our team about our winter storage and routine maintenance options! We want you to feel 100% confident about how to store a motorcycle for winter, and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have—just contact our service center online or give us a call at 770-777-1000.


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