As my fellow motorcycle owners will agree, our motorcycles are our pride and joy. They may be inanimate, but we do get attached to them. We always want to ensure they are properly maintained and running smoothly.
An important aspect of taking care of your ride is storing it properly. While we may want to ride every day, that is not always feasible. So, it’s important to store it properly in a safe place when it is not being used.
So, that begs the question, “Can I store my motorcycle in a storage unit?” The answer is yes. It is a good idea, especially if you don’t have a garage. As long as the motorcycle storage space is in good condition and your motorcycle will remain safe, you should do it.
Climate-controlled units are great for long-term storage, especially for winter months. That way, your motorcycle will remain in good condition even if you haven’t used it in a long time.
Table of contents
- Storing a motorcycle in a storage unit
- What is the size and cost you are looking at?
- How to store your motorcycle in a storage unit
Storing a motorcycle in a storage unit
Many motorcycle owners do not have the luxury of having garages. And so, that’s where a storage facility can come in handy for your peace of mind.
Choosing the right storage unit for you depends on its location, size, cost, and the features you need. Let’s look into that.
What is the size and cost you are looking at?
This is the first thing you have to consider while looking for the best option to store your motorcycle. Storage units come in different sizes and offer different features.
So, it’s important to consider first what you are looking for in a storage unit. And if the motorcycle storage unit has the features that suit your needs.
Many storage units come in a standard 5×10 size. This size should work for most motorcycles.
If you have more than one, you can also store them together. But that is if the motorbikes are small enough and the storage unit will have enough space.
You should also check that the unit has enough space for additional items. This can be extra gear, tools, etc.
You can also consider renting a unit that has climate control features. Climate-controlled units ensure that your motorcycle will be kept in a consistent environment. This is a good idea for long-term storage. Extreme weather, whether heat or cold, can be really hard on motorcycles.
So, the extra cost of a climate-controlled storage unit can be worth it. This is especially if you live in a place that experiences severe and long winter months. It’s a great way to reliably store your motorcycle for a long time.
What about the cost?
On average, a 5×5 feet storage unit should cost about $45-$55 a month. A larger unit (5×10) will cost you about $60-$70 a month.
Generally, a 5×10 unit may be better value for your money. Also, unless your motorcycle is very small, you may also need to do a lot of maneuvering to fit your motorbike in a 5×5 unit.
But then, the price can also vary depending on the storage location. Storage units in urban areas cost more than those in rural areas. So, if you live in big cities such as LA or NYC, you may need to set aside more money. Moreover, even in big cities, the neighborhood matters when it comes to the cost of any real estate.
Storage units with climate control also cost more. You may need to pay an additional $50 – $100 per month.
What about other kinds of storage?
Some storage units also offer parking spots for vehicles, including motorcycles. They can serve as temporary storage units at a low cost (about $20-$40 a month).
However, these storage units may not offer strong security measures, whether from the weather or from potential thieves. Yes, parking spots do have secure fences around them, and there will be security. But it can’t be as secure as a closed unit that you can lock.
A self-storage unit is a good option for short-term storage, especially if it’s in a safe neighborhood. You can save on costs as they don’t charge a lot. You also don’t have to worry about hidden fees.
Additional features you can check for
You can check if the storage unit as other facilities. This can include video surveillance, a space to work on your motorbike, etc. These features may cost extra and depend on your requirements.
How to store your motorcycle in a storage unit
If you are storing your motorcycle in a storage unit, it will usually be for a long period of time. So, there are things you need to prepare for long-time motorcycle storage.
Clean your motorcycle properly
The first thing you need to do is wash it properly to make sure it stays in good shape. Dirt and dead bugs will ruin the paint job over time. Dirt can also lead to rust, especially in indoor storage.
Then, once you wash it, you need to dry your motorcycle completely. And then, add a coat of wax to provide even more rust protection. Additionally, if you want to, you can coat exposed metal surfaces and engine parts with WD-40.
You also need to clean out your carburetors before storing the motorbike. Oil residue gets solidified in cold temperatures.
Prep the fuel system
The best way to prep is to fill up the tank completely with fresh oil and add a fuel stabilizer. A partially filled tank can cause condensation to form on the inside of the tank walls. This leads to rust and corrosion. The fuel stabilizer will keep the gas from going bad. After you do this, run your engine for a few minutes to make sure it circulates through the fuel system.
Another option is to do the opposite – completely drain the gas tank. But this can be complicated unless you know what you are doing. Keeping your motorcycle in a climate-controlled vehicle storage unit can also help avoid rust.
Change the motorcycle oil and ready the coolant system
This is important if you will be keeping the motorcycle in storage for a long period of time. Run the bike after changing the engine oil to circulate it through the engine. You can also change the oil filter to ensure a clean engine.
Top off your coolant system with enough anti-freeze to prevent your engine from freezing over the winter months.
Taking care of the tires
Improper storage will lead to flat spots on your tires. So, before storing, inflate your tires to the maximum pressure as recommended by the manufacturer. This won’t completely prevent flat spots but lessen them.
A better option is to use a center stand while storing the motorbike. If not, try to make an effort to rotate your tires at least once a month.
You should also try to avoid placing the tires directly on the cemented floor. You can do this by placing a board or moving blanket between your wheels and the ground. This is especially important in cold weather.
Your battery will drain when not in use, especially in cold temperatures. So, disconnect it and instead connect it to a trickle charger or battery tender. It will keep your battery charged when not in use. Alternatively, you can bring the battery home with you to keep it charged.
Pests, such as rats, like to live in warm places, such as the inside of exhaust pipes. So, make sure to block access to your exhaust while storing the vehicle. You can use an exhaust plug, plastic bags, or steel wool for this. You can also lay some rat traps around, just in case.
Get a good motorcycle cover
Just because your motorcycle is indoors doesn’t mean that you can do away with a bike cover. This is an essential part of keeping your motorcycle in tip-top shape. So, cover your motorcycle with a proper cover before you lock it away in storage.
Proper motorcycle storage is an important part of motorcycle maintenance. This is especially important if you will not be using the vehicle for a while. So, yes, you can store your motorcycle in a storage unit and it is a good idea.
If kept properly, you will have minimum problems when you need to take it out again on the open road. It will not matter if it’s been months or years.