Start your motorcycle at least once a week if it is not going to be ridden. I also recommend you take it out for a short 15-30 minute ride weekly; this will clear any condensation, lubricate the engine and help prevent rust.
Why you should regularly start up your motorcycle
If your motorcycle is sat for a while, then there are a few things that can start to happen, including:
- Corrosion can get a hold of your inner and outer components and wreak havoc
- Your tires can deteriorate, and you can end up with flat spots (See motorcycle tire lifespan)
- Motorcycle batteries are fussy things and can go flat quickly if not taken care of
- Fuel can essentially go rotten if left inside your tank stagnant
- Inner engine components benefit greatly from being lubricated by oil. When the bike sits for long periods, parts can seize, leading to mechanical problems
Starting up your bike once a week and getting it out for a short ride up to proper temperatures will burn away any condensation, keep things lubricated, flush out your fuel and prevent many issues from occurring.
What else should I do to look after my bike?
If your bike is going to be sat for a while, there are some key things you can do to ensure it remains in optimum condition. We cover this in detail in our motorcycle winter storage post, but here are some key points:
- Get your battery hooked up to a battery tender/maintainer. A good battery tender will maintain your cells, so they don’t fail. Something like the Battery Tender Junior is a great choice for traditional lead-acid, flooded, AGM, and gel cell batteries. If you have a lithium battery fitted, then check out our previous post about lithium battery chargers.
- Make sure you rotate your tires regularly (at least once a week), so they don’t become deformed. If possible, put your bike on a rug or a piece of old carpet to protect it from cold, damp floors. The best solution is to get your bike on a motorcycle stand front and back so that there is no weight constantly resting on your tires.
- Keep your fuel tank topped up and add in a fuel stabilizer. This will ensure your tank doesn’t rust, and the fuel doesn’t go off.
- Use a cover to keep moisture away and block off any holes, such as the exhaust, so condensation can’t build up internally.
What if I can’t start my bike up regularly?
If you cannot start your bike up, or more importantly, get out for a short ride once a week, then you must store your bike using the tips mentioned.
You will see many things online from people who say they don’t start their bike up for months but leave it on a battery tender, and things are good to go when they are ready to ride again.
However, you need to be concerned about more than just the battery.
Maintaining your battery is incredibly important, but if you think of your motorcycle like a human body, if we don’t move around regularly, we get stiff, and things don’t work quite as they should.
So ensuring your bike has fresh oil, fresh fuel, etc., will go a long way to keep your motorcycle issue-free when it comes to riding again.
The idea is simple, look after your motorcycle, and it will look after you.
In the ideal world, getting out for a short ride once a week will keep your bike in optimal condition. We know this isn’t always possible, so taking other measures to care for your motorcycle in storage is well worth the effort in the long run.