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Is It OK To Leave Motorcycle Out In Winter?

motorcycle in winter

Key Takeaways:

  • Proper winterizing of a motorcycle is important to prevent potential risks and damage.
  • Storing the motorcycle in a covered area, such as a garage or shed, is recommended during winter.

Leaving a motorcycle out in winter can have consequences that every rider should be aware of. In this section, we’ll uncover the potential issues that arise when motorcycles are exposed to winter conditions. From the effects on the bike’s components to the impact on its performance, we’ll explore the various factors that come into play. It’s essential to understand the risks involved to make informed decisions about winter motorcycle storage.


Winterizing your motorcycle is essential! Leaving it out in the cold can cause major damage and expensive repairs. Store it in a covered area like a shed or garage. Change the oil, add fuel stabilizer, maintain tire pressure, and use a good quality cover.

Neglecting to winterize can lead to a dead battery, clogged carburetors, faulty starters, and more. To avoid these issues, don’t leave your motorcycle unattended for too long.

Remember: Proper winter storage is key to preventing damages caused by the weather. Follow best practices for maintenance and don’t let your motorcycle freeze its handlebars off – winterize it!

Importance of winterizing a motorcycle

Winterizing a motorcycle is a must! It guarantees its long life and optimal performance in the colder months. Without it, the bike could be prone to issues causing costly repairs and damage. Cold, snow, and ice can cause components to wear and fluids to freeze.

Start winterizing by cleaning the motorcycle of any grime, dirt, or debris. This stops corrosion and preserves surfaces. Inspect all parts, including tires, brakes, and the electrical system. Check for any problems.

Protect the motorcycle from the elements. Store it in a covered area, like a garage or storage unit. If this isn’t possible, get a cover to shield it from rain, snow, and wind. Lift the bike off the ground with a center stand or paddock stand. This prevents tire damage.

Prepare the fluids and fuel system. Drain and replace engine oil and coolant. Stabilize the fuel to stop it from deteriorating or damaging the fuel system. Take out the battery and store it in a cool, dry place. This stops discharge and damage from cold temperatures.

Winterizing your bike gives it protection from cold weather conditions. It also gets it ready for spring when riding conditions are better. By understanding the importance of winterizing and following these steps, you’ll have a hassle-free start to the riding season and extend the lifespan of your two-wheeled friend.

Best practices for winter motorcycle storage

Cool winter months mean following the best practices for winter motorcycle storage. This ensures the motorbike’s top performance and longevity during the off-season.

Prep the motorbike: Clean it and wax it to stop corrosion. Drain the fuel or use a fuel stabilizer.

Find a storage spot: Store in a dry, warm place with ventilation. A garage or storage unit is ideal.

Protect the bike: Cover it with a breathable and waterproof cover. Use a battery tender to keep the battery charged.

Check tire pressure and lift the motorbike off the ground with a stand. Do regular maintenance like oil changes and lubricating.

Something cool? Motorcycles with heated grips give added warmth and comfort in colder temperatures.

Consequences of improper winter storage

Neglecting proper winter storage of motorcycles can be costly. Firstly, leaving one out in the winter can damage components, such as engine, tires and electrical systems. Secondly, it’s an easy target for theft or vandalism without regular security measures. Thirdly, salt and moisture on the roads can cause corrosion and rusting of metal parts. Finally, lack of maintenance means the fluids like oil and fuel will deteriorate, leading to mechanical issues and expensive repairs.

It’s vital to take measures to protect your motorcycle in winter:

  1. Store it in a safe, dry location
  2. Cover it with a motorcycle cover
  3. Prepare fuel system for storage
  4. Perform necessary maintenance before and after winter season.

By taking these precautions, you can preserve the condition and performance of your motorcycle.

Importance of addressing these issues

Winter can be particularly hard on motorcycles left outdoors. Cold temperatures, snow, sleet, and salt on roads all pose significant risks. Owners must take precautions in order to protect their bike.

Cold temperatures can cause metal components to contract, leading to mechanical issues. Batteries are also affected.

Moisture from snow and rain promote corrosion and rust. It is important to use covers or store the motorcycle in a dry, sheltered area.

Road salt exacerbates the problem. Regular cleaning and rinsing off any salt residue is needed to prevent long-term damage.

To keep a motorcycle in top condition, owners must address the issues associated with leaving it outside in winter. Take measures to protect it from the elements and clean it regularly. This will ensure its performance and longevity.

Common problems with a motorcycle that has been left out in winter

A motorcycle left out in winter can have lots of problems. Corrosion on the frame, exhaust, and electrical components can happen, due to rain or snow and cold temps. This can lead to rust. The cold can also make it tough to start the bike, since the battery loses its charge. Additionally, rubber seals and hoses can leak and even fail because of the freezing weather. These are common issues for a motorcycle left out in winter.

Do’s and Don’ts for winter motorcycle storage

Winter motorcycle storage must follow certain guidelines to keep the bike in good condition. Always remember to use winter motorcycle gear while riding in the winter season such as the winter motorcycle gloves. Here are “do’s” and “don’ts”:

  • Cover the motorcycle with a breathable, durable cover. This helps avoid moisture buildup and rust/corrosion.
  • Clean the bike before storing. Remove debris, grime, and dirt. Apply a wax coat to protect the paint and chrome.
  • Change the oil and filter. Used oil contains contaminants that cause corrosion. Fresh oil helps protect the engine.
  • Fill the fuel tank and add a stabilizer. This prevents fuel deterioration and carburetor/fuel injector clogging.
  • Remove the battery and store it in a cool, dry place. Keep it charged to avoid it losing power.
  • Elevate the bike off the ground with a paddock stand or blocks. This stops flat spots forming on the tires.


  • Check tire pressure frequently.
  • Store in a dry, well-ventilated space.
  • Periodically start the engine to prevent seal drying.

Pro Tip: Cover the exhaust pipes with plastic bags and secure with rubber bands. This stops small animals from nesting.


Leaving a motorbike outside in winter can cause damage. Cold, snow, ice, and moisture can affect performance and cause rust and other issues.

Best to protect it. Use a cover, store it in a heated garage, and prepare it for storage. This helps prevent damage from cold, snow, and ice. It preserves condition and extends its life.

Some Facts About Leaving a Motorcycle Out in Winter:

  • ✅ Storing a motorcycle in a covered area like a garage or shed is the most ideal way to protect it during the winter. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ If storing a motorcycle outside during winter, it’s important to properly prepare and cover it. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Improper winter storage can cause changes in fluids and potential clogs and malfunctions. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Tires can develop flat spots if left untreated on concrete, and gaskets and seals can deteriorate over time if not used and maintained properly. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ The drivetrain is at risk of rust if not protected from moisture, leading to potential damage to the engine, chain, bearings, and gears. (Source: Team Research)

FAQs about Is It Ok To Leave Motorcycle Out In Winter?

Is it OK to leave a motorcycle outside in the winter?

Leaving a motorcycle outside in the winter is possible, but it requires proper preparation and care to avoid damage.

What should I do to store a motorcycle outside during winter?

To store a motorcycle outside during winter, you should change the oil, top off the gas with stabilizer, attend to the battery, take care of the tires, use security measures, and cover it with a good quality cover.

What can happen if I don’t store my motorcycle properly in the winter?

Improper winter storage can cause changes in fluids, such as gas becoming “gunked” up and fluids getting contaminated with moisture, leading to potential clogs and malfunctions. It may also result in flat spots on tires, deterioration of gaskets and seals, and rust in the drivetrain.

How long can a motorcycle sit without starting or proper storage?

A motorcycle should not sit for longer than a month without starting or proper storage to avoid accumulating major issues. Reviving a motorcycle that has been sitting for years will require extensive work.

What are the options for mid-winter storage if I don’t have a garage at home?

If you don’t have a garage, you can consider finding indoor storage like a shed or sunporch. Another option is pay-to-play motorcycle storage at a business, usually offered by dealerships or general vehicle storage operations.

What are the insurance considerations when storing a motorcycle outside during winter?

When storing a motorcycle outside during winter, it’s important to check your home insurance policy as it may not cover motorcycle damage in case of a house fire. Comprehensive insurance is recommended to cover fire and theft. If storing the bike at someone else’s house, it’s advisable to have a “Hold Harmless Agreement” to protect both parties from insurance issues.