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How to winterize or store your motorcycle.....


How to winterize (in terms of storage) your motorcycle for an extended period of time. How to store it for any period from 30 days to 10 years and beyond. And how to de-winterize it, or prep it again after storage for riding.

This information is brought to you free of charge by the guys at MotorcycleAnchor.com -- at 
least check out our Motorcycle Anchor™ solid billet 82 degree lifetime use tire valves -- BECAUSE WRECKING DUE TO TIRE VALVE FAILURE SUCKS.™

Virtually every motorcycle owner will need to store their motorcycle at some point, either because of the intrusion of winter (if you live in a place you're not willing to ride during the cold months), or because of a trip, travel, business, to save it as a later collector's item, or other reason. This page is designed to help guide you in winterizing or preparing your bike for short-term or long-term storage in a way that minimizes damage to the bike from neglect, weather elements and time. Note that not every step will apply to every bike -- for example, if you ride a Katana, a type of motorcycle which does not use water/coolant, then you can ignore the step about draining the coolant. And some steps are for those who are very fanatical or are planning on storing the bike for a very long period of time (such as a year or more, like I did when I joined the army).


DISCLAIMER: ALL PROCEDURES DISCUSSED HERE HAVE SOME DEGREE OF PERSONAL RISK INVOLVED. WE DO NOT SHARE ANY LIABILITY FOR USE OF THIS INFORMATION, AND YOU ARE 100% RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY! Be Wise and Be Safe!


Guide:

  • Items in blue are for specific recommendations (products, procedures).
  • Items in crimson-red are very important, but are specific to certain types of equipment only.
  • Items in bold-bright-red are safety issues for your health & well-being and should not be ignored!
  • Items in black are generally applicable to all bikes, but use some common sense when deciding for yourself.


SECTIONS:

  1. Short Term Storage (25 to 60 days), if you will start-up the bike every week.
  2. Short Term Storage (30 to 60 days), if you will NOT be starting the bike up.
  3. Long Term & Winter Storage (60+ days).
  4. Extended Term Motorcycle Storage (240+ days to a decade).
  5. Preservation Storage (for storing a bike for decades, when brand new)

 
1. Short Term Storage (25 to 60 days) --
     if you will start-up the bike every week to 10 days.

  • If storing the bike over 30 days, obtain a fuel stabilizer and add it to your tank just before topping off.
     
  • Top off the gas tank to chock-full, taking the time to burp it and wait for it to settle, then adding more. This will help prevent rust from building in your gas tank by eliminating any air which might cause condensation to form at a later time.
     
  • Top off your brake fluids to 100% (to the rim, not just to the manufacturer's recommended mark), drain a little out of each brake caliper at the nipple, under pressure. This will help remove water from the calipers and lines to ensure your calipers don't rust stuck from the inside. Refill or drain to the manufacturer's recommended amount. Consider bleeding your brakes totally.
     
  • Pump your tires up to the maximum pressure they are rated for according to the sidewall rating by the manufacturer (usually higher than the recommended pressure you drive on by 6 to 10 PSI or so). This will help keep the tires "round" and assist in preventing flat spots.
    Do not coat the tires with any sidewall or other compound!
     
  • Park your bike upright and with the rear wheel elevated:
    • If present on your bike, park motorcycle on it's centerstand.
    • If you have a racing stand but no center stand, park it on the racing stand.
    • If you have neither a center stand nor a racing stand, consider purchasing and installing a center stand (a god-send for many occasions) if available, OR;
    • If a center stand is not available or not practical, consider purchasing and using a racing stand, OR;
    • At minimum, build a stand out of 2x4's to support your bike so the tires are off the ground
    • GOAL: You want to get the back tire off the ground before short term storage.
  • Top off your oil to the recommended amount.
     
  • Clean and lube your chain with a wax or grease product (not a spray oil).
     
  • If your bike uses coolant, top off your coolant/water mixture to the recommended amount, using coolant (too much coolant is better than too much water). Consider flushing the cooling system and replacing the existing coolant mixture with a fresh mixture of the recommended coolant plus distilled water (tap water in many locations contain impurities that will increase the rate of corrosion in the coolant passages).
     
  • Obtain a one gallon or larger gas can and fill it with premium gas, then store it by the bike. You will use this later to top off the tank after running it each week. Do not reuse months old gas from your lawn mower can!
     
  • Remove your battery and top off each cell with distilled water (use only distilled water!). Reinstall into the bike and connect a motorcycle trickle charger (rated at 2 amps or less).
     
  • Obtain a bike cover. If the bike will be parked indoors, such as in a garage or other semi-heated location, get a breathable dust cover. If the bike will be stored outdoors, or in an outbuilding (such as a garden shed), get a waterproof bike cover. Cover bike.
     
  • WEEKLY:
    Make a weekly habit of starting the bike, using this procedure:
     
    • Remove the cover;
       
    • unplug the trickle charger at the wall, then disconnect the trickle charger from the battery;
       
    • Manually rotate the front tire by 1/4 of a turn or so (grab the wheel and rotate it), if wheel is not off the ground.
       
    • Ensure that the motorcycle has adequate ventilation for the exhaust fumes before starting. Roll the bike outdoors if necessary!
       
    • Start the engine as normal (using choke as necessary);
       
      • If oil-cooled or air-cooled, allow to run for a period of ten minutes in neutral;
         
      • If water-cooled engine, run in neutral as long as it takes for the coolant display to come up to minimum operating temperature plus an additional five minutes.
         
    • Do not rev the engine at any time during the process.
       
    • Use the choke only as necessary to get it started & keep it running (do not run the engine on choke the whole time).
       
    • When complete, shut off as usual;
       
    • Replace the trickle charger.
       
    • Top off the gas tank to 100% again.
       
    • Re-cover the motorcycle with it's cover.
        

1B. When you are ready to remove from this form of short term storage, use the weekly start-up procedure to warm the bike up as recommended. Then:

  • Remove the excess air pressure from your tires back to the motorcycle manufacturer's recommended levels.
     
  • Shut bike down, remove battery and top off any battery cells requiring fluid with distilled water.
     
  • Reinstall battery.
     
  • Wipe excess wax or grease from chain.
     
  • Spray brake rotors with brake cleaner to remove any grime, dust, oil, etc.
     
  • Drive carefully for the first few miles to ensure brakes, clutch and everything else is working as expected!
     


2. Short Term Storage (30 to 60 days) --
     if you will NOT be starting the bike up during that time.


2B: WHEN YOU ARE READY TO REMOVE IT FROM THIS FORM OF SHORT TERM STORAGE:

  • Purchase or obtain in advance:
    • a gas can (empty, at least as big as your tank's capacity)
    • a bottle of Techron pour-in fuel injector cleaner
    • a new oil filter
    • three to five quarts (whatever amount your bike takes) of fresh motorcycle motor oil (preferably oil high in anti-galling compounds)
    • a fresh set of spark plugs
    • a can of QuickStart or other starting spray containing a lubricant and an ether (WD-40 will do in a pinch)
    • some distilled water (at least a gallon if your bike uses coolant, less if it doesn't)
    • a chemical degreaser or liquid dish detergent
    • some paper towels or shop rags
    • a bottle of the appropriately rated brake fluid (i.e. - DOT4, DOT3, etc).
    • a large can of spray brake cleaner
       

THEN FOLLOW THESE STEPS
(PREFERABLY IN ORDER FOR YOUR SAFETY):

  • Remove the bike's cover(s);
     
  • Remove the excess air pressure from your tires back to the motorcycle manufacturer's recommended levels.
     
  • Remove restriction to the air filter(s) we placed there when storing the bike (towel wrapped in a plastic bag, or aluminum foil over the filter).
     
  • If you used a fuel stabilizer, or stored bike for more than 30 days, drain gas from gas tank into gas can, check for presence of rust in tank.
    If present, follow this procedure before continuing: How to deal with rust in your gas tank.
     
  • Place old gas in a car, lawn mower or other vehicle or storage container;
    do not reuse in the motorcycle!
     
  • Drain the motor oil, change oil filter, and replace oil with fresh motor oil.
    Do not use the motor oil you stored the bike with, because it has built up acids and as a result, it's viscosity is now probably insufficient to provide adequate start-up lubrication.
     
  • Unplug trickle charger at wall, and disconnect from battery.
     
  • Top off any battery cells requiring fluid with distilled water (and only distilled water!), and recap cells.
     
  • Clean grease from chain, first by wiping excess away with a rag or paper towel, then cleaning with a degreaser. Lube as usual.
     
  • Remove front wheel from stands or fork chocks.
     
  • If you drained your coolant, refill the radiator, cooling system and reservoir with pure distilled water. Recap it. You will flush this out later.
     
  • If you topped off your coolant, recheck it.
     
  • If you greased up your cast iron rotors:
    • wipe off the excess grease with paper towels or shop rags, then;
    • use a chemical degreaser or liquid dish detergent to remove the rest.
    • Once clean, spray liberally with brake cleaner to remove any residue. Be sure to get all grease out of any cross-drilled holes!
    • Reinstall pads and calipers.
       
  • If you have steel rotors, spray them heavily with spray brake cleaner to remove any dirt, dust, grime and/or oils. Rotate wheels by hand to ensure brakes have not seized.
     
  • Flush your brake system completely and set back to the manufacturer's recommended levels.
     
  • Reinstall battery.
     
  • Turn key to ON position without starting and check that bike is in neutral. If not in neutral, switch to neutral. Turn bike back to off and remove key.
     
  • Remove existing spark plugs, pour one teaspoon of fresh motor oil into each cylinder. Gap and install new plugs with antiseize compound on the threads.
     
  • Obtain fresh, premium grade gasoline in the gas can. Place 1/3rd of a bottle of the Techron fuel-system cleaner into the motorcycle's tank and then fill up the tank to full with the fresh gasoline.
     
  • Ensure that the motorcycle has adequate ventilation for the exhaust fumes before proceeding. Roll the bike outdoors if necessary!
     
  • Set choke to full on. Set gas selector switch to prime and wait 2 minutes. Set selector back to normal. Spray some starting fluid into air filter intake hole.
     
  • Start bike as normal. Do not rev. Ease off choke as soon as bike will run without it.
     
  • WARM UP:
     
    IF WATER-COOLED:
     
    • Run in neutral as long as it takes for the coolant display to come up to minimum operating temperature plus an additional eight minutes. Shut off immediately if overheating occurs and go to next step.
       
    • When complete, shut off as usual;
       
    • Drain coolant or distilled water from bike at this time. Refill with 50% coolant plus 50% distilled water, or whatever mixture rate recommended by your motorcycle manufacturer.
       
    • Your bike is now ready for a test drive... Drive carefully for the first few miles to ensure brakes, clutch and everything else is working as expected!
       
    • When you have cycled through that first tank of post-storage gasoline & fuel system cleaner mix, do another oil change with whatever motorcycle oil you prefer (synthetic, dino, etc). Also lubricate all throttle and choke lines.
       
    IF OIL-COOLED OR AIR-COOLED:
     
    • If oil-cooled or air-cooled, allow to run for a period of fifteen minutes in neutral;
       
    • Your bike is now ready for a test drive... Drive carefully for the first few miles to ensure brakes, clutch and everything else is working as expected!
       
    • When you have cycled through that first tank of post-storage gasoline & fuel system cleaner mix, do another oil change with whatever motorcycle oil you prefer (synthetic, dino, etc). Also lubricate all throttle and choke lines.

3. Long Term Storage & Winterization (60 - 120 days) --
     assumes you will NOT be starting the bike up during that time.

Please read all the way through these instructions before beginning, because you may need to obtain certain supplies before proceeding.
 
WE ALSO RECOMMEND PRINTING THIS AND USING IT AS CHECKLIST!

  • LOCATION OF PLACEMENT:
     
    • If bike will be parked indoors in a semi-sealed environment (garage, den), obtain a breathable dust cover;
    • If bike will be parked in an out-building with a cement or stone floor (unheated garden shed, tool room, empty warehouse or self-store space), obtain a weatherproof bike cover.
    • If bike will be parked anywhere with dirt, sand, unsealed concrete, patio tile, or wood floors, or parked outdoors on any surface, obtain a weatherproof bike cover, a 25' x 10' or larger roll of construction plastic (at least 4 mils thick), and 20 lbs of cat litter (cheapest type available). Place a section of the construction plastic on the ground where you intend to park the bike and cover with the cat litter; this will act as the "sealed" floor for your storage, and you will park the bike on it.
       
  • WATER/COOLANT/RADIATOR SYSTEMS (if your bike uses a water-based cooling system):
     
  • GENERAL ELECTRICAL, CONNECTORS:
     
    • Remove fairings & seat as necessary to proceed.
       
    • Locate electrical connectors one by one. Detach connector, slather as much dielectric grease as possible into the connector, then reattach connector. Do one connector at a time before moving on to next connector. Include all engine pigtails, all lighting circuits, all bulb retainers (blinker, headlight), and the interior of all handlebar-mounted electrical switches (such as lo-/high-beam switch, starter switch, et cetera).
       
    • Reassemble bike's fairing, seats as practical at this stage. Do not store bike with fairings off (much less likely to damage your fairings if they are on the bike, and they assist the structural integrity of the bike when it gets rained/snowed on, etc).
       
  • FUEL SYSTEM:
     
    • Obtain a premium-quality fuel stabilizer (auto parts store or hardware store), and add the appropriate amount to your tank just before topping off.
       
    • Top off the gas tank to chock-full, taking the time to burp it and wait for it to settle, then adding more. This will help prevent rust from building in your gas tank by eliminating any air which might cause condensation to form at a later time. It is recommended you do this in the spot you intend to store the bike, after the last time it runs.
       
    • Smear rubber gasket on underside of tank cap lightly with vaseline or other brand of petroleum jelly. This will help prevent it from drying out and reduce evaporation of gas.
       
    • Set Fuel Petcock to "OFF" if available..
       
    • Disconnect fuel lines beyond fuel petcock and drain. Drain float bowls of carborators and bag up drain screws/bolts, leaving carbs free to drain condensation when it occurs.
       
  • TIRES & PARKING STANCE:
     
    • If feasible, remove your wheels and have the tires unmounted. Store the tires flat on their sides.
    OTHERWISE:
    • Pump your tires up to the maximum pressure they are rated for according to the sidewall rating by the manufacturer (usually higher than the recommended pressure you drive on by 6 to 12 PSI or so). This will help keep the tires "round" and assist in preventing flat spots.
      • If present on your bike, park motorcycle on it's centerstand. If parking over dirt, place a board on the ground for the centerstand to rest on (to spread out the weight evenly & keep it from sinking or tipping over).
         
      • If you have a racing stand but no center stand, park it on the racing stand.
         
      • If you have neither a center stand nor a racing stand, consider purchasing and installing a center stand (a god-send for many occasions), if available, OR;
         
      • If a center stand is not available or not practical, consider purchasing and using a racing stand, OR;
         
      • At minimum, build a stand out of 2x4's to support your bike's frame & rear A-arm so the rear tire is off the ground;
         
      • AND: Cut 2x4 chocks to support your front forks, so your front tire is 1/2" to 3/4" (1 to 2 cm) off the ground, OR;
         
      • Support the bike from above via cargo ratchett straps from the rafters, provided they are strong enough to take the load;
         
      • GOAL: You want to get the both tire off the ground before long term/winterized storage. This will prevent the tires from becoming lopsided or uneven and reduce the chance of dry rot.
  • BRAKES:
     
    • Top off your brake fluids to 100% (to the rim, not just to the manufacturer's recommended mark), drain a little a bit of each brake caliper at the nipple, under pressure. Do not permit your reservoir to go empty (refill as necessary)! This will help remove water from the calipers and lines to ensure your calipers don't rust stuck from the inside.
       
    • If your bike has disk brakes (step 1): remove calipers from rotors (do not disconnect the brake lines), and remove pads from the calipers. Store pads and caliper bolts in zip-lock bag or aluminum foil, and attach to bike with plastic wire-tie (so you can't lose them over the storage period).
       
    • If your bike has disk brakes (step 2): Clean exposed portions of the sides of the caliper cylinders of all dirt. Coat exposed cylinder portions with a light coating of automotive grease or fogging marine oil, then using an appropriate tool (such as a block of wood and a c-clamp), force the caliper cylinders back into the caliper body all the way. This will help ensure they do not get rusted or frozen in place during storage.
      Note that your brake fluid reservoir will fill up from the bottom when this is done and may spill if too full before starting.
       
    • If your bike has disk brakes (step 3): Use wire coat hanger, safety wire or large plastic zip ties to support each caliper body, so it isn't hanging by the brake line hose during storage.
       
    • If your bike has disk brakes (step 4): Determine if your rotors are stainless steel or cast iron. Cast iron rotors will have rust on their very outer edge, and anywhere where the pads do not normally rub on the rotor face; stainless steel rotors will have no rust present anywhere. If in doubt, follow all procedures for cast iron rotors.
       
      • Stainless Steel Rotors: clean all oil, grime, dirt from rotor using a spray brake cleaner and toothbrush. Dry thoroughly.
         
      • Cast iron Rotors: clean all oil, grime, dirt from rotor using a spray brake cleaner and toothbrush. Use emery cloth to lightly sand off excess rust. Coat entire rotor (all surfaces) with a layer of automotive grease to prevent or minimize further rusting.
         
    • Fill brake fluid reservoirs to chock full again and cap off.
       
  • ENGINE:
     
    • Top off your oil to the recommended amount, plus one to two quarts or liters of extra oil extra above the recommended amount (to totally cover the crank shaft in oil to prevent rust and seizing), but not enough to soak the interior of the cylinders.
       
    • Vacuum out around your spark plugs to remove any standing dirt or debris. Remove the spark plugs, spray fogging marine-grade oil into the cambers (we recommend CRC's Engine Stor). Coat the threads of the spark plugs with antiseize paste. Reinsert plugs to somewhere between finger-tight and standard (but do not torque them all the way in).
       
    • Pop open your valve cover(s). Spray the same fogging marine grade oil on the valves and cams to prevent rust.
       
    • Insert a towel covered by a plastic bag into the air intake for the air filter. If you have separate air filters for each cylinder (example: certain K&N models), cover each filter with aluminum foil. This will help keep out bugs and rodents who will find your bike a nice dry place to live.
       
  • FORKS & SPRINGS:
     
    • Coat fork seals and other exposed rubber suspensions seals with a light coating of vaseline or other petroleum jelly.
       
    • Coat exposed fork tubes with a slather of automotive grease or petrolium jelly.
       
    • Coat exposed compression tubes with a slather of automotive grease or petrolium jelly.
       
  • SEAT:
     
    • Remove seat.
       
    • If seat is leather, treat with a leather conditioner (mink oil).
       
    • Wrap seat with dry brown craft paper or unprinted newspaper.
       
    • Place seat in large plastic garbage bag and store in non-freezing location. If necessary due to length of seat, use two bags, one from each end, and tape bags together with packing tape or duct tape (whatever's handy). Do not tape to seat or wrapping paper used.
       
  • HANDLEBARS, CABLES AND CONTROLS:
     
    • Loosen all control cables & lubricate with a light mineral oil. Leave loose.
       
    • If handlebars are bar-type exposed steel/iron, cover exposed metal with a layer of automotive grease.
       
    • Coat exterior of metal brake reservoirs with light coat of vaseline or other brand of petroleum jelly. Do [u]not[/u] coat plastic brake fluid reserviors.
       
  • EXHAUST:
     
    • Unbolt exhaust header pipes at block, smear mating portions with anti-galling compound (anti-seize), and reassemble to factory torque specs.
       
    • Examine exterior of exhaust header pipes. If rust is present, take off any excessive surface rust and then coat rust with a rust converter as per instructions. Coat entire header pipes and collector with a layer of automotive grease to prevent or minimize further rusting.
       
    • Examine exhaust pipe/muffler. If rust is present anywhere, clean off lose rust, treat with rust converter. If no rust is present (such as on chromed exhausts in good shape), clean surface of all dirt, grime and oils. Coat pipes & muffler with a thin layer of automotive grease.
       
    • If your exhaust uses retainer springs, disassemble exhaust at spring-held junction, smear mating portions with anti-galling compound (anti-seize), and reassemble to manufacturer specs. Smear springs with a heavy coat of automotive grease.
       
    • Take plastic dinner wrap (saran wrap, etc) and cover with a layer of aluminum foil. Place over all exhaust pipe exit holes, with plastic side on the inside, and hold in place with rubber bands. Among other benefits, this will discourage any insects, etc., from making a home in your exhaust pipes. Do not block drain holes smaller than 1/8".
       
  • CHAIN/SHAFT:
     
    • IF CHAIN DRIVE: Clean and inspect chain. If questionable, remove and throw away, order a new one (it'll arrive before you get back to the bike). If serviceable, slather your chain with automotive grease (not a spray oil or wax, but automotive grease). Cover the chain completely with grease. If wheel is still mounted on bike, loosen chain tensioner(s) and remove all tension from chain (should hang very slack).
       
    • IF SHAFT DRIVE: Drain shaft drive lubricant by factory procedure and refill with fresh lubricant. Remove breather cap, inspect for wear (& order replacement if necessary). Wrap breather cap in paper and place in zip-lock bag; attach bag to shaft with safety wire or wire ties. Cover breather cap opening in shaft with aluminum foil to seal totally (may have to wrap around entire shaft or pumpkin to seal it up right).
      NOTE: Some 2005 model BMW's ship with a sealed shaft utilizing "lifetime oils" that never needs it's oil replaced (I don't buy the concept of any fluid being a lifetime fluid). These systems do not get modified or altered with for storage.
       
  • BATTERY:
     
    • Disconnect terminals from battery to motorcycle and remove battery;
       
    • Bring battery indoors (or to a location that will not freeze) for storage;
       
    • Place on battery a wooden surface (not stone, concrete nor steel -- a wooden board on the floor will do, but a wooden shelf or wooden work bench is better) in a ventilated area away from any source of sparks (i.e. - do not store next to a furnace or propane dryer, etc).
       
    • Examine battery terminals on motorcycle. If corrosion is present, sand lightly with emery cloth to remove corrosion.
       
    • Coat battery terminals on motorcycle with a layer of dielectric grease or petroleum jelly (vaseline).
       
    • IF BATTERY IS NOT SEALED-GEL TYPE:
      • Remove caps from battery cells, place in bag and tape to exterior of battery.
      • Fill each cell to upper mark with distilled water. Do not use filtered or tap water!
      • Connect a motorcycle trickle charger (0.9 Amp or less) to the terminals and plug into the wall.
      • Cover battery's top surface with wax paper or a sheet of thick plastic, but not tightly (cover should sit atop the battery, not seal/wrap it up). This will help prevent dirt & dust from entering and the electrolyte from splattering if it boils at any point or the battery is disturbed.
         
    • IF BATTERY IS SEALED-GEL TYPE:
      • Connect a motorcycle trickle charger (0.9 Amp or less) to the terminals and plug into the wall.
  • COVER BIKE UP:
     
    • If the bike will be parked indoors, such as in a garage or other semi-heated location, get a breathable dust cover, and cover bike.
       
    • If the bike will be stored in an outbuilding (such as a garden shed) over sealed (painted) concrete, get a waterproof bike cover and a sheet or roll of construction plastic, 4 mils or thicker (any hardware store). Cover bike with waterproof cover, then cover that with the sheet of construction plastic. Weight down the edges of the construction plastic with bricks, stones or other heavy items. Pour cat litter around edge of plastic sheeting to form intermediate barrier. Consider placing a container or three of Damp Rid under the plastic sheeting.
       
    • If the bike will be stored outdoors over unpainted concrete, or anywhere parking over dirt, sand, grass, wood or anything other than sealed/painted concrete, place plastic sheet on floor where you intend to park bike. Spread cat litter over plastic. Move bike over sheet and park. Place 3 large containers of Damp Rid under bike. Cover bike with waterproof cover, then cover that with another sheet of construction plastic. Using plastic cement (the type you use for model airplanes), glue the edge of the plastic sheet over the bike to the plastic sheet under the bike. Roll over the edges where the upper & lower sheets meet, and Staple edges of under-sheet to edges over over-sheet. Weight down the edges of the construction plastic with bricks, stones or other heavy items. Pour cat litter around edge of plastic sheeting to form intermediate barrier.
       

     

  • 3B: WHEN YOU ARE READY TO REMOVE IT FROM THIS FORM OF LONG TERM OR WINTERIZED STORAGE:

    Purchase or obtain in advance:
    • a gas can (empty, at least as big as your tank's capacity)
    • a bottle of Techron pour-in fuel injector cleaner
    • a new oil filter
    • three to five quarts (whatever amount your bike takes) of fresh motorcycle motor oil (preferably oil high in anti-galling compounds)
    • a fresh set of spark plugs
    • a can of QuickStart or other starting spray containing a lubricant and an ether (WD-40 will do in a pinch)
    • some distilled water (at least a gallon if your bike uses coolant, less if it doesn't)
    • a water-rinsable chemical degreaser (Sludge-Away), or a big bottle liquid dish detergent
    • some rolls of paper towels and a couple shop rags
    • a bottle of the appropriately rated brake fluid
    • a large can of spray brake cleaner
    • If your bike has a radiator: cooling system flush
    • If your bike has a radiator: recommended coolant
    • If your bike has a radiator: another gallon of distilled water

    THEN FOLLOW THESE STEPS
    (PREFERABLY IN ORDER FOR YOUR SAFETY):

    • If stored under or in plastic sheeting, remove the plastic sheeting carefully.
       
    • If Damp Rid was used, remove the Damp Rid containers and drain or discard.
       
    • Remove the bike's cover(s);
       
    • Inspect under the bike for any leakages of any sort -- address them as necessary before proceeding;
       
    • Inspect tires for dry rot or other hazards. Plan to replace if necessary.
       
    • Turn front wheel by hand to ensure free rotation, then remove chock blocks from under front forks;
       
    • Remove chock blocks from under front forks;
       
    • Wipe away excess automotive grease with paper towels from any surface it is present on;
       
    • Wash away excess automotive grease and excess vaseline or other brand of petroleum jelly with a water-rinsable degreaser or dish detergent from any surface it is present on (grips, forks, springs, rotors, handle bars, exhaust pipes & headers, etc).
      ** Avoid getting degreaser on your paint or into your electrical system connectors.
      ** AVOID SPRAYING WATER UNDER PRESSURE INTO YOUR ELECTRICAL SYSTEM, CONNECTORS AND SWITCHES.
      ** IF YOU GREASED YOUR ROTORS, MAKE SURE ALL GREASE IS OFF THEM, INCLUDING IN ANY CROSS-DRILLED HOLES OR SLOTS!

       
    • IF CHAIN DRIVEN: Clean chain and lube as normal. Retension chain to manufacturer's specification.
       
    • IF SHAFT DRIVEN: Remove cover from over breather hole. Examine for presence of any foreign objects or contamination. If found, replace shaft lubrication. Reinstall breather cap.
       
    • Remove the excess air pressure from your tires, returning to the motorcycle manufacturer's recommended levels.
       
    • FUEL & FUEL LINES:
       
      1. Remove fuel petcock from bike and drain tank into gas can. Do not make contents pass through fuel petcock!
         
      2. With tank empty, inspect tank for rust. If present, follow this procedure before continuing: How to deal with rust in your gas tank.
         
      3. Examine old gas. If rust, water, or contamination is present, take away for disposal. If gas appears visually good, consider reuse in a car, lawn mower or other vehicle, or place in a different storage container for the time being.
        do not reuse the old gas in the motorcycle!
         
      4. Replace fuel filter(s) at this time with new ones.
         
      5. Replace fuel and vent lines.
         
      6. Reinstall fuel petcock with new o-ring.
         
      7. Reattach fuel lines, but leave tank loose if necessary to get at plugs.
         
    • Drain the motor oil, change oil filter, and replace oil with fresh motorcycle motor oil to the level recommended by the manufacturer.
      We recommend using a motor oil high in anti-galling compounds at this point, such as Kendall or Amsol motor oils. Anti-galling compounds help prevent seizing, an issue that can occur with a bike just coming out of storage. We also recommend using the lightest weight motor oil your manufacturer recommends at this point.
      Do not use the motor oil you stored the bike with, because it has built up acids and it's viscosity is now probably insufficient to provide adequate start-up lubrication. Depending on the environment, it may also have water in it from condensation!
       
    • IF BIKE USES COOLANT, AND COOLANT WAS DRAINED:
      • Disassemble water pump housing/cover and remove excess grease with paper towels. Do not wash with degreaser!
      • If feasible by design, turn water pump impellers by hand to ensure free operation.
      • Reassemble water pump housing/cover.
      • Remove excess grease from water passages with paper towels. Do not wash with degreaser!
      • Examine radiator hoses for condition, replace if necessary.
      • Uncap ends of radiator and wipe away excess grease with paper towels. Be thorough.
      • Reinstall radiator hoses.
      • Fill cooling system with cooling system flush and distilled water (not with coolant at this stage!)
        REMEMBER THAT MOST MOTORCYCLE COOLING SYSTEMS ARE SMALLER THAN CARS, SO YOU MAY NEED TO USE LESS COOLING SYSTEM FLUSH. 

       
    • IF BIKE USES COOLANT, AND COOLANT WAS NOT DRAINED:
      • Examine radiator hoses for condition, replace if necessary.
      • Drain some of the existing coolant mix, to make space for radiator flush compound. Top off cooling mix with radiator flush.
        REMEMBER THAT MOST MOTORCYCLE COOLING SYSTEMS ARE SMALLER THAN CARS, SO YOU MAY NEED TO USE LESS COOLING SYSTEM FLUSH.

       
    • BRAKES:
      • Examine brake lines for cracks, aging, and replace as necessary.
      • Examine brake pads, shoes for wear, and replace as necessary.
      • Ensuring all possible grease was removed from any rotors (if present), spray brake rotors & calipers liberally with spray brake cleaner.
      • Examine rotors for wear, and replace as necessary.
      • Reinstall pads and calipers (if present).
      • Flush your brake system completely (under pressure) and set fluids back to the manufacturer's recommended levels. Do not permit fluid in the brake fluid reservoir to run dry at any point during the flush!
         
    • Remove barriers or covers from air filter(s)/air filter housing(s).
       
    • Examine air filter(s) for condition, replace as necessary.
       
    • Examine front fork tubes, fork seals. Service/replace as necessary.
       
    • Replace fork oil as per manufacturer's procedure.
       
    • Remove barriers or covers from exhaust/muffler(s).
       
    • Lubricate, re-tighten and adjust all control cables (clutch, choke, throttle, etc).
       
    • Have tires remounted if they were unmounted. Reinstall wheels if not on bike.
       
    • BATTERY:
       
      1. Unplug trickle charger at wall, and disconnect from battery.
      2. Examine battery case. If case is cracked, replace battery.
      3. Examine battery cells. If any cell has white powder visible within it, or if any cell is at less than 45% volume, replace battery.
      4. If battery passes both examinations, top off any battery cells requiring fluid with distilled water (and only distilled water!) to the full mark, and recap.
      5. Reinstall battery into motorcycle.

       
    • HAND-TURNING ENGINE, PRESTART PROCEEDURE:
       
      1. Turn key to on position and check bike is in neutral. Turn bike back to off and remove key.
      2. Remove existing spark plugs.
      3. Using a flash light, look into each cylinder and verify that there is no debris inside, nor any build-up of rust. If debris is found, remove before proceeding. If rust is present, stop and seek professional help in rehoning your cylinders before proceeding.
      4. Place 1 tablespoon of motor oil into each cylinder.
      5. Place bike into first or second gear with clutch engaged. Do not turn on key!
      6. Turn rear wheel by hand to rotate engine. Listen for any unusually harsh sounds and feel for any heavy resistance to turning the rear wheel with the spark plugs out, which would indicate something is not right (like a seized water pump). If possible without straining and without using enough force to break anything, rotate rear wheel three full revolutions. If no problems encountered, continue for another dozen to two dozen rotations.
        If excess resistance encountered, stop and seek professional help!

       
    • Gap new plugs, if they are not pre-gapped (NGK's come pregapped). Coat threads with antiseize and install normally.
       
    • Reinstall carborator bowl drain screws or bolts previously removed.
       
    • Obtain fresh, premium grade gasoline in the gas can. Place 1/3rd of a bottle of the Techron fuel-system cleaner into the motorcycle's tank and then fill up the tank to full with the fresh gasoline.
       
    • Install tank permanently if you have not done so yet.
       
    • Ensure that the motorcycle has adequate ventilation for the exhaust fumes before proceeding. Roll the bike outdoors if necessary!
       
    • Set choke to full on.
       
    • Set gas selector switch to prime and wait 2 minutes. Set selector back to normal.
       
    • Remove stopper from gas over-flow/drain hose, if present, and drain. Reinstall cap.
       
    • Spray some starting fluid into air filter housing(s).
       
    • Start bike as normal. Do not rev. Ease off choke as soon as bike will run without it.
       
    • Reinstall seat.
       
    • WARM UP:
       
      IF WATER-COOLED:
       
      • Run in neutral as long as it takes for the coolant display to come up to minimum operating temperature plus an additional eight minutes. Shut off immediately if overheating occurs and pursue causes (repair as necessary). Then go to next step.
         
      • When complete, shut off as usual;
         
      • Drain coolant or distilled water from bike at this time. Refill with 50% coolant plus 50% distilled water, or whatever mixture rate recommended by your motorcycle manufacturer.
         
      • Your bike is now ready for a test drive... Drive carefully for the first few miles to ensure brakes, clutch and everything else is working as expected!
         
      • When you have cycled through that first tank of post-storage gasoline & fuel system cleaner mix, do another oil change with whatever motorcycle oil you prefer (synthetic, dino, etc).
         
      IF OIL-COOLED OR AIR-COOLED:
       
      • If oil-cooled or air-cooled, allow to run for a period of fifteen minutes in neutral;
         
      • Your bike is now ready for a test drive... Drive carefully for the first few miles to ensure brakes, clutch and everything else is working as expected!
         
      • When you have cycled through that first tank of post-storage gasoline & fuel system cleaner mix, do another oil change with whatever motorcycle oil you prefer (synthetic, dino, etc).
         

    4. Extended Term Storage (240+ days to a decade) --
         assumes you will NOT be starting the bike up during that time.

    Please read all the way through these instructions before beginning, because you may need to obtain certain supplies before proceeding.
     
    WE ALSO RECOMMEND PRINTING THIS AND USING IT AS CHECKLIST!

      Unlike normal long term storage, extended storage is for people who are parking or leaving the bike for a very long or unknown length of time (such as joining the military or storing it at an unused vacation home). The idea here isn't simply to winterize the bike, but instead to try to protect it from the ravages of time as much as possible, so when you return (or it's sold), the bike can be restored to running condition reasonably easily and with as little age-related damage as possible. Much of the bike will be encased in grease and oils, very similar to the way various armies around the world store materials for years for future war usage. This can be rather complicated a procedure, but the results of returning to a bike after it's been sitting totally neglected for months or years and getting it to start and run within a day are phenomenal -- and having it look just like it did when you left is even more impressive!
       Remember to select your parking space somewhere where the bike is unlikely to need to be moved during your absence, where it will be free of risk from impacts (including from cars parking, as well as branches falling from trees during storms and excess snow drift build-up).

  • LOCATION OF PLACEMENT:
     
    • If bike will be parked indoors in a semi-sealed environment (garage, den), obtain a breathable dust cover;
    • If bike will be parked in an out-building with a sealed cement or sealed stone floor (unheated garden shed, tool room, empty warehouse or self-store space), obtain a weatherproof bike cover.
    • If bike will be parked anywhere with dirt, sand, unsealed concrete, patio tile, or wood floors, or parked outdoors on any surface, obtain a weatherproof bike cover, a 25' x 10' or larger roll of construction plastic (at least 4 mils thick), 10 tubes of model aircraft glue, at least 4 bricks or cinder blocks, and 20 lbs of cat litter (cheapest type available). Place a section of the construction plastic on the ground where you intend to park the bike and cover with the cat litter; this will act as the "sealed" floor for your storage, and you will park the bike on it.
       
  • WATER/COOLANT/RADIATOR SYSTEMS (if your bike uses a water-based cooling system):
    (METHOD A -- for 240 days to 3 years):

     
    • Run a cooling system flush (an acidic product) through the cooling system as per product directions and rinse out.
    • Drain the coolant system totally.
    • Remove water pump housing/cover, and coat water pump impellers & bearings (if exposed) with automotive grease to prevent it from rusting solid. Coat interior of water pump housing and cover with automotive grease for same purpose. Reinstall water pump housing/cover.
    • Remove radiator hoses and overflow hoses, and bag up for storage.
    • Permit cooling system to drain & dry for at least 1 full day before proceeding.
    • Smear automotive grease around both radiator openings (inside and out), shoot fogging marine grade oil into the radiator, and cap off with aluminum foil and rubber bands.
    • Spray all water passages you can reach with a fogging marine grade oil to cover exposed metal inside the passages.
       
  • WATER/COOLANT/RADIATOR SYSTEMS (if your bike uses a water-based cooling system):
    (METHOD B -- for 3+ years):

     
    • Run a cooling system flush (an acidic product) through the cooling system as per product directions and rinse out.
    • Drain the coolant system totally.
    • Remove water pump housing/cover, and coat water pump impellers & bearings (if exposed) with a layer automotive grease to prevent it from rusting solid. Coat interior of water pump housing and cover with automotive grease for same purpose. Reinstall water pump housing/cover.
    • Remove radiator hoses and overflow hoses, and permit to dry fully.
    • Remove radiator reservoir/over-flow tank. Dry fully and store away from sunlight (in a box).
    • Permit cooling system to dry for at least 1 full day before proceeding.
    • Reinstall radiator hoses, including overflow hose. Route overflow hose to a point higher than the rest of the bike and insert a funnel.
    • Fill entire cooling system (other than the overflow container stored away), including radiator, with a light (10 weight or 10w30) motor oil all the way, forcing out any air present.
    • Permit enough time for air to rise out of the system before sealing (2 hours). Cap off overflow hose to seal system.
       
  • GENERAL ELECTRICAL, CONNECTORS:
     
    • Remove fairings & seat as necessary to proceed.
       
    • Locate electrical connectors one by one. Detach connector, spray with an electrical system cleaner and allow to dry. Slather as much dielectric grease as possible into the connector, then reattach connector. Do one connector at a time before moving on to next connector. Include all engine pigtails, all lighting circuits, all bulb retainers (blinkers, headlight), and the interior of all handlebar-mounted electrical switches (such as lo-/high-beam switch, starter switch, et cetera).
       
    • Reassemble bike's fairing, seats as practical at this stage. Do not store bike with fairings off (much less likely to damage your fairings if they are on the bike, and they assist the structural integrity of the bike).
       
  • FUEL SYSTEM (OPTION A - up to 1 year storage):
     
    • Obtain a premium-quality fuel stabilizer (auto parts store or hardware store), and add the appropriate amount to your tank just before topping off with premium grade gasoline.
    • Top off the gas tank to chock-full, taking the time to burp it and wait for it to settle, then adding more. This will help prevent rust from building in your gas tank by eliminating any air which might cause condensation to form at a later time. It is recommended you do this in the spot you intend to store the bike, after the last time it runs.
    • Smear rubber gasket on underside of tank cap lightly with vaseline or other brand of petroleum jelly. This will help prevent it from drying out and reduce evaporation of gas.
    • Set Fuel Petcock to "OFF" if petcock has an off setting.
    • Disconnect fuel lines beyond fuel petcock and drain. Drain float bowls of carborators and bag up drain screws/bolts, tie to carbs with wire ties, safety wire or zip ties. Leave float bowl drain holes open.
       
  • FUEL SYSTEM (OPTION B - more than 12 months' storage):
     
    • Drain fuel tank completely. Allow to air dry in a well ventilated location for at least 48 hours.
       
    • Set Fuel Petcock to "OFF", remove petcock from tank.
       
    • Smear rubber gasket on underside of tank cap lightly with vaseline or other brand of petroleum jelly. This will help prevent it from drying out.
       
    • Remove tank, ensure it is bone-dry, and place into a waxed or plastic box with a container of Damp Rid or silicate. Seal container with high-grade plastic-based packing tape (not masking tape).
       
    • Store tank in cool, dry place, preferably in air conditioning or desert-like conditions.
       
    • Disconnect fuel lines beyond fuel petcock and drain. Drain float bowls of carborators (if your bike uses carbs).
       
    • Remove carborators. Set on their side to drain in a well ventilated area. Permit to dry 1 day, then surround with brown craft paper and safety wire. Spray craft paper with long term storage oil (LPS-3, LPS-4) or marine grade fogging oil, fold around carbs, and store in sealed plastic bag. Cover intake manifold openings or velocity stacks with oil-soaked craft paper covered with aluminum foil and safety-wire into place.
       
    • Cap off fuel lines.
       
  • TIRES & PARKING STANCE:
     
    • Pump your tires up to the maximum pressure they are rated for according to the sidewall rating by the manufacturer (usually higher than the recommended pressure you drive on by 6 to 10 PSI or so). The tires will need to be replaced when you return the bike to service, so don't worry about them getting lopsided or flat over time. No tire is going to be good after two years of storage, especially if it was an used tire to start with.
    • If present on your bike, park motorcycle on it's centerstand. If parking over dirt, place a board on the ground for the centerstand to rest on (to spread out the weight evenly & keep it from sinking or tipping over).
       
    • If you have a racing stand but no center stand, park it on the racing stand.
       
    • If you have neither a center stand nor a racing stand, consider purchasing and installing a center stand (a god-send for many occasions), if available, OR;
       
    • If a center stand is not available or not practical, consider purchasing and using a racing stand;
       
    • Cover entire exposed metal surface of wheel with a layer of automotive grease or petroleum jelly, or thick long-term storage spray oil, including all spokes if you have wire spoke wheels. Try to avoid getting excess grease/jelly/spray oil on tires if possible.
       
  • BRAKES:
     
    • Drain brake lines, calipers. Disconnect at both ends and allow to hang free. Expect to replace them when bike comes back into service, but leave in place to show routing of the lines.
       
    • If your bike has disk brakes (step 1): remove calipers from rotors, and remove pads from the calipers. Coat backing plate of pads with a thin layer of petroleum jelly. Store pads (face-to-face) and caliper bolts in zip-lock bag or aluminum foil, and attach to bike or wheels with plastic wire-ties (so you can't lose them over the storage period).
       
    • If your bike has disk brakes (step 2): Clean exposed portions of the sides of the caliper cylinders of all dirt. Disassemble caliper and remove seals from caliper pistons. Clean caliper pistons and caliper body. Coat caliper & pistons with fogging marine grade oil or petroleum jelly. Leave disassembled. Wrap in brown craft paper and store in sealed zip lock bags. Label bags as to which side and which wheel the parts go to (i.e. - left/front pads; left/front caliper). Stick note in bag with calipers telling you that you need to replace the caliper piston seals when you go to reassemble the caliper assembly.
       
    • If your bike has disk brakes (step 3): Dry out interior of brake fluid reservior, smear brake fluid reserior seal with petrolium jelly. Remove reservior from bike, wrap in wrapping paper and seal in ziplock bag. Label bag and tie off to handlebar.
       
    • If your bike has disk brakes (step 4): Determine if your rotors are stainless steel or cast iron. Cast iron rotors will have rust on their very outer edge, and anywhere where the pads do not normally rub on the rotor face; stainless steel rotors will have no rust present anywhere. If in doubt, follow all procedures for cast iron rotors.
       
      • Stainless Steel Rotors: clean all oil, grime, dirt from rotor using a spray brake cleaner and toothbrush. Dry thoroughly. Coat rotors with a light layer of automotive grease. Wrap rotors in 2 to three layers of brown craft paper, wrapped by safety wire to hold it in place. Spray craft paper with long term storage oil (such as LPS-3 or LPS-4, or brush on light layer of 20W50 or heavier motor oil).
         
      • Cast iron Rotors: clean all oil, grime, dirt from rotor using a spray brake cleaner and toothbrush. Use emery cloth or steel wood to lightly sand off excess (flakable) rust. Coat entire rotor (all surfaces) with a layer of automotive grease to prevent or minimize further rusting. Wrap rotors in 2 to three layers of brown craft paper, wrapped by safety wire to hold it in place. Spray craft paper with long term storage oil (such as LPS-3 or LPS-4, or brush on light layer of 20W50 or heavier motor oil).
         
  • ENGINE (FOR EXTENDED STORAGE ONLY!):
     
    • Vacuum out around your spark plugs to remove any standing dirt or debris. Remove spark plugs.
       
    • Top off your oil to the recommended amount, plus as many quarts or liters of extra oil extra it will hold above the recommended amount (to totally cover the crank shaft in oil to help prevent rust and seizing), and enough to cover the pistons!
       
    • Pour oil into each cylinder to top it off.
      ONCE YOU POUR OIL INTO THE CYLINDERS, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO START THE ENGINE WITHOUT REMOVING THE EXCESS OIL FIRST! OIL DOES NOT COMPRESS, AND IT COULD CAUSE YOUR PISTONS, PISTON RODS, VALVES, CRANK, CAM OR EVEN CYLINDER WALLS TO SHATTER OR BREAK!
       
    • Coat threads of spark plugs lightly with an anti-galling compound (anti-seize), and thread back in lightly (do not tighten down all the way).
       
    • Locate crankcase breather(s), if present. Remove, bag in sealed zip-lock bag, and seal opening on engine with aluminum foil and safety wire.
       
    • Open valve covers and coat valves with a thick layer of fogging marine grade oil. Reseat valve covers and tighten to spec.
       
    • GOAL: FILL THE ENGINE BLOCK WITH AS MUCH OIL AS POSSIBLE TO REMOVE AS MUCH AIR AS POSSIBLE, AND SEAL ALL OPENINGS.
       
    • Insert a towel covered by a plastic bag into the air intake for the air filter. If you have separate air filters for each cylinder (example: certain K&N models), cover each filter with aluminum foil. This will help keep out bugs and rodents who will otherwise find your bike a nice dry place to live.
       
  • FORKS & SPRINGS:
     
    • Coat fork seals and other exposed rubber suspensions seals with a light coating of vaseline or other petroleum jelly.
       
    • Coat exposed fork housings & tubes with a thick slather of automotive grease or petroleum jelly.
       
    • Coat exposed compression tubes & springs with a slather of automotive grease or petroleum jelly.
       
  • FLEXIBLE RUBBER PARTS:
     
    • Obtain Castrol Red Rubber Grease (yes, it's expensive in the USA -- because it's normally only sold in the UK and has to be imported; if you have a Brit friend, get him to send you a 500 gram container). Take all the flexible rubber parts, such as the velocity stacks, and coat all surfaces with Castrol Red Rubber Grease. This organic grease made for rubber parts seals in the remain VOC's that keep the rubber flexible and greatly extends the lifespan of rubber parts. It's used fanatically by people who drive cars for which replacement parts are no longer made (ever wonder how you get parts for a 1934 Reos Flying Cloud or a Stuz Bearcat? You don't -- you care for what you've already got).
      Make sure you get any exterior rubber as well other than the tires (safe to use on unpainted plastic as well) -- rubber cover over clutch lever pivots, instrument surrounds, foot peg rubber, et cetera.
       
  • FRAME & ENGINE EXTERIOR:
     
    • Coat the entire frame and all exposed engine metal with a layer of automotive grease or spray long term storage oil (LPS-3, LPS-4). Include rear swing arms, seat-supporting subframe, etc. Avoid overspray onto plastic surfaces.
       
  • SEAT:
     
    • Remove seat.
       
    • If seat is leather, cover with a standing layer of mink oil. Do not wipe off excess.
       
    • Surround seat with a layer of craft paper (do not oil paper!). Place wrapped seat in large plastic garbage bag and store in non-freezing location if possible. If not possible, reattach to bike while still retained in plastic bag.
       
  • HANDLEBARS, CABLES AND CONTROLS:
     
    • Loosen all control cables & lubricate with a 5 weight motor oil or light mineral oil. Leave loose.
       
    • Remove grips, switches and levers. Bag in sealable zip-lock bag(s) and store.
       
    • Cover exposed metal handlebars or bar extensions with a layer of automotive grease, including ends.
       
    • Coat exterior of metal brake reservoirs with light coat of vaseline or other brand of petroleum jelly.
       
  • EXHAUST:
     
    • Unbolt exhaust header pipes at block, smear mating portions with anti-galling compound (anti-seize), smear bolts with light coat of anti-galling compound, and reassemble to factory torque specs.
       
    • Coat entire exterior of header pipes and collector with a layer of automotive grease to prevent or minimize rusting.
       
    • Coat exhaust pipe (and muffler, if metal) with automotive grease.
       
    • If your exhaust pipes use retainer springs, disassemble exhaust at spring-held junction, smear mating portions with anti-galling compound (anti-seize), and reassemble to manufacturer specs. Smear springs and exterior of connection with a heavy coat of automotive grease. Use a toothpick to unblock any drain holes in exhaust system (usually at the lowest point, to drain condensation).
       
    • Take brown wrapping paper, soak with a long term sealant oil (such as LPS-3) and cover with a layer of aluminum foil. Place over all exhaust pipe exit holes, with paper side on the inside, and hold in place with safety wire.
       
  • CHAIN/SHAFT:
     
    • IF CHAIN DRIVE (METHOD A - up to 3 years): Clean and inspect chain. If questionable, remove and throw away, order a new one (it'll arrive before you get back to the bike). If serviceable, slather your chain with automotive grease (not a spray oil or wax, but automotive grease). Cover the chain completely with grease. Loosen chain tensioner(s) and remove all tension from chain (should hang very slack).
       
    • IF CHAIN DRIVE (METHOD B - over 3 years): Clean and inspect chain. If questionable, remove and throw away, order a new one (it'll arrive before you get back to the bike). Remove chain from bike. Obtain mason jar with sealable lid, or empty spaghetti sauce jar. Insert chain and cover with motor oil to 1/2 shy of rim. Seal jar and store out of sunlight.
       
    • IF SHAFT DRIVE: Drain shaft drive lubricant by factory procedure and refill as full as physically possible with fresh shaft oil. Remove breather cap, inspect for wear (& order replacement if necessary). place Breather cap in zip-lock bag; attach bag to shaft with safety wire or wire ties. Cover breather cap opening with aluminum foil to seal totally (may have to wrap around entire shaft or pumpkin to seal it up right -- we want no air movement).
       
  • BATTERY:
     
    • Disconnect terminals from battery to motorcycle and remove battery;
       
    • Sand battery terminals on motorcycle with emery cloth if any corrosion or white powder is evident.
       
    • Coat battery terminals on motorcycle with a layer of dielectric grease or petroleum jelly (vaseline).
       
    • Bring battery indoors (or to a location that will not freeze) for storage, or dispose of properly if you can't;
       
      IF STORING FOR 12 MONTHS OR LESS, AND BATTERY IS NOT SEALED-GEL TYPE:
      1. Place on battery a wooden or plastic surface (not stone, concrete nor steel -- a wooden board on the floor will do, but a wooden shelf or wooden work bench is better) in a ventilated area away from any source of sparks (i.e. - do not store next to a furnace or propane dryer, etc).
      2. Remove caps from battery cells, place in bag and tape to exterior of battery.
      3. Fill each cell to upper mark with distilled water. Do not use filtered or tap water!
      4. Connect a motorcycle trickle charger (2 Amp or less) to the terminals and plug into the wall.
      5. Cover battery's top surface with wax paper or a sheet of thick plastic, but not tightly (cover should sit atop the battery, not seal/wrap it up). This will help prevent dirt & dust from entering and the electrolyte from splattering.
      6. Top off low cells every two to three months. If any cell goes totally dry, dispose of battery and buy new one when removing motorcycle from storage.
         

      IF STORING FOR 12 MONTHS OR LESS, AND BATTERY IS SEALED-GEL TYPE:
      1. Place on battery a wooden or plastic surface (not stone, concrete nor steel -- a wooden board on the floor will do, but a wooden shelf or wooden work bench is better) in a ventilated area away from any source of sparks (i.e. - do not store next to a furnace or propane dryer, etc).
      2. Connect a motorcycle trickle charger (2 Amp or less) to the terminals and plug into the wall.

       
      IF STORING FOR MORE THAN 12 MONTHS, AND BATTERY IS ANY TYPE:
      1. Place on battery into a plastic bag and tie off. Place plastic bag with battery upright on a wooden or solid plastic surface (not stone, concrete nor steel -- a wooden board on the floor will do, but a wooden or plastic shelf or wooden work bench is better).
        NOTE: Battery will require charging when returning and may not hold a charge at that time. It's a long time for a battery to wait, but it's too long for it to be connected to a trickle charger without someone topping off the electrolyte with distilled water regularly. Consider disposing of the battery properly and buying a replacement when you're ready to un-store the bike.
         
  • COVER BIKE UP:
     
    • If the bike will be parked indoors, such as in a garage or other semi-heated location, get a breathable dust cover, and cover bike.
       
    • If the bike will be stored in an outbuilding (such as a garden shed) over sealed concrete, get a waterproof bike cover and a sheet or roll of construction plastic, 4 mils or thicker (any hardware store). Cover bike with waterproof cover, then cover that with the sheet of construction plastic. Weight down the edges of the construction plastic with bricks, stones or other heavy items. Pour cat litter around edge of plastic sheeting to form intermediate barrier. Placing one container of Damp Rid under the plastic sheeting for each year bike will be in storage (double that for high humidity locations).
       
    • If the bike will be stored outdoors over concrete, or anywhere parking over dirt, sand, grass, wood or anything other than sealed concrete, place plastic sheet on floor where you intend to park bike. Spread cat litter over plastic. Move bike over sheet and park. Placing two containers of Damp Rid under the plastic sheeting for each year bike will be in storage (double that for high humidity locations). Cover bike with waterproof cover, then cover that with another sheet of construction plastic. Using plastic cement (the type you use for model airplanes), glue the plastic sheet over the bike to the plastic sheet under the bike, about 6" in from edges all around the bike (try to form an air-tight seal). Roll over the edges where the upper & lower sheets meet, and Staple edges of under-sheet to edges over over-sheet. Weight down the edges of the construction plastic with bricks, stones or other heavy items. Pour cat litter around edge of plastic sheeting to form intermediate barrier.
       

     


  • 4B: WHEN YOU ARE READY TO REMOVE IT FROM THIS FORM OF EXTENDED STORAGE:

    Purchase or obtain in advance:
    • a gas can (empty, at least as big as your tank's capacity)
    • a bottle of Techron pour-in fuel injector cleaner
    • a new oil filter
    • three to five quarts (whatever amount your bike takes) of fresh motorcycle motor oil (preferably oil high in anti-galling compounds)
    • a fresh set of spark plugs
    • a can of QuickStart or other starting spray containing a lubricant and an ether (WD-40 will do in a pinch)
    • some distilled water (at least a gallon if your bike uses coolant, less if it doesn't)
    • a gallon water-rinsable chemical degreaser (Sludge-Away), or a couple big bottles liquid dish detergent
    • half dozen rolls of paper towels and a number of couple shop rags
    • a bottle of the appropriately rated brake fluid
    • a large can of spray brake cleaner
    • If your bike has a radiator: professional-grade cooling system flush
    • If your bike has a radiator: manufacturer recommended coolant
    • If your bike has a radiator: another couple gallon of distilled water

    THEN FOLLOW THESE STEPS
    (PREFERABLY IN ORDER FOR YOUR SAFETY):

    • If stored under or in plastic sheeting, remove the upper plastic sheeting carefully.
       
    • If Damp Rid was used, remove the Damp Rid containers and pour out water, then discard.
       
    • Remove the bike's cover(s);
       
    • Inspect under the bike for any leakages of any sort -- address them as necessary before proceeding;
       
    • IF CHAIN DRIVEN AND CHAIN IS STILL ON: Clean chain of grease and lube as normal. Inspect chain and sprockets, replace as necessary. Retension chain to manufacturer's specification.
       
    • IF CHAIN DRIVEN AND CHAIN IS OFF: Remove chain from oil and dry. Inspect chain and sprockets, replace as necessary. Reinstall chain. Retension chain to manufacturer's specification.
       
    • IF SHAFT DRIVEN: Remove protective aluminum foil cover from over breather hole. Flush shaft oil as per manufacturer instructions, replacing entire contents with recommended type to the recommended level. Inspect breather and replace if necessary (replace foam if necessary). Reinstall breather.
       
    • Inspect tires for dry rot or other hazards. Replace as necessary.
       
    • Clean wheels, mags and rims and brake rotors of all excess grease.
       
    • If tires are not mounted on wheels/mags/rims, have them professionally mounted at this time before proceeding.
       
    • If tires are still mounted, remove the excess air pressure from your tires, returning to the motorcycle manufacturer's recommended levels.
       
    • Wipe away excess automotive grease with paper towels from any surface it is present on (frame, calipers, handle bars, engine block, chains, wheels, etc);
       
    • Reinstall wheels on bike if they had been dismounted previously.
       
    • Remove chock blocks from under front forks;
       
    • Remove and set aside all fairing pieces, and seat if present, at this time.
       
    • Wash away excess automotive grease and excess vaseline or other brand of petroleum jelly with a water-rinsable degreaser (recommended for this application) or dish detergent from any surface it is present on (grips, forks, springs, rotors, handle bars, exhaust pipes & headers, frame, etc). Use a toothbrush on brake rotors, if present, to wash all grease out of any cross-drilled holes or slots.
      ** Avoid getting degreaser on your paint or into your electrical system connectors.
      ** AVOID SPRAYING WATER UNDER PRESSURE INTO YOUR ELECTRICAL SYSTEM, CONNECTORS AND SWITCHES.
      ** MAKE SURE ALL GREASE IS OFF ROTORS AND BRAKES, INCLUDING IN ANY CROSS-DRILLED HOLES OR SLOTS IN THE ROTORS!

       
    • FUEL & FUEL LINES - IF TANK WAS STORED EMPTY:
       
      1. Inspect tank for rust. If present, follow this procedure before continuing: How to deal with rust in your gas tank.
      2. Replace fuel filter(s) at this time with new ones.
      3. Examine fuel lines for wear, aging, brittleness. Replace as necessary.
      4. Reinstall fuel petcock with new o-ring.
      5. Reattach fuel lines, but not tank yet (to get at plugs, carbs).
         
    • FUEL & FUEL LINES - IF TANK CONTAINS GASOLINE (MORE THAN 12 MONTHS):
       
      1. Remove fuel petcock from bike and drain tank into gas can. Do not make contents pass through fuel petcock!
         
      2. With tank empty, inspect tank for rust. If present, follow this procedure before continuing: How to deal with rust in your gas tank.
      3. Take old away for proper disposal (gas station, service station).
        do not reuse the old gas in the motorcycle!
      4. Replace fuel filter(s) at this time with new ones.
      5. Examine fuel lines for wear, aging, brittleness. Replace as necessary.
      6. Reinstall fuel petcock with new o-ring.
      7. Reattach fuel lines, but not tank yet (to get at plugs, carbs).
         
    • FUEL & FUEL LINES - IF TANK CONTAINS GASOLINE (LESS THAN 12 MONTHS):
       
      1. Remove fuel petcock from bike and drain tank into gas can. Do not make contents pass through fuel petcock!
         
      2. With tank empty, inspect tank for rust. If present, follow this procedure before continuing: How to deal with rust in your gas tank.
      3. Examine old gas. If rust, water, or contamination is present, take away for disposal. If gas appears visually good, consider reuse in a car, lawn mower or other vehicle, or place in a different storage container for the time being.
        do not reuse the old gas in the motorcycle!
      4. Replace fuel filter(s) at this time with new ones.
      5. Examine fuel lines for wear, aging, brittleness. Replace as necessary.
      6. Reinstall fuel petcock with new o-ring.
      7. Reattach fuel lines, but not tank yet (to get at plugs, carbs).
         
    • ENGINE OIL:
      1. Remove spark plugs.
      2. Uncap/uncover engine breather.
      3. Drain the motor oil, allowing to drain for at least 1 full hour (overnight is better). If oil cooler is present, disconnect oil cooler lines at lowest point when draining.
      4. Use a suction pump or syringe (without needle) to pump out any motor oil present in each cylinder (there may be none, if it leaked down to the main galley over the months & years).
        GET ALL MOTOR OIL OUT OF THE CYLINDERS BEFORE PROCEEDING. ANY SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF MOTOR OIL IN THE CYLINDERS CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ENGINE DAMAGE WHEN ENGINE IS TURNED OVER (BY HAND OR OTHERWISE).
      5. Change oil filter, and replace oil with fresh motorcycle motor oil to the level recommended by the manufacturer.
        We recommend using a motor oil high in anti-galling compounds at this point, such as Kendall or Amsol motor oils. Anti-galling compounds help prevent seizing, an issue that can occur with a bike just coming out of storage. We also recommend using the lightest weight motor oil your manufacturer recommends at this point (i.e. - if you can use 10W40 and 20W50, use 10W40).
        Do not use the motor oil you stored the bike with, because it has built up acids and it's viscosity is now insufficient to provide adequate start-up lubrication. Depending on the environment, it may also have water in it from condensation!
         
    • IF BIKE USES COOLANT, AND SYSTEM WAS STORED DRY/EMPTY:
      • Disassemble water pump housing/cover and remove excess grease with paper towels. Do not wash with degreaser!
      • If feasible by design, turn water pump impellers by hand to ensure free operation.
      • Reassemble water pump housing/cover.
      • Remove excess grease from water passages with paper towels. Do not wash with degreaser!
      • Examine radiator hoses for condition, replace if necessary.
      • Uncap ends of radiator and wipe away excess grease with paper towels. Be thorough.
      • Rinse out radiator and coolant passages with warm water liberally to help remove extra grease.
      • Reinstall radiator hoses.
      • Reinstall over-flow tank and hoses.
      • Fill cooling system with cooling system flush (an acid product) and distilled water (not with coolant at this stage!)
        REMEMBER THAT MOST MOTORCYCLE COOLING SYSTEMS ARE SMALLER THAN CARS, SO YOU MAY NEED TO USE LESS COOLING SYSTEM FLUSH. 

       
    • IF BIKE USES COOLANT, AND SYSTEM WAS STORED IN OIL FILLED STATE:
      • Remove radiator hoses, radiator cap if present, and drain oil from cooling system at lowest point.
      • Disassemble water pump housing/cover and allow excess oil to drain. Do not wash with degreaser!
      • If feasible by design, turn water pump impellers by hand to ensure free operation.
      • Reinstall over-flow tank and hoses.
      • Rinse out radiator and coolant passages with water liberally to help remove extra oil; allow to drip dry.
      • Reassemble water pump housing/cover.
      • Examine radiator hoses for condition (both inside and out), replace if necessary.
      • Reinstall radiator hoses.
      • Fill cooling system with cooling system flush (an acid product) and distilled water (not with coolant at this stage!)
        REMEMBER THAT MOST MOTORCYCLE COOLING SYSTEMS ARE SMALLER THAN CARS, SO YOU MAY NEED TO USE LESS COOLING SYSTEM FLUSH. 

       
    • BRAKES:
      • Examine brake lines for cracks, aging, and replace as necessary.
      • Examine brake pads, shoes for wear, and replace as necessary.
      • Ensuring all possible grease was removed from any rotors (if present), spray brake rotors & calipers liberally with spray brake cleaner to remove grease.
      • Examine rotors for wear, and replace or have resurfaced as necessary.
      • Reinstall pads and calipers (if present).
      • Flush your brake system completely with new fluid (under pressure) and set fluid level back to the manufacturer's recommended levels. Do not permit fluid in the brake fluid reservoir to run dry at any point during the flush!
         
    • IF YOUR BIKE USES CARBORATORS AND THEY WERE REMOVED FOR STORAGE:
      1. Get out carborators from storage, remove from bags & wrappings
      2. Spray liberally with spray carborator cleaner
      3. Ensure all seals are good and that carb linkages work without hesitation -- rebuild carborators if in doubt.
      4. Reinstall carborators.
         
    • IF YOUR BIKE USES CARBORATORS AND THEY WERE LEFT IN PLACE:
      1. Unwrap carborators.
      2. Spray liberally with spray carborators cleaner
      3. Ensure all seals are good and that carb linkages work without hesitation -- rebuild carborators if in doubt.
         
    • IF YOUR BIKE USES INJECTORS AND WAS STORED OVER 12 MONTHS:
      1. Remove injectors via manufacturer's procedure.
      2. Soak injectors in liquid injector/fuel system cleaner overnight on their sides in a sealed container. Lay them in carefully -- do not drop them in!
      3. If a ultrasonic bath cleaner is available, clean in an ultrasonic bath in liquid injector/fuel-system cleaner for 1 hour as well.
        NOTE: Some ultrasonic cleaners get hot when working. If yours gets hot, do not use it in conjunction with flammable liquids like inject/fuel system cleaner! Skip this step!
      4. Test injectors for proper spray pattern by manufacturer approved method. If questionable, replace.
      5. Reinstall injectors via manufacturer's procedure.
         
    • Remove barriers or covers from air filter(s)/air filter housing(s).
       
    • Examine air filter(s) for condition, replace as necessary.
       
    • Examine and tighten rubber air passage boots as necessary. If cracked or brittle, replace.
       
    • Examine front fork tubes. Service/replace as necessary.
       
    • Replace/flush fork oil and replace fork seals as per manufacturer's procedure.
       
    • Remove barriers or covers from exhaust/muffler(s).
       
    • BATTERY: IF BATTERY IS ATTACHED TO TRICKLE CHARGER AND NOT SEALED/GEL-TYPE:
       
      • Unplug trickle charger at wall, and disconnect from battery.
      • Examine battery case. If case is cracked, replace battery.
      • Examine battery cells. If any cell has white powder visible within it, or if any cell is at less than 25% volume, replace battery.
      • If battery passes both examinations, top off any battery cells requiring fluid with distilled water (and only distilled water!) to the full mark, and recap.
      • Reinstall battery into motorcycle.

       
    • BATTERY: IF BATTERY IS ATTACHED TO TRICKLE CHARGER AND IS SEALED/GEL-TYPE:
       
      • Unplug trickle charger at wall, and disconnect from battery.
      • Examine battery case. If case is cracked, replace battery.
      • Reinstall battery into motorcycle. Know that battery may not be good even if hooked to charger for whole duration of storage.

       
    • BATTERY: IF BATTERY STORED IN BAG ON SHELF AND IS NOT SEALED/GEL TYPE:
       
      • Examine battery case. If case is cracked, replace battery.
      • Examine battery cells. If any cell has white powder visible within it, or if any cell is at less than 25% volume, replace battery.
      • If battery passes both examinations, top off any battery cells requiring fluid with distilled water (and only distilled water!) to the full mark. Leave caps off.
      • Connect low power battery charger (2 Amp or less) or trickle charger (2 Amp or less). Charge for 12 hours, rechecking the fluids every couple hours and topping off with distilled water as necessary.
        DO NOT CONNECT BATTERY TO ANY CHARGER WITH OVER 2-AMP RATING, AS EXPLOSION MAY OCCUR. DO NOT USE A TRADITIONAL AUTOMOTIVE BATTERY CHARGER UNLESS IT HAS A 2-AMP OR LOWER TRICKLE CHARGER SETTING!
      • Cover top with a layer of wax paper to prevent any spillage while charging.
      • Disconnect battery charger after 12-24 hours. Check battery with volt meter after charging period. Voltage should be 12.8 volts or higher between the poles (13.8 ideal). If voltage is under 12.6 volts, replace battery.
      • Reinstall battery into motorcycle.
         
    • BATTERY: IF BATTERY STORED IN BAG ON SHELF AND IS SEALED/GEL TYPE:
       
      • Examine battery case. If case is cracked, replace battery.
      • Connect low power battery charger (2 Amp or less) or trickle charger (2 Amp or less). Charge for 12 hours.
        DO NOT CONNECT BATTERY TO ANY CHARGER WITH OVER 2-AMP RATING, AS EXPLOSION MAY OCCUR. DO NOT USE A TRADITIONAL AUTOMOTIVE BATTERY CHARGER UNLESS IT HAS A 2-AMP OR LOWER TRICKLE CHARGER SETTING!
      • Disconnect battery charger after 12-24 hours. Check battery with volt meter after charging period. Voltage should be 12.8 volts or higher between the poles (13.8 ideal). If voltage is under 12.6 volts, replace battery.
      • Reinstall battery into motorcycle.
    • Spray all keyholes (ignition, seat lock, helmet locks) with graphite lock spray.
    • Lube control cables (throttle, choke, clutch, etc) with a light oil, and check for free operation. Replace if necessary.
    • Reattach all handlebar-mounted devices (switches, levers, grips, throttle, etc).
    • Adjust all control cables for correct operation (throttle, choke, clutch, etc).
       
    • HAND-TURNING ENGINE, PRESTART PROCEEDURE:
       
      1. Turn key to on position and check bike is in neutral. Turn bike back to off and remove key.
      2. Verify spark plugs are out of engine.
      3. Using a flash light, look into each cylinder and verify that there is no debris inside, no standing oil, nor any build-up of rust. If debris is found, remove before proceeding.
        If standing oil is present, stop and remove all standing oil before proceeding.
        If rust is present, stop and seek professional help in rehoning your cylinders before proceeding.
      4. place a light spray (3-seconds or less) of WD-40 or other light spray oil into each engine cylinder.
      5. Cover spark plug openings with a clean shop rag or clean towel.
      6. Place bike into first or second gear. Do not turn on key!
      7. Turn rear wheel by hand to rotate engine. Listen for any unusually harsh sounds and feel for any heavy resistance to turning the rear wheel with the spark plugs out, which would indicate something is not right (like a seized water pump). If possible without straining and without using enough force to break anything, rotate rear wheel seven full revolutions. If no problems encountered, continue.
        If excess resistance encountered, or metal-breaking noises are heard, stop and seek professional help -- DO NOT PROCEED!

       
    • INITAL ENGINE FIRE-UP PROCEEDURE:
       
      1. Ensure Hand-turning Engine Prestart Procedure (above) was performed within last 10 minutes. If not, repeat it first.
      2. Spray each cylinder with a light coating of starting fluid (WD40 will do in a pinch). Gap and install new plugs to manufacturer specifications.
      3. Install gas tank & fuel lines permanently if you have not done so yet.
      4. Obtain fresh, premium grade gasoline in the gas can. Place 1/3rd of a bottle of the Techron fuel-system cleaner into the motorcycle's tank and then fill up the tank to full with the fresh gasoline.
      5. Ensure that the motorcycle has adequate ventilation for the exhaust fumes before proceeding. Roll the bike outdoors if necessary!
      6. Set choke to full on.
      7. Set gas selector switch to prime, twist throttle to full-on for 10 seconds, then back off and wait 2 minutes. Set selector back to normal.
      8. Examine engine, carbs, fuel petcock and surrounding area for any fuel leaks. Address/repair leaks before proceeding.
      9. Remove stopper from gas over-flow/drain hose, if present, and drain. Reinstall cap.
      10. Spray some starting fluid into air filter.
      11. Attempt to start bike as normal. Do not rev and do not hold throttle open. Do not run starter for more than 6 seconds in row; allow to cool 60 seconds before reattempting. You may spray additional starting fluid onto the air filter intake at this time to help the bike. Expect it to take 3 to 10 attempts before engine will come to life under it's own power. Do not be alarmed if you get a back fire or two to start -- it means ease off the starting spray and/or reduce choke setting (bike is getting too much fuel before it sparks). If the battery dies, recharge it, and/or jump it from a known good battery with the same voltage (some bikes with advanced electrical systems, [i.e. - Ducati 999, etc] should never be jumped from a car or truck battery).
      12. Once started, do not rev. Ease off choke in one to two minutes, as soon as bike will run consistently without it.
        NOTE: engine, exhaust and other parts that heat up may smoke or smolder, giving off fumes as engine heats up. This means that you did not get all the grease, petroleum jelly or long term storage oils off the exterior surfaces. Try not to breathe these fumes, and rewash the parts in question after initial warm-up to remove any residual. It will be harder to get it off once it's been heated (since it will thicken as a result), but much of it will burn off in the process as well.

       
    • WARM UP:
       
      IF WATER-COOLED:
       
      1. Run in neutral as long as it takes for the coolant display to come up to minimum operating temperature plus an additional 15 minutes. Shut off immediately if overheating occurs and go to step 3.
         
      2. When complete, shut off as usual;
         
      3. Drain coolant flush water from bike at this time. Rinse coolant passages thoroughly with water, then drain. Refill with 50% coolant plus 50% distilled water, or whatever mixture rate recommended by your motorcycle manufacturer. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!
         
      4. Your bike is now ready for a test drive... Do a traditional pre-ride check as should be your habit. Drive carefully for the first few miles to ensure brakes, clutch and everything else is working as expected!
         
      5. When you have cycled through that first tank of post-storage gasoline & fuel system cleaner mix, do another oil change with whatever motorcycle oil you prefer (synthetic, dino, etc). At this time also drain and refill your cooling system again as per instructions above.
         

      IF OIL-COOLED OR AIR-COOLED:
       
      1. If oil-cooled or air-cooled, allow to run for a period of fifteen minutes in neutral;
         
      2. Your bike is now ready for a test drive... Do a traditional pre-ride check as should be your habit. Drive carefully for the first few miles to ensure brakes, clutch and everything else is working as expected!
         
      3. When you have cycled through that first tank of post-storage gasoline & fuel system cleaner mix, do another oil change with whatever motorcycle oil you prefer (synthetic, dino, etc).
         

    5. Preservation Storage (any length, when brand new).

      This method of storage is for collectors and enthusiasts who plan on buying a bike brand new and keeping in that condition indefinitely for future assembly and/or resale. Unlike the other methods listed here, this method relies on a totally different procedure for preventing aging and is not suitable for bikes which have already been run-up.

      Damage to motorcycles in storage comes from the ravages of time and the process of decay known as oxidation (corrosion) and bacterial/weather exposure (such as dry rot). Both of these conditions can be almost totally eliminated if all the oxygen is replaced with nitrogen within a sealed container, and that is the procedure I will outline here.

    1. Purchase motorcycle new. Ask dealer not to unpack from crate, nor assemble! Best is if the bike is special ordered so it hasn't had time to sit around a warehouse or port rusting away. Also purchase a full set of factory service manuals, spare oil and air filters, etc. These may not be readily available when you go to take your bike out of storage (like in 20 years)!
       
    2. Obtain a plexiglass container large enough to hold the entire motorcycle in it's original crate plus the accessories, plus 1 to 2" per side on every side. We recommend a thickness of 3/16" or thicker plexiglass. Obtain suitable glue for use with plexiglass. Real glass can also be used as an alternative if necessary, but a different sealing procedure will be required. Set up a frame to hold the plexiglass at a 1 degree angle, so liquids will drain to a lowest corner, and will be visible.
       
    3. Seal plexiglass container's seams if they are not already sealed. Then reseal with a silicone-based caulk rated for maximum life expectancy (50 years?). Allow caulk to dry completely before proceeding.
       
    4. Drill two fitting holes into the plexiglass walls, suitable for a one-way pressurized coupling fittings and an over-pressure relief valve. Attach 1 one-directional gas line fittings for entering (high in the container) and one pressure-release gas/liquid valve set at 4 PSI differential, installed very low on the lowest corner of the container (designed to 'burp' the system if it goes over-pressure, and to be able force any standing liquids out).
       
    5. Cut ventilation holes in motorcycle crating box, at least 1" in at least fifteen places (think perforation holes).
       
    6. On a cool day with low humidity (or in a location with very low humidity, such as a desert), place motorcycle crate in plexiglass box. If crate is not made of plastic or wax paper, spray crate with a light coat of LPS-4 (long term storage oil) as it is being placed in the box. Allow 6 hours for excess VOP's from the LPS-4 to evaporate. Seal on lid using suitable permanent glue to form seal at edge. Reseal outer edges with silicone-based caulk rated for maximum life expectancy (50 years?).
       
    7. Attach air hoses to inbound fitting. Attach inbound hose to a very large container (5' tall, 3' round) of liquid nitrogen (NOT NOX or NO2, but N2!) with regulator control (to deliver nitrogen gas). Fill container at a slow pace (5 PSI over ambient), permitting the oxygen to mostly be displaced by pure nitrogen over a period of 30 minutes. At the end, open nitrogen regulator fully (maximum pace) for 5 minutes.
      Pure nitrogen gas can displace the oxygen in any location, causing you to affixiate without warning. Vent gasses in a well ventilated, open area with fans running, or outdoors and then move crate to final location.
       
    8. Disconnect liquid nitrogen bottle and attach a fresh bottle. Set regulator to 2 to 3 PSI over ambient outdoor pressure. Leave.
       
    9. Check back on bottle of nitrogen for the following 7 days in a row. If volume of liquid nitrogen drops suddenly, or pressure from regulator drops, correct problem (fix leak in system). Reflush system and start over at step seven (7).
       
    10. Check back on volume & pressure of nitrogen once every 30 to 90 days. Expect to have to replace Liquid Nitrogen bottle every one to three years, depending on how well the container is sealed (no such thing as a perfect seal). By keeping the volume of the container over-pressurized, no ambient gases can get in, thus keeping the oxygen out.
       
    11. If at any time you notice any liquid at the low end of the container, over-pressurize the container with nitrogen (set the regulator to 8 PSI until the liquid is flushed) to force the liquid out. Return nitrogen regulator to regular setting (2 to 3 PSI over ambient). Replace nitrogen container if it is low.
       
    12. Once a year, flow a higher rate of nitrogen through the regulator for 90 seconds to flush the container's gases.
       
    13. Repeat indefinitely. Remove from storage when you're ready and assemble as normal, per instructions in the factory manual you enclosed.
       

     
     

     
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