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Tips on Motorcycle Storage
Not sure how to store your bike?
Maybe you have just moved house or perhaps you are new to the riding scene. But whether you are an experienced rider or not, there could be a time when the issue of storage becomes relevant to you.
Since we are in the midst of the British summer, we are not talking about the problem of long-term storage that happens when the riding season is over. Rather, this is about where you might put your bike even when you are riding it on a daily basis.
So, here are some things to bear in mind when you consider how best to store your machine:
1. Outside vs inside
In the ideal world, your motorcycle gets a spot inside your own garage with lock and key. If this is the case, then you don’t have much to worry about.
However, many riders live in apartments and houses where there is no separate garage, with the only parking option being outside with no covers. In this case, the bike is exposed constantly to the elements – wind, dust, dirt, heat, humidity, rain – you name it!
Then there is the question of security, which will be covered more fully in point 4 below.
The point is, although not having your own garage shouldn’t prevent you from getting a bike, you need to think about where and how to store it before buying it.
You might need to get creative with your parking solution, and speak to your apartment manager to work out if there is anywhere in the complex (for example, under the stairwell) where you might be able to store your bike without anyone kicking up a fuss. And if you live in a house with a small garden, you could even consider installing a small shed that’s big enough for your bike.
2. How much have you invested?
If you bought a pre-loved bike that wasn’t in great nick to begin with, then outside storage probably wouldn’t devalue it more quickly. However, if you have invested in a new machine of substantial value, then you might want to think twice before outside storage.
Paint fading, corrosion on the chrome, rust and ripped seats are just some of the signs of a machine that’s constantly under the elements. Your machine will definitely age quicker in appearance. So, if you may want to resell your bike at some point in the future, you may find it harder to find a buyer or get the price you want.
3. Protect against theft
There are some mean spirited thieves out there, or bored teenagers who will try to damage your bike just for the fun of it. If you can’t store your bike in a secured space, then you will need to invest in the best lock you can afford. You need to chain it to a post or something immovable, and ideally you should also have a motion sensing alarm that will alert you if/when someone tempers with your machine.
This lock from Abus for example can be securely attached to your brake disk to minimise the risk of thieves getting away with your pride and joy. In addition to using a brake disk lock such as this one it is recommended that you also secure your bike to a fixed object.
4. Have proper insurance
If outside storage is your only solution, then there is no better way to protect yourself and your beloved machine than to get adequate insurance. You can’t predict whether thieves are eyeing your motorbike, and whatever precaution you might take, you also can’t guarantee that you will be able to defend against the elements consistently for the long term.
Insurance is therefore your best bet for a safety net. You might need to pay a little more compared with someone who parks in their own secured garage, but it is better to be safe than sorry. For expert advice on a policy cover that suits you, take a look at Devitt.
5. Spiders, wasps and other bugs
One of the not-so-cool things about parking outside without covering is the bugs that you end up nurturing in the crevices of your machine. Spiders are well-known for their ability to hide whatever small gap they find, while the exhaust is often a popular place for a wasp infestation.
You will need to factor in a bit of time to sweep off spider webs and other unpleasant inhabitants every morning before you take a ride. This is a serious point because you don’t want to discover their presence while you are riding on the road, which could be a distraction and put you in real danger.
6. Cleaning and maintenance
Speak to a rider who parks outside, and they will tell you that their biggest pain is the frequency of which they need to clean and maintain their bike.
It is a no brainer that a bike stored outside gets dirty easier, and to protect it from rain, you will need to oil whatever parts may rust on a frequent basis.
Do these inconveniences take the joy out of riding? That depends. If you have a real interest in motorcycling then it shouldn’t bother you to spend time taking care of your baby.
7. Finding the right cover
Although not a perfect solution by any means, you can of course invest in a cover for your machine. You will need to take it on and off whenever you ride, but then you might prefer that to having a dirty or rusted bike.
There are plenty of styles available, but if you can afford it, buy one with panels on the inside that will allow you to put the cover on the bike without having to wait for it to cool down.
This cover from Oxford is a steal at just £24.99 and it does all that you would need it to do. It’s heat resistant, so when your out on those hot summers days just pop it over your bike and you shouldn’t feel the burn from the leather on your seat or handle bars. Leaving your ride in the rain? It’s also water resistant!
8. Buying a bike shed
Another thing you can do if you have a small outside space to yourself is to install a bike shed. These come in a range of shapes, sizes and materials, and prices do vary, but a steel shed is most secure.
Owning a motorbike can come with its own issues when you don’t have a place to store it. If you are new to riding, it is wise to consider where you might put it before purchasing in a machine.
Where do you store your ride when your not out on the road? Perhaps you are lucky enough to keep it locked away in your garage…can you give any recommendations for the best type of motorbike storage?