What Happens When A Motorcycle Sits For Too Long? (10 Tips To Store)

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If you’re going on a long holiday, you must be worried about your motorcycle. Your motorcycle battery will drain, and the tank will rust when it sits too long. Apart from battery draining, you face other problems if you don’t store it properly.

In this guide, I’ll explain what happens when a motorcycle sits for too long and what you can do to avoid them. So, I’ll mention some important tips to store your motorcycle if you’re not driving it or storing it for winter.

What Happens When A Motorcycle Sits For Too Long?

I have bought many motorcycles that have been sitting for years, and I know exactly what happens when a motorcycle is sitting for years without appropriate storage.

If a motorcycle sits for too long, the paint may peel off, the rubber gasket on the shock absorber may start cracking, battery drains, metal parts start rusting, the chain becomes stiff, the gas tank starts chipping, the tires become brittle and flatten, etc.

Old Motorcycle

How Long Is Too Long To Leave A Motorcycle Siting?

So, how long is too long to leave a motorcycle without riding it? It depends upon various factors, such as weather conditions, storing method, motorcycle model and age, and storage location.

Generally, your motorcycle can sit for a month without any problem, but the battery may be drained if you don’t disconnect the terminals. So, I advise you not to let your motorcycle sits for more than a month.

However, some of my rider friends have stored their motorcycles for over a year without any problem.

But most of them stored their motorcycle with disconnected batteries, lubricated chains, applied wax, greased metal nuts, and bolts, and covered it with a good quality motorcycle cover.

How Long Can You Leave A Motorcycle Sitting With Cover On?

If you’re storing your motorcycle for winter, don’t forget to disconnect the battery and put a cover on it. You can leave your motorcycle sitting with a cover on for 8 to 12 months without any problem.

But, I would advise you to clean your motorcycle with a microfiber cloth every month to avoid rusting and paint peeling off. If possible, please start the engine also to prevent blockage in the fuel line and tank.

10 Important Tips To Store A Motorcycle For Too Long

If you’re traveling out of the country or storing your motorcycle in the winter, please follow these ten important tips.

1. Wash Your Motorcycle

Motorcycle Washing

The dirt and mud on the motorcycle rim and other metal parts can initiate corrosion. If your motorcycle sits too long, the metal parts will start rusting.

To avoid this, wash your motorcycle with soap and water and clean all the dust. This will keep your motorcycle from rusting even when sitting too long.

2. Dry All Metal Parts

Motorcycle Cleaning

After washing your motorcycle, clean all metal parts with a microfiber cloth and dry out all the moisture. The moisture attracts dust from the environment, and the metal parts will rust.

So, before storing your motorcycle for more than a week, don’t forget to wash it and dry all metal parts in a microfiber cloth and sunlight. After drying your motorcycle, apply wax on the painted areas to avoid peeling off.

3. Don’t Leave Outdoor

Motorcycle in Snowfall

If you don’t ride your motorcycle for over a week, please don’t leave it outdoors. Due to moisture condensation, the chain and other metallic nuts and bolts will catch the rust.

So, always store your motorcycle in your garage where it doesn’t come in contact with moisture and snow.

4. Disconnect The Battery

Motorcycle Battery

Modern motorcycles come with Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), theft control, and other advanced features that take power from the battery.

If you leave your battery connected, these electronic features will deeply discharge your battery. Whenever you try to start your motorcycle next time, it’ll not start.

So, if you’ve been storing your motorcycle for over a month, please disconnect both battery terminal wires.

5. Lubricate The Chain

Chain Lubrication

Your motorcycle chain is exposed to the environment and highly prone to rusting. If you’ve washed your motorcycle, please lubricate its chain.

If you don’t lubricate your motorcycle chain after washing, you’ll notice a reddish layer of rust around the roller.

So, whenever you’re storing your motorcycle, please apply a good quality chain lube to prevent it from corrosion.

Click here to check the price of the Motul chain maintenance kit on Amazon

6. Fill Your Gas Tank

Motorcycle Refuelling

Your gas tank is made of metal, and if left empty from the inside, it will start rusting. So, visit a gas refilling station and fill 80 percent of tanks with gas.

This will prevent your motorcycle tank from rusting. If possible, mix some oil with the gas to keep the tank lubricated from the inside.

7. Elevate The Tyre

Motorcycle Tier Elevator

If your motorcycle sits for too long (more than 6 months), the tires become brittle because of regular pressure and contact with the ground.

The tire pressure slowly drops, and it may develop a flat spot, and the rubber goes into permanent deformation.

So, put your motorcycle on the paddock stand to keep both tiers elevated from the ground.

Click Here to check the price of the Paddock stand on Amazon

8. Empty Carburetor

Motorcycle Carburettor

If your motorcycle has a carburetor system, turn off the fuel supply from the gas tank and empty it to prevent it from clogging and plugging with old gas.

Rotate the fuel supply knob to the off position and start the engine. Twist the throttle bar to burn out all gas from the motorcycle carburetor.

9. Block Exhaust Pipe

Motorcycle Exhaust Blocking

Every house and garage has rodents who love hiding in dark places. If you’re storing your motorcycle for winter, mice and other tiny animals are searching for a new house, and your motorcycle exhaust pipe is the best place for them.

So, if you’re leaving your motorcycle to sit for more than a week, please block the exhaust pipe to prevent rodents from finding a new house.

10. Cover The Motorcycle

Motorcycle Cover

Always cover your motorcycle to prevent it from dust and moisture. If you don’t have a good quality waterproof motorcycle cover, please visit the nearest shop or buy it online.

I purchased a waterproof motorcycle cover from Amazon that protects the paint from harmful UV rays.

Click here to check the price of the Motorcycle cover on Amazon

How Do I Start My Motorcycle After 3 Years?

If your motorcycle has been sitting for three years, first drain old gas from the fuel tank because it has lost its calorific value. After emptying the tank, fill the new gas. Now, connect the battery wires and lubricate your chain.

After connecting the battery, please jumpstart with another motorcycle or car and let the engine run for at least 20 to 30 minutes. After that, your battery will be sufficiently charged to crank the engine.

Why Do Shock Absorbers Leaking When A Motorcycle Sits For Years?

You must have noticed oil leakage from the shock absorbers if a motorcycle sits too long. It happens because the gasket and sealing rubber shrinks and cracks due to changes in weather conditions and fails to prevent leakage.

You must replace the gasket and fill the shock absorber with new oil. I would advise you to visit a mechanic shop. The professional mechanic will inspect the condition and replace the parts.

Is It Bad To Leave My Motorcycle Sits For Too Long?

Yes, it’s bad to leave your motorcycle sitting for too long. If you don’t ride your motorcycle, the battery will drain slowly, and the chain will catch rust.

So, if you’re not going to ride a motorcycle for a month, please lubricate the chain, disconnect the battery, and apply wax on the paint to prevent it from rusting.

I have mentioned ten important tips for storing a motorcycle for over 6 months. Please read and follow them.


I love my motorcycle, and I can not see it die. So, I store it appropriately whenever I don’t ride it for any reason. So, if your motorcycle will sit for over a month, please follow the above-mentioned storage tips. These easy tips will prevent your motorcycle from being damaged.

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