When the colder months roll around, it’s essential to take the necessary precautions to protect your dirt bike. Leaving your bike exposed to the elements can cause irreversible damage, so it’s vital to take care of your bike before it’s too late, and understand where you should store your dirt bike.
You should store your dirt bike in a garage or shed, or indoors if need be, as long as it’s cool and dry. To protect your dirt bike, you’ll want to keep it inside or covered during the winter. Cold weather can damage the bike and make it difficult to start up again in the spring.
Below, we will discuss where you should store your dirt bike and how best to winterize it. Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that your dirt bike is safe and sound during the winter – or anytime it’s not in use!
Where Should You Store Your Dirt Bike?
The best place to store your dirt bike is in a cool, dry place. This could be a garage, shed, or basement. Make sure that the area is free of clutter, dust and moisture. You’ll also want to make sure that where you choose to store your dirt bike is secure.
You should always lock up your dirt bike whenever it’s not in use. Unsecured dirt bikes are high-priced items that aren’t difficult to steal. As such, a dirt bike left out in the open may attract thieves to your property.
The best places to store your dirt bike are therefore enclosed spaces that are temperature regulated and free from unwanted moisture, such as your house, a garage, or a storage unit.
If you’re storing a dirt bike at home, ensure there’s enough room for the bike, so it doesn’t intrude on your living space. And consider covering it with a tarp or dust cover to keep it from getting dusty or damaged.
While your dirt bike may be stored safely in your house when you are not riding it, most riders do not recommend keeping a dirt bike inside the house during the winter months. The potential for fuel and oil leaks is probably not worth the risk, plus they take up a fair amount of space!
There are a few key benefits to storing your dirt bike in a garage. For one, garages provide a cool, dry place for storage that’s not your living room or closet. Secondly, garages offer security, so you can lock your dirt bike up whenever it’s not in use. This will help keep it safe from thieves and vandals.
Garages provide plenty of shelter from wildlife and the elements, protecting the bike from rain, wintry conditions, and insects and other animals. This can be especially helpful during the winter months when adverse weather – and animals seeking shelter – can damage your dirt bike.
A Storage Unit
Think about how much damage can be done if you leave your dirt bike outside all winter without any cover, where it’s regularly exposed to rain, sleet, and snow. It is therefore a good idea to store dirt bikes in storage units to safeguard them from the weather, if no other options are available. However, this option isn’t as ideal as storing the bike in your home, garage, or workshop.
The main benefit of storing dirt bikes in storage units is that they protect against the weather, and they’re usually kept very secure, provided you do your research on the specific location you choose. And you’ll be happy that you don’t need to give up space in your home or garage.
Where Should You NOT Store A Dirt Bike?
You should not store your dirt bike outside because cold and wet weather can damage the bike. In addition, storing a dirt bike outside can also lead to theft, so always store your dirt bike in a cool, dry and secure location when you’re not using it.
Leaving a dirt bike uncovered and exposed, whether it’s in your driveway, yard, or a parking lot, is asking for trouble. The best way to protect your dirt bike is to use a dirt bike cover and store it in a secure site out of the weather. If you don’t have access to such an area, the bike should at least stay dry under a porch overhang or similar cover.
Another alternative is storage away from your home. For example, it can be a good idea to store a dirt bike at someone else’s house, if they have a suitable space, as long as you have permission from the owner of course. You may have friends or family members with more suitable facilities for dirt bike storage who would be willing to let you take advantage of their space, at least for a while.
Can You Store A Dirt Bike Inside Your House?
You can store a dirt bike in your house or apartment. However, if you rent the property, be sure to check with your landlord to make sure you’re allowed to keep it inside. Be sure to remove any accessories before putting a dirt bike in storage to save space, and clean it thoroughly.
Remove any dirt, grease, and other unsavory materials that may stain or otherwise damage your living quarters. The last thing you want is to have your carpet ruined by dripping grease or a leaky valve!
If you’re storing it in your house, you should clear out enough space so that the bike doesn’t get in the way. And you’ll want to consider covering your bike with a tarp or dust cover to keep it from getting dusty or scratched.
While your home can safely house your dirt bike when you’re not riding it, some riders don’t have the extra room for their bike. In that case, a barn, garage, or storage unit may be your only option.
What Happens If You Leave Your Dirt Bike Outside?
A bike left outside in the rain or snow will rust quickly. The moisture from wet weather seeps into the throttle cables and corrupts them. The resulting rust strips away metal, weakening the bike so that it can’t handle vibrations as well, making for an unpleasant ride.
You may need to leave your bike outside if you don’t have an indoor space to store your dirt bike during winter. In that case, there are some alternatives worth considering, but these are absolutely last resorts!
Cover The Bike With Plastic Sheeting
Plastic sheeting only offers one layer of protection. It doesn’t do much to stave off moisture. Condensation can build up under the plastic sheet and cause problems. However, a plastic sheet can temporarily prevent salt build-up on your dirt bike if you live somewhere where a salt mixture is applied to the roads before the snow arrives, or if you’re near the ocean.
Protect The Air Filter
The air filter is probably something you don’t see or think about often. Still, it has many purposes, including keeping dirt, dust, and other particles from getting to the engine. It’s a good idea to wrap it in paper or plastic and then place it in a sealed container like Tupperware before putting it into storage.
Chaining The Dirt Bike Or Otherwise Securing It
If your dirt bike must be left in the open, you should secure it as well as you can to prevent it from being stolen. You can chain the bike up to help prevent thievery, but again, the best way to ensure it is kept safe is to store it indoors in a shed or storage unit.
6 Tips For Storing A Dirt Bike
1. Clean Your Dirt Bike
First, you need to ensure that your dirt bike is clean before putting it into storage. Dirt and mud can cause damage to the bike and the storage area if it’s not cleaned off. The best way to wash a dirt bike is to use a garden hose with your jet nozzle. Be sure to give it a once-over before you put it into storage.
Starting with the wheels, spray them down. Rinse off any caked-on dirt or mud residue before moving onto the other parts of the machine like the handlebars and tailpipe, then finally get into the engine bay for one last rinse down.
Be careful not to submerge anything electrical (like lights) in water. If possible, use biodegradable soap instead of chemical-based detergents. Once everything’s been hosed down, let your bike dry completely before storing it.
2. Check The Tire Pressure
If you don’t have a stand, it’s important to inflate your tires before putting your dirt bike in storage. Inflating your tires to the maximum advised pressure will keep them from developing flat spots while they sit in storage. Flat spots can develop when the tires are left sitting for a long time.
To check the tire pressure on a dirt bike, you need a pressure gauge. Unscrew the cap on the valve stem and insert the gauge. The recommended air pressure should be written on the sidewall of the tire. If your tire pressure is too low, you’ll need to add air with an air compressor.
3. Disconnect And Remove The Battery
If your dirt bike has any electrical components, you’ll need to disconnect the battery before placing the bike in storage. Removing the battery from your dirt bike is relatively easy. All you need is a Phillips head screwdriver in most cases, but ensure you disconnect the negative terminal first, then the positive terminal.
First, locate the battery and remove the screws that hold it in place. Be careful not to drop the screws – they can be easily lost! Once you’ve removed the screws, lift the battery and pull it out of its housing. If you have trouble removing the battery, consult the owner’s manual for your dirt bike.
4. Fill The Fuel Tank
If you don’t plan to use the dirt bike for an extended time, it’s a good idea to add some fuel stabilizers. Fuel stabilizers are used in dirt bikes to prevent the fuel from gumming up the engine. When you store your dirt bike, it’s a good idea to add a fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank. This will help ensure that the bike starts up quickly limits the chances of old fuel damaging the engine.
5. Change The Oil
By the end of the riding season, the oil in your bike will be dirty. You’ll want to put fresh oil in the engine before storing it. The oil plug is usually located at the lower end of the engine. Take off the drain plug and let all of the old oil run out.
Wipe off any leaked fluids with a clean shop cloth or paper towel until no droplets are left on it. Put some new lubricant into the little plastic hole (the “feed” tube) and then put on the drain plug tightly to ensure none of the oil escapes. Be sure to use the right amount of engine oil for your particular bike.
6. Check The Antifreeze
To check the antifreeze on a dirt bike, you’ll need to remove the engine cover. Once it’s off, you’ll be able to see the radiator. Check the level of antifreeze and make sure it’s above the minimum line. If it’s not, add some more antifreeze until it is.
Antifreeze fluid helps to keep dirt bikes from freezing up in winter. You can measure the antifreeze level by checking with a dipstick or ask your trusted mechanic if you’re not sure. If your dirt bike is too low and you would like to add more, be careful not to spill it. It’s important to be aware that antifreeze will damage paint jobs if it goes on it and isn’t cleaned right away.
How To Store A Dirt Bike For Winter
A lack of proper storage over the winter can make your dirt bike challenging to start up again when you’re ready to ride. Below are some tips for winterizing your dirt bike, whether you’re keeping it in your garage, your home, or outside under a tarp.
Clean And Lubricate The Chain
It’s essential to regularly lubricate your dirt bike’s chain during the riding season. You’ll also need to lubricate the chain before you put your bike away for the winter. Lubricating the chain keeps it from rusting and extends the life of the chain. You don’t want to start with a rusty dirt bike chain next season!
Use something like 3 in 1 oil to remove stubborn residue like dirt and gunk from chains and brake calipers. The same applies to gear shifter internals. Inside cranks won’t fare well without oil on them, so do yourself a favor and include this step before storing your dirt bike.
Here are some quick tips to follow when it comes to lubricating your dirt bike’s chain:
- Choose a thick grade of lubricant, such as a waterproof WD-40
- With the bike in neutral, use your fingers or a rag to coat, then let it soak for five minutes
- Spray the chain with WD-40 again – be sure to spray both the inside and outside of the chain
Clean The Air Filter
A dirty air filter can lead to your dirt bike not running correctly. Before you store your bike for winter, you’ll want to clean the air filter. But if it’s really dirty or damaged, you’ll need to replace it.
If you don’t clean your air filter before storing it, it can end up ruined. It’s hard to clean an air filter once it’s been sitting for months. Dirt and other particles can become permanently lodged in the filter’s porous surface.
Replacing a dirt bike’s air filter is a relatively easy task. You will need to remove the air cleaner cover, which is usually held in place by a wing nut. Once the cover is removed, you can replace the old filter with a new one.
If you want to keep your bike looking as good as new, it’s essential that you detail it before placing the bike in storage. A thorough wax job will keep your dirt bike looking like new and protect it from moisture and foul weather conditions, like rain or snow.
To detail a dirt bike, you will need wax designed for motorcycles or cars, a soft cloth, and some elbow grease. Be sure to apply the wax to the entire dirt bike, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Use the cloth to buff the wax on the surface of your bike.
Use A Dirt Bike Cover
Once your dirt bike is clean and has been properly fueled, it’s time to put it into storage. There are a few different ways that you can store a dirt bike for winter. If you plan on keeping it outside, it’s best to use a dirt bike cover. This will protect the bike from the elements and keep it in good condition, but this is a good idea even if you’re storing it in a garage or storage unit too.
Use A Lift Or Dirt Bike Stand
A dirt bike stand is an essential tool for every dirt biker. It allows you to keep the bike in an upright position while you work on it, which makes it much easier to work on the engine, brakes, and other parts of the bike.
If you plan on storing your bike for the winter season, it’s a good idea to put it on a proper stand. Not only will this take the weight off the suspension, but it can keep the tires from developing flat spots. Plus, you’ll be able to work on it easily if you need to make any repairs over the winter.
There are a few different types of dirt bike stands available. Some stands are designed for lifting the rear wheel off the ground, while others allow you to secure the front wheel in place. For the best results, try to get a stand that elevates both the front and rear wheels.
Getting Your Dirt Bike Ready For Riding Season
With your bike properly stored, you can look forward to riding it again next year when the weather warms up. If you’ve done everything correctly, you shouldn’t have any problems starting up your bike when the time comes.
However, even if you’ve done everything the way you’re supposed to, you might have to service your dirt bike before you can hit the track.
Change The Oil Again
Even though you probably changed the oil before putting your bike away in storage, it can be a good idea to change it again before the riding season starts. While it’s true you haven’t put any miles on the bike while it was in storage, the oil can still go bad from sitting for an excessively long time. Old, gunky oil isn’t healthy for your dirt bike.
Charge The Battery
Your dirt bike’s battery will probably need to be charged before you can ride again after winter storage. The simplest way to charge a dirt bike battery is by using a battery charger. These usually plug into the wall and attach to the battery.
What To Do If Your Battery Is Dead?
Your dirt bike battery can quickly go dead if you leave it sitting all winter. This can even be an issue during the riding season. If the battery on your dirt bike dies, you can try charging it. However, an old battery that won’t stay charged will need to be replaced.
The best place to store your dirt bike is in a garage or storage unit. You may also store it in your house or apartment, but only if a garage or storage unit is not available to you. Wherever you store your dirt bike, make sure it is cool, dry and secure, to keep it safe from damage and thieves.