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You'll always need innovative and convenient motorcycle storage solutions, whether you want to store your bike for just a few hours for use the next day or as long as an entire season like winter.
There are several motorcycle storage ideas at your disposal, and the option you choose will depend on your needs, preferences, and convenience assurance.
This article explores some of the easiest ways to store your much-loved bike for any given duration.
Why Store Your Motorcycle?
You'll need to store your motorcycle for various reasons, as discussed below.
Motorcycle Storage Ensures Bike Safety
A bike on the move or out in the open is less safe than one stored away safely. Motorcycles have many threats to their safety, such as weather elements, rust, dust, debris, vandalism, fire hazards, and even theft.
If you do not store your bike well to protect it from the threats above, you risk losing it to them and being forced to spend high amounts of money on repairs and replacement of damaged parts.
Lower Insurance Rates
Motorcycle owners who prove to insurance carriers that they store their bikes safely pay lower premiums with deductibles.
Riders leaving their motorcycles out in the open, especially in high-risk areas such as densely populated urban centers where theft and vandalism are rampant, get lower deductibles and pay higher premiums to their motorcycle insurance companies.
Peace of Mind
You'll be more at ease knowing that your bike is in a safe place than when you park it anywhere. It's even better if your storage option allows for more security measures, such as chaining your bike to reduce its mobility when it's not needed.
Motorcycle Storage Ideas
Now that you know why you should always store your motorcycle, let's cut to the chase and discuss some of the best motorcycle storage ideas you can try.
- Home Garage
- Outdoor Motorcycle Shed
- Portable/Collapsible Motorcycle Shelter
- Motorcycle Storage Tent
- Local Storage Units
- Motorcycle Dealerships
- Enclosed Vehicle Trailer
- Old Van
8 Easy Ways to Store Your Motorcycle
Even though we discuss several bike storage ideas, the best approach is to read through the article and settle on the one best suited to your needs.
1. Home Garage
A home garage is a walled and roofed structure often attached to a home for keeping vehicles in to shield them from the sun and other elements. Most rural and suburban homes have garages built simultaneously as the main house or added sometime later.
Some homes have a detached garage, built separately from the main house. There may be a breezeway to connect the detached garage and the main house.
You can keep your bike in the home garage alongside the cars you own. You can also dedicate the garage to storing only motorcycles if you use them more often than the cars.
- Home garages are the most convenient, easy to access, and cheapest to use motorcycle storage solution for most riders.
- Home garages with plenty of space double up as a tool and equipment store as well as a repair area for the bike.
- A home garage ensures utmost bike safety from vandalism and theft as long as the home remains impenetrable hence lots of peace of mind.
- There may not be enough space in the garage for bike storage and operations since most garages are shared between several family members.
- Most home garages expose bikes to flat-spotting, which necessitates the use of bike stands.
- Your motorcycle risks issues such as falls and scratches if poorly stored relative to other often-moved things like cars and home cleaning equipment.
Home garages for storing motorcycles are best for homeowners who use their bikes more often, especially each day or several days in the week.
Since such garages are usually in permanent homes, only homeowners dwelling in the home at the time have the pleasure of utilizing the garage for storage. People living in rental apartments usually don't enjoy this privilege.
2. Outdoor Motorcycle Shed
An outdoor shed is a fully enclosed structure with a roof over it erected in a suitable spot in the yard or garden for bike storage, preferably close to the house for ease of access and utmost security.
You can buy a manufacturer-made motorcycle storage shed or build one yourself if you have the time and resources like lumber required to complete the structure.
- A self-made outdoor motorcycle shed allows for customizations in design, space, and construction material.
- A ready-made shed saves you the time and agony of making one yourself.
- The bike stays fully shielded from elements like the sun, salty water, and rain at all times.
- An outdoor motorcycle shed can be a nuisance to move around because of its massive weight, bulkiness, or lack of portability wheels.
- A motorcycle shed not attached to the home is not the best option for bike security if you do not look for ways to connect it to the home's security system.
- Lack of a breezeway between the house and the shed makes moving between the two challenging in adverse weather such as rain or winter.
An outdoor motorcycle shed is best suited for homeowners with enough backyard, driveway, or garden space to host a large shed without disturbing other home features like garages, garden fountains, or outdoor fireplaces.
3. Portable/Collapsible Motorcycle Shelter
Collapsible motorcycle shelters come in handy when you have to keep your bike outdoors but still within the home and can't manage a full-fledged outdoor bike shed.
A portable or collapsible bike shelter is usually a simple framework of interlocking metal bars with a suitable waterproof cover acting as the roof and sidewalls.
Unless you are an expert metalworker or can find one, you are better off buying a ready-made portable bike shelter.
- Collapsible motorcycle shelters are highly portable and can be moved around the home or away if you change homes.
- Different sizes of portable shelters are available for different kinds and sizes of motorcycles.
- Several bikes can be stored in the shelter at once, especially if they are smaller bikes.
- Most motorcycle owners complain that some portable bike shelters are too weak to withstand constant jerking by wind or accidental collisions with the bike.
- Collapsible bike shelters are not as secure as motorcycle sheds or garages. The cover can be torn easily by thieves or malicious destroyers.
- The shelter cover wears and tears over time and may require replacement soon if it is made of weak material that is not resistant to adverse elements.
Portable or collapsible motorcycle shelters are best used by riders who only need to store their bike temporarily for just a few hours or days at a time and do not have access to a shed or garage.
Homeowners with overwhelmed garages can also opt to use collapsible motorcycle shelters for the bikes they can't find space for in the garage.
4. Motorcycle Storage Tent
A motorcycle storage tent is an even better choice for homeowners with no access to a garage or outdoor motorcycle shed. If you have some space to spare in the driveway, garden, or backyard, you can erect a sizable tent for storing your bike.
The tent can be a simple, low-lying structure with a zipped cover or a more semi-permanent structure high enough to provide ample headroom for the rider.
The semi-permanent tent is a framework of sturdy and interlocking metal bars with multiple welded joints for more strength. A canvas or polyethylene cover is thrown over the framework to act as a roof and sidewall, with straps fitted in strategic locations to hold the cover to the metal frame.
- A canvas or polyethylene motorcycle tent is more durable than a collapsible bike shelter.
- Cleaning a polyethylene or canvas canopy is easy, and the tent requires very little repeat maintenance other than cleaning.
- Motorcycle storage tents are sturdier than portable bike shelters and can withstand strong winds and accidental bumps without bending or toppling over.
- A semi-permanent motorcycle storage tent is heavy and bulky to shift around since the metal frame and the tent material are both heavy.
- The tent is not entirely safe from invasion by pests or rodents like rats and mice that may chew on bike wires if you store the bike for a long time, especially without regular checks.
- Shifting the semi-permanent tent to another space within the home or outside of it might necessitate dismantling the tent and then erecting it again, which is a tedious process.
Motorcycle owners who want something sturdier than a collapsible shelter for storing their bike and have no access to a home garage or motorcycle shed find motorcycle tents a good bet for their needs.
5. Local Storage Units
Motorcycle storage units are a common phenomenon in suburban areas, towns, and cities and are famous for serving several motorcycle owners simultaneously on a rental basis. It means that you have to pay to store your bike at the facility.
The cost of renting a storage unit can range between $40 and $100 per month, with prices rising due to high demand, the size of the unit, and the number of bikes you can store at once.
- Large storage units can store more than one motorcycle at a go.
- Motorcycle storage units are serviced facilities with high security, and some even boast climate control services such as air conditioning and spatial heating during winter.
- Most local motorcycle storage units ensure easy access with walk-in-ride-out options whenever you want to access your bike. Some even operate on a 24-hour basis.
- The closest local storage unit for bike storage might be far from your home or workplace, making it inconvenient to store your motorcycle there.
- If you store your bike for a long time, you'll have to remove electronic parts such as the battery if your closest motorcycle storage unit does not have climate control.
- It can be costly to store your bike in the long run compared to other cheaper options like home garages.
Local motorcycle storage units are best suited for bike owners living in space-tight places like towns, suburbs, and cities in rental homes or apartments with no bike storage points.
6. Motorcycle Dealerships
Some motorcycle dealers like Harley Davidson have programs that allow motorcycle owners to store their bikes in the dealer's premises in various locations. If you can find a dealer with such a program close to your home, it's an excellent option to store bikes there.
- Other than storage, dealers may provide services such as maintenance checks on stored bikes.
- Motorcycle dealership storage facilities bring some prestige for motorcycle owners happy to be associated with the specific bike brand.
- Security is assured since the dealers want you to trust them enough with your bike. They also have to preserve their good reputation as a reliable brand.
- Most dealers only accept brand-specific motorcycles, locking out other potential customers.
- If you store a bike from another brand at a dealer's storage facility, you'll be charged a premium, higher than what bikers with brand-specific motorcycles are paying.
- Motorcycle dealership storage facilities are not as common as local storage units. The closest one maybe tens of miles away from your home, hence inconvenient for short-term bike storage.
A motorcycle dealership storage facility is best for bike owners in cities or towns where storage places are limited in their living areas.
Brand-specific enthusiasts or fans also find this option viable for the added prestige of associating with the brand and enjoying discounted favors such as bike maintenance when they use the store.
7. Enclosed Vehicle Trailer
If you can lay your hands on an enclosed vehicle trailer, you can place it at a suitable location in your home and repurpose it into a simple motorcycle storage compartment.
A trailer with a loading ramp would be the best, but you can buy or build the ramp yourself if it's not available. You can ask around online on places like Craigslist or from friends and family for someone with an enclosed vehicle trailer to sell it to you.
- An enclosed trailer offers optimum bike protection from elements like rain, salty water, direct sunlight, and wind.
- It's easy to maintain the trailer since painting helps keep off dust and rust.
- Most vehicle trailers have robust doors that bump up the security of the compartment and the bikes inside it.
- Portability can be an uphill task for a vehicle trailer, especially if you have to find a running engine for it first before moving.
- Vehicle trailers are unsuitable for coastal climates where water is salty as they corrode and rot away after prolonged exposure.
- If you want to store more than one bike, you'll have to buy a bigger trailer, which can be costly and unsuitable if you are pressed for garden, driveway, or backyard space.
An enclosed trailer for storing motorcycles is most suitable for bike owners with spare space at home for erecting the trailer, complete with a ramp and some 'runway' for effortless loading of the bike onto the ramp.
While bikers well advanced in age will find a trailer cumbersome because of the massive effort required to load the motorcycle, it will be a breeze and fun-filled activity for younger and more energetic bikers.
8. Old Van
It's becoming a popular choice for bike owners to buy and repurpose old vans into motorcycle storage. Vans are easy to find from friends, family members, junkyards, or even online via platforms such as Craigslist.
An old van is easy to repaint and customize into a bike store by taking out unwanted items like seats to create more space.
- An old van is easier to find and cheaper to buy than an enclosed trailer.
- Vans are smaller than old trailers and require less space for installation and operations like bike loading and unloading.
- Vans are also enclosed and will offer good protection for the bike from elements, thieves, or malicious people.
- Transporting or shifting a van around can be challenging if it's only a skeletal body without a running engine.
- You'll have to buy motorcycle ramps on top of the van purchase, transportation, and modification costs.
- Loading and unloading motorcycles can be difficult for bikers who have advanced in age and are less energetic for such demanding activities as loading bikes up a high van.
Like its counterpart - the enclosed vehicle trailer- an old van for motorcycle storage is most suitable for younger and energetic motorcycle owners. It will be easier for them to load bikes up the van.
Motorcycle owners with space to spare at home for installation and bike loading and unloading can use the old van option for storing their bikes.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Storage Option
Several factors come into play when selecting a motorcycle storage option. It's advisable to consider the following factors to eliminate various storage options and remain with the one that will best serve you and your beloved motorcycle.
Motorcycle Usage Frequency
Do you use your motorcycle daily? Do you need to store away your bike for a more extended period, such as a whole season? Your bike usage frequency should guide you on which storage option you should use.
If you use your bike daily, a home garage will be your best bet if you have enough space in it to spare for the motorcycle. An outdoor bike shed, tent, old van, enclosed vehicle trailer, or portable bike shelter will be your next best bet for daily bike use.
To store your bike for a long time, like in winter, you can opt to use an indoor local storage unit or motorcycle dealership, especially if they offer motorcycle winterization services.
Long-term storage places like the dealerships and storage units are also great if you are going away and won't be needing your bike for a long time, such as the duration of a vacation.
Your motorcycle's safety is a highly significant consideration when choosing a storage option. Always go for options where your bike will always be safe from theft, vandalism, and bad weather elements such as moisture, salty water, wind, and rainfall.
A home garage is a great option for safety, as is a well-secured local storage unit or motorcycle dealership. Storing your bike outside in the open is dangerous as you expose it to theft or vandalism risks and bad weather elements.
If you choose outdoor motorcycle storage options such as tents, bike shelters, enclosed vehicle trailers, or old vans, always ensure you tie down the bike securely using strong chains and heavy-duty padlocks.
Space Availability and Ease of Access
While you may not need to ride off on your motorcycle in a hurry, it pays to have your bike easily accessible any time you want to use it - be it at night or during the day. Ask yourself how easy or challenging it is to get to the storage point and take your bike out whenever you need it.
Other than being easily reachable, the place you store your motorcycle should have plenty of space for both bike storage and bike maneuverability.
There should be enough space all around the bike to make it easy for you to take it out, especially if taking it out rearwards is not an option.
Quick Tips When Storing a Motorcycle
Depending on the storage option and duration, you might want to observe the following tips for safe motorcycle storage.
Take Out the Battery and Connect It to a Trickle Charger
If you use your bike often, like daily, this tip won't be necessary to observe. However, bikers looking for winter motorcycle storage options for the whole season should take out the bike battery and keep it in a different place they are sure won't have violent temperature fluctuations.
When you remove the battery, clean the electrodes and connect it to a trickle charger for the entire winter duration until it's time to use the bike again.
Fill the Gas Tank and Add a Fuel Stabilizer
Again, you don't have to do this if you use your motorcycle daily, but you should if you use it intermittently with several days of zero use in between. The other important time you should fill the bike's gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer is during winter storage.
Filling the tank helps keep moisture off the gas tank walls. For the stabilizer to work, add it once the tank is full and then ride the bike to the storage point to allow the stabilizer to mix thoroughly within the bike's fuel circulation system.
When storing away a motorcycle for six months or more, drain the fuel tank completely and line it with fogging oil to ensure it doesn't rust.
Motorcycle Stands Come in Handy
Every time you store your motorcycle, especially for longer than a week, it's advisable to place the bike on top of a motorcycle stand to ease its weight off the vulnerable tires.
The key reason here is that you need to prevent flat spotting or uneven tire wear.
The motorcycle storage idea you choose should serve both you and the motorcycle well. It should be easy to access the storage point and take out the bike. It should also be safe for the bike through protection from exposure to fire hazards, theft, vandalism, and weather elements.
A home garage is your best bet if you use your bike daily. A bike dealership facility or local motorcycle storage unit is recommended for long-term storage, especially if they offer motorcycle winterization services.
People Also Ask
Still, have concerns or reservations about the best way to store your motorcycle in 2021? Here are handy expert answers to some of the questions you have in mind right now.
Is it OK to Store a Motorcycle Outside?
Storing a motorcycle outside in the open is never a good thing since it compromises its safety, usability, and durability. When out in the open, your bike is more susceptible to theft, malicious damage, and damage caused by exposure to elements.
If you have to store your motorcycle outside in the open, always consider investing in a thick, waterproof cover to keep moisture, debris, dust, and direct sunlight off your bike.
If storing your bike outside is the only option viable for you, consider buying a portable shelter or motorcycle tent so that the bike is well protected from the elements and rogue people.
How Much Does it Cost to Store a Motorcycle?
The cost of storing a motorcycle depends on the option you are using and the storage duration. It could range from near-zero for an already available home garage to $200-$500 for a purchased portable bike shelter or $40-$100 per month at a local storage unit.
If you are putting up your own shelter, tent, enclosed trailer, or outdoor motorcycle shed, you can expect to bleed your wallet between $200 and $1000, depending on size, materials used, and labor costs if you don't do it yourself.
Paid motorcycle storage, such as local storage units, is always costlier in the long run than other home-based options, like a home garage, outdoor bike shelter, old van, repurposed enclosed vehicle trailer, and outdoor bike shed.
Should I Store My Motorcycle on a Stand?
Whichever storage option you choose, it's always advisable to store your motorcycle on a stand. A motorcycle stand takes the bike's weight off its tires to reduce the chances of flat-spotting (formation of flat spots) and uneven tire wear.