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Although storage procedures vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, there are some general processes that you should do for your ride before you put it into storage.

1. Find a place - How long are you going to store your machine? Is this for the cold winter? Going on a business trip for several months? Consider location security at a premium. Ideal locations include vehicle garages and storage facilities that are secure and climate controlled. The environment should ideally be dry. Another consideration is the amount of human traffic in this area. More traffic means more chances for somebody to accidentally tip the machine. Put the machine in an area in the garage that is away from traffic.

2. Fix it up - Any mechanical problems should be fixed now. Don't wait until the motorcycle can come out... you're going to want to ride!

3. Check your pressure - Make sure your tires pressures are to manufacturer specifications. Some riders advocate removing or adding a few PSI of pressure to the tires. Be sure to follow the instructions in your manual. Of course, take readings when the tires are cold, otherwise the reading is going to be an inaccurate one.

4. Lube and filter - Change that dirty oil! You don't want spent oil to become acidic and damage engine internals. Again, follow the instructions in your motorcycle owner’s manual.

5. Stabilize your fuel - Fuel stabilizer protects your fuel system from gumming and varnishing. Add some stabilizer to the tank and then top off using the recommended octane gas. By adding the stabilizer solution to the tank before filling up and running the engine for a few minutes, you allow the stabilizer to penetrate into the fuel lines and combustion chambers.

6. Clean your machine - Your machine should be cleaned thoroughly. Use conventional car wash or whatever you typically use to clean your ride. The chain should be cleaned, lubed and adjusted as needed. Metal polish can be used on the exhaust pipes and chromed metal parts. A good wax job is recommended on plastics and tank. Clutch cables and alike can be lubed.

7. Secure your machine – Flip the fuel petcock to “off”, run switch should be set to “kill” or “stop”, lock the bars, and chain the bike to a fixed object or something that would otherwise be difficult to move. Commercially available chains like Bully and Kryptonite can be used for this purpose. The chain should ideally be wrapped around the machine’s frame and rear wheel. A brake disk lock can also be used on the front or rear brake rotor. A motorcycle alarm (Chatterbox, Scorpio, etc.) can be used if the battery remains in the machine in storage (see below).

8. Battery power - Remove the battery if the bike is in a relatively cold environment for storage. You don't want the battery to freeze; it's a costly replacement. A Battery Tender is ideal; it keeps the battery unit in tip-top. Some Battery Tender units come with cable assemblies that allow you to maintain the battery without removing the battery from the actual machine.

9. Get some lift - If your machine does not come with a center-stand, get set of race stands; basic sets start at $100. Many self-maintainers use them to help with chain adjustments and oil changes. Putting your bike on stands during periods of inactivity will protect expensive tires from flat spotting and warping. Additionally, moisture on the ground can be trapped beneath the tire and can corrode the rubber compounds.

10. Covers – Machines that are going to be stored outdoors require more sophisticated covers. Some riders use an old, clean bedsheet to simply protect against dust for garage-stored machines. Get the cover that's right for your storage environment. Tires also need to be covered; the rubber compounds are sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun.

11. Plug it up – Used T-shirts or any dry rags can be stuffed into the air intake(s) and exhaust pipe(s). This prevents dust, debris and moisture from entering the engine. Blocked access to the exhaust and air intakes can also discourage vermin from taking up residence in your dormant ride.

12. Remove all documentation - Take out your vehicle registration, owner’s manual, proof of insurance, etc. and put it in a safe place. In the event the machine is stolen, the spineless thieves won't have your personal information. Contact information ought to be left with the facility owner in the event of an emergency.

13. Ask your MOM - The motorcycle owner’s manual has a wealth of information. Some manufacturers recommend removing the spark plugs or removing the engine coolant before storage. Above all, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for storage.
 
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