How To Store Your Dirt Bike Properly


As the sun sets and the dust finally settles, your heart is still pounding from an exhilarating day of tearing up the trails on your dirt bike.

You’ve tested the limits of your machine and reached new heights, now it’s time to take care of your muddy companion and show it the love it deserves.

Proper storage techniques are essential to maintain your bike’s performance and longevity.

To help you and your trusted steed stay adventure-ready at all times, we’re taking you through a comprehensive guide on how to store your dirt bike properly.

Let’s get cracking!

Store your dirt bike in a covered area

Storing your dirt bike properly is essential, especially when you’re not using it for an extended period.

A proper storage space not only keeps your dirt bike safe, but also maintains its performance and longevity.

So, it becomes crucial to find a covered area where you can store your dirt bike securely and adequately.

One of the best places to store your dirt bike is in a garage or a shed, as these offer protection from weather elements, theft, and potential damage.

I personally store my bikes in the garage and had no issues with that.

Make sure the storage space is clean, dry, and well-ventilated to prevent moisture buildup, which can cause rust and corrosion.

If you don’t have access to a garage or a shed, consider using a high-quality, weather-resistant cover that wraps around your dirt bike completely, protecting it from rain, snow, and direct sunlight.

Ensure that the cover fits snugly and has proper ventilation to prevent condensation from forming underneath it.

Another solution is to use self-storage units or rent a space at a storage facility specifically designed for vehicles.

These units provide a secure and climate-controlled environment, ensuring that your dirt bike remains in optimal condition.

However, this option may come with additional costs compared to storing your dirt bike at home.

When storing your dirt bike in a covered area, it’s essential to follow proper storage procedures, including cleaning it thoroughly, checking tire pressure, changing the oil, and protecting the battery (more on that later).

Taking these precautions will help ensure your dirt bike is ready to hit the trails as soon as you take it out of storage.

Avoid leaving your dirt bike outside

Keeping your dirt bike safe and protected from the elements should be a top priority, whether you’re taking a break from riding or storing it away for the winter season.

Leaving your dirt bike outside is not ideal due to several reasons, including both weather and safety concerns.

For one, leaving valuable possessions outside makes them attractive to thieves.

Given that dirt bikes are easily movable, this makes them especially vulnerable to theft.

In addition, if your home and property is visible to others, this may inadvertently advertise your valuable items to would-be burglars.

Furthermore, leaving your dirt bike outdoors exposes it to the damaging effects of various weather conditions.

Rain, snow, excessive sunlight, and temperature fluctuations can all deteriorate the plastic components, the seat, and most importantly, the mechanical and moving parts of your bike.

As a result, constant exposure to these elements can cause your dirt bike to break down at a significantly faster rate than if it were stored indoors.

I mean, nobody wants their nice white fenders going all yellow and cracky from the sun.

In addition to safety and weather concerns, storing your dirt bike outside could also expose it to little intruders.

For instance, rodents like mice might be attracted to your bike and make a home in its nook and crannies, causing potential damage to the bike’s components.

Ever had mice chew through your dirt bike wiring? Yeah, not fun.

In short, storing your dirt bike outside is highly discouraged.

Investing the time and effort to find a suitable indoor storage option will not only protect your investment, but also ensure your dirt bike remains in good working condition for years to come.

Store your dirt bike in your garage, shed, or walkout basement

Storing your dirt bike in a safe and secure location, such as a garage, shed, or walkout basement, is essential to ensure its longevity and to avoid potential damage.

A good storage spot ensures the bike remains in excellent condition and is protected from the elements, theft, and any other potential harm.

Firstly, in your garage or shed, make sure to clear an appropriate area dedicated to your dirt bike storage.

This space should be free from clutter (aka tripping hazards) to provide easy access to your bike when needed.

You may want to install hooks or brackets on the wall to hold parts and tools, and even consider placing a rubber mat beneath your dirt bike to protect the floor and catch any leaks, if necessary.

In my opinion the mat isn’t always necessary – you can easily substitute it for cardboard by flattening a few boxes.

It absorbs any leaks really well and keeps the garage floor tidy.

When storing the dirt bike in a walkout basement, ensure that the area is well-ventilated to prevent moisture build-up and potential damage to the bike.

Additionally, keep the bike away from heaters, furnaces, or other heat sources, as excessive heat may also cause harm to the dirt bike.

In all cases, remember to properly winterize your bike by cleaning it thoroughly, changing the engine and transmission oil, and filling the tires with the appropriate amount of pressure.

You should also fill the gas tank, add a fuel stabilizer, and run the engine to circulate the stabilizer throughout the fuel system.

In conclusion, properly storing your dirt bike in a garage, shed, or walkout basement is crucial for maintaining its condition and readiness for your next ride.

By following these tips, you can ensure a safe and secure storage spot that will protect your bike from harm and keep it in excellent shape.

Consider using a storage unit

If you are a proud owner of a dirt bike, you know the value of storing it properly when it’s not being used.

A clean, dry, and safe place can protect your investment and ensure that your motorcycle remains in great condition until the next riding season.

If you lack adequate storage space at home, renting a self-storage unit might be the perfect solution to keep your dirt bike secure and protected.

Self-storage units offer a variety of options to accommodate different needs and budgets.

You can choose from different sizes, as well as climate-controlled units to maintain optimal conditions for your bike.

For most dirt bikes, a 5×10-foot unit should be sufficient to store the bike, its cover, and any additional gear like helmets and jackets.

However, make sure to measure your motorcycle and select a unit that suits your requirements.

When selecting a storage facility, there are other factors to consider as well.

Ensure that the storage facility has proper security measures in place, such as keypad-controlled gate access, security cameras, and personal lock use.

Drive-up access can be a convenient feature, especially when you need to transport your motorcycle to and from the storage unit.

Additionally, check the facility’s access hours to make sure they align with your schedule.

One of my friends once turned up to the managed storage facility early in the morning just to find that nobody was there at that hour! Needless to say he soon changed to a self-managed storage facility nearby.

Before placing your dirt bike in the storage unit, perform necessary maintenance and checks as per the owner’s manual guidelines.

This may include cleaning and lubricating the chain, checking and adjusting tire pressure, and treating leather or vinyl seats with appropriate conditioners.

It is also a good idea to remove the battery and store it separately to prolong its life.

Overall, a self-storage unit is an ideal choice for keeping your dirt bike safe and in top condition when you don’t have space at home.

It offers the added benefits of security, convenience, and peace of mind that your prized possession is well-guarded until the next riding adventure.

Keep your dirt bike vertical (preferably on a stand)

Storing your dirt bike in a vertical position is highly recommended, as it helps to save space and protect the bike from potential damage.

Moreover, using a bike stand can offer extra stability and ensure that the bike remains in an upright position at all times.

One of the key considerations when storing your dirt bike is to protect it from possible wear and tear.

Keeping your bike vertical reduces the chance of it falling over and getting damaged.

Additionally, it helps to keep the suspension in good shape by evenly distributing the bike’s weight.

To store your dirt bike vertically, it’s best to use a bike stand designed specifically for dirt bikes.

These stands offer excellent support and ensure the bike remains stable while in storage.

They are also adjustable to fit a variety of dirt bike models and sizes.

When positioning your dirt bike on a stand, make sure the stand is on a flat and stable surface.

Place your bike on the stand with its wheels touching the ground, ensuring that the bike is straight and secure before letting go.

In summary, storing your dirt bike vertically on a stand is an effective way to protect it from damages and keep it in good condition.

This method not only saves space in your storage area, but also helps maintain the bike’s suspension system.

Remember to use a proper dirt bike stand and position it on a stable surface to achieve the best results.

Use fuel stabilizer when storing for a length of time

When storing a dirt bike for a lengthy period, it is highly recommended to use a fuel stabilizer to ensure the fuel remains in good condition and prevent any damage to the bike’s engine.

Fuel stabilizers help prevent the fuel from breaking down and forming gum and varnish, ensuring that when it’s time to fire up the dirt bike again, it operates smoothly and efficiently.

Adding a fuel stabilizer is a simple process; first, fill the gas tank at least 3/4 full to minimize the risk of rust forming inside the tank.

Then, follow the manufacturer’s recommended mix ratio of stabilizer to fuel and pour the necessary amount of stabilizer into the gas tank.

After adding the stabilizer, thoroughly mix it with the fuel by shaking the bike or taking it on a short ride.

For carburetor dirt bikes, it’s equally important to drain the carburetor before storage.

After adding fuel stabilizer, you can run the bike for a few minutes to ensure the stabilized fuel has reached the carburetor.

Then, turn off the engine and use the carburetor’s drain screw to evacuate any remaining fuel from the float bowl.

This prevents fuel from hardening and clogging the carburetor’s delicate components.

In contrast, fuel-injected dirt bikes are less prone to fuel-related issues during storage.

However, it’s still best practice to fill the tank with stabilized fuel and run the engine for a few minutes to circulate the treated fuel throughout the system.

In conclusion, using a fuel stabilizer when storing a dirt bike for an extended period can significantly reduce the risk of fuel-related issues and save you time and money on potential mechanical repairs.

Taking these simple steps will ensure your bike is ready to ride when the time comes.

Wash and lubricate your bike before storing it

Image courtesy of Freepik 

Preparing to store your dirt bike for an extended period requires some essential maintenance steps.

Firstly, it’s crucial to thoroughly wash your bike to remove all the dirt, mud, and grime. Cleaning the bike prevents corrosion and ensures it stays in top condition during its time in storage.

After washing, ride the bike around for about five minutes, even if only in your driveway, to help dry up the moisture in the wheels, linkage, and other components.

Once the bike is completely clean and dry, focus on lubrication.

Lubricate the chain first. A well-lubricated chain reduces friction, increases the bike’s power output, and extends the lifespan of the chain and sprockets.

Always lubricate the chain after cleaning it, and make sure to use a high-quality chain lubricant specifically designed for dirt bikes.

Apply the lubricant evenly along the chain, making sure to cover all the rollers and links. Remember to lubricate both the inner and outer sides of the chain.

Moving on to other parts, pay attention to the suspension components, cables, levers and footpegs.

These parts also require regular lubrication to function smoothly.

Lightly apply a suitable lubricant to the moving parts of the suspension, specifically, the pivot points and linkages.

For cables and levers, use a light oil or spray lubricant recommended for dirt bikes.

Lastly, don’t forget to lubricate the bike’s wheel bearings.

These bearings ensure that the wheels spin freely and smoothly, and should be serviced at regular intervals.

Regularly checking, cleaning, and lubricating your dirt bike’s moving parts and chain will not only help maintain optimal performance but also extend the lifespan of your bike.

Fill up the tires and change the engine and tranny oil for storage

Preparing your dirt bike for storage is essential to maintaining its performance and longevity.

One crucial aspect of this process is taking care of the tires and ensuring that they are adequately filled.

To do this, inflate the tires up to 15 pounds of pressure, which helps in preventing flat spots during storage.

Regular checks and adjustments to the tire pressure can also preserve the lifespan of the wheels.

Another critical step for storage preparation is changing the engine and transmission oil.

Draining the old oil and replacing it with fresh oil protects the engine and transmission components from corrosion and ensures that they are adequately lubricated when the bike is put back into use.

Moreover, it is crucial to drain the water from the engine and substitute it with fresh coolant, especially for water-cooled bikes.

Make sure to fill the cooling system with the correct coolant to keep the engine safe from freezing damage.

In addition to tire and oil care, inspect the bike’s brake fluid, as it is prone to collecting water over time.

Keep the master cylinders full and replace the old fluid with the recommended grade for your bike, if necessary.

Start your engine during the winter only if you can let it run for a reasonable amount of time

One of the best ways to maintain your dirt bike during the winter months is to start the engine and let it run from time to time.

However, it’s important to note that you should only start your engine if you can let it run for a reasonable amount of time.

Running the engine is good for your dirt bike as it helps with sealing and lubrication effects, but five minutes is not enough to achieve these desired effects.

If you’re unable to start your dirt bike and let it run for a substantial amount of time, it is better not to start it at all.

Instead, focus on other maintenance tasks to ensure your bike stays in good condition throughout the winter. 

For those with electric start bikes, you’ll need to think about the battery’s care during these colder months as well.

The best plan is to remove the battery from the bike and place it on a wooden block (not on concrete) in the garage or workshop.

Top off the electrolyte level if it has a lead-acid battery, clean the terminals, and invest in a trickle charger or come out once a month to charge the battery.

Wrapping up

Phew, that was a lot to take in, wasn’t it.

With these tips handy you are now fully equipped with knowledge about proper dirt bike storage.

By following these guidelines and ensuring that your dirt bike is well-maintained during the winter, you can rest assured that it will be ready to ride as soon as the warmer weather arrives.

Happy riding!