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Winterize Your Bike

Tips for Long-Term Motorcycle Storage

Whether it’s customization or performance, now is the time to have work done on your bike. We’ll even keep it until the road heats up once more.

Proper long-term motorcycle storage ensures your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle remains healthy and ready for many more rides to come. What to do and how to do it can be a challenge, especially for newer motorcycle owners who are trying to figure it out for the first time. Listed below are recommendations for long-term motorcycle storage. Also, review the storage tips included in your Owner’s Manual.

Clean and inspect the Harley-Davidson® Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) battery. Keep it fully charged. Replace any battery that is leaking or that has a bulged case, indicating it was overcharged.

Note: Some riders attempt to keep their motorcycle battery charged by periodically starting and running their motorcycle for a few minutes while it is in storage. Unfortunately, these short run cycles are harder on the motorcycle and battery than not starting it at all.

  • Short start and run cycles leave the battery in a discharged condition, making it more susceptible to sulfation, one of the biggest causes of battery failure.
  • Additionally, the combustion process inside the engine produces water and carbon dioxide along with other corrosive ingredients. Short run cycles don’t allow the engine to reach full operating temperature, which leaves some moisture in the cylinder and exhaust system that increases the corrosive effects.

Use a Harley-Davidson Battery Charger or Battery Tender to maintain motorcycle battery at full charge capacity.

Harley-Davidson Battery Tenders or Battery Chargers incorporate a microprocessor that reads battery voltage and adjusts charging output accordingly. Do not use steady rate battery chargers because they may overcharge or undercharge the AGM battery. Recommendations:

  • 800mA Waterproof Battery Tender
  • 1.25 Amp Global Battery Charger
  • 750 mA SuperSmart® Battery Tender®

Change the engine oil and oil filter.

Fuel and acids present in dirty oil will accelerate the rate of corrosion. Leaving dirty oil in the engine during long-term storage may accelerate engine corrosion leading to a premature engine rebuild. A fresh fill of Screamin’ Eagle® SYN3® Full Synthetic Lubricant or H-D® 360 Motorcycle Oil will help protect your engine, even when the engine isn’t running.


Check the engine coolant level, change if necessary (VRSC, Street, FLHTK and Tri-Glide® Ultra models).

Use Harley-Davidson Extended Life Anti-Freeze & Coolant. It protects against freezing to minus 37 degrees F (minus 38 degrees C). Replace coolant if it is more than 10 years old or has been more than 30,000 miles [48,000km] since it was last changed.


Fill the fuel tank completely.

A motorcycle stored with the fuel tank less than full exposes bare metal in the tank to potential corrosion. If the tank becomes excessively corroded, it may require a corrosion-removal treatment or replacement.


Add Harley-Davidson® Ethanol Guard Fuel Stabilizer to preserve fuel.

Stale fuel can produce engine starting problems, foul spark plugs and cause engine surging and misfiring. In a worst-case scenario, stale fuel may need to be discarded and the fuel tank flushed. Fuel Stabilizer slows the aging of the fuel and ensures an efficient start after months of storage.


If motorcycle has a carburetor, evacuate all the fuel from the fuel line and carburetor by running engine with fuel valve turned off until engine quits.

This prevents gasoline varnish buildup in the small and functionally important orifices inside the carburetor.


Carefully inspect condition of the tires and adjust tire air pressure to the proper specifications.

For information on proper tire pressure, refer to the Owner’s Manual or Service Manual for the appropriate motorcycle model. Also, visit http://www.dunlopmotorcycle.com/info-center/care-and-maintenance for tire condition, care and maintenance guidelines.

Note: Tire condition greatly affects motorcycle operation and rider/passenger safety. If you do not feel 100 percent confident in your ability to ascertain a good tire from a bad tire, we strongly encourage you bring your bike to Ray Price Harley-Davidson to have it checked for safety.


Clean and protect motorcycle surface finishes prior to storage using Harley-Davidson surface care products that are designed and tested for your motorcycle.

Use cleaning products such as: Harley-Davidson Quick Wash; Sunwash®; Bug Remover; Denim Paint Cleaner; Wheel & Tire Cleaner; Seat, Saddlebag & Trim Cleaner; and Boot Mark Remover. Dry motorcycle completely after washing and then protect surface finishes with: Harley-Davidson Spray Cleaner & Polish; Chrome Clean & Shine; Engine Brightener; Gloss Detailer; Glaze Poly Sealant; and Leather Protectant. Follow instructions on the container for best results.


Cover your motorcycle to protect it from impact, dust and dirt.

However, not just any cover will do; non-breathable covers trap moisture, which increases the effects of corrosion. Harley-Davidson motorcycle covers are designed to protect the bike while allowing corrosion-causing moisture to escape.


Store the motorcycle in a safe location. Do not store near agricultural fertilizers, swimming pool chemicals, salts for icy roadways or water softeners or any other chemically reactive compounds.

Chemicals such as these are commonly stored in the same area as the motorcycle and emit caustic gases that greatly accelerate corrosion.

Tip: Many riders perform scheduled maintenance and/or major customization while the motorcycle is inactive in long-term storage. This enhances the experience and increases riding time when the weather improves. Contact us for ideas on how to maximize the enjoyment during long-term storage periods.

Tips for Long-Term Motorcycle Storage[/title]

Whether it’s customization or performance, now is the time to have work done on your bike. We’ll even keep it until the road heats up once more.

Proper long-term motorcycle storage ensures your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle remains healthy and ready for many more rides to come. What to do and how to do it can be a challenge, especially for newer motorcycle owners who are trying to figure it out for the first time." data-share-imageurl="" style="position:fixed;top:0px;left:0px;">

RPHD Winterization

  • Heated grips
  • Fairing lowers
  • Heated gear pigtails
  • Heated seats
  • Fog cylinders
  • Charge battery/install battery tender pigtail
  • Change fluids
  • Nitrogen purge

Take a Test Ride at Ray Price