young man bent down fixing his motorcycle

Winter is Coming. Be prepared.

Rider Insurance recommends following these maintenance tips to help protect your bike this winter.

It’s that dreaded time of year again. The warm, sunny days where you could jump on your bike and cruise down your favorite road are now gone. They’re going to be replaced by snowy days and freezing nights. Sadly, you know what that means. It’s time to store that motorcycle, ATV or UTV for the winter.

Before you move your bike into the garage or shed for storage, you need to make sure you take the proper steps to protect it. A little bit of preventative maintenance now can save you a ton of headaches when spring rolls back around. Here’s what you can do to ensure your bike is ready to roll when you are:

1. Wash and wax
Road tar, bug guts, and mud can wreak havoc on your paint job if left for too long. Spend some time washing, drying, and waxing your bike before you store it to help keep it looking great.

2. Change the oil Engine oil not only lubricates the inside of the engine, but it also suspends deposits like carbon. Over an extended period of time, that carbon will begin to corrode vital engine parts like gears and bearings. An oil and filter change just before storing it rids the system of carbon and other contaminants. Be sure to run the engine afterward to circulate the new oil throughout the engine.

3. Lube it up
The moving parts on your bike can quickly seize or corrode over the winter. Be sure to lubricate cables, the chain, and pivot points like footpegs, brake and clutch levers, and the brake pedal. Also, take a look at your kickstand, wheel bearings, and axles to make sure they’re properly lubricated.

4. Maintain the battery
When it comes to the battery there are two things to remember, make sure to keep it warm and keep it charged. Freezing temps can permanently damage a battery so you need to ensure that it’s stored in a warm, dry place. And make sure to keep the battery charged. You can do this with a motorcycle-specific battery charger/maintainer or by periodically starting the bike about once a month should do the trick.

5. Fill ‘er up
Leaving untreated fuel in your tank can cause a mess in a bike’s carburetor or fuel injectors. And, leaving a tank empty can allow for corrosion and dried seals. So, just before you put the bike away, fill the tank and add a fuel stabilizer. Then run the bike for a short time to circulate the treated fuel throughout the system.

6. Check the fluids
Take a quick look at your antifreeze, brake, transmission, and clutch fluids, and add any that are below the recommended levels.

7. Protect the exhaust
Exhaust pipes make an excellent winter home for rodents, spiders, and other creepy crawlies. Keep them out of your pipes with some plastic bags, rags, or steel wool. Just remember to remove them before starting the bike.

8. Cover it up
Invest a few dollars in a quality motorcycle cover. It will keep dust and dirt off that freshly-waxed paint job and protect it from accidental spills in the garage. Look for a ventilated cover that will allow moisture to escape.

9. Check your insurance coverage
Finally, no amount of maintenance can protect your motorcycle from everything. Even when stored for the winter, anything can happen to your bike. The wrong insurance coverage could end up costing big money. For example, most homeowner policies won’t cover a motorcycle stolen from a garage or damaged in a fire. You’ll need motorcycle insurance with comprehensive and collision coverage.

10. Do the right thing
Make sure you call 833-70-RIDER to learn more about protecting your bike the right way.

This site and articles contained herein are provided for general informational purposes only and are not a substitute or intended as professional advice. Please be sure to refer to your owner’s manual or consult a mechanic for information specific to your motorcycle. The information contained on this site and articles contained herein are provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness and without any warranties of any kind whatsoever, express or implied. Rider Insurance Company and its affiliates (together, “Rider”) assume no responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content of this site and articles contained herein. Any action taken upon this information is strictly at your own risk and Rider will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with your use of this site and articles. Additional terms and conditions apply and are available at

Plymouth Rock Assurance is a marketing name used by a group of separate companies that write and manage property and casualty insurance in multiple states. Motorcycle insurance in New Jersey and Pennsylvania is underwritten by Rider Insurance Company. Each company is financially responsible only for its own insurance products. Actual coverage is subject to the language of the policies as issued by each separate company.