Top tips for motorbike TLC and winter storage

Planning to ride your motorbike through the winter? Or laying it up until the weather warms up?

Either way, you need to give it some extra TLC, says our service manager, Joe Lowe.

Having your motorbike professionally serviced at any time of year is important so it is fully checked for any faults or potential issues.

It also makes sense to have your motorbike serviced before you store it away for winter, says Joe.

“If you have servicing work done now you have no contaminants in the engine oil and no moisture in the brake fluid which absorbs water.

“It’s also quieter and there’s not so much lead time for the workshop.”

Joe explained how he likes to store his motorbike over winter and we can help with all the products and accessories you need.

  • Give your motorbike a good clean to remove grit and grime. Dry it thoroughly, preferably with an air-blower, to get rid of trapped moisture.
  • Use protective anti-corrosion spray, such as Muc-Off Motorcycle Protectant, ACF-50 or Scottoiler FS 365, but do not get it on brake discs or tyres.
  • Once washed, dried and protected, use a motorbike cover or dust sheet to keep it clean.
  • Paddock stands keep the weight off tyres and avoid flat spots. If not, rotate the wheels regularly. It is worth inflating tyres to the maximum pressure.
  • Fill the petrol tank right up, to minimise the chance of corrosion inside, and add fuel stabiliser. Higher-octane E5 petrol will not go off as quickly as E10 fuel and contains less ethanol which attracts moisture from the atmosphere. Drain plastic fuel tanks as petrol can deform their shape.
  • Check and top up all fluid levels.
  • Keep the battery charged. If you leave the battery on the motorbike, use an OptiMate maintenance charger which is easy to connect and keeps the battery in tip-top condition. Or you can take the battery off and keep it indoors, so it does not get cold, and charge it regularly.
  • If you are laying your bike up for the entire winter, and storing it correctly, do not start it as the engine will create moisture as it cools down.
  • Clean and lubricate the drive chain.
  • Lubricate all pivot points such as stands, footpegs and levers.
  • If your bike will not be taxed while stored, make sure you SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) it with the DVLA.

“If storing your motorbike for the whole winter, there’s no point starting it. Just leave it.

“If you fire it up, and don’t get it really, really hot, any moisture you create will stay in the oil and you will just waste some of the fuel you want to keep the tank full.

“It needs a hard ride to get it hot rather than just starting it up for half an hour,” Joe added.

Book motorbike maintenance, servicing and MOTs at or call 01473 257401.

Our range of cleaning and maintenance products can be found at or pop into the parts department.