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Any motorcycle owner will tell you what a privilege it is to own and ride a motorcycle. But owning a motorcycle can have it’s annoyances, such as maintenance and figuring out where to store it when you aren’t using it.
For those with an endless supply of money and unlimited space, these aren’t issues at all. But like the rest of us, storage especially can be a bit tricky if you don’t necessarily have all the space you need. So you may resort to an unorthodox way of storage: your house.
So, can you store a motorcycle in your house? If you own your own home, it is possible to store a motorcycle indoors when the motorcycle is not in use. You will need to take safety measures to prevent fumes as well as store it in a place that’s not near any source of heat. It is not advisable to store a motorcycle in an apartment or condo.
If you plan on storing your motorcycle indoors, there’s a lot more to it than just parking it in the living room and calling it good. There’s a lot to consider when storing your motorcycle indoors and it’s important you do it right to ensure your safety as well as the safety of other household members.
How To Store A Motorcycle Indoors
Whether you simply don’t have a place to park your motorcycle or you need a reliable place to store your motorcycle for the winter, bringing your machine in your home may seem pretty enticing. This especially applies if your home has either a ramp or is ground level.
Before bringing in your motorcycle, you’ll need to do a little prep around your house first. Having a motorcycle stored inside can be an eye sore for some, so you’ll need to make sure that other house hold members are okay with it.
Next, think about your living situation. Do you have kids or pets that could potentially interact with the motorcycle and scratch it up? Or worse, could it tip over on them? It is not advisable to store a motorcycle inside if you have small children or mischievous pets.
Next, figure out where in your house you’re going to store it. Use a room that is not heavily used and has good ventilation. Make sure you don’t use a room that has the washer and dryer, water heater, or furnace in it as those can use open flames which is dangerous around a fuming motorcycle.
Use a good quality tarp and lay it down on the spot you plan to park your motorcycle. Next, have some sort of pan (a cookie sheet works great), and a 2×4 block ready.
If possible, empty out the entire gas tank and run the motorcycle until it runs out of gas that was left in the lines. This will prevent fumes going around inside your home. Empty the oil as well if you can as this will prevent further fire hazards as well as oil leaks. Just don’t forget you emptied the oil when you go to start it!
Now you can bring your motorcycle inside. Tape the tires if the tires are dirty and you don’t want dirt to get on any carpet. Roll it into the room you want to store it and park it on top of the tarp. If you’re going to use the kick stand, place the 2×4 block underneath it so the kickstand doesn’t sink in the carpet. Next, place the cookie sheet underneath the motorcycle to catch any leaks.
To help decrease your chances of fumes, place some cloth inside the end of the exhaust pipes and the air intake on your carburetor (if you have one). It also helps to put a cover over your motorcycle (click here to see an article I wrote that discusses the cover I recommend) to keep any other residual smells away as well as protect it from dust and scratches.
Don’t forget to occasionally check on it to make sure it’s not leaking anywhere you don’t have protection.
Advantages Of Storing Indoors
Storing a motorcycle inside may seem a little strange for non-motorcyclists to hear, but there are a few obvious reasons why people do it. If you’re caught in a discussion and trying to convince someone why you should store a motorcycle inside, try discussing some of the following advantages.
If you are planning on using your home for your motorcycle winter storage, the major advantage of that is temperature control. Cold temperatures can be harsh on a motorcycle, the gas and oil inside, as well as the battery. Most people end up having to get a new battery come spring time because they don’t properly care for it. See my article here that discusses the proper care for a motorcycle battery during the winter.
The harshness of winter or even rainstorms can cause water to build up inside the motorcycle in places it shouldn’t. Water and condensation inside a motorcycle engine can cause it to rust and even make the engine seize (see my article here that discusses motorcycle engine seizure). Having your motorcycle stored inside will prevent that from happening.
The last big advantage of storing a motorcycle inside is the prevention of motorcycle theft. If you’re storing your motorcycle inside, that usually means you don’t have a garage to store it in (or there isn’t enough room) so the alternative would be to keep it parked outside in the open. This greatly increases your chances of motorcycle theft. Having it inside will pretty much guarantee your motorcycle is safe.
Disadvantages of Storing Indoors
When considering storing your motorcycle inside your house, there are some disadvantages of doing so that you should consider before making that decision.
The first matter to consider is the possible toxic fumes the motorcycle could give off. Even if you completely drain the gas and the oil from the motorcycle, there’s still a chance for it to emit fumes. If you smell gas in anyway, immediately take your motorcycle back outside and reassess the source of the fumes and attempt to fix the issue.
Motorcycles have been known to cause fires inside homes because of the fumes they emit. It’s not a common occurrence, but it has happened before. That’s why it’s important to store it away from any heat source and ensure the fumes don’t reach them. This is also why storing a motorcycle inside a condo or apartment is dangerous.
Lastly, if there is any major damage caused to your home or property because you stored a motorcycle inside, insurance will not pay for said damages. You will have to assume liability for all damages because it’s considered a self induced accident.
Why You Shouldn’t Store Your Motorcycle In Apartments Or Condos
Storage space for a motorcycle can get a bit tight, especially if you live in a condo or an apartment. Often times apartments have outside parking and will only allow each tenant one space. That will leave motorcycle owners with no other place to park except in guest parking or out on the street.
This will make it especially tempting to park your motorcycle indoors if you live in an apartment or condo. However, it is not advised that you do so for several reasons.
Parking a motorcycle in a facility that you don’t own could mean trouble for you as a tenant. Though a contract may not specifically say that you cannot park a motorcycle inside, landlords still have a right to take action towards you if they find out you’ve done so. This is especially true if you’ve taken extreme measures to get your motorcycle inside such as riding up the stairs or using a lift to get it up to the 3rd floor.
There are several hazards associated with having a motorcycle indoors (as previously stated). So having a motorcycle inside your apartment or condo not only puts you at risk, but it also puts all the tenants around at risk as well. If something happens that is caused by your motorcycle being parked inside and it hurts other people, your renters insurance won’t pay and you’re held liable for all damages.
Can you keep a motorcycle outside in the winter? You can keep a motorcycle outside in the winter as long it has been properly prepared for the season and it is dressed with a good, reliable cover to prevent any water or moisture from getting in places that could cause damage. Click here to see my article for more info.
How much does a storage unit cost for a motorcycle? Each region is a little different with their prices, but a typical 5×10 storage unit costs on average about $60 a month to rent. A 5×10 unit only costs a little more than a 5×5 unit, so a 5×10 may be worth it for most people. For more information, see my article by clicking here.