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It is essential to know how and where you can store your motorcycle. It can be hard to know what to do depending on your situation, especially if you live alone.
Apartment living comes with many perks. But it can often be difficult to own a motorcycle while living in an apartment because most apartments don’t come with very many storage spaces suitable for a motorcycle.
How can you store a motorcycle in an apartment? To keep a motorcycle at an apartment, you’ll need to first find a designated parking spot. Either park the motorcycle in a designated spot, or you can park it upside down at the top of your stall. It’s important to use a cover no matter the weather and to keep a lock on it when you’re not using it.
Over a dozen bikes have been my own over the past few years. I lived in an apartment while I owned the majority of these motorcycles, so I had to think creatively about where they were stored and how I maintained them. All that I learned along the way will be explained in this article.
How to Keep Your Motorcycle Safe in An Apartment
Safety is the number one concern when you own a motorcycle and live in an apartment. Most apartments don’t have garages or storage units, so it can often become tricky with knowing where to put your motorcycle when you’re not using it.
Apartment dwellers are often victims to motorcycle theft. Motorcycles can be easy targets for seasoned thieves. That’s why it’s so important you take the proper measures of storing your motorcycle outside your complex to ensure you won’t become a victim.
The first thing you’ll need to do is find the right parking spot for it. If you have a motorcycle and another vehicle, you’ll need to talk to the management about how many parking spots you’re allowed to use. If you’re allowed a spot for each vehicle, you can safely park your motorcycle in it’s own spot. Motorcyclists who do this are often wary because others drivers might not be able to see the motorcycle and may run into it.
If you’re going to park your bike in it’s own parking spot, make sure you don’t pull it in all the way. It should be kept in the back of your stall, but not out of sight. This will allow other drivers to see it quickly before they pull in. It also helps to have some bright colored flag or material put on the back of the motorcycle so it’s more easily seen.
If you’re limited on how many parking spots you can use, You could always park your motorcycle sideways in your designated parking spot. Parking stalls can usually accommodate a small car and a sideways motorcycle. This is what I did when I lived in an apartment. It worked great.
Once you figure out where you’re going to park your motorcycle, you’ll need to take some security measurements. If you’re lucky enough to park it by a pole, it’s a good idea to chain your motorcycle to it to make sure it doesn’t go anywhere.
A disc lock alarm, which prevents the bike from spinning, and emits a loud sound when it senses movement, is another option. It is always a good idea to have two options. I would recommend chaining the tire to a pole, and then adding a disclock if it is possible. It will be useful to have a GPS tracker in case it is stolen. Click here to view the disc lock alarm, and GPS tracker that I recommend for motorcycle security.
No matter what the weather is, you should always use a motorcycle cover on your bike when you’re not using it. Covers distract from the object and make it less visible to those who may be interested in it.
And let’s not forget the protection a cover will provide against the elements. It’s obvious that a cover will keep a motorcycle from getting wet from rain and snow, but it’ll also protect it from the sun. Motorcycles can suffer as much from the sun as water. You can read my article here for more information about the damage that the sun can cause to your motorcycle.
Can I store my motorcycle in my apartment?
It’s natural for a motorcyclist to want to ensure the safety for their motorcycle and even contemplate bringing their motorcycle into their home. While storing a motorcycle in a house is completely possible, it’s different when you live in a condo or an apartment.
First, most landlords and management don’t allow motorcycles inside. Motorcycles can be messy due to fuel and oil leaks. These can leave dirt and marks on the carpets and be a nuisance for anyone who comes into your apartment.
However, safety is the most important concern when storing your bike in an apartment. Due to the volatile fluids in the motorcycle, there have been many instances when it caused an explosion or a catastrophic fire within the apartment. It’s one thing if an explosion happens inside your home and impacts you, but it’s another when it starts affecting other people’s homes that had nothing to do with it.
As a precaution, If you live in an apartment, don’t store your motorcycle there. It can be incredibly tempting (trust me, I’ve been there), but the dangers that holds is too high of a risk to take. I’ve seen people get evicted by landlords who discovered that their tenants had parked their motorcycle inside.
Storing your Motorcycle in Winter
If you live in an apartment that’s located in a place with a climate that has harsh winters, there’s no need to worry because it’s completely possible to safely keep your motorcycle stored outside in such conditions. I’ve done this many times myself.
If you know you’re not going to ride your motorcycle at all during the winter, you first may want to ask around to family or friends and see if they have space in their garage or shed to store your motorcycle. You could even offer to pay them.
If storing your motorcycle in a friend or family member’s enclosed area isn’t possible, you can simply park your motorcycle in your apartment’s parking lot according to the methods mentioned earlier. Winterizing your motorcycle is especially important when you’re storing it outside.
First you’ll need to make sure you change the oil even if you’ve done it somewhat recently. The fresh oil will prevent corrosion and break down. Next you’ll need to make sure to top off your gas tank to prevent any condensation from building up inside.
Now you’ll want to pay attention to the battery. The battery can be kept warm with a battery tender or it can be removed from the bike and brought inside to conserve its charge. You should also move your motorcycle forward and backwards every few weeks. This will prevent any flat spots from developing on the tires.
Last but not the least Winter is a great time to make sure your motorcycle has a winter cover It’s a good idea to use some rope to fasten the cover to ensure it doesn’t blow away or partly come off and expose some of your bike. You can read my article for more information on how to store your motorcycle outdoors during winter.
When Apartment Management Doesn’t Allow Motorcycles
There are a few apartment managers and landlords out there that simply don’t allow motorcycles on the premises. Some believe that motorcycles are too loud and disrupt the peace while others believe there’s a stigma attached to them and they may attract “bad people” (I’ve actually heard that one before).
Negotiating with the landlord is an option if you’re in this type of situation. This is completely possible and I’ve seen people have success with it. Examine your contract to make sure you don’t have a permit that prohibits you from parking your motorcycle there. If it doesn’t, talk with your landlord and point out that nowhere does it say you are restricted from parking your bike there.
Talk to nearby businesses and apartment complexes to see if they can help you arrange a place for your bike. As unideal as it is, don’t forget to consider street parking.
How can motorcycles be stolen? Because it’s so easy to steal motorcycles, thieves can make them easy targets. If a thief knows what they’re doing, they can cut any chains or cords, disable any alarms, kick start the motorcycle, and/or lift it up and haul it away in a truck.
Is it legal for a motorcycle to park on the sidewalk? It is against the law for a motorcycle or scooter to park on a sidewalk, unless the owner grants permission. Motorbikes must follow the same parking and traffic laws as other motor vehicles. For more information, see my article.