The Ultimate Guide to Storing a Motorcycle in a Storage Unit

✓ TIP: Do you plan to not ride for a while.

Lay-up motorcycle insurance can help you save money.

Enter your zip to get started.


When it comes to storing a motorcycle, it can be a little tricky in knowing how to do it correctly to ensure it’s safety. If motorcycle storage is done wrong, you can risk the chance of getting it stolen and/or the motorcycle not lasting as long because certain parts weren’t taken care of.

In the past few years, I have owned more than a dozen motorcycles and have stored them in every possible way. A storage unit is a place where you can store your motorcycle. This is a question I get often. It’s actually quite possible to store a motorcycle in a storage unit and thousands of people do it every year.

There’s a lot to consider when thinking of storing your bike this way. It’s a lot more than simply putting your bike inside and calling it good. Because I’m a seasoned motorcycle storer, I can tell you everything you need to know about storing your motorcycle in a storage unit.

The Size and Cost of a Storage Unit

When storing your motorcycle in a storage container, the first thing to consider is its cost and how big it will need to hold.

Every storage unit is different with their sizes and cost, but because I’ve dealt with several storage units I’ve been able to get the average cost and sizes that will be suitable for what you need.

First, you’ll need to know what size you need. I have found that renting a 5×10 unit is perfect for storing a single motorcycle. In fact, it’s actually possible to store two motorcycles in a 5×10 if the motorcycles are both a little smaller. Most, if not all, storage units have a 5×10 storage unit.

Many may wonder why a 5×5 won’t work. It may work for some, especially if you have small motorcycles. I have found that most motorcycles don’t fit well in a 5×5 unless you’re willing to do a lot of unpleasant lifting and maneuvering. To me a 5×5 isn’t worth it and isn’t that much cheaper than a 5×10 anyway.

If you plan on using a 5×10 to store your motorcycle, it’ll give you a little extra room to work on it if needed or store some additional motorcycle merchandise such as gear, tools, or extra parts. It’ll also make taking your motorcycle in and out much easier which is worth a lot if you frequently take the bike out.

Next, consider the cost. Every storage unit I’ve used required a monthly fee for using their space. Some storage units may require advance payment, such as quarterly payments or bi-annual payments though it’s a bit rare that they do. Sometimes, if you speak with your manager before you make advance payments, you may be able to save some money.

On average, a 5×10 storage unit costs about $60-$70 a month and a 5×5 storage unit costs on average about $45-$55 a month This is why it’s worth paying a little extra to get more space. This will vary depending on where you live. If you live in Los Angeles or Chicago, prices are likely to be higher. Prices will be lower if you live in rural areas.

You can also find climate-controlled units in storage units. They can also provide heat or air conditioning if required by the temperature. This option is more expensive, generally increasing the monthly price of an additional $50 – $100 per month.

Some storage units have parking spaces for cars and motorcycles. Though these don’t provide near as much coverage as a unit, most storage units have a secure fence around the premises which will ensure the safety of your motorcycle. You can also park your bike in parking spots for as low as $20 to $40 per month.

The nice thing about storage units is that they’re pretty cut and dry with their prices. Again, each place is different, but generally what I’ve seen is simply the price of the storage unit each month with maybe a small security deposit beforehand. There usually aren’t any hidden fees if you’re on top of making your payments every month.

How to Use A Storage Unit for Motorcycle Storage

People use a storage unit to store their motorcycle for long term storage. There are many reasons why someone might need to store their motorcycle for long-term storage, but the most common reason is winter storage.

No matter if you plan to use a storage unit to store the motorcycle during winter or another reason, the preparations are the same. You can store your motorcycle for as long as you want.

The first thing you’ll need to focus on is the gas. This is where you have several options. First, you can completely empty the gas tank and fuel system to ensure the gas inside doesn’t gunk up the system.

If you don’t want to empty the gas tank, you’ll need to add a fuel stabilizer and let the motorcycle run for a few minutes to ensure the stabilizer runs through the whole system. This will stop the gas from corroding or gunking up the fuel system.

Next you’ll need to change the oil. This may seem pointless to do if the motorcycle isn’t in use, but oil can actually break down and cause problems within a motorcycle engine if it’s not being used. You will see a higher chance of oil leaking from the engine, while new oil will cause less damage.

Next you’ll want to top off any other fluids your motorcycle may have such as coolant. You don’t want to leave any open spaces in fluid compartments such as these because that leaves a chance for moisture and condensation to build up. Moisture can lead to rust, and also make the fluid it mixes less potent.

Next you’ll need to pay attention to the battery. You can disconnect the battery, and then take it home in controlled temperatures. A battery that is still connected to a motorcycle for a long period of time may be susceptible to parasitic drain and eventually lose it’s charge. This process is accelerated by cold temperatures.

If you don’t have a place to store the battery, you can still disconnect it and leave it in the storage unit. There are also options for using a battery tender that will charge the battery automatically when the battery loses power.

However, I don’t really recommend keeping your battery hooked up to a machine for long periods of time without supervision. Battery tenders also require an outlet anyway and some storage units won’t have those.

The last biggest thing you’ll need to prepare on your motorcycle when storing it in a storage unit is making sure the tires are taken care of. If a motorcycle is left unattended for longer than a few months, its weight can cause flat spots by pushing down on the tires. The air pressure in motorcycle tires will eventually drop and they will continue to become flat.

This can be done by either taking your tires off completely or placing your bike on a lift that raises the tires. These will make sure that the tires can still be used when you get your motorcycle from storage. You can read our other article to learn more about how to keep your motorcycle safe long-term.

Storage Unit Rules

If you intend to use self-storage units to store your motorcycle, there are some rules that you need to follow. Before you decide what to do with your bike, make sure you consider these guidelines.

Most storage units require that your motorcycle be in good running order. Many motorcycle owners will be stopped by this rule if they wish to store their motorcycles. because it’s not running. This rule is not applicable to all storage units. Make sure you check a few locations before making a decision.

You will need to provide proof of ownership, registration, and insurance for storage units. Sometimes thieves will try to hide stolen prizes in storage units. Storage unit owners are beginning to catch on. The proof of ownership proves that you are the vehicle’s owner and will not be sued by the management.

Self-storage units would also appreciate you having insurance on your motorcycle. That shows them that you are responsible and that if anything were to happen to your motorcycle, you’re probably covered and won’t go after them.

Pay attention to the storage unit’s access hours. This is particularly important for units with fences that may have guards. All storage units do not have 24 hour access.

Make sure to read the contract carefully before signing it. Ask any questions about specific rules. Do not attempt to cover up anything you’re storing in the unit you’re not supposed to. You have the right to your property as a storage unit owner and could face legal consequences if you violate the contract.

There are pros and cons to using a storage unit

There are pros and cons to keeping a motorcycle stored in a storage facility, just like any other way of storing it. I know this from personal experience.

A motorcycle storage unit is the best because it offers protection. Living in areas with severe winters can make it difficult to cope with the elements. It can be comforting to know how your unit is protecting you.

Storage units usually offer some level of security.. Most units come with at least one camera. This allows you to see what happened and gives you footage. Some storage units even have security guards and fencing. This will give you more security and peace of mind that your motorcycle is safe.

If you’re looking for additional ways to secure your motorcycle in a storage unit, see my list of recommended security items for motorcycles by clicking here. These items might be useful when you rent a storage unit.

The down side to storing your motorcycle in a storage unit is the fact that you don’t have constant eyes on it. This can lead to anxiety for some people who might not want to use a storage facility.

As we mentioned, certain storage units offer limited access hours for your stored items. If for whatever reason you needed to access your motorcycle in the middle of the night, you’re out of luck because the gate is locked and no one is there to let you in.

If you don’t make your monthly payments to the storage unit, The business owners can claim your belongings at any time and sell them to make their money. If you are tight on money, perhaps a storage unit isn’t for you.

Similar Questions

Can you leave your motorcycle outside during winter? It is possible to keep your motorcycle outside in winter, provided that it has been prepared properly for the season. Also, make sure it has a reliable cover that keeps water and moisture out of any places. You can click here for more details.

Is it legal for a person to live in a self-storage unit? Living in a self-storage unit is not only unsafe but also illegal. It is common for people to attempt it, particularly in climate-controlled units. You will be immediately evicted if you are caught doing it.

Leave a Comment