For many motorcycle enthusiasts, their bike is their pride and joy. Understandably so, as the bond between man and machine is something that stretches back all the way to the dawn of the automobiles. In fact, some people develop such a strong bond with their motorcycles that they can’t be separated from them, and find themselves constantly thinking about their beloved steed. Unfortunately, as is the case with all things in this world, motorcycles wear down with time and usage, as well as exposure to the elements.
While ensuring your motorcycle is in tip-top shape by staying on top of its maintenance schedule, it’s equally important to see to it that it has a safe and secure home when it’s not in use. As much as possible, you want to keep your motorcycle in a covered garage, under lock and key. This way, you make sure that your motorcycle can continue being your faithful travel buddy for many years to come. So, what if you absolutely have no choice but to leave your motorcycle outside? Here are a few things you can do to keep your motorcycle safe, and curb the wear and tear that exposure to the elements can do to your bike.
Cover it up
If you have absolutely no choice but to leave your motorcycle outside, exposed to the elements for a long period of time, then it is imperative that you get a motorcycle cover. It may not seem like it, but the heat and UV rays from the sun can take a massive toll on your bike’s paint. On top of this, your bike’s plastic bodywork can sustain some damage and eventually become brittle and develop cracks. Headlight housings, hand grips, and saddles also hate exposure to the sun, and can prematurely fail due to the intense heat.
Apart from your bike’s aesthetics, prolonged and unattended exposure to sun and rain can also damage vital electrical components. Intense heat can cause the seals of various switches and sensors to go bad. When it rains, these damaged seals no longer do their jobs when it comes to preventing water from accessing vital electronic parts. Getting a motorcycle cover goes a long way in preventing damage both from exposure to the sun and rain. There are several types of motorcycle covers out there, but we definitely recommend one that’s made out of a waterproof material and equipped with straps that securely fasten onto the bike.
Get a motorcycle lock
Apart from covering your motorcycle while it’s left outside, another important thing to consider would be securing your motorcycle and ensuring it’s kept safe from prying eyes. While a motorcycle cover conceals your bike’s identity, it can be all too easy for thieves to pull the covers off and steal your bike. That being said, getting a motorcycle lock could serve as a major deterrent for would-be thieves. There are many different types of motorcycle locks, so be sure to do some research before buying one to guarantee it’s the right one for your bike.
As much as possible, you want to get a lock that secures your motorcycle to a fixed object like a street lamp post, a sturdy gate, or other permanent fixtures. After all, motorcycles are very light when compared to their four-wheeled counterparts, and a group of two or three thieves can easily pick up your bike and load it into a van. Other more high-end motorcycle locks come equipped with alarm systems with sirens in excess of 96 dB—a deafening deterrent that’s sure to catch the attention of everyone in the area.
Check on your bike every now and then
Another option to ensure the safety of your motorcycle, as well as to prevent unnecessary exposure to the elements, would be to simply check up on it every few hours or so, and move it to a different location. As much as possible, you don’t want your motorcycle to be under direct sunlight at noontime, as this is when the sun’s UV rays are most harmful—even if you have a motorcycle cover. As such, it’s best to find a shaded area to park your motorcycle during this time.
Not only does checking on your bike every now and then ensure that you’re able to spot any potential problems, it also serves as a deterrent for thieves looking to target your bike. Motorcycle thieves tend to be rather observant, and they would have probably observed that the owner of that bike frequently returns to the same parking spot.
Of course, nothing beats having a safe and secure garage that’s well ventilated and protected from the elements. However, not every motorcycle owner has the luxury of a spacious garage, or perhaps you have too many motorcycles to fit in your garage, and some of them need to remain parked outside. If you make sure to follow the simple tips listed above, chances are your motorcycle will continue to serve you for many years to come, even if it has to sleep outside.