How do you store a motorcycle without a garage?

Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience. The feel of the open road, the wind in your hair, the sense of freedom – it’s no wonder so many people love to ride. But one downside to motorcycle ownership is figuring out where to store your bike when you’re not out cruising the highways and byways. What do you do if you don’t have a garage? Don’t worry, there are plenty of options for storing your motorcycle even if you don’t have a dedicated garage space.

Use a motorcycle cover

One of the simplest and most affordable options for protecting your bike is to use a motorcycle cover. A good quality cover can shield your bike from sun exposure, bird droppings, tree sap, and other outdoor elements that can damage the exterior finish. Make sure to get a cover that is specifically designed for motorcycle use, as these are shaped to fit the contours of a bike and won’t flap around in the wind. The material should also be durable and weather resistant.

When covering your motorcycle, make sure the area is clean and dry first. Remove any dirt or debris that could potentially scratch the finish. You’ll also want to make sure the cover is secured properly, so it doesn’t blow away in windy conditions. Use the attachment straps, elastic hem or other closure system that comes with the cover. Some covers also have grommets or loops to accommodate cable locks, which is handy if you need to secure your bike outside.

Find covered parking

Looking for a covered parking area can also help protect your motorcycle. Options to consider include renting a storage unit, parking in a paid garage, or asking a friend or relative if you can use space in their shed or barn. The advantage of covered parking is that your bike is protected from the elements – no need to worry about rain, snow, hail or falling tree branches. Just make sure the space is secure, well-ventilated and roomy enough to maneuver your motorcycle in and out.

If you go the storage unit route, look for one with drive-up access. This will make it easier to get your bike in and out. Storage companies often rent out units specifically designed for vehicle storage. Make sure there is enough clearance for your handlebars and that you can securely lock your motorcycle inside the unit.

Invest in a motorcycle shelter

For the most protection, consider investing in a dedicated motorcycle shelter. These structures are designed specifically for storing motorcycles outdoors. Models range from basic tin sheds to customized engineered buildings complete with lighting, ventilation and security features.

Motorcycle shelters keep your bike protected from sun, wind, rain and other elements that can degrade the exterior over time. They come in a range of sizes, allowing you to choose one tailored to your specific space constraints. Shelters that are fully-enclosed provide the most security, but open-sided models also give good protection as long as you add your own lock.

When selecting a motorcycle shelter, look for one made from durable materials like powder-coated steel or aluminum. Make sure it is anchored securely to the ground and offers good ventilation to prevent condensation buildup. If possible, choose a shelter with doors wide enough to accommodate handlebars.

Use motorcycle parking aids

If fully covering your bike is not an option, at the very least consider using some motorcycle parking aids to keep your bike upright and stable. A good kickstand can help, but for maximum stability you’ll want a dedicated parking jack or chock.

Motorcycle parking jacks lift the bike slightly off the kickstand, taking the weight off the suspension. This prevents sagging and keeps the bike from falling over if it gets nudged or blown by strong winds. Parking chocks go in front of the front tire to prevent rolling. They provide a sturdy barrier that helps keep the bike firmly in place in all conditions.

Parking aids are small and portable, so they can be used in a variety of uncovered locations – driveway, yard, alleyway, etc. Just keep in mind they are designed for parking only. Don’t try riding with them in place.

Find secure street parking

If you have no choice but to park your motorcycle on the street, look for areas that will afford you the most security. Well-lit streets where there is plenty of foot and vehicle traffic tend to deter thieves. Choose a spot with natural surveillance from houses and storefronts, if possible. Avoid isolated side streets and other dimly lit areas.

When parking on the street, make sure to use the steering lock to prevent the front wheel from being turned. Back your bike up against curbs, walls or other obstructions to make it harder to roll away. Use a disc lock on the front or rear brake rotor for additional security.

No matter where you park, it’s highly recommended to invest in a covered motorcycle lock. These covers shield the lock from weather and also conceal it from view. Use the strongest lock you can find – thick U-locks and hardened chain locks are best for security.

Get creative with DIY options

If funds are limited, you can also get creative with some DIY storage options:

  • Use a tarp – Pick up an extra-durable tarp and securely tie it over your motorcycle. Make sure it’s anchored well and won’t flap around in the wind.
  • Build a shelter – Construct a simple shelter from wood, PVC tubing, etc. Corrugated metal sheeting helps block sun, rain and hail.
  • Fashion a cover – Use heavy-duty drop cloths or canvas to create a custom cover. Secure with straps, hooks or weights.
  • Upcycle materials – Old trampoline frames, carports and canopies can all be repurposed into motorcycle shelters.

With some creativity and effort, you can cobble together a storage solution that will help keep your bike protected. Just be sure to check on your DIY shelter periodically to make sure it is standing up to the elements and keeping your motorcycle safe.

Keep your bike maintained

No matter how you store your motorcycle, be diligent about routine maintenance to prevent problems down the road. Here are some tips for keeping your bike in top shape:

  • Wash and wax the exterior frequently to protect the finish.
  • Lubricate the chain, controls and cables to prevent corrosion.
  • Check tire air pressure and tread wear regularly.
  • Perform oil changes, filter changes, spark plug replacement as needed.
  • Watch for cracks, leaks, rust and other signs of deterioration.
  • Fix minor issues promptly before they become major repairs.
  • Keep the battery charged – use a maintenance charger when storing long-term.

With some periodic TLC, you can keep your motorcycle running smoothly and looking its best, even if it lives outdoors. But be sure to store it properly between rides – keeping your bike sheltered, protected and secure will save you headaches in the long run.

Get proper insurance coverage

It’s also crucial to have the right insurance coverage, whether your bike is stored on the street or in a shelter. Standard auto policies don’t provide protection for motorcycles. You need coverage designed specifically for bikes, including:

  • Collision – Covers damage from an accident with another vehicle or object.
  • Comprehensive – Covers damage from theft, vandalism, fire, weather, animal collisions and more.
  • Uninsured motorist – Protects you if an at-fault driver has no insurance.
  • Medical payments/PIP – Help with medical bills for you and a passenger.
  • Towing – Provides transport if your bike breaks down or is damaged.

You may also want accessories coverage for aftermarket parts, trip interruption coverage, roadside assistance and more. Review options with your insurer to make sure you get the right protections.

And don’t forget to formally declare where your bike will be parked – on the street, in a storage facility, etc. Premiums are calculated based on the declared parking location, so leaving it undisclosed could void your policy.

Consider security systems

For extra security and peace of mind, add anti-theft devices to your motorcycle. Some top options include:

  • GPS trackers – Allow you to remotely monitor and track your bike’s location.
  • Disc locks – Prevent the wheel from moving with an attached lock.
  • Alarm systems – Trigger loud alarms if the bike is tampered with or moved.
  • Cable and wheel locks – Secure different components and immobilize the bike.
  • Cover locks – Prevent removal of the motorcycle cover.

Layering different deterrents makes your bike less enticing to thieves. Just be sure to consistently use all devices every time you park your motorcycle.

Find secure storage when traveling

If you plan to travel with your motorcycle, figuring out where to park it overnight or when making pit stops requires extra care:

  • Reserve motorcycle parking at your hotel if available. This parking is usually more secure and covered.
  • Scope out parking area options and lighting when you stop on your trip route.
  • Use a shop locker or see if establishments allow you to bring your bike inside.
  • Only leave it parked for short time frames to reduce risk.
  • Utilize a cover, disc lock, chain, alarm and other security devices.
  • Park next to other motorcycles when possible – there is safety in numbers!

Don’t leave your bike unattended in unfamiliar areas for long. With some planning and vigilance, you can keep your motorcycle secure while out on the open road.


Storing your motorcycle properly is crucial, even if you don’t have access to a garage. Focus on finding covered, well-lit and secure parking whenever possible. Invest in a quality motorcycle cover and parking aids like jacks and chocks. Maintain your bike diligently to prevent deterioration. And outfit your motorcycle with anti-theft devices for added security. With the right preparations, you can keep your bike safe from the elements and criminals – no garage required!

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