Winter Storm Prep

It is very important to prepare for any kind of storm, especially a winter storm calling for snow and ice.

Preparing a Motorcycle for a Winter Storm

For those who don’t have indoor storage for a motorcycle or powersports vehicle, it is very important to prepare for any kind of storm, especially a winter storm calling for snow and ice. A motorcycle that is unprotected from the elements can sustain damage that could be a total loss for the motorcycle. There are ways to prepare for snow or ice storms to make sure your motorcycle will hopefully make it through unscathed.

Riding in a winter storm is definitely not recommended and should be avoided if at all possible. Hazardous conditions like snow, sleet and rain are very dangerous while operating a motorcycle. If any sort of State of Emergency is declared, the motorcycle should be off the road and protected. If a storm suddenly occurs while riding, it is important to get off the road and take cover.  Bypasses can work as cover in a pinch, but are not really sealed from the elements. Rising water may also be an issue. Never go under a tree, as a storm’s wind and precipitation may cause the tree to lose limbs or topple over. A parking garage is a great place to wait out a storm. 

Snow or Ice Storm Coming? Preparation is Key

For a predicted snow/ice storm, preparation is key.  The motorcycle should be secure, covered and out of any sort of falling object danger. Never park a motorcycle under a tree or run-down structure. If there is no sort of cover option, make sure the motorcycle is on high ground and free from anything that could fall down and damage or total it. 

  • A portable garage can work for storage, but the weight of snow may cause it to collapse (make sure to check capacities). Pop up tents will not hold the load of snow. 
  • Secure any loose items on the motorcycles and place them within motorcycle storage like saddlebags or tour packs.  If that is not possible, take the items inside. 
  • Prepare the motorcycle if it were to be buried under snow.  Add fuel stabilizer to the fuel, spray anything that can flash rust with penetrating oil and prematurely wax chrome components to prevent oxidation.  Check that the kickstand/center stand is in good working order and inflate tires to recommended tire pressures. 
  • Cover the motorcycle in moving blankets or thick comforters you do not use anymore.  This will act as a cushion if it were to hail or a falling object were to hit it. Do not leave blankets/comforters on for an extended period of time as they will retain moisture. 
  • Wrap the motorcycle in a motorcycle cover or in a tarp or plastic sheet to protect it from rain/snow moisture. If the tarp or cover is frozen over, do not remove it until it thaws. 
  • Secure the motorcycle down to the ground with straps and spikes or to a secure object like a footing or fence post. 
  • If the motorcycle is under shelter like a porch or overhang, still cover the motorcycle with a cover or tarp. In blizzard like conditions snow can pile up underneath the coverage. 

If the motorcycle has to be dug out of a snow pile, be cautious not to damage it with a shovel or snowblower. Moving it from slick conditions will also be dangerous so exercise caution. Avoid riding on roads covered in snow and ice until they have been properly treated. Stay ahead of a storm, stay prepared and always ride safe. 

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