I have a first generation Yamaha R1 racing bike. The bike isn't worth much money, especially not in it's current condition. So instead of trying to sell the bike, I would rather keep it with a plan to rebuild and it at a later stage.

So, if I'm planning to store a motorcycle for several year (I would guess somewhere between 2-5 years) what would be the best way to do that. The engine is in need of a rebuild anyway, so the engine will be rebuilt before the bike is used again.

I'm guessing it's a good idea to remove the battery? Do I need to drain the tank and engine oil? Any other special needs for the carbs or something?


  • Hasn't this been answered somewhere? Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 16:25

1 Answer 1


If your rebuilding the engine then that will simplify issue related to seals in the engine going bad. But it is best to still put in all fresh oils into it for storage as oxides can form from old oil more then newer oils. You should crank the engine over (not needed to start it) every 6-12 months while in storage.

Place the motorcycle up on blocks, old milk crate, or motorcycle stand under the frame keeping wheel off the ground.

Your forks will need drained and refilled before put back in use. Oil or grease the sprockets and chain.

You can drain the fuel completely including the float bowl or completely fill the tank and add fuel storage conditioner. The draining will likely result in carburetor gaskets and rubber parts to dry out needing complete rebuild. I like to add something like Marvel Mystery Oil into drained tank and bowl to help prevent this (I have read some have used ATF for this purpose also).

If you leave fuel in the tank keep it topped off and for certain add every year more fuel preservative. I have stored a chain saw for five years with Stabil in it and fired it up a few minutes once every year.
Again Mystery oil or ATF keeps caskets from shrinking and going bad.


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