Knowing how and where to store your motorcycle properly is a vital part of owning it. Sometimes it can be tricky to know how to do that depending on your circumstances, especially if you live in an apartment.
Apartment living has a lot of perks associated with it. But it can often be difficult to own a motorcycle while living in an apartment because most apartments don’t come with very many storage spaces suitable for a motorcycle.
How do you keep a motorcycle at an apartment? To keep a motorcycle at an apartment, you’ll need to first find a designated parking spot. You can either use a full parking spot or park it sideways at the top of the stall where you park your car. It’s important to use a cover no matter the weather and to keep a lock on it when you’re not using it.
Throughout that past few years, I have owned over a dozen motorcycles. I lived in apartments while I owned most of those motorcycles and I often had to get creative with where I stored and cared for them. This article will explain everything I learned in that process.
How To Keep Your Motorcycle Safe While Living In An Apartment
The number one issue most people have when it comes to owning a motorcycle while living in an apartment is safety. Most apartments don’t have garages or storage units, so it can often become tricky with knowing where to put your motorcycle when you’re not using it.
Unfortunately motorcycle theft is prevalent to apartment dwellers; motorcycles can often be an easy target for the seasoned thief. That’s why it’s so important you take the proper measures of storing your motorcycle outside your complex to ensure you won’t become a victim.
The first thing you’ll need to do is find the right parking spot for it. If you have a motorcycle and another vehicle, you’ll need to talk to the management about how many parking spots you’re allowed to use. If you’re allowed a spot for each vehicle, you can safely park your motorcycle in it’s own spot. Some motorcyclists are wary of doing this because other drivers may not see it and run into it.
If you’re going to park your bike in it’s own parking spot, make sure you don’t pull it in all the way. Keep it parked towards the back of the stall (but not sticking out) so other drivers will be able to quickly see it before they pull in. It also helps to have some bright colored flag or material put on the back of the motorcycle so it’s more easily seen.
If you’re limited on how many parking spots you can use, you can always try parking your motorcycle sideways at the top of your designated parking spot. Most parking stalls are usually long enough to fit a sideways motorcycle and an average compact car. This was what I normally did when living in an apartment and it worked out great.
Once you figure out where you’re going to park your motorcycle, you’ll need to take some security measurements. If you’re lucky enough to park it by a pole, it’s a good idea to chain your motorcycle to it to make sure it doesn’t go anywhere.
There are also several other motorcycle safety features you can buy such as a disc lock alarm that prevents the tire from spinning and will set off a loud sound when it senses movements. I always like to use two methods at once, such as chaining it to a pole and adding a disc lock if possible. In the case it does get stolen, having a GPS tracker on it will be handy in recovering it. Click here to see the disc lock alarm and GPS tracker I recommend in my list of suggested motorcycle security.
No matter what the weather is, you should always use a motorcycle cover on your bike when you’re not using it. Using a cover takes attention away from it and will become less noticeable to people who might find some malicious interest in it.
And let’s not forget the protection a cover will provide against the elements. It’s obvious that a cover will keep a motorcycle from getting wet from rain and snow, but it’ll also protect it from the sun. The sun can actually do as much damage to a motorcycle as water can. See my other article here to learn more about what the sun can do to your motorcycle.
Can I Store My Motorcycle Inside My Apartment?
It’s natural for a motorcyclist to want to ensure the safety for their motorcycle and even contemplate bringing their motorcycle into their home. While storing a motorcycle in a house is completely possible, it’s different when you live in a condo or an apartment.
First, most landlords and management don’t allow motorcycles inside. Motorcycles can be messy because of fuel and oil leaks, can leave dirt and stains on the carpet from the used tires, and can all around be an eye sore for anyone who enters your apartment.
But the biggest issue with storing your motorcycle in your apartment is about the safety of the other tenants. There have been several instances where a motorcycle was the cause of some catastrophic fire or explosion within the apartment because of the flammable fluids it holds. It’s one thing if an explosion happens inside your home and impacts you, but it’s another when it starts affecting other people’s homes that had nothing to do with it.
So as a safety precaution, never store your motorcycle inside if you live in an apartment. It can be incredibly tempting (trust me, I’ve been there), but the dangers that holds is too high of a risk to take. I have known people to get evicted once landlords found out their tenants were storing their motorcycle inside.
Storing Your Motorcycle In The Winter
If you live in an apartment that’s located in a place with a climate that has harsh winters, there’s no need to worry because it’s completely possible to safely keep your motorcycle stored outside in such conditions. I’ve done this many times myself.
If you know you’re not going to ride your motorcycle at all during the winter, you first may want to ask around to family or friends and see if they have space in their garage or shed to store your motorcycle. You can even offer to compensate them somehow.
If storing your motorcycle in a friend or family member’s enclosed area isn’t possible, you can simply park your motorcycle in your apartment’s parking lot according to the methods mentioned earlier. Winterizing your motorcycle is especially important when you’re storing it outside.
First you’ll need to make sure you change the oil even if you’ve done it somewhat recently. Fresh oil will prevent breakdown and corrosion. Next you’ll need to make sure to top off your gas tank to prevent any condensation from building up inside.
Now you’ll want to pay attention to the battery. You can either use a battery tender to keep it maintained throughout the winter or you can simply remove the battery from the motorcycle and bring it inside for the winter to prevent it from freezing or losing charge. Also make sure to move the motorcycle backwards and forwards a few inches every few weeks. This will prevent flat spots from forming on the tires.
Last but not least, always make sure a cover is on your motorcycle throughout the winter. It’s a good idea to use some rope to fasten the cover to ensure it doesn’t blow away or partly come off and expose some of your bike. For more information about storing your motorcycle outside for the winter, see my article here.
When Apartment Management Doesn’t Allow Motorcycles
There are a few apartment managers and landlords out there that simply don’t allow motorcycles on the premises. Some believe that motorcycles are too loud and disrupt the peace while others believe there’s a stigma attached to them and they may attract “bad people” (I’ve actually heard that one before).
If you find yourself in this situation, you can try negotiating with the landlord. This is completely possible and I’ve seen people have success with it. Check your contract and see if it specifically states you cannot park a motorcycle there. If it doesn’t, talk with your landlord and point out that nowhere does it say you are restricted from parking your bike there.
You can also talk with nearby business or apartment complexes and see if you can come up with a deal to park your motorcycle there. As unideal as it is, don’t forget to consider street parking.
How are motorcycles stolen? Motorcycles can be an easy target for thieves because of how simple it is to steal them. If a thief knows what they’re doing, they can cut any chains or cords, disable any alarms, kick start the motorcycle, and/or lift it up and haul it away in a truck.
Can a motorcycle park on the sidewalk? It is illegal for a motorcycle to park on the sidewalk unless it is privately owned and the owner has given the rider permission to park there. Motorcycles are generally required to follow the same traffic and parking laws as any other motor vehicle. See my article here for more information.