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Indian Motorcycle Storage

The following video outlines the best practices for preparing an Indian Motorcycle for long-term storage.

Topics include:

  • 0:45 Storage location
  • 1:25 Checking the tire pressure
  • 1:35 Changing the engine oil
  • 1:50 Checking the coolant on liquid-cooled models
  • 2:05 Lubricating the chain on chain-driven models
  • 2:19 Using fuel stabilizer
  • 2:50  Removing and cleaning the battery
  • 3:30 Cleaning your motorcycle
  • 3:51 Parking and covering the motorcycle
  • 4:42 Removing the motorcycle from storage

If you will not operate your Indian Motorcycle for more than 60 days, store it to prevent damage to the fuel system and battery. It also will protect components from corrosion or deterioration. Note that during storage preparation you might use products like fuel stabilizer that are potentially hazardous. When using these products, follow the instructions and warnings found on the product packaging.

Choose a dry, well-ventilated storage location, inside a garage or other structure if possible. The location should have a firm, flat surface and allow enough space for the motorcycle.

Warning: Gasoline is highly flammable and explosive under certain conditions. Do not store the motorcycle in any area (in home or garage) where it could be near open flames, pilot lights, sparks or electric motors. Do not smoke in the storage area. 

To best preserve tire condition:

  • The storage area should have a relatively constant and moderate temperature.
  • The storage surface should be free of oil and gasoline.
  • The storage surface should not be near a radiator or other heat source, or any type of electric motor.

Clean and Protect Your Motorcycle
To prepare your motorcycle for storage, begin by cleaning and polishing it. For cleaning tips, consult your Owner’s Manual. Polish chromed and other metal surfaces. Apply protectant to exposed rubber, vinyl and plastic parts. Do not apply rubber protectant to the tire tread surfaces.

Fuel Stabilizer
Add fresh fuel to fill the fuel tank and add fuel stabilizer. Do not overfill.

Ride the motorcycle or start and run the engine for 15 minutes in a well-ventilated area to distribute the stabilizer throughout the fuel system.

Tire Inflation
Inflate the tires to normal pressure, as noted in your Owner’s Manual. For tire pressure specifications, read Indian Motorcycle Tire Maintenance or refer to the Specifications section of your Owner’s Manual

Engine Protection
Change the engine oil before storing your motorcycle.

Refer to the links below for oil change procedures by vehicle: 

Cooling System
For Scout and FTR models, check the coolant level and maintain as recommended by adding coolant to the recovery bottle. See your Owner's Manual for more details.

Battery Care

  • Remove the battery. This procedure is detailed in your Owner’s Manual.
  • Clean the battery terminals first with a wire brush to remove any loose deposits.
  • Wash the posts and the ends of the battery cables with a solution of one part baking soda to 16 parts water. Rinse with clean water and wipe dry.
  • Apply a thin film of dielectric grease to the posts and cable connectors.
  • Clean the outside of the battery with a solution of mild detergent and warm water.
  • Store the battery in a dry area with a temperature of 32 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (0-32 C).
  • While in storage, fully charge the battery once a month. For more on this procedure, see your Owner’s Manual.

Maintenance During Storage
During extended storage periods, maintain tire pressure and battery voltage at the recommended levels.

Mice and other rodents often are the worst enemy of a stored motorcycle. If the motorcycle will be stored in an area where mice are a concern — particularly in rural areas, barns, sheds, etc. — be sure to take extra measures to deter their infestation. This may include placing a screen mesh over any intake or exhaust openings (remember to remove them when you remove the motorcycle from storage).

Park and Cover Your Motorcycle

  • Park the motorcycle in its storage location. Block the frame to take some of the weight off the front and rear wheels.
  • Tip: Starting the motorcycle periodically during storage is NOT recommended. Water vapor is a by-product of the combustion process, and corrosion may result unless the engine is operated long enough to bring the oil and exhaust system to normal operating temperature. 
  • Secure a plastic bag over the (cooled) exhaust outlets to prevent moisture from entering the exhaust system.
  • Cover the motorcycle with a cover made from a durable, breathable material designed for storage. Covering the motorcycle helps protect it from dust and other airborne materials. The cover must be of a breathable material to prevent moisture from building up on the motorcycle. This can cause oxidation of metal surfaces.

Removal From Storage

  • Install a fully charged battery.
  • Check the oil level. If the motorcycle was stored in an area subject to wide swings in temperature and humidity — such as outdoors — change the engine oil before starting the engine.
  • Notice: During storage, temperature and humidity changes can cause condensation to form in the crankcase and mix with engine oil. Running the engine with oil that contains condensation can cause engine damage. 
  • Inspect the storage area for signs of fluid leaks. Identify and perform service to any leaking components.
  • Remove any intake or exhaust mesh covers installed for rodent protection.
  • Install new spark plugs if necessary.
  • Make sure the fuel tank is at least 3/4 full.
  • Perform the pre-ride inspection detailed in your Owner’s Manual.
  • Perform a road test, which is outlined in your Owner’s Manual.
  • Wash and polish the motorcycle. Wax, polish or apply protectant to the appropriate components.

For more information, see your authorized Indian Motorcycle Dealer. Find a dealer near you with the Dealer Locator.
Maintenance tips, procedures and specifications can be found in your Owner's Manual.
To find diagrams and replacement part numbers, use the online parts catalog.

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