Motorcycles can be a perfect choice for those who want to experience a thrilling ride, explore new places, and enjoy the open road.

However, not everyone rides their motorcycle regularly. In some cases, people may leave their bikes unused for an extended period.

If you’re one of these people, you may be wondering what happens to your motorcycle after it’s been sitting for two years or more.

Tdoay, we will answer that question while discussing the potential problems that can arise, how to store a motorcycle long-term, and how to get your motorcycle back on the road.

What Happens to the Engine?

One of the most significant problems that arise when motorcycles are left unused for an extended period is damage to the engine.

Over time, the oil in the engine can break down, becoming acidic and leaving deposits that can clog small oil passages. If you don’t change the oil regularly, this could lead to significant engine damage.

Another issue that comes from not running the engine for an extended period is the buildup of moisture, which can rust and corrode the internal components of the engine.

Moisture can also cause a reduction in the octane rating of the gasoline, which can affect the performance of the engine.

Other Issues with An Unused Motorcycle

Aside from engine problems, other potential issues can arise when a motorcycle sits unused for an extended period. Below are some of the other common problems that you may face:

  • Flat battery: if the battery hasn’t been charged or disconnected during storage, it can go flat and not be able to start the engine.
  • Flat tires: if the tires are left unmoved during storage, they may develop flat spots, which can damage them, leading to a decrease in performance or even blowouts.
  • Fuel system issues: modern fuels typically only have a shelf-life of a few months. Ethanol-blended fuels have been known to cause harm to fuel system components. After a long period of sitting, the fuel tank and lines could potentially become clogged with gummy deposits, leading to issues with starting the engine.
  • Brake problems: if the brakes are left unused for a long time, rust can form on the brake rotors when stored in humid conditions. When you ride your bike, the rust can wear off, leading to uneven brake disc surfaces that can cause a decrease in braking performance.

How to Store Your Motorcycle for a Long Period

Storing your motorcycle properly during long periods of inactivity can prevent many of the issues mentioned above. Here are some tips to help you store your motorcycle long-term safely:

  • Make sure to clean your motorcycle thoroughly before storing it. You can use a mild detergent and a soft-bristled brush to clean the bike, being careful not to scratch any painted surfaces.
  • Change the oil and the oil filter and run the engine for a few minutes to get fresh oil circulating before storing your bike
  • Keep your motorcycle in a dry, cool place where it is shielded from sunlight and extreme temperatures. Consider a motorcycle cover to protect it from dust, moisture, and minor scratches
  • Fill the fuel tank with a fuel stabilizer. The stabilizer will help to prevent moisture accumulation and protect against rust in the fuel system while your bike is in storage.
  • Use a battery tender or maintainer to keep your battery charged.
  • Prop your motorcycle up on a stand or lift to keep the tires from having continuous contact with the ground for long periods. Alternatively, roll your bike periodically.
  • It is a good idea to start your bike every couple of weeks during storage, ensuring that the engine gets up to operating temperature to burn off any moisture and prevent internal rust and corrosion.

How to Get a Motorcycle Back on the Road

Getting your unused motorcycle back on the road may seem like a big task, but it’s usually possible. Here are the main things to consider:

  • Replace the battery or charge the existing battery before attempting to start the engine.
  • Check the tires for any signs of damage or flat spots before riding your bike.
  • Drain the old fuel and flush the fuel system before adding fresh, new fuel.
  • Check all the electrical connections. During storage, rodents and insects can cause damage to the wiring.
  • Check the brakes, brake rotors, and pads before riding your motorcycle to ensure that they are functioning correctly. If you notice any rust, you may need to replace the brake discs to ensure your safety.
  • Start the engine and leave it to run for a few minutes while keeping an eye on the oil pressure, unusual noises, and any leaks.
  • If you’re not confident doing all these maintenance checks, take your bike to a qualified mechanic to get a full safety check-up before taking it on the road.


If your motorcycle has been unused for two years, there is a good chance that it has gone through some damage and defects that require maintenance.

Proper storage can prevent many of these issues, but it is essential to be diligent about starting the engine regularly, checking the brakes and electrical connections, and replacing old fluids.

If you’re not confident in undertaking this maintenance, seek the help of a professional. A little effort goes a long way in keeping your motorcycle in top condition and safe to ride.

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