What happens when a motorcycle or scooter sits unused? No one likes to have their bike sit, but sometimes it happens. Or maybe you are buying a bike from someone that has sat for awhile. Those are always the best “deals”. But what actually can happen when a bike sits? What does “ran fine when parked” actually get you?
A battery that isn’t on a tender may need to be charged within a month. After an extended period of time not being charged, a battery may not be able to be revived. Within the first month of sitting, your gas will start deteriorating. This even happens to fuel injected bikes. This means the bike won’t be burning gasoline efficiently. The carburetors and fuel pump can literally disintegrate from bad gas. The fuel tank can get rusted so badly that it can’t be salvaged. Carbureted bikes that sit for an extended period of time often have to have the carbs completely replaced- they are at the point of no return. This can turn into a huge problem, especially for older bikes where parts can be hard to find. Sometimes even finding them on Ebay can be expensive. When a bike gets stored outside, the wiring can get old and brittle very quickly. Tires and even plastics will start wearing very quickly. Brake calipers can freeze and rotors can get super rusty very quickly. Brake hoses are rubber and can dry rot. Often you’ll have to redo the whole system. Fork seals will start to dry rot and can leak oil as well. Your chain can get rusty in as little as a month. If it’s not properly taken care of, the links can freeze which can cause them to snap while riding (horrible accidents and highsides). No bueno. If a bike has been sitting and kept outside, be ready to replace a TON of parts.
Make sure you pay attention to these issues and ask these questions when looking at a used bike. If you’ve gotten in a little over your head on a bike, give us a call at 240-583-0469 or shoot us a quick email for an estimate!