How to winterize and protect your motor bike


Francis Grandieri

Motor bikers are not very happy this time of year.

As winter approaches, the time has come to shut down and clean up that motorcycle, ATV, dirt bike or whatever else moves our high-spirited clients.

Montgomery Insurance Services can guide you through this winterizing process, as well as help minimize your liability risk during these quiet months.

When your motorcycle is properly prepared for winter storage, it makes the spring wake-up call easier and way more enjoyable. Bike Bandit, a motorcycle parts superstore retailer in San Diego, offers an excellent 10-step winterizing process on its popular website.

Most bikers are familiar with the annual cleaning and lubricating steps. But BikeBandit also shares important tire protection and pest prevention tips that are sure to get your head nodding.

ATV and dirt bike owners face different challenges. Before owners can even begin to prepare their vehicles for winter storage, they first have to address all the muck and gunk — you know, the good stuff — that has accumulated over the past few seasons.

We like as our go-to for all things off roading. On their great ATV winterizing tip sheet (, they stress proper maintenance and care to prevent breakdown of all the ATV’s moving parts constantly under attack.  

So now that you’ve lubed up, spiffed up and laid up your ride, how are you going to protect it against possible damage or theft?

Many bike owners cancel their insurance coverage for the winter months. Clearly, they are looking to save money while not riding. While that is always an option, Montgomery recommends against it — and here’s why.

Many carriers assess fees or penalties when you toggle coverage throughout the year. If you have a one-year term, for example, you may be charged a termination fee for canceling early and reduce any prorated refund you may receive. And then when you are ready to renew, the rate might be higher than you expected.

Canceling and renewing a policy also exposes owners to greater risk. Even if your motorcycle or ATV is sitting in a garage, a shed or even an offsite storage unit, there are still opportunities for it to be damaged or stolen. If your bike is uninsured, you are on the hook for all repair or replacement costs.

And there’s one more reason not to cancel. It’s mid-January. The temps have shot up into the 70s. You’re getting that born to be wild feeling. However, you are uninsured … and the feeling quickly disappears.

But there are still ways for bike owners to save money during the winter months, same as our clients who own sports cars. One way is to raise your deductibles. Another is called lay-up insurance, and many of our partner carriers offer it.  

Lay-up policies allow you to effectively pause the liability and collision components of your coverage while maintaining the comprehensive coverage. This means you are still protected against damage and theft — but not paying for the result of any potential accident while on the road.

And on that sparkling day in January? If necessary, some carriers will also include a “sunny day clause” that allows you one day of liability coverage within your lay-up policy.

Everyone wants to save on premiums, especially on secondary vehicles. Talk to your Montgomery agent about layers of coverage and cost options. And if you don’t currently have insurance protection on your motorcycle or ATV, you may want to talk to your agent… a bit longer. Call Montgomery today at 610-565-8280 or send us an email at

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