Harley-Davidson Sportster XL1200X Forty-Eight - Owner's Manual > Motorcycle Storage

Maintenance and Lubrication / Motorcycle Storage

Placing Motorcycle in Storage

Proper storage is important for the trouble-free operation of your motorcycle. See your Owner's Manual for storage recommendations or see a Harley-Davidson dealer. Improper storage procedures can lead to equipment damage.

If the motorcycle is not to be ridden for several months, such as during the winter season, there are several tasks which must be performed. These steps protect parts against corrosion, preserve the battery and prevent the build-up of gum and varnish in the fuel system.

If possible, store the motorcycle in a dry area with a stable temperature. Keep the motorcycle away from harsh chemicals or other substances such as fertilizers or salt.

Do not store motorcycle with gasoline in tank within the home or garage where open flames, pilot lights, sparks or electric motors are present. Gasoline is extremely flammable and highly explosive, which could result in death or serious injury.

NOTE: Make a list of everything you do and fasten it to a hand grip. When you take the motorcycle out of storage, this list is your reference/checklist to get your motorcycle in operating condition.

1. Fill fuel tank. Add fuel stabilizer following manufacturer's instructions.

2. Warm motorcycle to operating temperature. Change oil and turn engine over to circulate the new oil.

3. Check and adjust belt if necessary.

4. Check tire pressure. Refer to Specified Tires for specified pressure.

5. Protect the body panels, engine, chassis and wheels from corrosion. Follow the cosmetic care procedures described in the Care and Cleaning section before storage.

6. Prepare battery for storage. See Battery Maintenance.

Explosive hydrogen gas, which escapes during charging, could cause death or serious injury.

Charge battery in a well-ventilated area. Keep open flames, electrical sparks away from battery at all times. KEEP BATTERIES AWAY FROM CHILDREN.


  • If the motorcycle is being stored with the security system armed, connect a 750mA SUPERSMART BATTERY TENDER 66000038 to maintain battery charge.
  • If the motorcycle is being stored with the security system disarmed, turn on the motorcycle while the hands-free fob is present. This operation prevents the optional siren from sounding. Disconnect the negative battery cable and prepare battery for storage. See Battery Maintenance.

7. Use a material such as light canvas that can breathe to cover the motorcycle. Plastic materials that do not breathe promote the formation of condensation.

8. Remove the antennas or allow them to protrude through the cover, if equipped. Do not bend or tuck antennas under the cover.

Removing Motorcycle from Storage

The clutch failing to disengage can cause loss of control, which could result in death or serious injury. Prior to starting after extended periods of storage, place transmission in gear and push vehicle back and forth several times to assure proper clutch disengagement.

NOTE: Lubricants contaminated with water have a milky white appearance. Replace contaminated lubricants with the appropriate new Harley-Davidson lubricant.

1. Charge the battery.

2. Install battery. See Battery Maintenance.

3. Run motorcycle until engine is at normal operating temperature. Turn off engine.

4. Check engine oil level.

5. Check lubricant level.

6. Check controls to make sure that they are operating properly. Operate the front and rear brakes, throttle, clutch and shifter.

7. Check steering for smoothness by turning the handlebars through the full operating range.

Be sure tires are properly inflated, balanced, undamaged, and have adequate tread. Inspect your tires regularly and see a Harley-Davidson dealer for replacements. Riding with excessively worn, unbalanced, improperly inflated, overloaded or damaged tires can lead to tire failure and adversely affect stability and handling, which could result in death or serious injury.

8. Check tire pressure. Refer to Specified Tires for specified pressure.

9. Check overall tire condition. See Tire Replacement.

10. Test all switches and lights for proper operation.

11. Check for any fluid leaks.

Turn engine over a few times to be sure there is no oil in the crankcase and that all oil has been pumped back into the oil tank. Stop engine and re-check oil level. Failure to do so can result in engine damage.

    See also:

     Harley-Davidson Sportster XL1200X Forty-Eight - Owner's Manual > Fuses

    Fuse Replacement Always use replacement fuses that are of the correct type and amperage rating. Use of incorrect fuses can result in damage to electrical systems.

     Harley-Davidson Sportster XL1200X Forty-Eight - Owner's Manual > Care and Cleaning