Because I've been doing apartment living, the question of where to keep a motorcycle, was a big reason for why it took so long to get another one. I had tried a storage place before, and came to the following conclusions:
1. It's too expensive-
A simple 5'x10' enclosed spot will run you $700 plus per year
2. Using your bike is a chore-
Plan for an extra 30 to 40 minutes per trip
3. Storage is all you get-
No electrical outlets and little extra space for tools
Parking it outside with an All-Weather Cover was not a suitable solution for me, because it still did not deal with the security aspect of the situation. Aside from thieves, vandals--usually in the form of kids and teenagers also have to be considered. So after clearing it with management at my apartment complex, I finally decided on getting a trailer.
CHOOSING THE TRAILER
For a big bike like the Yamaha Roadstar, I recommend at least a 6'x12' enclosed trailer. The trailer I ended up with has the following notable features:
1. It is a 6'x14'-
The trailer fits into one parking spot. The 14' length gives me plenty of room to store parts, tools and equipment in the front of the trailer. The 6' width affords plenty of room to work comfortably on each side of the bike. And by using the inexpensive bike stand, which has the jack handle along the side of the bike, I am able to do any job I can dream up.
2. Ramp door-
Self-explanatory. However, make sure that the door is rated to handle the weight of you and your bike moving up the ramp. In my case, the ramp is rated for a stationary load of 750lbs (curb weight of the Roadstar = 735lbs) and a transition load of 1000lbs.
3. Single axle-
In Virginia this was important for two reasons: One, it was cheaper to register, and two I don't have to worry about getting it inspected every year.
4. Priced right-
Get a trailer off of Craigslist and do some hardcore negotiating. Because trailers hold their value really well, you may just be able to sell it for more than you bought it. So when you no longer need the trailer, you can recoup your investment and your bike will have been stored for free.
Your trailer should also be fitted with rear jack stands. These are available as aftermarket parts and can be welded or bolted on to your frame. When using rear jack stands, the minimum clearance between the ground and your frame is 12", and since my trailer is parked on a slope, I ended up with a combination of stacked 2x6 and 6x6 boards instead. In any case without something wedged under the back-end, the front of your trailer will stand straight up when you move the bike up the ramp. This is because normally the trailer is not free-standing, but hooked to the back of a truck which prevents the above described scenario.
SECURING THE TRAILER
My trailer sits on a considerable downward slope, but by using a heavy duty rubber chock and a 6x6 piece of wood under the trailer jack, I have had no problem keeping it level and in place. As a security precaution I then bought a 6' cable, ran it through the wheel and around the axle, and secured it to the chock with a padlock. To prevent people from messing with the jack, I removed the handle.
I also have put in place the following theft deterrents:
1. Hitch Lock-
My first instinct was to get a U-joint lock, but the guy I bought the trailer from—said he was able to knock his off with a couple blows of a sledge hammer. The lock that goes through the hitch lever however can only be removed by welding if you do not have the key.
2. Wheel Lock-
There are numerous options to choose from. If you go with the Trimax Chock Lock, the TCL 65 will be more than sufficient for most recreational applications. I tried the TCL 75 first, but my 15" wheel was swimming in its massive size.
3. The Lugnuts-
If you use a wheel lock that does not have a plate to cover the lugnuts, a well prepared thief can jack up your trailer and simply replace your locked wheel with one of his own. To deter this from happening I use a set of locking lugnuts in conjunction with the chock lock.
4. Brinks Locks-
To keep people out of the trailer I am using the circular brinks locks. Not only are they durable and weather resistant, but they are also the most annoying for someone serious enough to bring a bolt-cutter.
And there you have it. All in all I spent about $200 to keep my trailer level, in place, and "safe" from thieves.
The result is one heck of a man cave, and peace of mind for when I am gone or the weather outside is frightful.