If you plan to ride it (not just start it, but actually ride it) at least once a month, no winter preparation is needed. The only caveat is if you have parasitic electrical draw, such as engine computers, clocks, radio with preset memories, or the like. In that case whatever you do during regular riding season is adequate.
The practice of starting the engine for a few minutes every week or so "to charge the battery" is, in my opinion, worse than useless. When you start the engine, water created by burning fuel condenses in the cold cylinder and exhaust, and does not evaporate until the engine, oil, and exhaust pipes reach normal operating temperatures. That won't happen unless you actually run the engine under load (riding the bike) for several miles. Ever notice the water dribbling from auto exhausts on a cold day? Ever wonder why exhausts seem to rust from the inside out? It is caused by the normal water of combustion condensing in cold pipes.
If you worry about tires sitting on cold floors, just inflate them to a few pounds above normal (not to exceed the sidewall pressures). If you happen to think about it, move the bike a foot or so every so often to change the contact point.
Try to fuel with non-ethanol gas (not possible for many of us) and use a fuel stabilizer. Put the stabilizer into the tank when you fuel, and the drive home will usually get it into the carburetor or injectors. If the bike is carbureted, and it has a fairly easily accessible carb drain, it won't hurt to drain the gas from the carb. Try to ride the bike at least a few miles (I usually want at least ten miles) before you park it, and if you can't ride it that far don't even start it.
Your owner's manual will undoubtedly have procedures for storage. If in doubt, follow them and at the very least your warranty should remain intact.
On those bikes I actually store for winter, I remove the batteries for convenience. Every month or two, when I happen to think about it, I use an automatic battery charger on them until it says they are charged. Except for my '09 250 Star, all my bikes are '07 models and all the batteries are original equipment and still going strong. Take it for what it is worth.
Last edited by Charon; 09-08-2013 at 09:14 PM.