Beating the Winterizing blues

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by btay67, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. btay67

    btay67 New Member

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    Okay, I have tried to find the answer to this question in the forums but aparently I am searching wrong because I'm sure this has been answered before. Anyway...

    How long can the bike sit unridden before I should winterize it? I probably should have winterized it by now but every other week or so I get a great day or a couple of great days to ride and I just can't seem to get myself to give up on the riding season. If I had more available cash right now I would invest in some cold weather gear too but so far, 24 degree mornings are about as cold as I will go (I know..lilly) but I'm not that young anymore. Will it hurt the bike to let it sit in the garage for a week or two between rides?

    Thanks for your advice, this will be my first winterization and I find myself sitting in the garage on the VFR wishing summer was here again...
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  2. powderrecon

    powderrecon New Member

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    I have often pondered that question myself and have received various answers.

    Since your bike is fuel injected, you don't need to worry too much about getting air in your fuel system gunking up your lines. Just add some stabilizer and you could realistically let that thing sit for 3-6 months without starting it. However make sure your tank is full and keep the chain lubed.

    On my bike, since it is carbed, I would not let it sit longer than 6 weeks, without riding it for a good hour, if need be. However that is just me. I am sure if I left it two or three months with stabilizer, it would also be fine as long as I kept the tank full. I have had bike mechanics tell me I can let it sit for 6 months, as long as the fuel is treated. The Seattle winter is not as brutal as others and there are plenty of good riding days during the winter to prevent winterizing which is nice.

    Even if I lived in a colder climate, I still would not winterize. A good ride every month does the trick. Who cares if you have a dead battery to charge the night before. Only takes a few minutes to hook up the leads of the battery tender.

    So to answer your question. If you left it 3 months, with a full tank, lubed chain and fuel additives I think you are safe. Oh, and make sure it is on the center stand...even if just parking it for a few days.
     
  3. crustyrider

    crustyrider New Member

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    I used to know where Peculiar MO was........ must have blanked it out of my mind... where in relation to Fort Leonard Wood are you? do you get the same weather as there?
    I know that I didn't winterize the boat I had one year while living there. that cost me an engine block and a ton of aggrevation, It started and ran all the way out into the MIDDLE of the lake then died. the water jackets cracked and the block filled with water.

    on the bike front, as long as you keep it inside and treat the fuel you can let it sit all winter. and not wanting to ride in 24 deg. weather.... your not a p***y cause I've done it and it aint fun. so call the riding season and take the time to fix up the ol girl and get her ready for springtime!!!! good luck
     
  4. Mav777

    Mav777 New Member

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    I hate to bring lawn equipment into comparison, but here it goes, I used to be religious about running my lawn mower out of gas before each winter, then I had kids and frankly just got lazy, my lawn mower still starts just as good the past 5 years without going through the trouble as it did the first five years, mind you I live in the south, so it can sit 4-5 months without me even looking at it. I have had friends tell me that if their bike sits for a couple of weeks they add stabilizer, and since the cost of stabilizer is low I guess it can't hurt. Heck, we have been lucky enough this winter that I have been able to ride at least a couple of days every 2-3 weeks, so I have not even thought about putting her up for the winter. In a quick search of the web it looks like generally they are saying gas will store safely for 30 days, but it depends on the conditions, so adjust per your situation.
     
  5. btay67

    btay67 New Member

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    Probably close weather pattern. Peculiar is northwest of Fort Leonard Wood, it is actually just a little south of Kansas City, MO on 71 Hwy. Thanks for the input. I do need to do a little work on the bike but man it's hard to let go once you get the fever. 45 degree weather on the way...hmmm
     
  6. malcster

    malcster New Member

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    Peculiar sounds interesting.It must get cold there.Just don't let nuthin' freeze.Start that thing up every week.oh!nevermind.Garage?
     
  7. RVFR

    RVFR Member

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    And there you have it, pretty much my thought on it too, Very well said there. Yep a quick run it up every couple weeks or more, and keep the tank full. air in the tires, chain lube? LOL well that obvious and the biggie keep it on the center stand Nice touch there, oh if you have a battery tender I suppose that's okay too. but most 90% of the batteries today hold a good charge for a few months, but there's more to it than about the battery kept charged a good heat cycle will keep all the cob webs from settling in..
     
  8. drewl

    drewl Insider

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    I ride all winter when weather allows. It is sometimes a few weeks in between rides. I do not winterize at all. I think running the bike every few weeks or more often makes it unnecessary.
     
  9. ILVFR75

    ILVFR75 New Member

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    i have to pretty much agree with everyone's comments here. one thing i do is start the bike at least once a week, sometimes more than that. i just let it idle until the engine comes up to approx 150 degrees or so. i also have it on the center stand and i rotate the front tire a few degrees everytime i start it. hopefully, i'll avoid any flatspotting that way. C'MON SPRING, hurry up and get here!
     
  10. Spectre

    Spectre New Member

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    I'm fortunate to have a home garage that's electrically heated and well insulated. During the winter months, I have a forced-air electric heater set to keep the temperature inside of my garage at ~55 degrees F.

    Assuming that one has first changed a motorcycle's oil right before it is parked in a garage (heated or unheated) for the winter, I've heard it said that periodically starting and idling the engine could potentially do more harm than good.

    The reasoning here, as I've heard it explained, is that unless the motorcycle is actually rode for 30-60 minutes or more in order to bring the engine and its oil up to full operating temperature, the moisture generated and trapped in the oil may not have an opportunity to be 'boiled-off' and vented through the crankcase and exhaust. Am I on the right track here? Is this true?

    As I try to recall lessons learned from physical chemistry and organic chemistry, I do believe that modern engine oils contain a variety of hydrophilic ('water loving') and emulsifying compounds that will temporarily bind-up excess water molecules which they will later thermochemically release once the oil reaches a certain sustained temperature. But these moisture-loving compounds are saturable, and if one is in the habit of regularly only idling the engine, might this introduce more and more water into the oil, while the engine and crankcase are otherwise just vulnerable to the deleterious effects of excessive water molecules?

    True or false?
     
  11. Mav777

    Mav777 New Member

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    RedR brings up many good points, to add that that....as most have heard starting an engine is one of the most damaging parts of running, simply due to the fact that there is basically little to no oil left on the cylinder walls after sitting a bit, not saying don't start it as much as you want, but to start it just to idle, I have to question that? Also, consider the fact that you warm your crankcase, then naturally condensation is going to develop inside the crankcase as it cools, therefore what RedR said about actually getting the engine up to temps to burn out the condensation makes sense, and finally they old saying is change the oil every 3 months or 3,000 miles is for a reason, even oil just sitting breaks down. I know with most of the equipment I deal with we simply prep it for storage and when it is ready for use we simply change the lubrication and run them. If the winters where you reside permit you to ride once a month or so, my opinion would be that there is no special storage procedure required, although keeping a full tank of gas may not hurt. Just my 2 cents.
     
  12. btay67

    btay67 New Member

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    Thanks everbody for the input! I was hoping the whole riding every couple weeks would be good enough to keep me from having to winterize and therefore give up on anymore riding for the year.

    I have and will continue to keep the tank full and I just bought a battery tender. So once again Thanks for all your help and hope to see you on the road...
     
  13. intrcptr

    intrcptr New Member

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    I put a new bettery in my bike over the summer, drove it fine. I put it away for the winter thinking nothing about a battery tender. I went to start it in the spring and the battery was DEAD! wtf.... any similar stories?
     
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