Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, for some of us, the cycle season is approaching it's end and it's time for the bike to take a winter nap; which typically means a rash of "my bike won't start" postings come spring...

So, how do you guys winterize your bikes?

I add fuel stabilizer, fill the tank full, then remove it from the cycle and store it in the garage.

I drain the carbs and fuel lines, then store the bike in my basement.

Works for me...any better ideas?

PS> In the spring, I drain the gas from the tank into my mower gas can and run that winter gas through my mower...easier to deal with gas issues in the mower than the bike.
 

·
ZAMM Fanatic
Joined
·
2,732 Posts
I worked in a small engine shop. There seem to be two approaches that work well.

One is to fill the tank with ALCOHOL-FREE gasoline (where available), add Stabil, run for a few minutes, shut down, top it off, and store it.

Most important is to drain all the old fuel out in the spring, replace with fresh.

Two is to completely drain the tank, and run the engine until it quits. Add choke at the end to burn the last bit of gas. Leave the gas cap loose or off so you don't get water condensation. Put cap some place where you can't lose it, duct tape it to the handlebars, whatever.

Batteries need to be put on a trickle charger, or if not, brought inside the house and every 2 months recharged. If allowed to completely discharge A) they can freeze, and rupture, and B) they never hold a decent charge again. Batteries are like a swimming pool, the older they get, the smaller the pool becomes and the drain/refill pipes clog with minerals, meaning it takes longer to charge/discharge.

Nothing, absolutely NOTHING kills a battery faster than SITTING completely discharged.

Putting an extra 10psi of air in your tires will keep them from flat spotting as bad while parked. Of course, moving the bike a foot or two a couple of times per winter....

The third approach is to head for Quartzsite, Yuma, Winterhaven, Key West, and keep riding. If there's a "better idea" this is it!
 

·
Member Map
Joined
·
23,911 Posts
I add stabilizer, fill the tank full, ride around a little to mix, and keep a tender plugged in. Starts first time every time in the spring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
I'm going to be draining my tank because I store in the basement. But, I'm going to put some stuff that my carb guy recommends in the last tank of the season and run it out. I figure this way, if there is a little bit left in the carb, it will be ok. Buying two battery tenders (two bikes). Placing thick cardboard on the floor so the tires don't get icky from the concrete. It was suggested to me to put some Mother's wax on the bike, but not wipe it off until start of season. They say it protects the metal from corrosion. Now, do you guys normally change your oil at the start of the next season even if you haven't hit the mileage? I just want to protect my investment and my form of happiness...
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
18,563 Posts
You want to over winter with new oil then just start riding in the spring.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,274 Posts
I wouldn't leave the wax un-buffed. It will actually trap water, and may not buff out properly after it has hardened. I do wax everything, pipes, headers, wheels included.

If you can lift the weight off the tires and let the pressure down to 1/2 normal, it is best for tire life, according to tire makers; if you wear a set out in a couple years or less, it's not so important. If not lifting, then raise the pressure to a bit less than the maximum inflation on the sidewall, to allow for changes in temperature.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
Ok, I'll heed your advice. I wouldn't want to have to scrape the wax off. I'll just give them a good wash/wax job before storing. I've been thinking of renting a climate controlled storage unit at a local storage facility. I'm just worried about the moisture in the basement. But hopefully, I have enough time left to decide....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
If you can lift the weight off the tires and let the pressure down to 1/2 norma
I put the bike on the center stand, then wedge a piece of 2x4 (cut to the correct length) under the block to get both tires off the ground and then reduced the pressure.

I'm just worried about the moisture in the basement.
I've stored bikes in basements for 35 years, never had a problem and one house had a basement that would get wet with rain..still no problem over the winter. The DEW point here can hit the 70's in the summer which is insanely humid; that's way more than any basement I can imagine during the winter. If you do have a wet basement all winter, I'd buy a dehumidifier instead of paying for a storage area.
 

·
Female Rider
Joined
·
9,324 Posts
Our bikes are kept in our garage but we run a dehumidifier in our basement all year long.

For winter we fill the tanks, add some stabil, run them long enough to get the treated gas in everything, hook up the battery tenders, put some old socks over the pipes to keep the mice out and throw a sheet over them. We do try to ride them from time to time throughout the winter but even so we will go out and start them about every third week.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,274 Posts
MONI, if you can't ride long enough to get the oil up to temperature, say more than 5 miles, I wouldn't even start it. That just fills the oil with combustion by-product, mostly water but some acids, that won't boil out until the next longer ride.
 

·
Female Rider
Joined
·
9,324 Posts
Hey WintrSoy,

Thanks for your input. I'll tell Randy about that. Maybe that is why he always wants to change the oil in March or April. He always said he did that to get any condensation out that may have formed over the winter. Hmmmm.
 

·
Member Map
Joined
·
23,911 Posts
Starting them during the winter simply for the sake of running the engine doesn't have any advantages. If you are storing a motorcycle for several consecutive years without riding it, it may be a good idea to run it once a year to re-lubricate the inside of the engine case to prevent corrosion. That's not needed for seasonal storage.
 

·
Female Rider
Joined
·
9,324 Posts
My bike is old and if she isn't started every so often she gets like most ignored females and shows her stubborn side. She refuses to say a word and just won't wake up and rumble. When we do start her from time to time she must like it because she will rumble with just a touch and then purr away. It's not a battery thing either. Anyway, we will rev her several times let her sit there and purr some then rev her a few more times.

So, do you think there might be something that she is trying to tell us? I'm not sure if there is something we need to be checking or not. Any ideas will be discussed with her. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,274 Posts
My old Honda can be like that; I put it off to moisture collecting in the combustion chamber. I suppose I could use a fogging compound that one is supposed to use for storage, but, you know. I just use jumper cables to one of the (not-running) cars until it starts to fire, letting the starter motor rest after each 30 second try.
 

·
Female Rider
Joined
·
9,324 Posts
Thanks Wintr. I don't have a manual for her and we are mainly just using Randy's mechanical knowledge with her. I'm stubborn too and just don't want to trade her for a newer bike. And even if I did it might not be any more reliable than she is.

This winter we plan on going over all of her fuel lines and things that get old and brittle. Thus far everything except the see thru gas filter and about 1 foot of gas line is original. I'm sure something needs replacing. But then we thought that in 2006 when I got her. She's a good old lady. :)
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
18,563 Posts
It does sound like a fuel related problem. Like evaporation. A very small crack in a fuel line may never collect enough to drip because of the heat but sitting could allow air in for evaporation. But I've always heard, don't start one unless you are going to ride 20 miles or more. That gets it hot enough to burn off any moisture that may have collected. I have no problem with that rule even in winter. Gets cold though!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,274 Posts
I know part of my 450's issues are spark related, as the ignition was kind of weak when new, and 40 year old wires have to contribute. You might want to check out the ground and power connections to your ignition system, as well as the spark plug caps and wires. Sometimes all it takes is replacing the rubber seals in the caps, and adding a bit of silicone grease to keep them dry inside.
 

·
Eating GSXRs, Sh***ing CBRs
Joined
·
1,895 Posts
Put in Stabil, fill the tank and ride them around for a few miles. Then I park them both in the kitchen for winter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
I put the bike on the center stand, then wedge a piece of 2x4 (cut to the correct length) under the block to get both tires off the ground and then reduced the pressure.



I've stored bikes in basements for 35 years, never had a problem and one house had a basement that would get wet with rain..still no problem over the winter. The DEW point here can hit the 70's in the summer which is insanely humid; that's way more than any basement I can imagine during the winter. If you do have a wet basement all winter, I'd buy a dehumidifier instead of paying for a storage area.
Well, that makes me feel better. My house used to make me mad. My well would dry up, but my basement would be full of water, I'd be like, WTF, why can't this water go to the well instead of the basement.....Haven't had an issue since installing a sump pump. I just want to protect my investment and keep my happiness machine running forever...
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top