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Thread: First winterizing...

  1. #1

    First winterizing...

    So it's getting cooler around here than I' am comfortable riding in, so I'm thinking about putting her up for the winter. Will be my first year winterizing.

    I'm guessing it's pretty basic...

    Fill the tank to the brim with treated fuel, run the engine for just a few minutes to get the treated fuel to/thru the carbs, shut off petcock valve and and let it burn off the fuel in the carbs.

    Keep it on a battery tender.

    What else??

  2. #2
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    mouse proofing

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    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
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    Up to you, some folks like to change the oil before winterizing, others when they come out of hibernation.
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    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    If it's likely to be exposed to repeated cycles of intense cold and then milder temps throughout winter in a humid environment, then there is a likelihood of water condensation frost forming inside the motor or anything else that is vented to the atmosphere, that's the concept of the full fuel tank, it reduces the volume of air in the container, but you can't fill your motor so condensation will happen inside there.

    Brake systems are also atmospheric vented, your brake master cylinders will collect water above the bladder over the winter months.
    Front forks are often atmospheric vented & those ones will also collect a small amount of water condensation.
    Anything that can be greased or oiled should be done now, grease and oil disperses water and water makes ice and it promotes oxidation of metal.


    Heated storage

  5. #5
    Thanks.

    Mouse-proofing... wire mesh over exhaust pipes and (somehow) over the intake/air filter. Anywhere else? Not sure how I would keep them from possibly getting in the seat foam.

    My first thought is to do the oil change first thing next year.

    I recently had the tires replaced (about a month ago, I'm guessing), and went ahead and paid them to flush the brake fluid while it was there. I guess I should have waited to do that till the beginning of the year. No reason that I can't do it again, myself, when I get her out of storage next year.

    Is it worth removing the spark plugs and adding a tablespoon of oil to each cylinder, or is that overkill for a simple winter storage?

    Front fork fluid... I've considered getting a progressive suspension kit, maybe over the winter or early next year. That would be the time to do the fork fluid. I noticed there is a thread on suspensions that has popped up over my absence, that I browsed quickly. Interesting stuff that I'll have to get back to in more depth.


    My garage isn't heated, sadly.

  6. #6
    RiderCoach 4000 Posts! AZridered's Avatar
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    The oil in the engine right now, unless you have just changed it, already has had some moisture cycle through just from normal use. If the bike is going to be unused for three months or more, it is probably a better practice to drain the old oil and refill the engine with fresh oil that has its acid neutralizing additives at full strength.

  7. #7
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Wire mesh over the air intake is almost a must, exhaust plug is a good idea too, anywhere you don't want mice to nest is usually best left wide open, they love small enclosed areas like a Honda air box. Adding oil directly to the cylinder on a motor that is going to sit for several months is never a terrible idea but would be far more valuable on a honed steel cylinder bore then on a nickasil coated barrel, the only other parts that oil added to the plug hole on a 4-cycle engine will get to is the top rings and those are made of stainless.

    Normal high operating temperature of your motor oil should theoretically be sufficient to boil water and that would normally be expelled through the crankcase ventilation system in the form of steam.

    Was not a wasted effort to replace the brake fluid, brake fluid is hygroscopic (absorbs water from the atmosphere) Water left in the brake system will promote corrosion in the metal that much of your brake system is made from. Anything more then ~2% water content in the brake fluid is considered unacceptable. ... brakes also operate at a high enough temperatures to turn water into steam <- that's one of the things that can make your brakes suddenly stick on and drag.

    + you should still look under the cap of the brake fluid reservoir in the spring and see if water has collected on top of the bladder, it's easy to soak that up with a tissue.
    Last edited by Trials; 11-19-2018 at 08:16 AM.

  8. #8
    RiderCoach 5000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CountofQ View Post
    So it's getting cooler around here than I' am comfortable riding in, so I'm thinking about putting her up for the winter. Will be my first year winterizing.

    I'm guessing it's pretty basic...

    Fill the tank to the brim with treated fuel, run the engine for just a few minutes to get the treated fuel to/thru the carbs, shut off petcock valve and and let it burn off the fuel in the carbs.

    Keep it on a battery tender.

    What else??
    Don't "empty" the carb by running it until it stops. There's always residual fuel in there after this is done. It'll eventually dry, leaving varnish on all the jet orifaces, thus changing their sizes.
    It's better to treat the fuel, then run the fuel thru your carb, then shutdown.

    Next thing is to follow what AZrider said about engine oil.

    One thing we used to do with vintage NASCAR engines (Chev 427's,) was to turn the cranks a few degrees every couple days. This reduces stress on the same 5 or 6 valve springs as they won't be collapsed for 3-4 months. Turning the crank a few degrees will spread the cam load on almost all of the springs, evenly. This seems to keep the springs happier and healthier.

    Have your tires off the concrete floor if possible. A sheet of plywood cold help here.

    Just because you aren't riding your motorcycle for a few months, doesn't mean you still can't do things to your bike while it's out-of-service.

    1. Change your fork oil. (Trials usually recommends this. And, he's right, it is neglected, for the most part.)

    2. Get some "moth balls" to repel vermin from your bike. A few under the seat, hang a few from the frame downtube, Some here, some there.

    3. Oil fogging your intake tract, OR exhaust tract is good to do, IF YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE PUTTING BACK IN-SERVICE FOR YEARS. Not really necessary for 3-4 months, unless you're in a high humidity environment.

    4. R & R your brake fluid during this time too.

    5. If you have coolant/antifreeze, this is a good time to R & R that too.

    6. Too often, brake rotors (iron) may trap moisture between the pads and the swept surface of the rotor. You can do a few things to avoid/minimize this.
    A. Remove the pads so that air can circulate all around the rotors.
    B. Coat the rotors in a product like "ACF50." (Be SURE to remove coating prior to placing back in service!)
    C. Clock your wheels every few days so that the pads never rest on the same place during the whole Winter.

    7. Make notations in your service log on the things that you do, when you do them.

    Next Spring, you DO NOT go back to riding as you left it a few days ago. You go back to fundamentals to reacquire the skills you lost from inactivity over the Winter months. That means parking lot practice. This is AFTER you have performed a complete T-CLOCS inspection, and everything is right.

    Ride safe!
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