PoliceLink Feedback & Feature Requests >> From the Desk of TheSarge >> Winterizing / Garaging your motorcycle for Winter

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Winterizing / Garaging your motorcycle for Winter

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Surf_2014_max50

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Posted over 3 years ago

 

There was a two-year old thread about this subject. The original poster is long gone and there were minimal posts.


I packed away the old discussion and started a fresh one.


So, how do YOU winterize your scoot? I have a few secrets of my own based on riding bikes for 50 years, being assigned a motor officer for a few years and now, keeping a bike tucked away in the garage for the ocassional winter ride.


Let's hear it. What do you do?


The Guy !
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White_shirt_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

When I was a motor officer in 1977 one had to have a garage according to department policy. I have owned 7 motorcycles and kept 6 of them garaged until I moved into my new crib. My last motorcycle I purchased after I moved into my current residence and kept it parked and covered on a slab(no garage) in the back yard out of the view of the roadway. During winter I had a deal with a local motorcycle business and they stored it for $25.00 a month which was good piece of mind and it was secure.

Surf_2014_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Here's one winterizing trick: Use the gasoline stablizer call "Sta-Bil". It works. You just add the correct amount to your gas tank or gas can (one ounce per 2.5 gals), run your motor (or take it for a short ride) and you're set for winter. This product protects against gumming, varnish and gas going bad.


Here's another one: If you have a windscreen or windshield, consider covering it with an blacked out piece of cloth. I have seen this over the years. Florescent lights tend to make a windshield get cloudy. I don't know all the chemistry why that happens but it does.


Next, if you have a Harley, stick a 2 x 4 (flat side down) under your jiffy stand (the official term used by HD for kickstand). It keeps the bike in a slightly more upright position.


Battery: Get yourself a battery tender. This mini-battery charger is a scaled down trickle charger that works very slowly and then cycles off when you have a full charge. It keeps your battery conditioned throughout the winter. If you don't ride during the winter based on your local conditions, you can leave this battery tender connected all winter. It will not overcharge your battery.


If you don't wrench on your own scoot, winter is a great time to get a Spring Time tuneup. They guys are usually sitting around the shop waiting for the weather to change before they get jammed with Spring tune-ups. Just drop off your bike and tell'em to get to it when they have time. Works for me every time. I get a call for repair approvals (if any) usually within hours and I give them the green light after we agree on a best price.


Lastly, if you ever wanted to dyno your bike, winter is a good time for that. The air is colder (thicker) and the dyno will give you the bottom line on the horsepower for your bike.


The Guy !
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Eagle_and_flag_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Glad this thread has been resurrected. We all could use the reminder.


I do put Sta-Bil in the tank, and it's covered with a black (Harley Davidson) breathable cover. I haven't used the battery tender on my current scoot, but will attach it and plug it in after the Holidays (the battery is 4 years old now).


I hadn't heard about the 2x4 thing, Sarge. I'll give it a shot. I assume it's to help keep all the "high side" componants lubed??


Since I don't have a garage, I used to store it at my brother's place (about a 20 minute drive from my place). A friend of mine recently purchased an old carpet store just up the road from me. He's converted it, and a portion is now for vehicle storage. Secure, alarmed and heated (although he keeps the temp down). That's where it's at this winter. A 3 minute walk beats a 20 minute drive (and I can see the building from my kitchen window).


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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

It's always a good idea for any vehicle/motorcycle/atv to atleast start them up and let em' run for a few minutes once a week.  Keeps everything running smoothe.

Csi_squirrle_max600_1__max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

I use sta-bil every fall.  If the weather happens to be nice during the winter.  I'll run her then put sta-bil in when I refill the tank.  It's cheap insurance.  I run my bikes at least every few weeks to keep thinks charged and lubricated.  I also move them every few weeks.  I roll them back a few feet then engage the tranny and ease forward.  In the spring I always change the oil.  I don't care if it's due or not sitting all winter with a few start ups doesn't really give the machine a chance to get hot enough to burn off all the gunk in the oil.  I only wish I had a heated garage so that I could detail the bikes over the winter.  Years ago when I was first married I kept my bike in the living room.  I can't bring it in the house not due to the layout of my house and too many steps.  Yes I have a very understanding wife. 

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Thank you for the information. I am in Florida where the winter is great for riding - To winterize down here we just keep the tank filled for another good day  to ride.


Thanks again, Scooter

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

motorcop479 says ...



Thank you for the information. I am in Florida where the winter is great for riding - To winterize down here we just keep the tank filled for another good day  to ride.


Thanks again, Scooter



^^^^^^^^This

Surf_2014_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

ChadT says ...



It's always a good idea for any vehicle/motorcycle/atv to atleast start them up and let em' run for a few minutes once a week.  Keeps everything running smoothe.



+++++++++++++++++

Excellent point.


I have had some decent talks with my Harley guy (since 1995) and he advised me that seals tend to get stiff (lose their pliability) and iffy when left to sit around un-run.


So, yeah, good idea to fire up your bike and let things warm up to running temp all the way back to the pipes. Some guys forget that a by-product of combusted gasoline is H2O. If your don't run your bike long enough water can puddle in certain pipes. Same thing with your car. Ever had a patrol car sitting around idling at an accident scene for a long time and then you go hit the gas peddle and all that water dumps out the back end? That's what that is.


Also, need some advice from you guys. I can usually get a battery to last about 2.5 years. After that it is a crap shoot. Anyone know of a good l-o-n-g lasting battery? Maybe get the 4+ years that 36TR was talking about earlier?


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Eagle_and_flag_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

The battery in mine came from the factory. I didn't order anything special, so it's probably not a top of the line battery. I guess I've just been fortunate. I've been told that the "Gel Batteries" are a good investment and last several riding seasons. The ones I've priced (J&P Cycles, etc) can get pretty expensive.


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Surf_2014_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Thanks, 36TR.


Batteries have shot up in price in the last number of years. Probably because of the lead plates. So I might consider a better battery if I can get it to last.


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Eagle_and_flag_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

No problem. Glad to help (even though you ragged on me about mudding my scoot in the Smokies over the summer - lmao).


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