Mike Posted October 10, 2007 Share Posted October 10, 2007 With our first blast of cool weather making its way into the Chicago area, I was inspired to send my son (in North Dakota) a message this morning, reminding him of the drill for winter storage of his motorcycle. I know most of you in cold climates are familiar with this, but I thought I'd do a Public Service announcement, in the form of a cut and paste from my e-mail message. These are the basics of winter storage: -Wash and dry it. Wax it if necessary. This will prevent corrosion over the winter. -Buy some STA-BIL or other gas stabilizer (you can get it at most auto supply stores, farm stores, etc.). Put it in your tank just before filling your tank to the top with gasoline. You want the STA-BIL, mixed with the gas, to have an opportunity to circulate through your fuel injectors, so ride it a few miles before putting it away for the winter. -Having the gas tank filled nearly to the top prevents condensation in the tank, which can lead to corrosion in the tank and fuel system. The STA-BIL container gives the mixing ratios for various tank sizes; precision is not a concern. -Before you put the bike away for the winter, it's best to have ridden it for a few minutes, to get it up to its normal operating temperature. The ride to and from the gas station should be almost enough to get it heated up, but you should err on the side of riding it a bit longer than necessary if you're uncertain. You want the engine hot, in order to burn off any condensation in the engine. -Buy a can of WD-40 and spray it around and into any switches or electrical connections you can get to easily. The WD-40 displaces any water in those switches and connections, and provides an anti-corrosive coating. -Lube the chain (not applicable, of course, to most of our BMWs) -Hook up the Battery Tender. -After making sure the tires are filled completely, place the bike on its stand, with the tires resting on pieces of cardboard or carpet scraps. -Cover it up and weep. ------ That's about all you need to do. Ideally, it's good to change the oil before you store it for the winter, but if you're running on fairly fresh, clean oil, don't bother. During the winter, DO NOT RUN THE ENGINE UNTIL YOU'RE READY TO START RIDING AGAIN. Some people start their vehicles intermittently in the belief that this keeps the engine loose. Bad idea. Unless you can get it up to full operating temperature, this just creates condensation in the engine (leading to internal corrosion), in addition to straining the battery unnecessarily. Every few weeks, roll the bike a few inches, so the tires don't "flat-spot" from resting on the same spot over the winter. I know some of you go much further than this, blocking off air intakes and exhaust pipes, fogging your cylinders with oil, etc. If you have any great tips, please share them. Link to comment
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