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Winter storage

998 Views 16 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  snowblind
Right lads that's it, no more hoping for a nice sat or sun, so she's up on the stands in her corner in the garage. Just wondering best way to leave her, disconnect battery drain her all down or leave all connected and filled, with battery conditioner on and maybe give her a run every week, fortnight through the gears. First bike I have never rode through the Winter and accepting the fact that age is taking its toll and I am maybe getting a little soft.
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I always leave fluids in (prevents rust), take battery off and leave on the bench maybe trickle it every month, and put a breathable cover over bikes to protect from me doing messy things in the garage,

Then when the weather gets better I drain the carbs on the bandit, then fire it over with fresh fuel, the TL will just get topped up with fresh fuel.
I'd put fuel conditioner in then run the bike long enough to get it through the injectors.
During my ban I've been firing mine up once a week, letting it get good and warm (90C +), up and down the gearbox a few times to get the oil circulating. The Lithium battery seems to have been holding up very well to the draw from the alarm. I stick it on the optimate from time to time just to keep it topped up.

Since yours is in a garage it should be generally ok. Probably no need to shrink-wrap it in a dry nitrogen atmosphere. :)
I just run both mine up to op temp every few weeks and charge batteries every 3 months.
You really should change the oil BEFORE storage; try not to store with old oil in it, store it with new clean oil inside. My old classic Ducati had a line etched across the crank and gears etc. because the blowby contains acids and any condensate absorbs all the acid in a very thin strong layer that floats on top of the oil. Always store with CLEAN oil inside.

Keeping the fuel tank full reduces the risk of condensation or rust.

Put fuel stabilizer in the tank and run until it gets to the injectors! If for some reason you end up storing it longer than planned you'll be really glad you did!

If you do start it periodically, make sure you run it long enough to get hot enough to run on the lean run map and then to be hot long enough to burn off all moisture or fuel etc. in the oil. At the least the oil in the sight window or clear clutch cover should look clear for a while, not milky.

You should replace all the brake fluid every few years; it absorbs water right out of the air, even unused in storage.

If you spray some Pledge on the wheels and bodywork and wipe it down it will be much easier to clean off the dust in the spring, and you won't get any pitting in the wheels. In fact, it's a good time to wipe down all the plastic controls and seat with armor-all and put Pledge on the frame and wheels. Put Pledge with UV protectant on any colored anodized custom parts like colored sprockets or aftermarket wheels, shocks, dampers. Put come cardboard behind your chain to protect your tire and spray on some WD-40 so the chain doesn't rust. Some mfgrs suggest particular chain wax etc. but I've found WD to work well as a rinse and to prevent rust. Pretty much everything gets either Pledge, WD-40, or armor-all.

It's also just a nice time to remove the sprocket cover and clean the area. But it's really got nothing to do with storage.

I used to disconnect the battery and put it on a smart charger that's on a light timer; really only a dumb charger needs the light timer and a smart charger can be left on. My new lithium battery has a multi-pin connector and a special charger; I leave the battery on the bike but disconnect one terminal and plug in the charger. It's really best to store the battery in a cool place. A charged battery will usually not freeze, but a discharged one may in some climates.

You can test your antifreeze with a hydrometer.

That all said, I don't ever seem to get around to half of what I should do...
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I ride mine every week or so even if it's around 5 degrees C during the middle of winter!
Sorry couldn't help myself :ytiller
Ours just go in the shed at the end of the year, then they come out when the weather gets better, don't do anything with them at all over the winter, I've never liked the idea of starting them up every couple of weeks just to fill the engine with condensation. Btw: never need to charge the batteries either after 4 months of non use, (no alarms fitted)
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I ride mine every week or so even if it's around 5 degrees C during the middle of winter!
Sorry couldn't help myself :ytiller

I normally ride through the winter too. UK isn't usually that bad though I do draw the line at more than an inch of snow. I'm just temporarily off the road due to a difference of opinion with our legislature. :devious
If i'm not fettling with the bike I just park it up remove the battery and keep it inside and do nothing to it

when spring comes I attach the battery check pressures and start it up and go

one of the worse things you can do is to start a motor and leave it to tick over to warm up! you dont get it warm enough to get rid of the condensation plus your just wasting fuel

park it and leave it but keep the battery charged
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I'm just temporarily off the road due to a difference of opinion with our legislature. :devious
was it full throttle syndrome? :)
Top right hand corner of the picture....

which is why the tiller has been sat on two piles of bricks in my garage for the last two months.
is that all??

did you forget to take the brakes off :p
I was lucky. They didn't zap me when I was going fast. allegedly

Of course I'm exaggerating, Officer......
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By the way, the missus's tls only did 25 miles in 18 months, only started to take to the BMF twice a year, then banged off the limiter when there.
When I took it for its mot this year I changed the oil and filter, gave it a general check over, fitted new tyres, then rode it to the mot on 2 year old fuel that was in the tank, it ran perfectly,
Don't worry about it,
One thing I would recommend though is to give it a good wash before putting it away as the flies on the front turn mutant and turn into great big balls of mould, especially if your shed/garage is a bit damp, :lol.
I'm just temporarily off the road due to a difference of opinion with our legislature. :devious
and how long are you off the road due to your opinion
56 days. Ended today in fact. And I'd be back on the bike 'cept I'm waiting for the shock spring to come back from the power coaters. It suffered a bit from the road salt (Buckinghamshire finest vitriol).

Guess that's another good point for long term storage. As noted elsewhere, clean the thing first and give it a good rub-down with something oil-based. I knew a guy once who used to douse his bikes in WD40 as soon as he got them and never cleaned them again until he went to sell them. They always came up shiny. Then again, we did call him "pig-pen" for a reason.
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