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 Post subject: Storing a bike through winter. Handy hints and tips please.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:11 am 
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300 cc

Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 11:38 pm
Posts: 514
I recently got a 1982 TS250ER and won't be using it over the winter.
I wondered what is the best thing to do with it.
Is it better to start it up and run round the block every couple of weeks?
Or is it best to drain the fuel and just leave it dry and untouched?

It is kept in a dry garage BTW

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Storing a bike through winter. Handy hints and tips plea
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:21 pm 
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650 cc Monster
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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:22 pm
Posts: 2439
Location: Romiley
Greetings Steve,

I suppose the first question is where are you going to store it?

You will need a place that is dry and out of view, possibly hiding the bike behind a locker of some kind, and certainly away from windows as direct sunlight can raise the ambient temperature of the storage area which in turn will promote condensation on the bike in the evening.

If it were mine I would take the opportunity to give the bike a full service before putting it away but that is up to you. I would include suspension fluid changing, service wheel and headstock bearings, etc, but let’s just look at some of the basics that you can do.

Cleaning.

Thoroughly clean all of the collected mud and detritus from under the mudguards; engine bash plate; seat; petrol tank; air box; around the frame etc. Do not use household washing up liquid nor commercial traffic film remover as they can damage the paint finish and cause corrosion. Use a quality diy car wash that contains a wax protection.

Before finally putting the bike away I would spray all the surfaces; bushes and hub seals, etc with a very light coating of WD-40 or similar. This will help to protect by flushing away any water residue and leave an air barrier.

Change the oil and filter.

Even if the engine oil and filter are not due for a change there will still be byproducts of the combustion process in it and such acids in the oil will harm the inner metal surfaces if simply left. Thoroughly warm up the engine and transmission to their normal operating temperature, as warm oil drains more quickly and more completely. Take care not to get burnt. The old oil and filter needs taking to the recycle bank at your local tip. If the bike has a separate gearbox lubrication then change that oil too.

Petrol.

You might like to mix some two stroke oil to the petrol in the tank and swirl it around to coat a little oil onto the inner tank surface, perhaps run it through the carburettor by removing the drain screw, and then drain it all out. Leave the filler cap off for a couple of hours to vent out the tank.

The ethers in petrol evaporate quite quickly and the residue left behind would ‘corrode’ the inside of the carb and petrol tank. I remove the petcock to clean out the tank of any sediment and to clean the tap filter too.

Make sure that you fully drain the carburettor and petrol pipes.

It would be a good idea to clean the air filter and clear any drain pipes.

When you come to start the bike in the spring you will use fresh petrol, which should mean that the engine will start straight away.
 
Lubricate the cylinders.

In storage the cylinder wall will eventually become oil free and if left unprotected for a long period of time rust will form and cause premature piston and ring wear when the engine is being started again. I would remove the spark plug and pour a good tablespoon of new engine oil into the cylinder and then slowly turn the engine over by hand to distribute the oil on the cylinder wall. By rotating the engine the fresh oil will also be pumped up into the cylinder head protecting the valve gear. If it is a single cylinder engine store it at TDC on the compression stroke so that both valves are closed, if it is a twin then swop the position from time to time.

Refit the spark plug loosely so that you can take it out say every six weeks or so to repeat the coating by adding fresh oil. Before starting the engine again remove the spark plug and spin the engine over to spread any residue oil around the bore, etc, it will also ensure that the engine does not start up ‘dry’. Yes, it may smoke a bit on initial start up but that will soon clear.

Battery Storage.

If your bike is to be stored away from any 240v plug sockets then the battery should be removed. Motorcycles often have a small current drain, even when the ignition is switched ‘off’, and over time a discharged battery will sulphate and no longer be able to sustain a charge.

A conventional battery should be checked for electrolyte level, if necessary add distilled water to any of the cells that are low and then charge the battery. Most trail bikes now however will use a sealed battery. Battery recharging should be performed about every 4 weeks if using a conventional charger that has an output of about 10% of the battery ampere hour rating, a higher charge may cause the battery to overheat. Charge the battery away from open flame or possible sparks as the gas given off a battery can be explosive. Store the battery in a place where it will be safe from freezing.

I prefer to use a modern battery charger such as an Optimate 6 which can be connected to the battery and left switched on, the charger will monitor the battery automatically and charge it only when it needs it.

Exhaust.

Exhaust pipes and silencers, even when they are not being used will tend to rust so spray down the silencer end and up into any drain holes. Tie a plastic bag over the end of the silencer to keep moisture and little mammals from getting inside the exhaust.
 
Tyres

Check the condition of both the front and rear tyres, if they are in good order then increase the storage pressure to about 30psi.

It is best to support the bike under the frame on blocks of wood to take the weight off the tyres but if that is not possible at least put some hardboard to insulate the tyres from the ground.

Brakes.

Now would be a good time to remove the pads for inspection; apply copper slip to the pivot points and if you have not already done so in the past two years flush out the old brake fluid.

Check the condition of and if good spray the chain with lube or WD-40 type lubricant.

Cooling system.

If your motorcycle is liquid cooled then on average the coolant requires changing every two or three years. Anti freeze contains many additives designed to protect the inside of the radiator and engine from electrolytic corrosion, it also lubricates the seals of the water pump. Most manufacturers recommend their own brand of coolant/antifreeze mixture, they are not all the same so double check. 

Covering the bike.

If you want to cover the bike from dust and prying eyes then make sure that nothing is touching it and do not use old blankets, etc, as they will absorb moisture and if touching the metal parts will accelerate the corrosion process. You need a complete air flow if possible.

Periodically starting the bike.

I would not start the bike during the storage period but I would as previously stated rotate the engine and gearbox.

Security.

Well common sense really, or get a couple of geese as they are great guard animals :lol:

Do n't forget to clean and service all your riding clothes and boots.

Hope these comments help.

TTFN

Hugh.

_________________
Please note that I am not a National TRF Officer, any views expressed are my own and may not be in accordance with any official policy.


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 Post subject: Re: Storing a bike through winter. Handy hints and tips plea
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:37 pm 
Offline
200 cc

Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 11:08 pm
Posts: 430
Hugh Cleary wrote:
Greetings Steve,

I suppose the first question is where are you going to store it?

You will need a place that is dry and out of view, possibly hiding the bike behind a locker of some kind, and certainly away from windows as direct sunlight can raise the ambient temperature of the storage area which in turn will promote condensation on the bike in the evening.

If it were mine I would take the opportunity to give the bike a full service before putting it away but that is up to you. I would include suspension fluid changing, service wheel and headstock bearings, etc, but let’s just look at some of the basics that you can do.

Cleaning.

Thoroughly clean all of the collected mud and detritus from under the mudguards; engine bash plate; seat; petrol tank; air box; around the frame etc. Do not use household washing up liquid nor commercial traffic film remover as they can damage the paint finish and cause corrosion. Use a quality diy car wash that contains a wax protection.

Before finally putting the bike away I would spray all the surfaces; bushes and hub seals, etc with a very light coating of WD-40 or similar. This will help to protect by flushing away any water residue and leave an air barrier.

Change the oil and filter.

Even if the engine oil and filter are not due for a change there will still be byproducts of the combustion process in it and such acids in the oil will harm the inner metal surfaces if simply left. Thoroughly warm up the engine and transmission to their normal operating temperature, as warm oil drains more quickly and more completely. Take care not to get burnt. The old oil and filter needs taking to the recycle bank at your local tip. If the bike has a separate gearbox lubrication then change that oil too.

Petrol.

You might like to mix some two stroke oil to the petrol in the tank and swirl it around to coat a little oil onto the inner tank surface, perhaps run it through the carburettor by removing the drain screw, and then drain it all out. Leave the filler cap off for a couple of hours to vent out the tank.

The ethers in petrol evaporate quite quickly and the residue left behind would ‘corrode’ the inside of the carb and petrol tank. I remove the petcock to clean out the tank of any sediment and to clean the tap filter too.

Make sure that you fully drain the carburettor and petrol pipes.

It would be a good idea to clean the air filter and clear any drain pipes.

When you come to start the bike in the spring you will use fresh petrol, which should mean that the engine will start straight away.
 
Lubricate the cylinders.

In storage the cylinder wall will eventually become oil free and if left unprotected for a long period of time rust will form and cause premature piston and ring wear when the engine is being started again. I would remove the spark plug and pour a good tablespoon of new engine oil into the cylinder and then slowly turn the engine over by hand to distribute the oil on the cylinder wall. By rotating the engine the fresh oil will also be pumped up into the cylinder head protecting the valve gear. If it is a single cylinder engine store it at TDC on the compression stroke so that both valves are closed, if it is a twin then swop the position from time to time.

Refit the spark plug loosely so that you can take it out say every six weeks or so to repeat the coating by adding fresh oil. Before starting the engine again remove the spark plug and spin the engine over to spread any residue oil around the bore, etc, it will also ensure that the engine does not start up ‘dry’. Yes, it may smoke a bit on initial start up but that will soon clear.

Battery Storage.

If your bike is to be stored away from any 240v plug sockets then the battery should be removed. Motorcycles often have a small current drain, even when the ignition is switched ‘off’, and over time a discharged battery will sulphate and no longer be able to sustain a charge.

A conventional battery should be checked for electrolyte level, if necessary add distilled water to any of the cells that are low and then charge the battery. Most trail bikes now however will use a sealed battery. Battery recharging should be performed about every 4 weeks if using a conventional charger that has an output of about 10% of the battery ampere hour rating, a higher charge may cause the battery to overheat. Charge the battery away from open flame or possible sparks as the gas given off a battery can be explosive. Store the battery in a place where it will be safe from freezing.

I prefer to use a modern battery charger such as an Optimate 6 which can be connected to the battery and left switched on, the charger will monitor the battery automatically and charge it only when it needs it.

Exhaust.

Exhaust pipes and silencers, even when they are not being used will tend to rust so spray down the silencer end and up into any drain holes. Tie a plastic bag over the end of the silencer to keep moisture and little mammals from getting inside the exhaust.
 
Tyres

Check the condition of both the front and rear tyres, if they are in good order then increase the storage pressure to about 30psi.

It is best to support the bike under the frame on blocks of wood to take the weight off the tyres but if that is not possible at least put some hardboard to insulate the tyres from the ground.

Brakes.

Now would be a good time to remove the pads for inspection; apply copper slip to the pivot points and if you have not already done so in the past two years flush out the old brake fluid.

Check the condition of and if good spray the chain with lube or WD-40 type lubricant.

Cooling system.

If your motorcycle is liquid cooled then on average the coolant requires changing every two or three years. Anti freeze contains many additives designed to protect the inside of the radiator and engine from electrolytic corrosion, it also lubricates the seals of the water pump. Most manufacturers recommend their own brand of coolant/antifreeze mixture, they are not all the same so double check. 

Covering the bike.

If you want to cover the bike from dust and prying eyes then make sure that nothing is touching it and do not use old blankets, etc, as they will absorb moisture and if touching the metal parts will accelerate the corrosion process. You need a complete air flow if possible.

Periodically starting the bike.

I would not start the bike during the storage period but I would as previously stated rotate the engine and gearbox.

Security.

Well common sense really, or get a couple of geese as they are great guard animals :lol:

Do n't forget to clean and service all your riding clothes and boots.

Hope these comments help.

TTFN

Hugh.
by the time you have done all this it will be spring and time to get bike out again lol,i would just drain the carb and spray a can of acf50 over everything apart from brake parts take battery off and put on trickle charger


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 Post subject: Re: Storing a bike through winter. Handy hints and tips plea
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:51 am 
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650 cc Monster

Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:28 pm
Posts: 3759
Location: CAMBRIDGE
Well done Hugh, what an impressive answer. Clearly a man who loves his motorcycles. ( and his fellow man ) i have a vision of someone finding one of Hugh's bikes that has been stored in a dark place for 100's of years. wheeling it out putting some fresh fuel in it and it starting straight away.

There you Go Steve........ask a straight question and get a straight answers. your choice let us know which option you choose and why.

I feel ashamed because i don't even do what exchead suggests.

_________________
Mike Irving.


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 Post subject: Re: Storing a bike through winter. Handy hints and tips plea
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:14 pm 
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400 cc

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:20 pm
Posts: 1269
Superb answer Hugh

I like to keep riding mine :)


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 Post subject: Re: Storing a bike through winter. Handy hints and tips plea
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:37 pm 
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300 cc
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Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:07 pm
Posts: 570
as its a 2 stroke a quick run up of the engine every few weeks will probably do more harm than good as it will create condensation in the engine if its not run up to full temperature. if you are going to run it occasionally make sure you give it a good run. ie 20 mins minimum, this will also keep the brakes fresh and rust free and the bearings free running in the wheels


however, I must ask the question, why are you storing it for the winter, get out and ride it!


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 Post subject: Re: Storing a bike through winter. Handy hints and tips plea
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:32 pm 
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300 cc

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:38 pm
Posts: 543
Location: Lancashire
Winter some of the best riding months there is why miss out !!


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 Post subject: Re: Storing a bike through winter. Handy hints and tips plea
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:15 pm 
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125cc

Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 5:50 pm
Posts: 215
Disagree with Lubricate the cylinders.

In storage the cylinder wall will eventually become oil free and if left unprotected for a long period of time rust will form and cause premature piston and ring wear when the engine is being started again. I would remove the spark plug and pour a good tablespoon of new engine oil into the cylinder and then slowly turn the engine over by hand to distribute the oil on the cylinder wall. By rotating the engine the fresh oil will also be pumped up into the cylinder head protecting the valve gear. If it is a single cylinder engine store it at TDC on the compression stroke so that both valves are closed, if it is a twin then swop the position from time to time.

Refit the spark plug loosely so that you can take it out say every six weeks or so to repeat the coating by adding fresh oil. Before starting the engine again remove the spark plug and spin the engine over to spread any residue oil around the bore, etc, it will also ensure that the engine does not start up ‘dry’. Yes, it may smoke a bit on initial start up but that will soon clear.


I wouldn't turn the engine over at all and I wouldn't put oil down into the chamber either.

When you go to start it then put 2 stroke mixed with petrol down the chamber a good nice squirt of it. Not just oil weather 4 stroke or 2 stroke.

I have put 2 stroke mixed with petrol down my cars cylinders and bikes. say 25:1 ratio maybe sronger like 20:1.......

BUT a fantastic write up to say the least WOW good effort


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 Post subject: Re: Storing a bike through winter. Handy hints and tips plea
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:39 pm 
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200 cc
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Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:02 pm
Posts: 281
Location: Willingham, Cambridgeshire
I would suggest you are better off brimming the tank with fuel than leaving it empty to prevent internal corrosion, but drain the float bowl. When taking it out of storage simply drain the fuel off and replace with new.

_________________
1999 BMW R1100GS
1997 Kawasaki KL250 Super Sherpa
2014 Suzuki DL650 VStrom
Honda MT50/C90 Hybrid supermotopedracer
1997 Honda XL600V
1962 Vespa VBB


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 Post subject: Re: Storing a bike through winter. Handy hints and tips plea
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:02 pm 
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650 cc Monster

Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:31 pm
Posts: 3512
You lot need to get out more often...it's a dirt bike not a F*****g Faberge' Egg...RIDE...


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