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Tips for Winter Storage, just about that time of year
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Joined: Apr 16, 2006
Posts: 3417
Location: SE Iowa 1974 TX650A

PostPosted: November 24, 2009, 6:38 pm    Post subject: Tips for Winter Storage, just about that time of year

Tips for Winter Storage -

Wash your bike to remove dirt and other contaminants from the finished surfaces.
Fill your fuel tank with the proper mixture of gasoline and a fuel stabilizer such as Sea Foam. Run the engine long enough to draw the stabilized fuel through the injectors or carburetors.
Turn the fuel valve to the “off” position.
If you have a carbureted engine, depending on the length of storage, you might want to consider draining the carburetor bowl. There are arguments on either side of the carb draining debate:
Draining the carburetor eliminates the possibility of fuel turning to varnish and clogging carburetor passageways. However, for short term storage, a quality fuel stabilizer also guards against this problem.
Draining fuel from the carburetor increases the risk of internal carburetor seals and gaskets becoming dried and brittle. Dried gaskets may leak once fuel is re-introduced into the system. Carburetor floats will also periodically stick in the "open" position after sitting in a drained carburetor for a period of time. For these reasons, my recommendation is to drain carburetors only for long-term storage (over six months).
Remove the spark plugs and "fog" the internal cylinder walls with engine fogger to protect against internal corrosion. Rotate the engine manually to coat the cylinder walls with a thin protective coating of the fogging oil. Be aware that your engine will probably "smoke" for the first few minutes in the spring. Don't worry, the fogging oil will quickly burn off and this causes no damage!
Install new spark plugs.
Change the engine oil and oil filter. It is not a good idea to leave the contaminated engine oil in the crankcase over the winter. Over a long period of time, these contaminants can be potentially harmful to internal engine parts.
Check tire pressure and fill as necessary.
Check and consider changing the air filter. If possible, seal the engine air intake with duct tape, a rag, or some similar item. Mice are notorious for finding motorcycle air intakes and making a nice warm, dry nest out of air filters!
For chains: clean, inspect, adjust and lubricate as necessary. For belts: inspect for damage, cracking and tension. For shaft drive: inspect for leaks and change rear end fluid.
Put the motorcycle on the center stand. This takes weight off of the suspension and tires and helps eliminate the potential for flat spots developing on the tires.
Remove the battery, top-off the fluid with distilled water and maintain the charge with a battery tender. Be careful not to use a charger that will over-charge the battery.
Check any remaining fluids and top-off as needed.
Lubricate all cables to avoid the possibility of internal rusting and binding over the winter.
Lubricate all lubrication points as detailed in the owner’s manual.
Wax all painted and chromed surfaces. Consider leaving the wax on as an added layer of protection. If you find it difficult to remove in the spring, usually waxing over it with fresh wax will cut right through the old hardened wax.
Cover the motorcycle with a breathable cover. You don't want to trap moisture under a non-breathable cover, as this can cause rust.
Winter is a great time to have things chromed, make modifications and repairs. Good planning of these activities can ensure your readiness for the spring!

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