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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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To winterize or not

Well here is a thought experiment for everyone.

I live in DC. Last year we got over 32 inches of snow, but that is never going to happen again. We typically get 3-5 inches the whole season and the average lowest temperature is around 30 degrees.

I am going to cover my bike and leave it on the street (with an emergency plan should 32 inches come), but should I winterize the bike and leave it til March in a couple months?

I am a crazy person that bicycles to work all year round unless it is raining so I wouldn't mind riding it occasionally. If I were to forgo winterizing- what would I need to do to keep the bike happy? I remember a friend telling me that the battery only recharges on a bike if you get it up to 4k rpms. I don't want to drain my battery by going out once or twice a week and just running it for a little or taking a short drive since I won't get up to that rpm limit.

What do you guys think?
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 05:29 PM
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I never "winterize" my bike, because even durring the winter here there are always several good riding days. Last winter we had snow of course...but not alot and there were quite a few days in the 50's and sunny. Only near the end of the season did I go more than 4 weeks without riding...and most of that was due to rain...not snow or the cold.

I have no problem riding in temps down to freezing...just as long as the roads are dry. I think it is silly to "winterize" your bike unless you live in the far north.

See my soon to be posted thread on winter/cold weather gear in the Equipment section.


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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 05:32 PM
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X2 to what KM said. Would add you ought to keep the tank topped off to minimize condensation. If you are worried about the carbs, keep some Sea Foam or your stabilizer of choice in the fuel.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 05:38 PM
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Like KM, and for the same reasons, I do not winterize in SW Ohio. I do keep my bike in a dry garage with my battery on the Battery Tender Junior. I also put Seafoam in the always-full gas tank. If there's a long no-riding stretch, I'll cover the bike and maybe put something in the exhaust pipes to discourage critters.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knifemaker View Post
I never "winterize" my bike, because even durring the winter here there are always several good riding days. Last winter we had snow of course...but not alot and there were quite a few days in the 50's and sunny. Only near the end of the season did I go more than 4 weeks without riding...and most of that was due to rain...not snow or the cold.
I have no problem riding in temps down to freezing...just as long as the roads are dry. I think it is silly to "winterize" your bike unless you live in the far north.
See my soon to be posted thread on winter/cold weather gear in the Equipment section. KM
I'll 2nd the first part but I don't ride under 50* if I can help it...lol... I did have to work in all kinds of weather but I don't have to play in it...
I think my blood has got too thin, in the 50s I used to muskee fish when I had to stick the rod in the water to get the ice out of the eyes, can't stand that crap no more... More power to y'all there...lol.........
BTW-Its a bit after 4pm and 82* and I just got in from a nice 165 mi. twisty ride with so many bugs on my face shield that it was like a sun shade...lol...
And I am one tired old man, but the forcast is the same thru Sunday...Whopeeeeeeeeee.........Yankees-- "Come on down"...lol.........
Have a good one...Old Dog...

Southern Central Tennessee.......
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Last edited by Old Dog; 10-07-2010 at 06:16 PM.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 07:38 PM
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Can you at least park it in the sun?
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 09:16 PM
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It is also a good time to check the anti-freeze (coolant) and make sure it is rich enough, I have always liked to keep mine at a 3:1 mix, just in case I have to add water when I don't have access to coolant...(bikes & autos)...
Have a good one...Old Dog...

Southern Central Tennessee.......
Now on the Dark Side......
Girl's Bike 09 Sporty xl 1200 Custom...33k + & clickin......
Sportster Owner/Rider since age 72...lol... Rider since Simplex...???
09-xl1200 "C" Vivid Black, Cast wheels w/19" Frt., SE-Stage 1+, X14iEDs...
MicroTach +, Higher wider H-bars, GPS Mt., Mustach bar Hwy. pegs...
Viking Shock cutout Saddlebags, Rear Mt. Signal Lt. Kit, Fork Brace...
RoadKing Air Shocks, Mustang Seat, Progressive Fork Springs...
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa Smurf View Post
Last year we got over 32 inches of snow, but that is never going to happen again. We typically get 3-5 inches the whole season.
You're tempting the weather gods with that "never going to happen again" forecasting. According to NOAA , D.C. averages 16-22 inches of snow a year. (http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/.../snowfall.html)

I would be more worried about the snowplows and salt trucks with my bike on the street.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Dog View Post
It is also a good time to check the anti-freeze (coolant) and make sure it is rich enough, I have always liked to keep mine at a 3:1 mix, just in case I have to add water when I don't have access to coolant...(bikes & autos)...
Have a good one...Old Dog...
A 3:1 (antifreeze/coolant) is too rich and will reduces the coolant systems performance. More antifreeze = less ability to transfer heat = higher potential for overheating. Stick with a 50/50 mix for optimal cold/hot weather protection.


Chris Glennon - Portland, OR
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 11:14 PM
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If you are NOT GOING TO RIDE for several weeks or months, change the oil and DO NOT start it up occasionally through the cold weather. Water vapor from the combustion gases will condense in the crankcase because the engine will not get warm enough to drive them off when just idling and not riding. The water will combine with other combustion byproducts to form acids which will attack the bearings.

Keep the battery inside the house on a battery tender or at least check the voltage every month or so.

OD, a 50:50 mix of antifreeze to water typically is sufficient down to about -30*F. I have used mixtures up to ~60% antifreeze, (which is protection down below -50* F), on cars and trucks where we can get temperatures below -40*F up here in Canadian winter. Any mixture over 60% actually gives less protection from freezing or boiling than the correct strength. Check the back of the jug for precise percentage mixtures for your product.

Gordon

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TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/11-vn750-general-discussion/9127-top-ten-items-you-would-suggest-new-owner-do-his-new-ride.html

Last edited by OlHossCanada; 10-07-2010 at 11:16 PM.
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