Running the Engine -- Good Thing, Bad Thing? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Question Running the Engine -- Good Thing, Bad Thing?

When the weather is bad I keep my bike under a cover in the garage with a trickle charger on the battery. The gas tank is kept full, and dosed with Seafoam.

Question -- does it help to sometimes go out to the garage, fire up the engine, and just let it idle until it gets fully warm, then shut it down? Or does the bike have to be ridden to get some benefit?

It bugs me when it just sits there in the ice/cold for weeks on end!

EZC

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 04:23 PM
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Dude, how would you like it if someone woke you up, made you put on all your gear, then told you it was too cold to ride? Let her sleep.

"Shutting up rarely leads to anything bad"

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 04:37 PM
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I pretty much have the opportunity to ride most all of the time.

But my quads sit for a while. I'll go out and start them up, if for no other reason, to make sure they start up. That, and I do like the sound the piped one makes.

I say fire it up and knock the cobwebs out. Just be sure to have the garage door opened enough to ventilate.

Global warming? So what if my kids never see a polar bear. I never saw a dinosaur and I'm ok.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 06:52 PM
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Mine sits outside under a home made motorcycle cover. I start mine up if I do not ride it for a few days because of rain. Calif we do not get much of that white stuff. I do it so the moisture does not get into the engine and on the engine for any long period of time. Plus like scooter said it sounds good just to hear it run, even if it is not going anywhere.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 08:16 PM
 
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Starting it up wins everytime.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weh44att View Post
Mine sits outside under a home made motorcycle cover. I start mine up if I do not ride it for a few days because of rain. Calif we do not get much of that white stuff. I do it so the moisture does not get into the engine and on the engine for any long period of time. Plus like scooter said it sounds good just to hear it run, even if it is not going anywhere.
You may evaporate the moisture off the outside of the engine weh, but I think you are adding to the moisture in the crankcase, which disolves sulfur left from the combustion process, and makes sulfuric acid. This acid attacks your bearing surfaces while the bike sits. Just running the engine does not heat up the oil very much. You need to ride for 15-20 minutes minimum, to get the oil hot enough to boil off any water accumulated in there.

In my opinion, if you have to winterize your bike, as EasyRector does, the best thing to do is seafoam the fuel, warm the bike up good with a half hour ride, change the oil, and start it back up just long to make sure there are no leaks and fresh oil is circulated through the whole system. Then shut it off and don`t start it again until you are ready to go riding in the spring. Put the battery on a tender, or take it out of the bike and into a heated area of the house.

Now in CA where you may be able to ride in any given week, or not; you don`t need to winterize, but just starting the bike and letting it run for 15 minutes or so will still add moisture and sulfur to the crankcase. I still stand by my assurtion that it is better to not start the bike unless you are going to ride it, or are doing service work that requires it to be running.

Gordon

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlHossCanada View Post
In my opinion, if you have to winterize your bike, as EasyRector does...
Actually, I don't really winterize it, because I usually ride the bike quite a bit during the winter ~ especially when it's dry and over 40. But this year we've had a longer stretch of wet/cold/crappy weather, with lots of salt on the roads, so the bike's been hunkered down more than usual.

Two years ago I rode to work nearly every day in December. Not this year!

EZC


Last edited by EasyRector; 01-23-2009 at 09:17 PM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2009, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EasyRector View Post
When the weather is bad I keep my bike under a cover in the garage with a trickle charger on the battery. The gas tank is kept full, and dosed with Seafoam.

Question -- does it help to sometimes go out to the garage, fire up the engine, and just let it idle until it gets fully warm, then shut it down? Or does the bike have to be ridden to get some benefit?

It bugs me when it just sits there in the ice/cold for weeks on end!
It was your comment on weeks of ice and snow that made me believe you were a true northerner!! You probably feel like one this year.

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns
F&S luggage rack and engine guard
Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9127
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-24-2009, 12:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlHossCanada View Post
Now in CA where you may be able to ride in any given week, or not; you don`t need to winterize, but just starting the bike and letting it run for 15 minutes or so will still add moisture and sulfur to the crankcase. I still stand by my assurtion that it is better to not start the bike unless you are going to ride it, or are doing service work that requires it to be running.
not trying to attack your information because your post was very informative but talking about starting the bike and letting it idle up to warm every week or so...the engine doesn't really know the difference between idling/revving versus riding it right? i'm not seeing how going out every week or so and starting it up and letting it idle/you rev it some until it gets warm just to make sure everything stays lubricated and the carbs get some fresh fuel and all that. i feel like those benefits outweigh letting it sit for a few weeks, no?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-24-2009, 09:41 AM
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Seems like the engine would get warmer on a 15 minute (or longer) ride than it would with a 15 minute idle/rev.

This issue is like "what's the best oil/windshield/tires/you name it, for my bike?" It comes down to personal preference, and there will always be differences of opinion, which is not necessarily a bad thing. OlHossCanada's rationale makes perfect sense to me: store the bike properly, and leave it alone until you are ready to use it. Most mechanics agree that engine wear is greatest at start up, because much of the oil has drained from the engine. Letting the bike sit for several weeks, and then starting it up just increases engine wear and degrades the oil, albeit slightly. If you want to lubricate the motor, hit the kill switch, remove a plug, squirt a few drops of oil on top of each cylinder, and turn it over without starting the engine.

If you just can't live without hearing the sound of your favorite bike roaring to life, or failure to do so will cause deep depression, marital discord, poor job performance, etc., etc., then by all means go out and crank it up periodically. Just know that you are doing it for your own well being, not the bikes'.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
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1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
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