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Rider on the Storm
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Discussion Starter #1
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!
 

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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.
 

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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. ;)
 

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Calif Rider
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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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Linkmeister Supreme
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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.
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. :smiley_th
 

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Rider on the Storm
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
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!
:(
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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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!! :smiley_th You probably feel like one this year.
 

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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. :smiley_th
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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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'.
 

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Super Moderator
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This was covered in another thread I ain't going to go look for, but the gist of the answer is to leave the bike sit.

EVERYTIME you start your bike you are causing wear. When it is cold out it is even worse. If you are not going to go ride the bike, why subject it to abuse?
'Canada's post about the oil does hold true also, as you are just adding more nasty contaniments to the oil by running the bike a short time.

I can understand the need a biker has to hear his baby run durring the cold months, but all you are doing is shortening the bikes lifetime. By a motorcycle video game and stay away from the bike until you can actualy ride it.

If it is real cold out, bringing the battery in to charge is a good idea too.......


KM
 

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Lebanon, NJ
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437 Posts
Yup...

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. :)
What he said...
 

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Premium Member
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It's about 30 degrees here in Long Island, NY but the sun in shinning and the roads are more or less dry. Some residual snow on the lawns. I couldn't resist any longer especially since I have not had a chance to crank it up since I marbled. Today was the day. She cranked a little sluggish but eventually came to life. Let it idle for 5 or 10 minutes and then swung the leg over. Took the long way around the block. Did not wear the heavy helmet, just the one with a face shield so the eyes started to tear up 3/4 of the way around and the face got a bit of bite but boy did it feel great. Don't if it did the bike that much good according to what you guys are saying but I felt terrific. :rockon:

Can spring be far behind? When is that rat coming out of the ground to look for his shadow? :)
 

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Premium Member
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I'm with the folks on the side of starting it up and letting it run every couple of weeks or so during the winter months. I do keep mine on a trickle charger and add seafoam but I still like to run the fuel thru the system to help eliminate moisture building up, stuck carb needles or gunked up jets......Just my opinion ..........

Stevie D.
Chicago
 
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