a few suggestions for winter storage - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-08-2013, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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a few suggestions for winter storage

I have a raider that I'm wondering about winter storage this coming year. I'm hearing from different people about buying a lift to get tires off the concrete in a un-heated garage. Also wanting some recommendations for a battery maintainer for winter use. In past years I never on other bikes, I never had a lift or a battery maintainer of any kind. I used to just start once or twice a week or just take for a short ride If weather was decent.
Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Thanks, Mak
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-08-2013, 09:09 PM
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If you plan to ride it (not just start it, but actually ride it) at least once a month, no winter preparation is needed. The only caveat is if you have parasitic electrical draw, such as engine computers, clocks, radio with preset memories, or the like. In that case whatever you do during regular riding season is adequate.

The practice of starting the engine for a few minutes every week or so "to charge the battery" is, in my opinion, worse than useless. When you start the engine, water created by burning fuel condenses in the cold cylinder and exhaust, and does not evaporate until the engine, oil, and exhaust pipes reach normal operating temperatures. That won't happen unless you actually run the engine under load (riding the bike) for several miles. Ever notice the water dribbling from auto exhausts on a cold day? Ever wonder why exhausts seem to rust from the inside out? It is caused by the normal water of combustion condensing in cold pipes.

If you worry about tires sitting on cold floors, just inflate them to a few pounds above normal (not to exceed the sidewall pressures). If you happen to think about it, move the bike a foot or so every so often to change the contact point.

Try to fuel with non-ethanol gas (not possible for many of us) and use a fuel stabilizer. Put the stabilizer into the tank when you fuel, and the drive home will usually get it into the carburetor or injectors. If the bike is carbureted, and it has a fairly easily accessible carb drain, it won't hurt to drain the gas from the carb. Try to ride the bike at least a few miles (I usually want at least ten miles) before you park it, and if you can't ride it that far don't even start it.

Your owner's manual will undoubtedly have procedures for storage. If in doubt, follow them and at the very least your warranty should remain intact.

On those bikes I actually store for winter, I remove the batteries for convenience. Every month or two, when I happen to think about it, I use an automatic battery charger on them until it says they are charged. Except for my '09 250 Star, all my bikes are '07 models and all the batteries are original equipment and still going strong. Take it for what it is worth.

Last edited by Charon; 09-08-2013 at 09:14 PM.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-08-2013, 10:12 PM
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Discussion of winter storage while we are in September . . . Blasphemy!!!

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 09:13 AM
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What Miescha says!!!

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 09:37 AM
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Blasphemy? Perhaps. It could also be called "Advance Planning." The first day of Fall is less than two weeks away. Of course winter preparation is completely optional. Many folks don't even bother. To see the consequences, go to a public boat ramp on Memorial Day and watch the people who didn't winterize their outboards when they parked the boat just after Labor Day.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 11:03 AM
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Winter storage

LOL..Blasphemy indeed! But you are right to start "planning" for winter ...I guess it depends on where you live. If in a moderate climate, where you can bundle up and ride for a while (even a short time to heat your bike up to normal operating temp, then do it. If you are talking snow up the wazzoo for several months and riding is impossible then here is what I would considering doing...one man's opinion and what I do...When I lived in a wazzoo area of Montana and bike was in garage from October till May or June (before the snow and ice melted) I made sure fuel tank was FULL of fuel with a stabilizer (I use "Startron" as it counter effects the ethynol in the fuel) - reason? when not full, the tank will get condensation where there is no fuel every time the temperature changes significantly (happens all winter long) and that condensation will grow into water at the bottom of your tank...I have seen it and worked on ATVs, Motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats that weren't properly stored for their off season. Then when you start your riding season, put on some ISOHEAT (red container, NOT the yellow one) in your first few tanks, to absorb any water that did accumulate.

As far as your tires go, I wouldn't worry about them if they are on DRY concrete...if on a dirt floor, I would stick a piece of 1/4" plywood under them and move them to a different touch point occasionally.Moisture is the enemy of rubber and keeping dry is the key. Same thing I told guys with snowmobiles - if inside on a dry concrete floor - no worries. If outside in the grass or dirt - put a pallet under the track (whole sled preferably) and it's good to go.

Battery Maintenance ---I use a Deltran Battery Tender on all my bikes...easy to install and use. The big enemy of the battery is extreme cold. Charge the battery to full and you can either leave it on and trickle charge or disconnect and reconnect to charge it to full capacity occasionally. I would keep in connected and trickle charging during periods of extreme cold (below freezing temp). If you don't have a GELL battery, GET ONE! They are more expensive than the liquid filled but are a superior battery with less maintenance, last longer and less susceptible to freezing and other problems.

Like it was mentioned above, if you do feel the need to start it occasionally, it doesn't hurt as long as you get the engine and pipes up to normal operating temperature...again, you don't want moisture to set in after you run it for only a short time and not get a chance to burn off the moisture...short starts and stops don't really charge the battery to full because you have used quite a bit of juice to start it...so connect the battery tender back up to achieve full charge.

Hope this helps!
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Just doing a little pre-planning for what I might need to properly park it for the lousy Chicago weather coming up. I just thought I would get some tips on battery maintainers and possibly an inexpensive but good quality lift to get it off the ground for the season. Apparently, no one has any suggestions or recommendations so far. When you spend good money on a nice bike, you want to treat it right.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks dlonewolf588,
Appreciate your response! I was checking out some of the battery maintainers on line the other day. Was just looking for some referrals I guess. I was also thinking of the lift but read some bad reviews on some about being flimsy. Thought it might be handy to have for working on it also. I might have to wait on that though. Money is a little tight. I figured I would check for recommendations on those just for my own knowledge.

Thanks again all, Mak
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 01:11 PM
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Bike lift

Hey mak...if you're looking for a bike lift, Harbor Freight has a 1000 lbs bike lift that works just fine...a buddy of mine has it...he did make a change to the wheel chock tho...he took off the one that came with it and put one the wheel chock - also from harbor freight - motorcycle stand/wheel chock item # 97841. The wheel chock is adjustable for different tire sizes. He removed the front support bar of the chock and bolted it to the stand in place of the stock one on lift....works great and locks the bike in well for doing maintenance when raised...you can just lower the lift and leave the bike on it and move the whole thing around...he bought both on sale and it was around $500...I use it when I need it but thinking hard about buying that set up for myself. Hope that helps you.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 09:16 AM
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I have to agree with Charon on all points.
Lucky for me I ride all year or better said able to get out on warm days during the winter.
I would never start any vehicle to Charge the battery at any time unless I knew ahead of time I was going to run that vehicle up to full operating temperature for a few miles.

Moving the bike a foot or two is good for the tires.

I never used a tender on anything (and its been gulp, decades now) in all my boats, bike, cars I ever owned.
I want to STRESS I am not knocking anyone who uses a tender! I just prefer to use my batteries and replace them, its what I think best that works for me.

Boats I disconnect the battery and let sit. Bike I use every couple weeks in winter so I leave it alone connected.
I never treated batteries special, never used a trickle charger, I DO change out batteries every 4 to 5 years no matter what. Boats more like every 3 full years, batteries so cheap, its just cheap insurance.
I have an 08 1300 tourer and just changed out the battery a week ago, replaced it with the OEM Yuasa for the heck of it, been in the bike 5 years already never gave me a problem, now I know I can go another 5 years without a problem but in reality I cant imagine having the same bike for another 5 years, I think another year or two would set a record for me!

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Last edited by alarmguy; 09-10-2013 at 09:19 AM.
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