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Do you winterize your bike?

  • Yes 馃槧馃槩

    Votes: 6 30.0%
  • No, I ride year round

    Votes: 14 70.0%

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Some of us are blessed with reasonable weather to enjoy riding year round while others are forced into putting their bike into hibernation during winter. So just a quick pole to see the percentage. In Houston we get a few freezes but nothing that last long. I ride everyday to work with one simple rule, is it raining when I leave you work. If it is I cage it, don't like riding in rain at 5am in Houston traffic, riding in rain on way home is no big deal. I cage it about twice a month.
 

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Les, my last ride was Dec. 2. It was 64* and I went for couple hours. Brought her home pulled her into garage. The next morning I put her on the lift did oil change, checked valves, and synched carbs. I do this every year at end of season to make sure she is ready to go in spring. This time I also change carb intake boots cause they were starting to crack. I stabilized gas and pulled her into corner of garage for a long winters nap.:crying: It will be a long winter but as Spring approaches I start to feel like a kid at Christmas time. "anticipation" For now I can only look at her once in a while just to get rid of the withdrawal syndrome.
 

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you might have jumped the gun with the carb intake boots

they have two layers, the inside layer maintains the vacuum, the outside layer is a plastic/rubber coating that might look like hell, but it wont leak unless the inside layer has failed.
 

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Mine went into hibernation in November, only a few days before the first snowfall (very early this year). I just added Stabil, took out the battery (unheated garage), stuffed some rags in the exhaust pipes to keep the critters out, and put the cover on her. I'll trickle charge the battery for about 24 hours once a month, roll the bike a little to keep the tires from flatspotting, and count the long winter days until late April or May. I'll do a service in the spring.

The riding club I joined last fall is trying to get me to go on a polar bear run Jan 1st, but with all the salt on the roads I'm not biting, even if the pavement is bare. I work in a train yard and when we drive our shunt trucks down the paved pad there's a cloud of salt dust behind us. I don't need that getting into every nook and cranny and rusting my bike. Spring will be here... someday.
 

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KCW, Don't really feel like I jumped the gun. I don't like to work on bike during the riding season or wait for something to fail before replacing. Saw the boots were cracking pretty good, have 2 sets in the garage so I threw them on. Feels more like piece of mind to me.:wink:
 

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If you still have the ones you took off, if you dont mind take a close look at them.

This comes up a few times every year, someone sees the surface cracks on the carb tubes and replaces them, thinking they have failed. So far I dont think anyone has taken them off and found the inner tube layer was bad. It might be an aluminum tube on the inside.

Its a 3 hour job to pull the carbs off the bike, if thats the only reason its being done. If you are adjusting the valves and have the carbs off anyway, its not a big deal to replace them, and they are not that expensive.
 

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KCW, I have found out over the years I have ridden the 1100 that once the boots begin to crack from heat, fuel, weather, time etc. it s better to go ahead and change them. Remember there is an 'o' ring behind them that degrades also, shrinks and flattens. The metal vacuum tubes that stick out of the boots can develop microscopic minute leaks around them also. I had an issue years ago with erratic high idle. I checked all vacuum lines, boots, clamps etc. I finally took a look at intake boots and they were cracked. You could not see any internal cracks as you stated but they were obviously degrading. I changed them out and bike was back to normal. Many guys will reuse 'o' rings a from valve covers and timing gear covers and such and just like the boots the rings are usually stiffening up and flat, just the ticket for a leak. On the 1100 you just take off the seats and tank, and airbox, unhook fuel lines, and AIS hose from rear boot. You can leave all cables and anything else attached to carbs. Pull the carbs out to the left, zip tie the up to frame and remove and replace boots. Remember to soap up new boots when you reinstall carbs, makes things a lot easier. About 1.5 hr job at most once you have done it before.
 

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I agree with the oring replacement. Last time I did the valves on my 650 the rear tappet cover started to ooze. Fortunately that is the only tappet cover you can finesse off the heads without taking the carbs off again (10 minutes vs 2 hour job). Next time I do them Im going to leave off the fake plastic chromed head covers. That will allow me to check and adjust the two exhaust valves without removing anything from the bike, and if they are out of adjustment then I will pull the carbs off to get the two intake valves.

Last time I did the valves they were still in spec after 12,000 miles. I hate to spend two hours to get a feeler gauge on the tappets just to find out they dont need to be adjusted.

But, yeah - Im sold on new orings all around if you cannot get to them without taking half the bike apart.

I realize Im getting off the winterize subject a bit here, but these are the things you discover when you start "prepping" the bike for winter. I would rather work on my bike when I cant ride it, than to have the a great January Thaw week and then find out there is a problem with the bike.

I joke about having to take the crash bar off Ursa to get it thru the front door, so I can park it in my living room "as needed". I do have a propane space heater I can use in the garage to work on vehicles, as long as you are withing a few feet of it, it throws out a nice infra-red zone of warmth.
 

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... the heater comment brings up another point: some people feel the need to start their bike up in the garage during winter storage to get things splashed around and fluids flowing. The owners manual for our bikes specify the temp range (over night cold soak temp) for the different oil ranges, and for both my bikes it says that 20W40 oil is only good down to 40F. If you want to be strict about it, that means dont start your engine if its 39F or below overnight with 20W40 oil in the engine. If you have a space heater and you really feel compelled to spin that crank when its 0F outside, warm the bike up first. And then remember that oil pressure coming off the oil pump is a function of RPM, rev it up a little to build the oil pressure, dont let it just sit there and idle when its cold.

There have been a few discussions about this, and there are many websites that try to spec what oils are good down to what temperatures, but motorcycle engines, esp air cooled engines, have much wider tolerances on the parts than car engines, or water cooled engines. The critical design issue is whether the oil pump can push cold (thick) oil all the way to the furthest bearings in the heads and transmission parts when you start it up in the cold. If the oil doesnt make it to that last bearing journal the shaft will be sitting there spinning metal on metal, doing a lot of damage.

Its better to let the bike hibernate on those cold winter days, than to try to keep waking it up, if you have a cold garage.

If its in your living room, just open the windows a bit :^)
 

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I have always changed my oil for summer and winter. Using oil good down to atleast 20f for winter.
Worse is you have to let the bike get hot if you do start it in the winder without driving it. The humidity you just sucked in, will do a lot of damage if the engine doesn't get properly warm enough to dry all that humidity up after you turn the bike back off.
 

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KCW, I like what you said about Jan. thaw. If it happens and it has been cold I always heat the garage up and put a space heater beside bike to warm engine components a little before hitting start button. Usually let the space heater work for a couple hours first, don't like starting a stone cold engine that has been sitting in sub-freezing temps. for any length of time. I actually enjoy working on the bike in the off season, it gives me something to do as I am retired and bored sometimes especially in the colder months.
 

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Don't winterize my bike as we usually have a few days each month in Jan and Feb when you can ride - today was a nice ride at+4潞C ( 40潞F)

Here's a pic along the Niagara River Parkway between Fort Erie and Chippawa today - overcast but no snow.


 

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bfrench, I don't mind riding in the cold but once they start throwing salt and cinders around here it is like riding on ice especially on the corners. Sometimes we get a warm up with a hard rain that washes a good bit of it away. When that happens I like to get out for a few hours.( After it dries up a little.)
 

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..
Here's a pic along the Niagara River Parkway between Fort Erie and Chippawa today - overcast but no snow..
Fort Erie to Niagara Falls is one of the best scenic rides, on a MC or a bicycle, esp heading north when you start at the Peace Bridge, and end up at the rapids, and then the Falls.

The only short coming is there is no place to park your bike right near the edge of the falls. Thats where riding a bicycle has the advantage.
 

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As the temps don't get too frigid for too long around here and i will be riding her all winter. (After, I have put her back together. Stupid fire.)
That said ... I may have to put the parts i want on the ole cc. Because i am in the need of some wind therapy!

Ride Smart! Ride Often!
 

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Its not so much a weather issue that limits my riding. Its work. I work two jobs. I only get two or three days off a week and working 12hr shifts... I tend to spend my limited off time with the family or chillin at home.

I have two full-time running bikes (KLR and Harley). The wife's bike... well... I don't ride it. The wife does two or three times a year. We just added the V Star 650 whether temporary or permanent and it isn't running yet. With our on-again-off-again winters of S. Ga, I just keep a fresh dose of Stabil in the bikes. I ride when an opportunity affords it. Hot or cold. Rain or shine.
 

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^ is there some reason why you dont ride to work?

Im in upstate NY near Rochester. I ride to work about 100 to 110 days a year, which is just over 50% of my work schedule.

Ive gotten good at predicting from the weather radar whether I can make it to work (15 miles) without getting wet. If if rains on the way home I dont really care, as long as its not too cold.

In weather down to 40F I layer up on the jacket and wear two pairs of pants (one a size larger in the waist), and I have a windshield for both bikes, which really helps in the cold.

Sometimes work really sucks and the high point of my day is: I get to go for a MC ride. It normally takes me 30 minutes to ride home the short way. I have one path that takes me thru two large parks. The longest detour Ive take "on the way" home was two hours.

The hardest part about commuting to work on a motorbike is sometimes on a beautiful morning the machine ...just....does.... not .....want to turn into the driveway for my company.
 

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KCW, one of the hardest things about riding to work is just knowing your bike is sitting in the lot begging to be ridden. I am retired now so I don't have to deal with that 'agony' anymore. I wrote previously in this thread I don't mind riding in the cold but seriously my cutoff point is 45*, any colder and I don't really enjoy it.
 
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