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At the beginning of every spring most posts are about someone's bike not starting. Our northern riders are already seeing lower temps. So let's help prevent the starting issues before they happen. Living in the south winter means cooler temperatures and rain, but I still ride. So I always do a deep cleaning and full wax on my bike before winter hits so rust and corrosion will not start. Will the veteran motorcycle winterizers please jump in and explain what you do and why, no matter how minor, in order to make sure your bike is spring ready.
 

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Like you, a good wash and wax, then some fuel stabilizer. My garage isn't heated so I bring the battery inside and put it on a trickle charger. It always fires right up in the spring. This year I have a lift so I might lift it up so the tires are just off the floor and strap it to the jack before putting the cover on it for it's long winter nap.
 

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Like you, a good wash and wax, then some fuel stabilizer. My garage is't heated so I bring the battery inside and put it on a trickle charger. It always fires right up in the spring. This year I have a lift so I might lift it up so the tires are just off the floor and strap it to the jack before putting the cover on it for it's long winter nap.
How about the oil, do you change before storage, before you start riding again or just whenever due?
 

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Usually whenever it's due, but always in the spring before riding season. It's due now so I'll probably use 10W40 and change that out in the spring.
 

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KCW, this is for you.

 

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...My garage isn't heated so I bring the battery inside and put it on a trickle charger. ...
Two things:

chemical reactions are slower at lower temperatures. I think you are better keeping your battery in a cold garage than a warm house, provided the battery stays charged.

A trickle charger puts out a small current all the time. Motorcycle batteries are small enough that a trickle charger for a car will over charge a MC battery.

You either need to check the battery once a month, and if its below 12V put the trickle charger on it for several hours till it ramps up to about 13V, then unplug it and check it next month.

You can use any 12VDC wall adapter rated for 100mA to 500mA for a trickle charger on a lead acid battery, just keep track of the voltage while its charging, and DONT leave it on all winter.

Otherwise you need to spend $30 to $50 and get a battery "tender". It has active circuits that read the battery voltage, and then decide if it needs the trickle turned on for a while. Shake rinse and repeats by itself. You dont have to take the battery off the bike, or even unhook it to use either.

If you have a bike with key fobs or alarms or clocks or other stuff that is "on" when the key is off, you either need to disconnect the battery from the bike for the winter, or you have to use a battery tender, because the connected bike will drain the battery down while its parked.
 

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Once a month I put the charger on it for 24 hours. That seems to keep it up and I don't risk overcharging it. I've seen too many batteries freeze to leave it in my unheated garage all winter.
 

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I wash it if it needs it, fill the tank, put in stabilizer, change the oil, pull the battery and put it on tender inside my house, then put a cover over it.

Oh.. since this is my first winter with a carb'ed bike, I also turned the petcock to off and ran it till died (after oil change and stablizer).
 

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running the carbs dry is 50:50

normally you fill the tank with gas and a stabilizer so the tank wont rust, but if you have a plastic tank like a motorcross bike you drain it.

I dont think there are any steel parts in the carbs, aluminum yes...brass...

the question is will anything in the carb oxidize if they are not filled?

Only half the float bowl has fuel in it, the rest is in the air

this is one of those things that never gets settled. I wonder what a good google search would turn up?

I leave mine full, and Ive never had any carb issues.
 

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Well.. My thinking was that this bike spent 3 years in storage without anything done to it. It was a nightmare getting it cleaned up and running great again. I figure this time it was scared to be put to sleep so took out as much of the fuel as I could to ease the fear of gas rot/gum. LOL.

Also... I actually removed the fuel tank so I could do some work on it over the winter. When I drained all the fuel, i noticed a small amount of rust had started forming again in some of the seams (from the 3 year storage and de-rusting last summer). So it's currently soaking with vinegar again and this time I have some Fuel Tank Liner (POR-15) to coat the inside with before I start work on the paint blemishes.

I also think I lied about being my first carb'd bike. After I posted that, I remembered that my first bike was a Kawasaki EX500 (before they labeled it the Ninja500). It had a petcock as well. It was carb'd and for both winter's I had it, never drained the carbs.
 

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Like KCW said, it's one of those things that will never be settled, like which oil is best. For me, it works just parking it with fuel stabilizer in it so that's what I do. Others will swear by draining it like you did.
 

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one of the things I keep in mind, in upstate NY we often get a January Thaw lasting several days, when people are outside in tee shirts...

I park my bikes in the garage where I can get them back out, and I dont winterize them in such a way that I have to put them back together, or redo stuff if I take it out for a ride on a nice day.

I can get to the battery with just the side cover off, with the battery still in the bike.

This year I was able to ride to work the last 3 days of February, and again in early April.

If I had to take my bike somewhere for the winter and put it away until a specific day in the spring, I would not like that at all.

One other thing: I try to roll the bikes up a few inches at least once a month, so they dont sit on the same spot on the tires and develop a flat spot.
 

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I wash and wax it, polish the chrome and change the oil. Fill it up with gas and stabilizer. Plug it in to a battery tender and jack it up off the ground. Put the cover on and plug the exhaust with a rag to discourage the mice and say goodnight for the winter. If we get the odd nice day I can always take the cover off, unplug it from the tender and lower the jack. Ready for a quick ride in less than 5 minutes. Have had 3 bikes in the last 12 years and no issues starting with any of them as long as I remember to take the stupid rag out of the exhaust :).
 

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I was going to change my oil before winter storage but I've only got 3K miles on the last change with full synthetic. I add Stabil and fill the tank. Leave the battery installed and leave a trickle charger on all winter. I clean the bike thoroughly, plug the exhaust ports with rags and park it on a 10' long 2' wide piece of indoor outdoor carpet with a rubber backing then cover it. Shortly afterward I fall into a seasonal disorder funk and get depressed.
 

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....Shortly afterward I fall into a seasonal disorder funk and get depressed.
testify brother!

Thought I would be able to ride yesterday after the bikes have sat in the garage for 2 weeks now... but the roads never dried off during the daylight hours.

(Nothing will ruin a nice motorcycle like riding on wet salty roads - when the road is dry you can see if its still salty or not).

Now its looking like another week till the temp gets back up to the forties.

Yes.. I really did feel depressed this last weekend. Raking wet leaves all day and cleaning the garage to make room for the snowblower, is no substitute for Motorbike Highway Therapy.
 
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