Winterizing your bikes...

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  • Winterizing your bikes...

    In a land...far...far away, it was Cruiseman that said "It is about time for everyone to start winterizing their bikes. Perhaps some topics talking about what everyone does to take care of their bikes when not riding. In Texas, I ride year-round."

    And so, it shall be done.

    I know that there are 13 of you out there that live in southern Texas, or the Keys of Florida that like to say that you never have to put the bike away for Winter, and that you can ride all year long.
    That is great for you 13. But for the rest of us 2437 members (just a wild number....don't go fact checking), we ride as many months as we can, and when the weather turns inclimate, we find it reasonable to put the bike away for a period of time, and enjoy our holidays with Snow on the ground, while you "southerners" have to pretend that it is possible to enjoy Christmas with sand in your stockings.

    So, here is where we start offering info and advice about Winterizing the bikes that "do" need to be put away for a short period of time..whether that be a month, or 4 months.

    Personally, I always make sure that all of my bikes have fresh oil & filter in them.....that they are either on their centerstand, or if the bike does not have a centerstand, I use one of several motorcycle lifts I have to get the bike UP, and squared away, so that very little pressure is on the bikes tires. I also have all my bikes in a heated garage...just a light heat, with a small fan to circulate the warmth, so that rubber items on the bikes do not go through the extremes of real cold. I also have all of my bikes plugged in to a Battery Tender for each bike, to keep the battery properly maintained. I do a fairly decent job of cleaning each bike before putting it to sleep...some will get a little bit of polish on them, some not, but I do my best to remove any biologic debris (bugs) from the fork legs and fairings, so that doesn't sit on the bike for months and grow into mold, mildew, fungus, etc. Once cleaned...on the centerstand or lift, then I cover each bike with their own individual bike cover....or two...and turn out the lights.

    Now, there is more that I do, but I want to leave room for YOU to add to this thread. Different folks do different things, and it all depends on the length of time the bike will be sleeping, and the climate where you live.

    So, please share...and enlighten us.......the floor is yours

  • #2
    I just put the liner back in my jacket...
    2012 Candy Red Level 1 - Darkside #1071 It's just a Rubber Thang...

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    • #3
      I "winterized" my wife's GL1200 two days ago, but I haven't done my GL1800 yet. I'm still holding out hope of a couple of more rides before we get frozen in.

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      • #4
        Pretty much the same routine for me except my garage is not heated so I pull the battery and bring it inside and charge it once a month. Mine is on the center stand and I put my Sears jack up front and lift the front wheel up a bit. Something I've never done before but my owners manual suggested was pull the plugs and pour a bit of oil in and give her a crank to lube up the walls to reduce the chance of rusting. Pretty easy so I thought I'd do that too. It gets brutally cold up here come January and February. Gas tank is full of ethanol free fuel and stabilizer. Normally Seafoam but tried some Amsoil stabilizer this year. Now the long wait till April.
        2013 Black F6B

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        • #5
          Jeff, you are right that it gets brutally cold up where you live, so bringing the batery inside is a smart idea. I could store your bike for you if you a heated motorcycle garage. Nothing goes in that garage that has more than 2 wheels.

          As for pulling the spark plugs and oiling the cylinders, that is waaaaaayyyyyy old-school, and was done with cars and bike from the 30's to the 70's, but modern engines don't need to have that done, unless the vehicle is sitting for a year or more.

          Thanks for reminding us about getting the fuel tank as full as possible, and putting an additive in with the fuel. I use either Stabil, or Heat, and ALL of my power equipment gets this done to it...the lawn mower, the pressure washer, the hay truck, etc, etc. The motorcycles I also top off with a bottle of Chevron addition to the bottle of Heat.

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          • #6
            Here in Southern CA. Winterizing the bike means putting the heated jacket liners in a saddlebag in case we up in the 6,000 foot elevations?.

            Yeah I know it sikz to be us, but we'll try and survive.
            Life is Tough, But It's Tougher If You're Stupid: "John Wayne"

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            • #7
              So, Rocky, to constructively add to this thread, you must be suggesting that the multitude of riders that live NORTH of you should bring their heated jacket liners inside for the Winter, wipe the jacket liner down (clean it as best as possible), and hang it in their closet, to be ready for next year. Is that what you were adding?

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              • kwthom
                kwthom commented
                Editing a comment
                Y'know...that Rocky guy, he gives that "the most interesting man in the world!" a run for his money...

                'wipe the jacket liner down'. Hmm...

                Did it get dirty?

            • #8
              I hate winterizing, including my boats....

              Luckily the Wing won't be idle for anything longer than a month. NC for Thanksgiving, Keys starting the 20th until the 6th of the New Year and already booked the 2nd week of February in St. Pete for another stay lasting into mid March

              I guess there's benefits to waking up with a bad back, Arthur, old age and lucky in life....

              Good to be me, but I earned it!

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              • #9
                I top the gas off and throw stabilizer in it and run it till the fans kick on, I plug in the trickle charger, and two/three times a month I start it waiting for fans to kick in. If there is a nice day I will take it out for a short ride - too much salt on the rode.
                "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for few public officials." (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426)

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                • #10
                  In So Cal, when it dips below 55 (like yesterday) I break out the glove liners and electric vest...

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                  • #11
                    Yes I to am part of the "2437 members (just a wild number....don't go fact checking)" that fall victim to the Weatherization phenomena. That last me from mid November to mid March here in Wisconsin.

                    Here's my list...

                    Wash the Bike
                    Poor 7oz of seafoam into an empty clean water bottle
                    Ride to the gas station and poor the seafoam into the intentionally almost empty gas tank.
                    Fill the tank with NON-ethanol gas (still have that here in the premium pump)
                    Go for my last ride of the year, just long enough for the seafoam to work into the fuel system
                    Back home, put the bike up on the lift and drain the oil and remove the old filter
                    Install a new oil filter - this filter is good for the next 4,000 miles next spring as the bike will not run again until then
                    Dump in 1 gallon of Shell Roltella T - $12.00 here about the cheapest oil I can find
                    Pull the Spark Plugs and spray fogging oil into each cylinder - install new spark plugs
                    Spray a liberal amount of CRC electric grade lubricant 2-26 into the switches and work switches (also applied mid summer)
                    Apply 303 (or your favorite vinyl/rubber cleaner/protectant to vinyl, tires, dash, etc.
                    Pull the plug out of the left passenger compartment under the arm rest that was pre-wired directly to the battery and plug in the techmate 3 battery maintainer/desulfater
                    Put the Cover on the bike (mine has vents to allow the moisture to escape)

                    During the 4 months of down time, install goodies, attend to needed maintenance, modify OEM stuff you don't like, etc.
                    Note: I have a garage heater and an insulated garage, but run the heater only when I need to, like when performing the previously listed tasks.

                    In the Spring, after the salt is washed away by the first good rain...

                    Remove the cover
                    Drain the oil
                    Dump in Shell Rotella T6 5W - 30 full synthetic (or whatever you use)
                    Unplug the battery maintainer/desulfater
                    Roll the bike out of the garage and smile as the it starts up almost immediately after pressing the starter
                    Go for the first ride of the year, grinning from ear to ear (this is the only good part of having to winterize - distance makes the heart grow fonder)

                    Yes winterization isn't much fun, but then Snowy Christmases, Snowmobiling, Ice Fishing, etc is fun! I'll consider giving up my winter fun when I'm retired.

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                    • #12
                      Our first overnight of "at or below freezing" here in the desert last night and again tonight.

                      Gerbings have been worn - and they're working fine - on a 39 degree ride into work last week.

                      Late autumn in the desert - and we like it like this! :D

                      Winter - one of the best times to ride around these parts - ask them snow-birds that flock here around October and don't leave until March or April.
                      Effective 09/29/2021, in a self-imposed "social media detox" - focusing on offline social interactions and actions.

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                      • #13
                        As long as it isn't icy, I'll ride.

                        Mopar's Wing
                        2014 Level 3 Blacked out Blue
                        Heli bars, Muth mirrors, Kuryakyn floorboards and LEDs, Corbin saddle
                        Anderson SC

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                        • #14
                          Originally posted by MMR View Post
                          So, Rocky, to constructively add to this thread, you must be suggesting that the multitude of riders that live NORTH of you should bring their heated jacket liners inside for the Winter, wipe the jacket liner down (clean it as best as possible), and hang it in their closet, to be ready for next year. Is that what you were adding?
                          I generally wipe down my heated jacket liner down in late fall or early winter. It can gather a lot of dust just sitting around all spring and summer.
                          And I live NORTH of Rocky.
                          Costa Mesa, CA
                          2012 RED GL1800

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                          • #15
                            I just topped off my tank yesterday and I had to do it again about 200 miles later. What a pain.

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                            • #16
                              I grab warmer gloves and pack my liner.
                              2012 Honda Goldwing | 2009 Timeout Camper

                              Patriot Guard Rider since 2007 | IBA member #59823

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                              • #17
                                I drive quite a bit during the winter. And it's not far to NW Arkansas. Yay!!!! I plan to go to Oark General Store several times a winter. Winter before last there was snow on the shoulders. Just have to be mindful of the possibilities of some gravel on the road. And Gerbings go along of course. 😀

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                                • #18
                                  I winterized mine today, I rode the hell out of it all day long!!!!!
                                  """""""Darksider #10 It's been said by many people, that I am still only 16 years old inside my head!! LOL!!
                                  I have never thrown a leg over any make or model of motorcycle and had nothing but a good time!!"""""""

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                                  • #19
                                    I put stabilizer in, top up the tank and take it for a last ride. It then goes on the center stand and gets a half cover on it until spring. If the oil is near change time I change it and the filter. If not I leave it as is. This year it has 20000 miles on oil and filter and I did not change it. I'll connect a trickle charger to the battery every couple of weeks and leave it in the garage until spring. Been doing it this way for many years and never an issue.

                                    Recently moved to TN my native state, Feels good to be back home.

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                                    • #20
                                      Come end of October I use only non ethanol gas and Stabil. I ride until the snow hits and then it sits until spring when I change the oil and other maintenance.
                                      2008 GL1800 Titanium (cleanest color)
                                      2012 750 Shadow Aero (My scooter)

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