Question for the Polar Bears - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 26 Old Dec 14th, 2005, 10:17 am Thread Starter
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Question for the Polar Bears

I though about riding in at a brisk 10 degrees but I did not because I was concerned that Babe would not start back up after sitting 9 hours in the cold with 15W/50 in her? How cold can it be and still start up the Big K? I remember that my FJ did not care but the ST2... did not like anything below 30 ish.

Thanks a bunch.

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post #2 of 26 Old Dec 14th, 2005, 10:26 am
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I can't say for a temp below 23. The last PB trip I attended was in NY and the bike sat overnight. It was 23 when I started it the next morning...It started right-up at an idle. Sometimes it takes a few minutes before you can open the throttle without stalling the engine.

Sorry, that's not much help. Others may have more experience with KLT.

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post #3 of 26 Old Dec 14th, 2005, 11:04 am
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Mid 20's for me too. Bike was covered in frost/ice, but started right up although the starter was pretty sluggish. I later attributed the recalcitrant starter to the fact I hadn't checked the battery electrolyte level for a while.

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post #4 of 26 Old Dec 14th, 2005, 11:04 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blankshot
I though about riding in at a brisk 10 degrees but I did not because I was concerned that Babe would not start back up after sitting 9 hours in the cold with 15W/50 in her? How cold can it be and still start up the Big K? I remember that my FJ did not care but the ST2... did not like anything below 30 ish.

Had my old LT down to 20 BELOW and she still fired right up. Let'er idle for a few minutes because until the engine block is at least up to 30 it really doesn't like to go.

*BUT* you will need a good battery. I had my battery on a charger overnight to make sure that it will be charged. Batteries are very often the problem, especially with all the electronics, if the battery is weak it WILL NOT start, even though the starter turns.

Hope this helps
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post #5 of 26 Old Dec 14th, 2005, 1:17 pm
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I agree with Andy. The battery is the key. I have ridden down to a couple degrees below zero and never had any trouble with the bike starting after sitting out in those temps.

Tim Frederick
Woodbury, MN
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post #6 of 26 Old Dec 14th, 2005, 2:49 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredthead
I agree with Andy. The battery is the key. I have ridden down to a couple degrees below zero and never had any trouble with the bike starting after sitting out in those temps.
I agree with Tim who agrees with Andy

My LT's have all started in single-digit temps without problems. The battery is the key -- I ride enough in winter to keep my battery topped off, or put it on a tender if it has to sit for snow/ice to clear.

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA
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post #7 of 26 Old Dec 14th, 2005, 4:40 pm
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Battery? What battery?
Alas I cannot be of help with the original question as the temp in Southern California refuses to go below 45...!

In fact yesterday was so cold during the day (below 68F) that I had to wear a long-sleeved tee-shirt (actually it was my Year Round Riders shirt!) .

I know I am a brat...!

Unfortunately I am still waiting for Honda of Hollywood to come up with an estimate for my LT that was rear-ended 2 weeks ago, so I don't have a mount!

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post #8 of 26 Old Dec 14th, 2005, 4:44 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mneblett
I agree with Tim who agrees with Andy

My LT's have all started in single-digit temps without problems. The battery is the key -- I ride enough in winter to keep my battery topped off, or put it on a tender if it has to sit for snow/ice to clear.
And I agree with Mark, who agreed with Tim who agrees with Andy. All this gree going on and no wheel to spin.



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post #9 of 26 Old Dec 14th, 2005, 6:32 pm
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Bright Idea/preheater from the lowcost leader

In extreme cold the issue is not only will it start?, but how long before the oil really starts to lube the ways?
Ever think about a pre-heater? Soften up that oil before hitting the starter button? Pull out a freeze plug and install a block heater? That's the trick for my NewHolland tractor.
But for the LT, go get a dropcord rated for a 100Watt light bulb. Prop the light up under the oil pan and leave it there for a few hours (overnight?) prior to cranking the beast up.
That hot lightbulb will warm your oil and make your 4-valve, 1200cc, flying brick all warm inside and she'll crank up like a warm summer's day.

Last edited by CharlieVT; Dec 14th, 2005 at 6:35 pm. Reason: added infot
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post #10 of 26 Old Dec 14th, 2005, 7:25 pm
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Talking Polar Bears

I leave my bike in the garage with the battery tender, while the bike does start slower it has always started. My garage is finished but not heated but still is about 20 degrees warmer until I open the door. Two years ago I rode every month, no ice and I did ride the interstate to say I really rode not just around the block. This year with the uncharacteristic ice storm we had, I am not sure that will happen, I last rode on Nov 23rd and November 27th half inch of rain, now ice.

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post #11 of 26 Old Dec 14th, 2005, 7:31 pm
 
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Question Polar Bears

I think you shouldn'd BE using 15-50 at that temperature. Check the owner's manual.
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post #12 of 26 Old Dec 14th, 2005, 8:32 pm
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Oil at low temps - Synthetics

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
In extreme cold the issue is not only will it start?, but how long before the oil really starts to lube the ways?
Great point about the oil! That's the #1 reason why I only use synthetics in all my vehicles since '86 because syn's don't turn to molasseses at -20. Much easier to turn the engine over and you know you are getting protection right away.

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post #13 of 26 Old Dec 14th, 2005, 8:48 pm
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My '99 has started with no problem after sitting outside work for 10 hours or more in temps that started at 6 and stayed below 30. The main issue for me was shifting before the bike warmed up. Going from 2nd to 3rd I thought I was going to need a hydraulic jack to shift it. We're supposed to get ice on Friday, so if I have the time this weekend I'll keep it in the garage, drain and replace all the oil with synth, take apart and lube the shift linkage, and see if that helps.

Bill
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post #14 of 26 Old Dec 14th, 2005, 9:03 pm
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If your battery is good and fully charged it should start no problem
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post #15 of 26 Old Dec 14th, 2005, 11:00 pm
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2nd day of my first ride I ever had on my baby started at 13f

She fired right up no issue at all.

I'd done a full day prior and she'd sat in the motel lot all night.

Oil? Whatever was dealer done 'for I got 'er.

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post #16 of 26 Old Dec 15th, 2005, 5:49 am
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Last year the problem I had at -19F. was that the hydraulics were sluggish. When I'd release the clutch the handle didn't follow my lead. It was sort of a delayed reaction - really weird. Also the radio would not work and the radio display was very faint. Next day at 5 F. everything was back to normal.

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post #17 of 26 Old Dec 15th, 2005, 7:13 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
And I agree with Mark, who agreed with Tim who agrees with Andy. All this gree going on and no wheel to spin.
I agree with Grif, who agreed with Mark, who agreed with Tim, who agreed with andy. A strong battery and some chapstick is all you need to start the LT in sub-zero temps. Take it from a Cleveland boy.
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post #18 of 26 Old Dec 15th, 2005, 7:58 am
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I hope my LT will not start at -20F!!!!!

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post #19 of 26 Old Dec 15th, 2005, 8:01 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
I agree with Grif, who agreed with Mark, who agreed with Tim, who agreed with andy. A strong battery and some chapstick is all you need to start the LT in sub-zero temps. Take it from a Cleveland boy.
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post #20 of 26 Old Dec 15th, 2005, 8:01 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkiesel
Last year the problem I had at -19F. was that the hydraulics were sluggish. When I'd release the clutch the handle didn't follow my lead. It was sort of a delayed reaction - really weird. Also the radio would not work and the radio display was very faint. Next day at 5 F. everything was back to normal.
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post #21 of 26 Old Dec 20th, 2005, 9:29 am Thread Starter
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Talking

Thank you for all your answers. It does in deed have a brand spanking new battery that is on a tender when not being ridden. As for the oil... here is the can worms opening... I use BMW Synthetic. I would use Bel-Ray but their synthetic that I use in all my other toys does not have the correct API rating.

Now I just have to find a good (warm) pair of gloves for tomorrow and try to explain to my co-workers that I am not crazy... well at least compared to those in this group

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post #22 of 26 Old Dec 20th, 2005, 10:41 am
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Can't speak to lower than the low teens, but mine turned over very sluggish after 'cold soaked' for 9 hours at those temps and started, then died. Second try worked every time and then let the bike run at idle for a couple of minutes and don't go over 4K RPM until the engine temp is running normal ...

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post #23 of 26 Old Dec 21st, 2005, 9:27 pm
 
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Talking Question for Polar Bears

Coldest temp I ever rode was 24, you guys are truly creatures of the arctic. The LT starts right up, but I worry about ice patches. What are the secrets of riding in the COLD (in case I get crazy)?
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post #24 of 26 Old Dec 22nd, 2005, 5:34 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rracer
Coldest temp I ever rode was 24, you guys are truly creatures of the arctic. The LT starts right up, but I worry about ice patches. What are the secrets of riding in the COLD (in case I get crazy)?
Heated gear, a good fog management system, and prayer.
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post #25 of 26 Old Dec 22nd, 2005, 8:05 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
In extreme cold the issue is not only will it start?, but how long before the oil really starts to lube the ways?
Ever think about a pre-heater? Soften up that oil before hitting the starter button? Pull out a freeze plug and install a block heater? That's the trick for my NewHolland tractor.
But for the LT, go get a dropcord rated for a 100Watt light bulb. Prop the light up under the oil pan and leave it there for a few hours (overnight?) prior to cranking the beast up.
That hot lightbulb will warm your oil and make your 4-valve, 1200cc, flying brick all warm inside and she'll crank up like a warm summer's day.
The heated dip stick is a good idea. Synthetic oil will flow adequately in cold temps. I always use a heated dipstick in under 50 degree temps prior to starting my 41 and 53 Harley's. But those bikes use a straight 60 weight. If it wont fire due to a weak battery hopefully you can push start. You could dump some kerosene into the oil to help it flow. Now that is extreme, But the old timers had to do this in the early days.

Pete Murray
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post #26 of 26 Old Dec 22nd, 2005, 8:50 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Heated gear, a good fog management system, and prayer.

Man that's the truth...I don't have any heated gear other than the grips and seat but at 21deg this AM I wasn't really all that cold on my 18 mile ride into work. But at that temp my breath fogged then froze on the inside of my visor. So then I was riding with the visor partially open to see. That sucked.

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