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Discussion Starter #1
I live in a region of the country where winter weather is a bit unpredictable. Last year we had a 3 day blizzard on December 24-26 that dumped ~20 inches of snow. The year before, I went out riding during the same time frame. I rode 2 days ago (Dec 10) when the high temp was 55, today the high will be 14!! I am figuring that I may get a few more days of riding in December, and typically the bike is idle for all of January and February due to snow, sand and salt.
My typical winter routine is to connect my battery to a Battery Tender, put some Stabil in the fuel tank and that's it knowing that I'll be riding again in about 60-75 days; plus, I am able to start the bike every couple of weeks provided the temps aren't too low (I don't like starting the bike when to temps are below the mid 20s... that just seems like its too hard on the engine considering oil viscosity).

What do others do?

PS: I already suffering from serious withdrawal!! :(
 

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It wouldn't hurt to do what you said, you can sill ride it if you have a mild winter. I been in Az 10 yrs and ride just about every day all year. 50 yrs in Jersey and never once winterized my bike as I rode it when weather permitted, if it was nasty for a month I just started it every week and let it run 5 min. never had a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
rwbloch said:
I have heard that you shouldn't start the engine unless you are going to run it for a while.
I've heard the same thing but i this is true how long can it be run and with an oil/air cooled engine, how long should you allow it to idle without riding anyway?
 

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I park in the garage, so I just keep Stabil in the tank and a battery tender on. When weather permits, I ride. Might be 2 days, might be 2 months. Nothing else special.

John
 

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I live here in Windsor Ontario. I have rode until yesterday because of a snow fall. I use Lucas oil ( synthetic) and would not even think twice of starting her up and going for a ride when snow is off the road. Point is that the synthetic oil will protect your engine in any temp. I simply don’t worry about it, we here have weather from +20c to -30c in most winters and would trust my Lucas oil. :rolleyes:
 

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Lawrence_D said:
I've heard the same thing but i this is true how long can it be run and with an oil/air cooled engine, how long should you allow it to idle without riding anyway?
I've heard that you don't want to start up your engine and let it idle without taking it out for a good run because then you will get condensation in the pipes which won't have a chance to evaporate since the temps don't get high enough. This leads to rusting. I don't know if this only applies to old bikes or if it's just a myth or if it's actually true. It would be great if someone on the board with some real wrenching experience could clear this up.
 

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Hi Lawrence, same problem here. Out on the bike last Friday for a nice ride, cold rain yesterday morning and then snow in the afternoon, and today, down to around 6 degrees with ice and snow. I might take it for a short spin if there's a nice January or February day, but likely as not, that won't happen.

For me, I keep it plugged into the Battery Tender all year long. Come in from a ride, plug it in. That's a holdover from my practice of many years with boat batteries (one cranking & electronics, two more for trolling motor). Always plugged in when not in use. While I've used both flooded and agm, the result is the same - a battery left in a state of partial discharge won't last nearly as long as a battery that's perfectly maintained on a smart charger. And of course, if needed, fully charged is better. I'm not interested in trying to get the last volt out of a battery that I depend upon - but maintaining them perfectly along the way just makes sense.

Given that it's very unlikely that I'll let a tank sit for three months, I don't bother with stabilizer on the bike.

Best, John
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Any collective thoughts on starting up and idling in the garage? I do it all the time during the winter (except when it gets too cold), but, I've always wondered how good this is for the engine.
 

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Howdy Lawrence from Lawrence :wave

Yep, weather is a crap shoot around N.E. KS, but I still go riding on a day like today...... 14 degrees at noon. It really feels OK when you dress right and time the ride for the conditions.

Even a 30 minute ride can clear the air for both the bike and rider.

Chris
 

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Lawrence_D said:
Hey John,

I guess I shouldn't be moaning about 14 degrees! I'm not looking forward to the single digits!

Stay warm up there!

Lawrence
Single digits? It's -1 now. I filled up my bike on Friday before getting home. I have 425 miles on the bike, so it's about ready for it's first service. If we get a day that is around 40 again, I will take off from work and go to Ginas and get the first service done.
 

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The biggest problem with condensation I ever had back east was during a sudden temp change, the inside of my detached garage would stay cool and outside warmed up on spring mornings. As soon a door opened everthingin there is instantly wet. Motorcycle mufflers have a drain hole at the low point and I've never seen my oil turn white from so much moisture. I guess for anyone that would worry about such things it would be best to use stabil and charger, cover it up on centerstand and wait for spring.
 

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Lawrence_D said:
Any collective thoughts on starting up and idling in the garage? I do it all the time during the winter (except when it gets too cold), but, I've always wondered how good this is for the engine.
My dealer told me that not to idle the bike. Just go! :bmw:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
OU812 said:
My dealer told me that not to idle the bike. Just go! :bmw:

That's what I'm talking about! It just seems wrong to start it up only to idle in the garage but it also seems wrong to just let it sit without starting at all, but given the fact that in my case the bike probably won't sit more than 30-45 days before I have snow- and ice-free streets, it's probably better NOT to start it up, just leave it until I CAN ride it.

(I think I answered my own question!)

:bmw:
 

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Lawrence - side note, I watched your video of your commute. I only wish we had that kind of non-traffic here in California during commute time.

What kind of GPS do you have? I like the big screen. My almost-60 year old eyes are complaining about the little tiny screen on mine.

JayJay
 

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The other thing you need to get up to temperature is the oil. It need to be hot enough to evaporate any water or fuel that may have got in there.

Areas of the crankcase that are filled with air with by default also have some moisture, this can condesate on the insides of the crankcase/gearbox/FD etc, this is why I no longer "warm up a bike in the garage" over winter. (I used when I had a watercooled bike, not used in winter)
Aside form the fact I ride this one through winter and in fact daily I occasionaly get a week or two where the bike isn't used due to ice on the road.
I don't start it in those periods and let it idele due to reasons I sate above.

You really need to get a lot of heat into the oil, normal operating temps for a good 1/4hr IMO. Not something we should do to a non water cooled motor.

hth
\v/
 

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What's the purpose of filling the tank when stored for a few months?
I thought the RT has a plastic tank if rusting is the problem?
Ellie
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Great question! Perhaps the rate of production of oxidized byproducts that build up in stored gasoline are retarded if the tank is full (i.e. less head space)..

Just guessing...

I could pull a Cliff Claven and SWEAR that my answer is correct AND common knowledge... but, honestly, I'm guessing.

Lawrence
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I should add that in addition to oxidation, water accumulation is a problem especially with ethanol formulated blends since ethyl alcohol is hygroscopic (sucks water out of the atmosphere). If I am not mistaken Stabil may be straight isopropyl alcohol which is miscible with gasoline and water and thus will help prevent a water phase from forming if H2O concentration gets too high.

Keeping the tank full and closed will also prevent water absorption and build up even with ethanol-containing formulations.

Cliff Claven!! :)
 
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