Springtime Winterized Bikes(The usual suspects)

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Springtime Winterized Bikes(The usual suspects)

Postby Gman » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:29 am

It's quite common for people who have bad weather,colder climates to,"Winterize" their bikes.This means they take them off the road for several months.IMHO this is Bad Practice unless you allow for several things.

1:The Battery will slowly discharge and in many cases ruin the battery.

Cure:Keep the battery on a Maintenance charger or fully charged up once a month whilst the bike is not in use and top up the fluid levels when required with distilled/de-ionized water(I use clean rain water from a water barrel at the back of my house but defrosted ice from a fridge/freezer can also be used).

There are also good and bad battery brands and if the battery has become unserviceable then it will have to be replaced. The1st part of the battery to suffer is it's CCA(Cold Crank Amp) rating which means it will never have the big power it needs when you turn the ignition key.

You can remove the lighting fuse on bikes where the lights come on with the ignition as a possible aid to getting the bike starting but obviously when running should be put back.

I use a 12v Solar charger to help maintain one of my batteries,

http://www.maplin.co.uk/solar-powered-1 ... rger-98358


It's very important on Electronic ignition versions of the CX/GL motorcycles to have a fully charged battery for starting.

The CDI versions fair a little better as they can be,"Bump" started as the battery does not supply the ignition but the rotation of the engine does via the Stator High Voltage windings.

2:The Carbs

You can use Carb/Brake cleaner into the engine via the Air Filter to aid initial starting to pull fuel through.Even WD40 type aerosol works.

Even if you drain the Carburettors the innards of the carbs can decay through lack of fuel going through them.A white powdery substance can form commonly mistaken for Calcium based debris but is actually Aluminium rust/oxide.This is formed by moisture that is always present in the air and inside the carburettors.Also the fuel becomes stale and leaves a patina/coating inside the carbs that causes problems.In worse case scenario a full carb strip and clean may be required.See relevant section in this forum.
Also the rubber O-rings and gaskets will decay as they dry out and get attacked by this alkaline oxide.

Again you will see posted that Carb/Brake cleaner attacks these.This does not tally with my experiments whereby I left a cheap Butyl O-ring immersed for several months in Carb/Brake cleaner.The O-ring did expand minutely but did not decay and in real life the O-rings would never be subjected to this massive amount of Carb/Brake cleaner.
Caveat:There are some types of rubber that Carb/Brake cleaner may well attack so use common sense but I have used carb/Brake cleaner for over 30 years and never had a problem and neither have virtually every motorcycle maintenance shop I know of and use.

3:Brakes and running gear

Brakes will decay/Stick as will the clutch when not moved/in use.The brake pistons and seals need movement to keep them good and lubricated,The clutch plates need orating to keep them free.If the bike has only been left a couple of months this is not usually too much of an issue but see Recap that follows.


To avoid all of the above in future even if you have really bad weather there must be at least one day a month where you could start the bike up and and just run it up and down your drive or go for a short ride.This will negate virtually all of the problems above.

Tip:Add some Seafoam or any cheap petrol/gas treatment from the Supermarket to the tank before winterizing and run the engine.At least that will stabilize the fuel and help cut down on the Oxidization inside the carbs and the stale fuel patina that also forms.
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