Author Topic: Winter prep/riding  (Read 348 times)

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December 01, 2021, 11:40:06 AM on

Offline Lee337 (OP)

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As we approach winter in the northern hemisphere, what do you do to prepare your bikes?

Whether that's preparing to ride throughout the winter, as I am with my Tiger, or preparing the bike for storage. With me, I've just serviced the Tiger and over the next few days will be giving her a good wash before a liberal spray of ACF50. The other bike has been thoroughly cleaned, the tank topped up with premium fuel, a fuel stabiliser added and then run to ensure the stabiliser/fuel is mixed and to get the mix through the carbs, battery removed and the bike covered in a corner of the garage.

Anyone do any different?

Thoughts, ideas?

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December 01, 2021, 03:17:50 PMReply #1 on

Offline Nick Calne

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If I'm not riding my tiger and parking it up over any period of time (normally Dec-Feb) I try to do the following:

Run some cleaning additive through the fuel system a couple of times using only super premium 98 unleaded from shell or whatever it is called there.  I do that on the last couple of trips.  I don't know if it really helps, but I feel that is does, perhaps just psychologically if nothing else.  Some people complain of caked up carbs, mine has never done that.  Yet.

I clean it thoroughly, the full smack and give it a coating of something protective as you suggest.

Clean / Oil the chain.  I ought to lube the throttle but never do.

Put it on the centre stand so only one tyre is touching the ground.  The other sits in a bit of carpet.  I rotate the front (when I remember) when I go into the garage.  So far no problems, but I do check pressures every so often and re-inflate if required.  I figure it has got to help, but again I have no evidence either way.

Pop it on the battery tender.

I then tend to go round the bike with either a black sharpie or some touch up paint and make sure anything that could rust gets coated along with any blemishes.  Sharpie also do a colour very close to caspian blue for the bodywork.  This doubles as a reaosnable inspection and a chance to buy those little bits and bobs that keep it ship-shape from ebay.  Which is a small pleasure in the dark depths of February.

Sometimes I'll put something over it to keep it a little warmer and the dust off.

And that's it.

It was collected to go off for an MOT yesterday and it started first time much to the astonishment / delight of the mechanic.  It hadn't been out for a month perhaps.

When I am riding in winter I vaguely recall that Triumph recommend (or did at the time) that you clean the bike after every use.  So I do that.  Just a little rinse on the vulnerable bits, as the actress said to the bishop.  I don't know what else you can do.

December 01, 2021, 05:41:51 PMReply #2 on

Offline London_Phil

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I left my old Harley untouched in the garage for 25 years, and all it needed was a full restoration.....Think I kicked it over once around 2011.

December 01, 2021, 07:35:10 PMReply #3 on

Offline Lee337 (OP)

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Looks ok to me, bit of spit & polish & she'll be right  :thumbsup

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December 01, 2021, 09:54:07 PMReply #4 on

Offline Sin_Tiger

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Thermal underwear  :augie

Layup (other than as above)

Plastic tank, ideally drain it completely if possible, if there's a chance you might use it and don't want to drain it, leave the filler cocked open and lay something non flammable over the tank. I believe it stops pressure build up that causes the blistering pox, no scientific evidence to prove that but it I haven't experienced .

Lube cables (including speedo if fitted), you'll be surprised what builds up in there.

Brake calipers, squeeze a little fluid out of each nipple, as well as reducing the chance of s seized nipple, it refreshes the stagnant fluid. Remove the calipers (it's only two screws on each for goodness sake) clean the exposed area on the pistons and then squeeze the pistons all the way back into caliper, it can help return accumulated air back to the master cylinder to settle out.

Rubber bungs in the end cans, plastic sheet and duct tape does the same job. When rust has consumed all the oxygen inside it won't get any more in. I've heard of people spraying fluids down them, can't do any harm but can't say if it is any added benefit.
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December 01, 2021, 10:14:55 PMReply #5 on

Offline Nick Calne

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Thoroughly thorough! :><

December 02, 2021, 12:41:05 PMReply #6 on

Offline Bixxer Bob

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Well said Sin.  I'd go a little further and drain the carbs on old bikes. I've just done the race VFR. Drained the water, refilled with antifreeze, started up, ran till warm. Let idle a couple of minutes to clean the idle jets, turned off fuel pump, closed the tank tap, waited till it started to cough, then turned off. Then drained residue fuel from float bowls.  Using this routine, I've not had any of the blocked idle jet /  green corrosion on the brass jets that I've had previously.

Before that, it hadn't been used since the end of September and I hadn't done the carb dryout because we were looking at a couple of trackdays. When I started it yesterday, it was missing one cylinder for about 10 seconds then cleared so I guess I did it just in time.
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December 02, 2021, 03:13:32 PMReply #7 on

Offline Lee337 (OP)

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Was toying with draining the carbs but opted for fuel stabiliser instead. It remains to be seen whether I start her up every month or so, just to keep things moving.
No matter how smart you are you can never convince someone stupid that they are stupid.

December 02, 2021, 04:42:17 PMReply #8 on

Offline London_Phil

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It was the constant carb issues that finally got me into Fuel Injection. Noi matter what I did, which brand of carbs I had ( I tried both Mikuni and Keihin on the same bike) If I left my bike for more than a few days, it became problematic. I applaud anyone who perseveres with Carbs, but it really became untenable for me.
Other than the monthly trickle charge and static run to temp, the Xc is put away clean, but nothing else.

December 03, 2021, 06:26:41 PMReply #9 on

Offline Sin_Tiger

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I applaud anyone who perseveres with Carbs,

Is that a nice way of saying we're mad  ;)
I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint

December 03, 2021, 10:45:41 PMReply #10 on

Offline London_Phil

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Is that a nice way of saying we're mad  ;)

You might think that; I couldn't possibly comment...

December 03, 2021, 11:51:32 PMReply #11 on

Offline Sin_Tiger

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You might think that; I couldn't possibly comment...

I've heard of politicians having second jobs but not ordinary folk having second jobs as politicians  :augie
I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint

December 06, 2021, 09:10:26 AMReply #12 on

Offline ghulst

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You might think that; I couldn't possibly comment...


What a brilliant reference. I loved that (original) series.




Anyway, I have persevered with carbs for many years and probably will for many years to come. (Unless the KTM trades up to a new KTM...) But I have not really had any problems with carbs on any of my bikes. Granted, I did give them all a sonic clean and treated them to a revision set as soon as they came in, but other than that, I have not had any problem. I have also not really prepared a bike for winter. Ever. I just ride whenever I am able. The GS is on a trickle charger and is always fueled and ready to go. I might avoid the worst salt, but on a nice day, I will ride it. I would not stay away from anything with the KTM, though I have to admit that that is not in working order at the moment. As the tank needs to come off to replace the fuel lines and one of the petcocks, I doubt I will have much trouble with that. Oh, and with another carb on the way in, the current one does not need to be cleaned. ;)
BMW R 1200 GS 2010 - Ex Triumph Tiger 900 T400 1993, Tiger 800XC 2011

 


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