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Storage Notes
#1
Enjoy Big Grin

Bernie’s hints for motorcycle storage


These notes are intended solely for the use of my students who attended a course I have taught. No permission to copy/paste/forward/change this article is given. I certainly don’t mind you sharing some advice with friends, but I’d be pissed if I see them posted somewhere else! Please respect it.
If any of the notes don’t make sense, please contact your mechanic or local shop to clarify. These notes are general guidelines, and can’t possibly cover every motorcycle, situation, or owners ability. I will lay this out in the order I would do things in, but you may have to do things a little differently.
And I would read the whole thing before I start. Still not sure, then take my storage class!


Materials required (available at most local shops, or..) fuel stabilizer, cable lube and cable lube device, chain lube, oil/filter/drain plug washer, cleaner (S100 style), a bike cover, 2 pieces of wood to go under the tires (stands would be better if you have them), wax doesn’t hurt, a fogging spray (or BelRay 6in1, or Seadoo Lube), and of course some tools and a place to do all this!

Step 1
If you still have one ride left, put in the fuel stabilizer, fill the tank, and head for home. If it’s parked, put the stabilizer in the tank, fill the tank, and run the bike for a few minutes. You want the stabilizer in the fuel filter, pump, carbs, injectors, etc. Gas is good for 60 days max, and the stabilizer means an easy start, even 6 months later. A full tank leaves no room for air, which means no moisture to rust the tank.

Step 2
Change the oil and filter. Wait until the pipes are cool so you don’t burn yourself. Walmart has a great oil pan (Wedco, black with yellow) that includes a funnel that spins on, the oil go directly into the container, and makes proper disposal at a recycling depot clean and easy. Remember to wipe the filter seal area clean before you put the new filter on. Dirty oil contains acids that eat away at the insides of the engine, and that tell-tale stain on the window tells a potential buyer that you ran the bike with dirty oil. And I don’t use storage oil, just put in what you will run in the spring. Remember to check for leaks. New washer too!

Step 3
Wash your bike. Removing grime and dirt will make it look a lot better in the spring. Acids and chemicals from the road can eat away at paint and metal all winter. I suggested S100 because it isn’t harsh on paints and plastics, and doesn’t attack rubber. I’m sure there are others available. A carwash is okay (keeps the chemicals out of the river), but don’t direct the spray at the chain, seals, brakes, instruments, etc. They are only meant to keep out rain water. A passing mist should be good enough. Chrome should be clean and dry. Soft polisher are good. Just make sure it's dry before you cover it.

Note, it doesn’t really matter if you do Step 2 before or after Step 3

Step 4
Lube the chain and clutch cable, and apply some grease to the cable ends. Give everything a thorough inspection. If you adjust them now, you won’t forget it in the spring! It’s a good time to lube the throttle cables as well, but this is definitely one of those things that are best left to those mechanically inclined. Any wrong moves with the throttle cables could be dangerous. Remember to make sure all cable function properly.
If you are going to fog the cylinders, you can leave the throttle cables until you get the tank off for that. It's also the perfect time to lube the pivot bolts for the levers.

Step 5
If you have fuel injectors, you can grin and skip some of this!! Everyone should shut their gas off (if it has an 'off' position), to prevent any possible flooding over the winter. One of the most important parts of storage is draining the carbs. This will ensure that your bike starts and idles nicely in the spring. It’s also a good idea to remove water and dirt that collects in the float bowls. And as most of you never do it during the summer, now’s your chance. Some bikes require tank and/or fairing removal. Watch for hoses and wires as you lift the tank off. You will probably need to give the screwdriver a little shove to loosen the float bowl drain screw. Drain the gas into a small cap, like a yogurt container, and see what comes out! Or just soak up a rag. Make sure to tighten the screws once you are done!


Step 6
If your baby is indoors, covered, 3 months, you might skip this. Outside, and/or for 6 months, I’d take the time to do this to my own bike.
Fogging the cylinders is simply spraying a moisture removing lubricant that won’t congeal down into the cylinders to prevent corrosion. Your gas should already be shut off for this step.
If you can see your spark plugs, as in an old style air-cooled motorcycle like mine, you can spray it in the spark plug hole after you clean the plug area and remove the plug. Spray inside cylinder, turn over just a couple of times, replace plug.
The rest of you need to gain access to the cylinders through your air filter.
. **You also need to disconnect the coils; otherwise the spark plugs will fire and ignite the fogging spray. While turning the engine over, and the throttle wide open, spray your fogging oil into each cylinder, or just into the air box.
I like to give it a good douse, like 10 seconds for each cylinder. For good measure I spray some down into the exhaust pipe(s).
This step prevents corrosion in cylinders, piston rings, valves, pipes, and forces you to look at your air filter!! Wipe the junk out of the air box if you can, and replace or clean the air filter if need be, then reinstall it.
You might be looking at the carbs right now, so if you’re capable, lube and adjust the cables and linkages. Extreme caution should be taken to adjust them properly, and have the right amount of slack on the right cable. If you’re not sure, leave this for your mechanic and the next tune up.
Also, the only lube these cables, and the carb linkage should see is cable lube.

Note for the brave….if you jump the starter solenoid, you turn over the engine with no ignition or fuel pump, saves time, no need to disconnect everything. This is faster, safe for the ignition, but if you touch the frame with your pliers, sparks fly!

Step 7
We’re almost done. After replacing the air filter and tank (if you did step 6), it’s time to remove the battery. Remember, take the ground (black, -) off first, and put the ground on last when reinstalling the battery in the spring. Following the charging instructions for the battery, especially the maintenance-free type, and charge up your battery. You will need to check/charge it every month or so. I strongly recommend a Battery Tender (or similar), as they will not overcharge the battery. Attach the tender and it’s ready to go in the spring, damage free. Most shops carry them. Remember, trickle/automatic chargers don’t always monitor and shut off (float), so make sure! Most of these will burn up your battery eventually, some quickly.

Step 8
Time to clean and wax if you want. I suggested washing the bike early (step 3) so that the last thing the bike sees is you lubing it, not spraying it with rust enhancing water! Wax, spray, whatever you normally do, but don’t spray anything on the brake discs. And remember, no Amourall! When you’re done, park the bike on those two pieces of wood, or use your stand(s). Did you check your tire pressures? They should be filled to your normal recommended pressure. Now lock it up, adding a good cylinder lock to the chain and sprockets, lock the steering, chain it to something, and lock the steering. Thieves are lowly scum, and it’s your duty to make it as hard as possible for them to get your baby. Now, put your cover on, and hope the winter is a short one. If none of this makes sense, you really should come and take the class, it’s cheap, or consult your mechanic.
It might seem like a lot, but in the spring you will install your battery, wipe the dust off, check the tire pressures and levels, and ride off.

Okay, please read this again, and be careful. If you’re not sure, take a class or book me at home.
Have fun, and we’ll see you soon.
Bernie
PRSmechanic

p.s. just letting it sit there, or starting it every week, that’s the lazy way, and really hard on the bike, and hard on your wallet come spring time. Highly not recommended!Show your baby some love ;-) Lazy = expensive come spring time.
Smaller bikes with carburetors really need the carbs drained.

Most of it is proper maintenance anyway!!

If you had trouble this spring, don’t expect it to get any easier next year!
BC Children's Hospital Foundation Balding for Dollars

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#2
Thanks for posting this up Bernie, you rock!
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#3
Thanks Bernie-Awesome! xo
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#4
Bernie,

I've been reading a bit online about winterization as I get ready to do it next weekend... I have a question!!

A few people recommend changing the oil in the winter to get rid of the dirty oil with contaminants. THEN! They say before you fire it up, do another oil change in the spring to get rid of any moisture that could have accumilated in the oil during the winter. What do you think about this? Is this a legit concern? Cause if that's the case, I'm not putting full synthetic oil in my bike only to drain it out unused in a few months :)

Let me know if you think that's necessary!!

Thanks!
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#5
LiquidBiohazard Wrote:Bernie,

I've been reading a bit online about winterization as I get ready to do it next weekend... I have a question!!

A few people recommend changing the oil in the winter to get rid of the dirty oil with contaminants. THEN! They say before you fire it up, do another oil change in the spring to get rid of any moisture that could have accumilated in the oil during the winter. What do you think about this? Is this a legit concern? Cause if that's the case, I'm not putting full synthetic oil in my bike only to drain it out unused in a few months Smile

Let me know if you think that's necessary!!

Thanks!


If you're rich, go for it! Myself, I don't see it collecting that much moisture with a cover over it, or parked inside a semi-heated garage. My thoughts are that your bike collects more moisture inside the engine being ridden and parked in the pissing rain during the riding season.
I also don't believe in storing the bike with shitty oil, as some will always be left to mix with the new good stuff.
BC Children's Hospital Foundation Balding for Dollars

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#6
Okay sweet!! Thanks Bernie that's what I thought too but wanted to make sure!

I will put in my synthetic now with a new filter and be ready to go next season :)
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#7
Thanks Bernie
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#8
Just a bump to remind everyone that 3 laps around the parking lot every month is NOT proper storage!
Do it right, and it will show it's appreciation in the spring by starting and idling properly, with a good battery still intact.
BC Children's Hospital Foundation Balding for Dollars

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#9
I will post an edited version in October.
Once again planning is key!
Change or get someone to change your oil just before you put it away.
Get stabilizer and put it in the tank, fill up, ride home and store!
A quick clean is nice. Lube the chain.
Some people make a big stink about storage.
It's almost all regular maintenance :o

For those of you that have taken the 101, I might do one more 201 on the 27th.

Meanwhile, watch out for wet roads, roads that see no sun, and leaves!
Get out and ride Big Grin
BC Children's Hospital Foundation Balding for Dollars

Email Bernie: PRSMechanic(at)hotmail(dot)com
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#10
Hi Bernie,

I bought a used bike at the end of August and the oil was changed just before I got it (dealer service record as proof). I've put less than 750km on it since the oil was changed. Would you recommend changing the oil before storing it for the winter?

Thanks!
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#11
WCoaster Wrote:Hi Bernie,

I bought a used bike at the end of August and the oil was changed just before I got it (dealer service record as proof). I've put less than 750km on it since the oil was changed. Would you recommend changing the oil before storing it for the winter?

Thanks!

If it was good oil, I'd leave it.
BC Children's Hospital Foundation Balding for Dollars

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#12
Step 4
Lube the chain and clutch cable, and apply some grease to the cable ends. Give everything a thorough inspection. If you adjust them now, you won’t forget it in the spring! It’s a good time to lube the throttle cables as well, but this is definitely one of those things that are best left to those mechanically inclined. Any wrong moves with the throttle cables could be dangerous. Remember to make sure all cable function properly.
If you are going to fog the cylinders, you can leave the throttle cables until you get the tank off for that.

____________

Bernie,
Thanks for this (took Maint 101 last year). I followed your instructions last year and woke the beast in the spring with no problems - many thanks.

Question for you:
- do you have any videos (like the one you did for lubing the chain which I've found really helpful) for lubing the clutch cable/throttle cable and cable ends? I'm not exactly sure how to go about it, so any advice would be great.

Thanks
Matthew
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#13
KTMhaus Wrote:Step 4
Lube the chain and clutch cable, and apply some grease to the cable ends. Give everything a thorough inspection. If you adjust them now, you won’t forget it in the spring! It’s a good time to lube the throttle cables as well, but this is definitely one of those things that are best left to those mechanically inclined. Any wrong moves with the throttle cables could be dangerous. Remember to make sure all cable function properly.
If you are going to fog the cylinders, you can leave the throttle cables until you get the tank off for that.

____________

Bernie,
Thanks for this (took Maint 101 last year). I followed your instructions last year and woke the beast in the spring with no problems - many thanks.

Question for you:
- do you have any videos (like the one you did for lubing the chain which I've found really helpful) for lubing the clutch cable/throttle cable and cable ends? I'm not exactly sure how to go about it, so any advice would be great.

Thanks
Matthew


I have forwarded off your request to my videographer. Dat! If we can we will.
BC Children's Hospital Foundation Balding for Dollars

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#14
Hi Bernie,

new bike owner and quite a paranoid one at that :P

As I am reading through the notes here...

I see youmentioned put wood underneath the tires...what do you mean by that?

Also, the guy I got the bike from has been storing it on top of layers of cardboards.

Test rode it and doesn't see any flat spots. But still curious about it...suggestion/advise?

ALSO, as for the oil change, I see you recommend BEFORE storing the bike, but I have also heard do it RIGHT BEFORE riding at spring time. Any thought on this?

Not a super mech-savy guy, so I am sure I will be asking more later :P

Thanks!

Timmy The Hog
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#15
TimmyTheHog Wrote:Hi Bernie,

new bike owner and quite a paranoid one at that Tongue

As I am reading through the notes here...

I see youmentioned put wood underneath the tires...what do you mean by that?

Also, the guy I got the bike from has been storing it on top of layers of cardboards.

Test rode it and doesn't see any flat spots. But still curious about it...suggestion/advise?

ALSO, as for the oil change, I see you recommend BEFORE storing the bike, but I have also heard do it RIGHT BEFORE riding at spring time. Any thought on this?

Not a super mech-savy guy, so I am sure I will be asking more later Tongue

Thanks!

Timmy The Hog

Todays tires don't flat spot or pass rubber to the concrete like they used to.
Cardboard absorbs moisture, which is why everyone says to use wood.
I much prefer to store with clean oil.
The springtime change is if you feel you have absorbed plenty of moisture to the oil during the winter.
My personal opinion is you absorb more water parking it hot in the steaming rain a few times than all winter under a cover.
BC Children's Hospital Foundation Balding for Dollars

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#16
Bernie PRS Mechanic Wrote:
TimmyTheHog Wrote:Hi Bernie,

new bike owner and quite a paranoid one at that :P

As I am reading through the notes here...

I see youmentioned put wood underneath the tires...what do you mean by that?

Also, the guy I got the bike from has been storing it on top of layers of cardboards.

Test rode it and doesn't see any flat spots. But still curious about it...suggestion/advise?

ALSO, as for the oil change, I see you recommend BEFORE storing the bike, but I have also heard do it RIGHT BEFORE riding at spring time. Any thought on this?

Not a super mech-savy guy, so I am sure I will be asking more later :P

Thanks!

Timmy The Hog

Todays tires don't flat spot or pass rubber to the concrete like they used to.
Cardboard absorbs moisture, which is why everyone says to use wood.
I much prefer to store with clean oil.
The springtime change is if you feel you have absorbed plenty of moisture to the oil during the winter.
My personal opinion is you absorb more water parking it hot in the steaming rain a few times than all winter under a cover.

AH...thank you on the oil change part :)

And when you say wood, you mean things like plywood?..2 ply kind of things?

Sorry with all the "newbie" questions :P
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#17
2 1' foot square 1/4 inch plywood pieces work great.
Why not invest $50 and come see me on the 16th at 6pm?
http://forum.pacificridingschool.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=822
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