STORING YOUR MOTORCYCLE
¶ Every year lots and lots of people just come in from riding, push their bike over in a corner and walk away. They return in four or five months and wonder why their bike won't run... well DUH! If you want that bike to work for you, you've got to take care of it. Let's take a look at how you do that.
The Maximum - Add The Following.
- Gas rots, so you must put in fuel stabilizer and run the engine long enough to get it completely through the carbs. Then, either fill up the gas tank to full (To the bottom of the filler neck) with gas that has no Alcohol (Oxygenated) in it, and has the proper mix of fuel stabilizer in it. Or drain all of the gas out of the tank and spray some gas soluble oil on the inside of the tank to keep it from rusting. The choice is up to you. Either way is OK.
- Drain all the gas out of the carbs. Most carbs have a drain screw on the bottom of the carb.
- Take the battery out and, if necessary, add distilled water to it and clean off the outside (Battery Box Too!) with a mixture of baking soda and water. Then put the battery on a trickle charger (No more than one AMP) and charge it till it is fully charged. Do this at least once a month, till you start riding again. Alternately, hook up a Float Charger to the battery and leave the Float Charger on all the time.
- Wash and wax your Motorcycle.
- Change the engine oil and oil filter.
- Change ALL other oils and fluids, such as rear end oil, radiator fluid, brake fluid, etc.
- Take out all the spark plugs and put about a tablespoon of engine oil down each spark plug hole. Now, before putting the spark plug(s) back in, turn the engine over several times to ditribute the oil around the cylinder. Be sure and ground the spark plug wires when you do this. This is to protect the ignition system. Now reinstall the spark plug(s).
- Use a breathable motorcycle cover to keep dust and moisture out. Plastic tarps that don't breath trap moisture in, causing rust.
- I like to put some type of water displacing, penetrating oil in each cylinder to sort of dry it out, before I put in the engine oil. Combustion makes a lot of water, and some of it always seems to get into the piston ring area.
- I like to use some kind of Armor All type preservative on all plastic and rubber parts.
- If you change the fluid in your bike's radiator, use distilled water and a motorcycle type anti-freeze. Car type anti-freezes use additives that can wear out your water pump.
- If you change your brake or clutch fluid, use the type recomended for your system, Dot 3, 4, or 5. Which one? It's in your Shop Manual. You do have one, don't you?
- It costs a bit more, but you can get a trickle charger that will shut off automaticly when the battery is fully charged and start up again when it's charge goes down. You can leave it connected and on all the time.
- Aluminum does rust...sort of, so an application of spray wax or the like, to all surfaces of the engine, wouldn't hurt.
- Keep the bike in a dry, heated garage, if possible.
- Once a month or so, turn the engine over a couple of times, to keep things loose and lubed !
- Keep it in the dark... sunlight thru a window can fade paint and the like.
Hey folks, at least do the minimum. If you don't, you might get away with it once or twice, but sooner or later You Will Loose.
Of course, if you don't, IT'S OK,
I DON'T CARE...
IT'S NOT MY BIKE!
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