To fill or not to fill? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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To fill or not to fill?

Hey guys, again I am new to this amazing motorcycle hobby and I have a dumb question. It is going to stay cold here for a while, and I need to fill the bike up. Is it better to let them sit with a empty tank or full tank. This will be last day for a few weeks to get it out to fill up. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks

ATCKawi
2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 12:15 PM
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ATCKawi,

Yes fill the tank and add Saeform or Stabil. Here's my winter storage check list for the Minnesota 6 months of winter! Ha!

Pre storage------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

___ Check your radiator level, add aluminum safe antifreeze as necessary. Check to -35 degrees!

___ Clean and lube the chain.

___ Change the oil and filter.

Final steps------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

___ Completely wash and dry the bike.

___ Take bike for short ride to dry and get oil circulated.

___ Fill gas tank and get air in tires.

___ Put some silicon oil all over the front fork tubes. Bounce the bike to work the front suspension

___ Clean and treat all leather with saddle soap and a good leather oil.

___ Treat plastics and vinyl with Armorall.

___ Spray down any chrome, or polished or raw aluminum.

___ Add a fuel stabilizer.

___ Run engine / or take a short ride to get stabilizer mixed in.

___ Drain your float bowls. (optional for non fuel injected engines)

___ Pull battery and add distilled water as required. Hook up a trickle charger.

___ Stuff WD-40 soak rags into the outlets of the mufflers to seal.

___ Use a good breathable motorcycle cover to keep the dust off. An old sheet works great.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Before you start the bike again...

___ Remember to remove rags from the exhaust pipes and wipe off the exhaust pipes.

___ Wipe down front fork tubes and other parts that have been treated.

___ Install battery.

___ Go thru "pre-riding check list" and check everything out.

-Steve
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for the check list. I don't know how long this weather is going to be here so, I just went and filled up the tank. I am still trying to figure out the best way to wash the bike. Some people use buckets of water and some use a hose. I will have to wing it for a while I guess. After the first tank of gas I only get 35 miles to the gallon. I did a lot of riding around the neighbor hood( a lot of stop and go). Does seem a little low for the bike?
Thanks again.

ATCKawi
2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom

Denver, Colorado
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 02:09 PM
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very hard to judge average economy on just one tank, especially the first tank. Once winter passes and you get to riding you'll see a drastic improvement in that number,. If you don't, just call me and I'll come ride it for you until it does.

'98 800a w/aluminum wheels/tubeless tires
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-12-2010, 06:05 PM
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Mine is always full and ready to roll. I've parked for a couple of months and never had a need to add anything. It seems that when I add something to cars or motorcycle/atv it always backfires with issues that weren't there before. I always just leave it alone and it starts right away all the times.


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys I appreciate the input.

ATCKawi
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Classtom View Post
Mine is always full and ready to roll. I've parked for a couple of months and never had a need to add anything. It seems that when I add something to cars or motorcycle/atv it always backfires with issues that weren't there before. I always just leave it alone and it starts right away all the times.
+1. I put STP brand Stabil in once and my bike ran crappy until I got rid of that tank of gas. I've never used anything since, except I add a little carb/fuel injector cleaner every 6 months or so.

'09 Vulcan 900 Custom
'08 Concours 14
'05 CBR1000RR Repsol
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 11:38 AM
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Winterize and Tires?

I winterize like a lot of people do. Oil/filter Change, blow out air filter,fog the top end and a bit through the intake. Wash, wax, fill and add Seafoam. The bike is then lifted by a jack (jack is on wood to break potential galvanic action - though if it is dry that should not be an issue!)--completely off the ground.

The one item I notice at least one person said and something a friend does is fill the tires. I was taught to let a bit of air out when storing over winter?

Is it an old wives tail? Does it matter? I would like comments from those that know tires? Tires have changed considerably since I started riding in the mid sixties.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 10:27 PM
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Funny question to be posting in February, ATCKawi.

Anyways, adding stabilizer to a fuel tank is recommended for any engine. Gasoline has a shelf life best described as "use me now". Sure it stinks when you burn off that first tank at the start of next season but at least there won't be stale fuel clogging your injectors. Topping off will minimize moisture that gets into the tank from condensation but I like to end up with about 3/4 tank to allow room to get a shot of fresh fuel in there for that first run of the spring. That also minimizes the effects the stabilizer might have on performance for those obstacle course rides around the sand piles. Adding a shot of injector cleaner to your tank, as MINI has suggested, is an excellent idea too. (just got back from Mardis Gras in New Orleans so shots are still on the mind I guess)

As for the tires, it's best to fill to recommended pressure. If you can get the weight off them using a lift or some other safe and cleverly crafted method then that's best. Otherwise, just roll the bike around a little once and a while, ending up with a different part of the tire on the ground. Never strap the bike down and exert any extra downward force on the tires and shocks!

Those were the procedures I followed before I found a better solution. The best way to avoid all this winterizing work and worry is to just ride the bike whenever the roads are dry enough. Forget the cold. Bundle up and ride as far as needed to circulate the oil, charge the battery and get your heart pumping. Your fingers will thaw out and your bike will be grateful. If you do leave the battery in the bike then it's important to have a trickle charger available for those times when the temps drop into the single digits or below.

I snuck in a ride today just as the flakes began to bless the Northeast with our latest blanket of white. Only eight more days to Bike Week in Daytona! I hope it's warmer there than here; say by about 50 degrees.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice LiveFreeandRide. I thought our storm here was going to last a lot longer then it did. So as if turns out it is going to be in the high 40's to early 50's, so I am definetly getting out today. I bought the bike late Jan, and have over 200 miles on it so far, so the weather has been great for riding. Thanks again for the reply.

ATCKawi
2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom

Denver, Colorado
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