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OK, so what do I need to know about storing my bike in my attached garage over this coming Chicago winter?

Do I empty the gas tank like I do my lawnlower?

Do I take out the battery and bring it inside?

Change the blinker fluid? Tighten the screws with a left-handed screwdriver?
 

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http://www.superbikeplanet.com/winterize.htm

This should tell you all you need to know. It's what I do, except I use a spray can of fogging oil rather than a turkey baster and I don't get the wheels off the ground but I do put a rubber mat and then carpet under them to keep them off the concrete.
 

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Good topic about now. i'm terrible about maintenance, so i'll probably do the minimum. i have a attached garage, and have considered short rides, despite the weather just to keep things active. any thoughts? i'm thinking a weekly ride or at least a warm up in the garage would be just as easy as the winterizing.

BTW- i'm in charleston sc now, but after myrtle beach next week i'll be headed to toledo OH. plenty cold there.
 

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A ''warm up in the garage" can create a lot of condensation as it cools back down during the winter. If you aren't going to be riding it, I'd winterize it. It only takes about a half hour to an hour.

I don't know about Ohio, but out here we get snow on the ground from December through March and icy roads longer than that, so the bike sits in the garage.:crying:
 

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A ''warm up in the garage" can create a lot of condensation as it cools back down during the winter.
True that. If you can't ride it, don't start it.

Top up gas and add fuel stabilizer during your last ride.
Change oil if it is about due; if not leave it alone.
Connect a battery tender; no need to remove or disconnect battery.
DONE. (If you have an AGM battery, you don't even need the tender.)

If you must cover it, do not use a plastic sheet. Cover must be able to breath.

Most of the rest of the stuff you hear are things that come from recommendations for LONG term storage and are NOT necessary for 3-4 months.
 

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This is my winter storage routine.

Wash and wax bike, add Stabil et al, top off tank a little extra full, go for few miles ride to get stabilized gas to the good parts and warm the oil. Change oil and filter (I change once per year ~5000 mi), charge battery, then disconnect negative cable to preclude any parasitic draw on the battery.

At this point the bike sits in cold storage, unstarted until spring, when I blow the dust off, reconnect the battery cable, check the air pressure in the tires, then go for the fist ride of the year.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks! Chicago winters can get brutally cold so I have no clue how to best protect my investment.
 

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Personally I use seafoam for stabilizer and will drain my float bowel. I have found on my snowmobile that even adding stabilizer that some times there would be gook in my carbs after sitting a while so cleaning them and draining the float bowels after fogging the engine was part of my storage routine. Don't think I'll fog my bike but draining the bowel is pretty easy.
 

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True that. If you can't ride it, don't start it.

Top up gas and add fuel stabilizer during your last ride.
Change oil if it is about due; if not leave it alone.
Connect a battery tender; no need to remove or disconnect battery.
DONE. (If you have an AGM battery, you don't even need the tender.)

If you must cover it, do not use a plastic sheet. Cover must be able to breath.

Most of the rest of the stuff you hear are things that come from recommendations for LONG term storage and are NOT necessary for 3-4 months.
This is what I will be doing.
One of my coworkers has been riding for years and this is what he does every year.
The only thing different I will do is remove the battery and bring indoors as my attached garage is unheated.
BC winters get a little cold. -40C for a couple weeks here is not uncommon. I don't even have to convert that to Fahrenheit....its the same damn thing!
 

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As long as the battery is fully charged you're better off to leave it in cold storage rather than bring it into the house.
 

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Personally I use seafoam for stabilizer and will drain my float bowel. I have found on my snowmobile that even adding stabilizer that some times there would be gook in my carbs after sitting a while so cleaning them and draining the float bowels after fogging the engine was part of my storage routine. Don't think I'll fog my bike but draining the bowel is pretty easy.

Yep, that happened to me when I didn't drain the bowl, and that was with a third of a can of seafoam in the gas. I ended up having to have the carb dip cleaned to get all the rubberized fuel out of it.

I'd go ahead and fog the cylinders anyway even if it's only for a few months. Where live, anyway, we get wild temperature swings in the winter where one week will be 5 degrees F and the next week will be 38 degrees. And our humidity can vary a lot too, so taking an extra 5 minutes to fog the cylinders is cheap insurance against the possibility of pitting the cylinder walls.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Personally I use seafoam for stabilizer and will drain my float bowel. I have found on my snowmobile that even adding stabilizer that some times there would be gook in my carbs after sitting a while so cleaning them and draining the float bowels after fogging the engine was part of my storage routine. Don't think I'll fog my bike but draining the bowel is pretty easy.
My '08 is fuel injected, no carb.


-40C for a couple weeks here is not uncommon. I don't even have to convert that to Fahrenheit....its the same damn thing!
I just checked and you're right! -40C = -40F, which equals "Damn Cold".

Once when I was in college it hit something like -50. I worked at a hotel which was absolutely dead that day. Boss pulled us outside to show us an experiment she saw on TV:

Take a cup of hot water...like coffee temp hot. On a -50 day, throw the water into the air. It immediately turned into ice crystals and blew away like fine snow, not a drop hit the ground.
 

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I've had 2 places for 5 years.One had to go, so i'm keeping the house and selling the condo. my wifes from toledo, and homesick. that pretty made up the decision. i really love charleston, and hope to land here again.
 

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Ghost, i will be in myrtle next week. you going? i went last fall. i've got 4 buddies trailering down from toledo. i'm hoping the weather cooperates.
 

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Prep for Ontario Winters

As one above, I also wash and wax the bike. I use Stabil too, however I start adding it to every fill-up after the 1st of September. Now gas is only stable for about 2 weeks and we never know when the weather will stop riding for a couple weeks or for the season. I also know for sure that all of the fuel side parts have the benefit of Stabilized Fuel. The Gas Tank is topped off, to minimize air in tank and thus condensation. I also lube all moving linkages and use penetrating oil on the cables (Clutch & Throttle) I do not cover the bike. Let it breathe, the wax will protect the finish from dust. I use a low flow Solor Charger hung in a window as the Battery Tender and it works really well. The Seat I take inside to keep it warm. Finally I have created wooden blocks to place under the frame, which lift the wheels just off the ground, with the bike standing up-right. This takes the weight of the tires, bearings and suspension. This takes a little more than a 1/2 hour, but it is the last opportunity to play with my baby until spring. And every year, she starts like I rode it last week.
 

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I have on '08 900 Classic and my manual says to drain the fuel tank and run engine until it stops to ensure all the gas is out of the system. I would tend to agree with this as the ethenol in the fuel will attract moisture and also is very degrading to the rubber parts of the fuel system. Other than that I plan to do the rest as you suggested. I live in SW Indiana and we also have wide temp swings and humidity level swings.
 

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Did you read the part about removing the tank and pouring a half pint of oil into it and rolling it around to coat it?

You can drain the tank if you want, but a full tank of gas with a half pint of Sta-Bil or Seafoam will keep the water out of it just fine.
 
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