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Discussion Starter #1
I had performed the obligatory 600 mile (966 km) oil change. Now, according to the internet, you would expect black sludge, metal shavings, nuts, bolts, and miscellaneous engine components to come out of there. I guess I was lucky because all that came out was clean engine oil. I changed the filter and refilled the crank case with 3.2 quarts (3.0 liters) of high quality, non-energy conserving synthetic oil (I don't want to start another oil thread!). Since then, I put another 600 miles on the bike and it is completely broken in. Now its time to start thinking about putting her away for the winter (sniff, sniff). I have detailed the procedure I have used for years below. Here in NE Ohio, I do this sometime around November 1st. Feel free to discuss.

Winterizing procedure:

1. Put stabilizer in tank and top off
2. Ride bike at least 10 miles
3. Change oil and filter
4. Remove negative cable from battery
5. Clean entire bike
6. Cover exhaust outlets with bags and rubber bands
7. Store bike in garage with wheels on cardboard and cover with bed sheets

In the spring:

1. Remove sheets
2. Remove exhaust bags
3. Adjust tire pressure
4. Re-attach negative cable from battery (and charge if needed)
5. Ride
 

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Personal experience....I keep my DR650 in the shed, and I'm on the east coast (Canada, ehh?). I took it for a last rip, got it good and hot, then changed the oil and rolled it into the shed. When the good weather started approaching, it was warm enough to get in the shed, pull the side cover off and replace the neutral sending unit screws with drilled allen bolts and safety wire them. One of the DR-isms is that the screws securing the sending unit are seated against the plastic housing and hot/cold cycles will allow them to loosen over time, dropping out and ending up jammed in between stuff inside the bottom end. Anyway...I pulled the side cover, and there was a large amount of water pooled anywhere it could lay on a flat surface, large beads of water on the bearings. Again, this was brand new oil, changed just before rolling it into the shed for its winter sleep.
In a below-freezing climate, you'll see cold days, warm days, and bright, sunny days. During those days, you'll often see frost coating the outside of the case...when it was way below freezing, then warmed up fast in the shed due to a temperature rise plus the sun beating on the uninsulated shingle roof. The inside of the shed would be suddenly warm and humid, but the metal of the engine would hold its cold for a long time, resulting in the moist, warm air in the shed condensing and freezing on the engine case. All I can figure, is that because it's a vented space, the warm, moist air is also drawn into the case and the same condensation/frost forms inside. Then when the engine warms up, it melts and gravity causes it to drip down. Each time there would be a cold night followed by a warmish sunny day, the process repeats. And I'd assume that the water that dripped down would freeze the next night, with the oil covering it, then remain frozen due to the metal and oil covering it, then it would be joined by the new water from that day, and so on...

In a heated garage, this wouldn't be an issue, but in a non-insulated shed, I'd imagine it would go through dozens of swings between well below freezing to well above.

After seeing the amount of water that collected in the case of the DR, I will now be starting the bikes in the spring, taking them for a run to get up to operating temperature and to mix the water and oil together, then changing it out while the water is still suspended.

If you click the attached pic and zoom in a ways, you'll see the amount of water that the DR collected over the winter. Again, that oil was dumped, refilled, then the bike was rolled into the shed. Zero running time on it. Also, I have no idea how much water was really laying in the bottom of the case...to do the NSU screws, you can lean the bike way over to the left side and all the oil will run through that oblong hole at the bottom and stay on the low side, so you can pull the cover without having to drain the oil. Note the big drops on the beige plastic gear, and the actual pools of water at the bottom of the case. If there's that much water left with the bike laid over 45*, there must be a LOT more over in the other side of the case.

I don't want to start a big thing on leaving dirty oil in the case over the winter and acids and all that...but, be aware, if the conditions are right (or wrong), your fresh clean oil might be severely water-contaminated come spring. And, if you just roll the bike out and check the level, all will look fine...the water will all still be laying on the bottom. It won't be until you start riding that it will mix with the oil. Just wanted to share my personal experience.

 

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Bugs. In Texas I always cover the exhaust opening ANYTIME I store the bike in the garage, during any season. Flying bugs can get in there, create nests, etc.
 

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If condensation is a big factor in your storage situation then new oil for storage seems like the choice should be even more clear.

Used oil contains combustion byproducts that react with moisture to form acids. Oil contain buffers to help counteract the acidity but in use the level of those buffers drops, so there is less corrosion protection in used oil. It's a double whammy.

It is not abnormal for condensation to form in engines. Normally it just evaporates after a while of operation at temperature.
 

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I was going to say that you beat me to it -
"It is not abnormal for condensation to form in engines. Normally it just evaporates after a while of operation at temperature. "
I dont have a heated garage.
My bike sits in there for 4-6 months over the winter.
My door faces north and I get a lot of condensation in there.
I dont worry about what you've pointed out.

I have a 1995 en500 with 31,000 miles and runs like new.
I've only owned for 8 years, but 8 winters too.
Dont worry - Be happy!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Directly from the owners manual:
"Tie plastic bags over the mufflers to prevent moisture from entering."
It also has the added benefit of keeping critters out.
 

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I always say I'm going to use rubber expansion plugs, but I never seem to get around to it. Fortunately I've never had an issue with critters in the pipes. Now under the gas tank... that's a different story. I had to pull the tank of my '77 GS750 and clean a rat's (or hopefully mouse) nest out. There was also a newly started one in the air cleaner. I had to wrap a couple of wires since all rodents like to chew electrical insulation. Good Times!
 

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If the bike is stored outside I think moisture/water getting into the exhaust might be worthy of protection. But, in a garage/shed, personally, I think not a concern.
 

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When I have stored bikes over winter in the past I have only used a motorcycle cover and put fuel conditioner into the gas and shaken the bike to mix it. That has been it. Here, I can ride occasionally all winter so no special procedure is needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Okay, I changed number 4...
I will attach a battery tender cable and will keep the battery in the bike with a tender plugged into it.
 
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