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Greetings fellow Vulcanites!

At the beginning of this summer, i purchased my first motorcycle, a Kawi Vulcan 900 Custom. I enjoy the bike and have added several thousand miles on it already. However, since I am new to motorcycling, I have several questions/ concerns regarding winter storage. I'm planning on keeping my bike covered in my driveway (I don't have a garage). I live in upstate New York and over here, we can get some pretty cold winters/ snow. I was thinking of purchasing the Battery Tender Plus and leaving it connected to the bike for a few months. I doubt that I will be doing much winter riding.
Now I ask...

Is a battery tender an absolute necessity for cold weather outdoor storage?

and if so...

Will Snow/ Cold exposure damage the Battery Tended Plus if it is plugged into an outdoor power outlet and exposed to the winter elements?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! :)
 

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If you pull the battery then you can keep it plugged into the Tender inside.

If the Tender was covered so the elements wouldn't affect it then it should be okay. But the above would be better.

Make sure your cover is good and tight. Getting moisture under there and having it sit like that all winter can't be good. You can't get it stored somewhere? Most dealers new or used have winter storage services. I know the ones here are like $250-350, depending on what you have them do.

Personally if I didn't have a garage and a brand new bike, and lived in cold winter climate like ours where getting to safely ride during the winter is rare. I would find a way to keep her inside. Either a buddies place or pay the money. Even a storage facility would be better.
 

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Fully charge the battery and bring it inside, it will keep a charge much longer. You can get a cheap ($5) float charger from Harbor Freight. I use 3 of them in my boat during the winter. I have several spare batteries I keep in the garage. When I pay the mortgage I top them off with a charger. Either way, disconnecting the battery from all electrical circuits during storage is the way to go. I don't winterize my bike since I ride it if there's no snow or ice. An extension cord in the driveway probably isn't a good idea when you need to remove snow. Get a good breathable/vented cover so that condensation can evaporate.
 

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I'm going to keep mine in the storage shed out in the back yard. It's not heated or insulated, but at least it's out of the elements. Maybe I'll take the battery inside or at least into our insulated attached garage, on a Battery Tender. The odometer should be able to keep it's mileage reading without being hooked up for that long, I would assume. Supposed to be "unforgettable".

What I'm wondering is, do you other northern folk who, like me have to put it away for like five months or so, also do the extra step of Fogging Oil in the cylinders?
 

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DO NOT FORGET TO PUT A FULL TANK A GAS..BOTTLE OF HEET AND SOME STABIL..thats more important than the battery
 

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like the first person said, keep it inside. it will be safer there and plus you wont keep thinking about it when your trying to sleep in the middle of the night.
 

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I'm from Canada and store my bike usually for abougt 5 1/2 months. I remove the battery and periodically check it. Fill the tank and stabilize the fuel. I cover the bike and then in the spring I put the battery back in and away I go.
 

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I have heard that Sea-Foam is better for fuel storage then Sta-bil. Cuz Sea-Foam is made to be burned, while Sta-bil is supposed to be drained out.
 

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I also use the Sea Foam, instead of Sta-Bil. Works great.

Some have said they've had problems with Sta-Bil, but I couldn't vouch for that myself. Usually, starting in October I always keep a maintenance dose of Sea-Foam in the tank and always bring it home full like that. Around here (Minnesota) one never knows which ride just may turn out to be the last one of the season.
 

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Definetly bring the battery in. I store mine in the basement, off the cold floor, and put the tender on it overnight about once a month. I live in northern ontario and store it in my shed. not heated. If you tarp it make sure the tarp isn't actually touching the bike anywhere as it will hold moisture in, build a frame around it and tarp the frame. this will keep the snow off it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the advice. I'll see if I can get a small shed that I can run electric to and leave the tender connected inside. I don't want to add anything to the fuel because I plan on riding here and there in the winter. Well anyways, off to the stealership to buy a battey tender. Thanks
 

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use the seafoam it doesn't hurt the bike at all, I use it with my 82 honda supersport on a regular basis as it also helps to keep the carbs clean
 

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Your best bet is to RIDE it! For example, I got up Sunday and it was COLDDDDD... and I mean COLDDDDD, but that didn't stop me. I put on a jacket and zipped it all the way up. So did my daughter, she was brave enough to join on this extreme ride. I put on some leather gloves with the finger tips cut off and away we went. I got her up to 55, but because I had my 1/2 helmet on, my face started to get cold. After about 1.5 mi, we stopped for breakfast and to warm up. After some eggs and coffee we set out again. This time toward the beach. After about another mile, we crossed the Intra-costal Waterway and were riding North toward Palm Beach on A1A. By this time it was 10:30a.m. and the temperature was still well down in the high 60's. Thankfully by Sunday temperatures were approaching our normal 80, but what stories we'll have about riding in the cold. If we can do it, so can you....:cool:
 

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Your best bet is to RIDE it! For example, I got up Sunday and it was COLDDDDD... and I mean COLDDDDD, but that didn't stop me.
ROFL!! As a transplated AZ desert rat, i understand where you're coming from, but as an upper MN resident, i'm here to tell you - you don't know what cold is. There was a time i'd reach for my jacket at 70°F, now i can go outside in my shirtsleeves during the winter when it's warmed up to 0°F and feel warm. Too funny.
 

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I have heard that Sea-Foam is better for fuel storage then Sta-bil. Cuz Sea-Foam is made to be burned, while Sta-bil is supposed to be drained out.
Not sure where you got your info about Sta-bil. I've used it for over 30 years and it's always worked for me. You do not drain it out, it is meant to keep the gas fresh for upto a year, so you can run it in the spring. Sta-Bil also contains a water remover, corrosion inhibitors and fuel injection/carberator cleaners. I haven't used Sea-Foam so I can't make a comparison, but this product works fine as far as I'm concerned.

I don't want to add anything to the fuel because I plan on riding here and there in the winter.
I would put something in your gas either Sea-Foam or Sta-Bil. The bike may sit for weeks or a month or so before you ride. You don't want gums and varnish to form if the gas sits there untreated for a long time.
 

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Your best bet is to RIDE it! For example, I got up Sunday and it was COLDDDDD... and I mean COLDDDDD, but that didn't stop me. I put on a jacket and zipped it all the way up. So did my daughter, she was brave enough to join on this extreme ride. I put on some leather gloves with the finger tips cut off and away we went. I got her up to 55, but because I had my 1/2 helmet on, my face started to get cold. After about 1.5 mi, we stopped for breakfast and to warm up. After some eggs and coffee we set out again. This time toward the beach. After about another mile, we crossed the Intra-costal Waterway and were riding North toward Palm Beach on A1A. By this time it was 10:30a.m. and the temperature was still well down in the high 60's. Thankfully by Sunday temperatures were approaching our normal 80, but what stories we'll have about riding in the cold. If we can do it, so can you....:cool:
I agree with Helek 52. :D Riding in the 50's and 60's is comfortable. Dodging snowflakes is a whole other story.
 

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The dealer where I bought the bike held a free winterizing clinic yesterday. When we got to the topic of fuel stabilizing, their top mechanic recommended Sta-Bil for over the winter storage and here's why... Seafoam, which is also a good product for keeping things clean (and is in fact also a stabilizer), tends to dry out the rubber components when left in there... seals, gaskets, fuel lines and all that. Something could dry out and be prone to cracking, resulting in a fuel leak somewhere over time. So he suggested riding out my tank already containing the Seafoam and replace it with a fresh tank of gas and Sta-Bil which will not dry things out like that.

His other big recommendation was to always use the so-called "top tier" fuels in our machines, such as Shell, Mobil, BP, etc. They have better detergent additives than some of the other fuels often sold at convenience stores and he also mentioned Sinclair as being a second grade fuel. I'm no expert, just quoting what he said yesterday. Top tier fuels will keep the valves cleaner and less carbon deposits avoids a host of problems that can result from that.

Also take the battery inside where it won't freeze.
(Charging on a Battery Tender is optional, but a good option and will prolong the life of the battery. I think we all know that.)

And no need for engine fogging oil if the bike is only going to be stored for a single winter. If it's going to stored for like two years, it's a good idea, but otherwise fogging oil only tends to foul the plugs and the cylinders really won't dry out much in just a seasonal storage.
 

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I never knew that about seafoam, I know it keeps my carbs clean on my 82 honda, I just put my bike away yesterday and till have to add stabilizer, so I will use the stabil instead.

Thanks, Kevin
 
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