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The riding season in southern Ohio is fading quickly. We'll still have some good weather ahead and I try to get it out every now and then even in cold temps, as long as it's not freezing. I've ordered new tires (Commander II's), as I think I've found the best price around (JakeWilson) and I know they're likely to go up upon the arrival of a new year. Seems everything usually does. My OEM Dunlops are aproaching 11000 miles, and are not totally absent of tread, but they're on my 2007 Custom and I feel with their age and miles they are about done. So, would it be better to have the new tires installed and get some break in before the real cold stuff moves in, or just store them and have them installed in the spring? The bike will be stored in my attached garage of my house. Just asking to see if there is some consideration I may not have thought of. Thanks.
 

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If garage is heated and bike is stored with tires off the ground or on wooden blocks, see no reason not to go ahead. disadvatage to waiting is shops will be busier in the spring so may take longer to get them on. If the present tires are still usable, can keep them as spares incase you pickup a flat that destroys the new tires while waiting for new ones, specailly if you do them yourself.
 

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rick's absolutely correct. You very well may have to wait in the spring when shops fill up with bikes that had not been properly winterized and require carburator work - or, like you, want new tires for the upcoming riding season. Get it done now, properly winterize and hit the ground running when the temps rise in the spring.

And you're wise to have concerns about the OEM tires' age [6+ years]. Even if there is still some tread left, don't be surprised to see some surface cracks on the sidewalls. When I got it, my '03 was 7 years old with only 6,500 mi., but both tires had moderate sidwall cracks.

5 years would be my limit (in theory - since I generally ride over 9,000 miles a year and NO bike tire will ever last +45,000, mine never get very old).

Also, although they are a little bit pricy, unless the 900 is VERY different from the 800, I believe you'll be delighted with the service you'll get from those COMMANDER II's. With a little over a year and just shy of 10,000 miles on the current set of COMMANDER II's, the rear tire shows almost NO WEAR. Nor does the front, but that's not shocking yet.
 

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I agree... do it now and avoid the spring rush.
Another +1. I know my local shop is HAMMERED every spring (despite tons of signs up telling people to winterize!). 4 wheelers, dirt bikes, motorcycles, you name it. If it has a small engine, it's up there getting cleaned out and ready for spring. If I had a choice between doing something in the fall or the spring, it'd definitely be the spring.
 

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You never know... weather may surprise you and you may decide to pull it out moth balls. :)
Nothing wrong with riding a winterized bike! I ride all winter long but occasionally the weather just gets TOO nasty, with ice and snow and high temps that never get above 35 or so, and I may not ride for a couple of weeks. So from fall until summer, there is always fuel stabilizer (usually seafoam) in the tank and I try and keep the tank topped off and the bike waxed. At any point I could just 'not ride it' for several weeks without any harm being done.
 

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I don't usually winterize a motorcycle per se, because there's hardly ever a month in Kansas winters that doesn't allow some riding. What I do is keep all maintenance items up and the tank full so when decent weather appears, I ride. With just a few short rides on bearable winter days, your new tire will be broken in and ready on the first warm spring day.

One exception: a long illness required drastically reduced riding, and I did mothball one motorcycle, and ride the other when I could.

To each his own,
Grandpa
 

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Sleeps All Winter

To each his own, but once I do my Mid-November complete winterization, I don't ride until spring. But my process is pretty involved:

1. Fresh cheap oil & filter, w/SeaFoam in the oil [135ml (~4.6 oz.)] to slowly liquify gunk & varnish while stored
2. Hyper-wash & wax (virtually every nook & cranny)
3. Lube clean chain with a HEAVY coat of Gear Oil
4. Tires at 42 psi to avoid "flat spots", parked in a barn, on wooden floor
5. Tank topped off w/STA-BIL treated fuel (I use STA-BIL as a fuel stabilizer and SeaFoam to clean the carb and fuel system - Why not just use SeaFoam for both? - I'm not sure why)
6. STA-BIL Fogging Oil to lube/protect cylinder walls, etc.
7. Pull the battery to put on maintainer over winter
8. Block tail pipes to keep rodents from setting up camp & cover to keep off the dust

After sitting quietly for ~4 months, she fires up beautifully each March. All I need to do is install the battery, fire it up and get it HOT, then dump the storage oil & filter & put in fresh Mobil 1 Full Synthetic 10W-40 Racing 4T JASO-MA Motorcycle Oil & a new Bosch D3300 DISTANCE+Plus Oil Filter (you'd be amazed how nasty that oil gets w/the Seafoam working in the crankcase for months).

OK, I do "waste" $10 in cheap conventional oil & $3 in a cheap oil filter, but it starts every season with CLEAN internals - small price.

Over 10 years old w/~42,000 miles (I've owned it for four of those years and 35,000 of those miles) and it still runs like new, so I see no reason do anything significantly different.
 

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GRIFFJO,

Wow! I'm impressed! That is really intense but sure that kind of tlc is along the lines of what everyone should do when you can't ride for a long period of time.

I also agree with Romans that there is nothing wrong with riding a winterized bike.

As for Seafoam. I'm a believer! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So, yeah I'll be put'in on the new tires right away. My garage is attached but not heated. I do keep the tires off of the concrete floor. She's always ready to go, when weather permits a ride. Tank toped off with Seafoam, new oil and filter, and keep that presure in the rubber up.

Well, I guess this thread has evolved into a winterizing thread. It's that time of year. It won't be the last. ;)

On that topic, does anyone do any lubrication to your cables? I've heard of that, but never done anything to mine, as I don't really know what people do there.
 

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cable lube

There is a tool / device for lubing cables if you do it yourself. If a dealer services your bike they will do it on the recommended schedule, if you remind them....lol..
 

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When tires "sit" on concrete or in just a carport for a length of time the sidewalls and or tread will weather crack. Some call it dry rot, so park 'em on wood or lift the bike and tires off the ground and block it to prevent a fall and damage.
 

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When tires "sit" on concrete or in just a carport for a length of time the sidewalls and or tread will weather crack. Some call it dry rot, so park 'em on wood or lift the bike and tires off the ground and block it to prevent a fall and damage.
I did not know that. Thanks for the info
 

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Winterized Bike

I am impressed with anyone who can find a $3.00 filter. I can't do it. I have been hearing about SeaFoam. What do you use and or recommend? I have used Sta-bil but hear Seafoam may be better.
 

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I do change my oil in the late fall when season ends, and again when the season begins. I use the same oil all the time because here in Tn the weather is much more moderate than it used to be. It is not unusual to get good riding weather in Dec. or Jan. but it can't be counted on as a given so I use the same oil etrc. to be ready if it happens.
 

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I am impressed with anyone who can find a $3.00 filter. I can't do it. I have been hearing about SeaFoam. What do you use and or recommend? I have used Sta-bil but hear Seafoam may be better.
I can usually get a Purolator "Classic" white economy L14612 Oil Filter at Walmart for $3.27 + tax. Not a great filter, but certainly good enough for the few miles with storage oil like I use it.

SeaFoam is a GREAT carburator bowl & jets cleaner. With the recommended 2 oz. per gallon concentration every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, the entire fuel system stays very clean. However, I use STA-BIL as a fuel stabilizer during winter storage - that's what it does and all it proports to do and I find it has worked fine.

I suppose it's an odd bias, but I don't trust anything that claims to do everything, so I clean w/SeaFoam and stabilize with STA-BIL. But I'm fairly confident SeaFoam can do both just fine.

I'm certain I overkill for storage, but when faced with the choice, I will almost always overkill vs underkill re: care of this vehicle.
 

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I can usually get a Purolator "Classic" white economy L14612 Oil Filter at Walmart for $3.27 + tax. Not a great filter, but certainly good enough for the few miles with storage oil like I use it.

SeaFoam is a GREAT carburator bowl & jets cleaner. With the recommended 2 oz. per gallon concentration every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, the entire fuel system stays very clean. However, I use STA-BIL as a fuel stabilizer during winter storage - that's what it does and all it proports to do and I find it has works fine.

I suppose it's an odd bias, but I don't trust anything that claims to do everything, so I clean w/SeaFoam and stabilize with STA-BIL. But I'm fairly confident SeaFoam can do both just fine.

I'm certain I overkill for storage, but when faced with the choice, I will almost always overkill vs underkill re: care of this vehicle.
The usual caveat; Purolator specifically says not to use that filter on a motorcycle (bold letters on the website), don't mind if you use it (not my bike!); but I throw that out there in case that matters to other people who might be unaware that purolator warns, specifically, against using that filter on a motorcycle. That said a lot of people are of the opinion that Purolator doesn't know what they are talking about. The disclaimer uses odd language (Says they are designed for vehicles, not bikes; are bikes not vehicles?) and claims that motorcycle oil pumps can't handle a 'high efficiency filter', whereas some have debated that an MC oil pump would behave the same as any oil pump. But; like I said, I like to throw that out there.

Also; nothing wrong with Sta-Bil. I use what I have lying around, Sta-Bil or seafoam. But, again just to throw it out there; what seafoam does is twofold. Seafoam traps moisture prevent fuel dilution and separation, AND basically what seaofam IS is, to put simply, a concentrated version of all the stuff that evaporates out of the fuel! That's part of why it's such a good fuel system cleaner, because unlike Sta-Bil, it can actually take bad fuel and make it fresh again.

It's been my experience that Sta-Bil lasts longer though! But just as an 'FYI', it does accomplish the job of stabilizing fuel, and if fuel has gone stale, it's effective at bringing it 'back to life'.
 
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