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Sportster Motorcycle General Discussion and Problems For discussing problems about your Sportster motorcycle that don't fit anywhere else.

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  #1  
Old 15th December 2004
x750rider x750rider is offline
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Default Do I HAVE to winterize?

I live in Virginia where the winters can get harsh but at the same time you might have a 45-55 degree day thats good enough to get a little saddle time in. So my question is this:I keep my 2004 1200c covered in a shed w/no heat but is there any reason(sane) that I just coundn't start my bike at least once a week and bring it to operating temp. for say 5 mins? Wouldn't this keep the engine lubed well enough & the batt. charged? I have a Mitzubishi 3000gt that I basically have done the same thing to for several years w/no problem. Anybody got any feedback on this? I sure would like to keep her ready to roll just in case I get that itch.
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  #2  
Old 15th December 2004
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I would suggest that you put the battery on a tender, stabilizer in the gas tank and when the occasional day arrives take it out for a run.

Just starting it for 5 minutes or so once a week is probably not the way to go because the engine doesn't get hot enough to evaporated the condensation that can accumulate. It can even add to the problem of condensation.

The engine needs to get to operating temperature to dispell the condensation and just letting it idle won't do the trick.

This is JMHO. I'm sure the pros here can give you the skinny on what is truly proper.

Ride Safe.

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  #3  
Old 15th December 2004
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My bike is in a non-heated garage and for years I've done it the way you're talking about and have never had any problems other than the spark plugs get a little dirty. No biggy I just clean them up and put them back in. Don't see any reason why I can't do the same with the sporty as I've done with my previous bikes.
I did take a chilly ride around the block today (30F temps) since there's no snow on the ground. I usually put a little of that fuel fresh stuff in the tank too.
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  #4  
Old 15th December 2004
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To the forum x750rider! Back in the ole NY days, did same thing but just ran it longer and the occasional ride didn't hurt either
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  #5  
Old 15th December 2004
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I've been thinkin the same. here in the Northwest it rarely snows- so I have been doing some short (wet) rides on the weekends. Enjoy
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Old 15th December 2004
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Yeah, years ago, way back when, we stored our bikes the same way but times are changing. The problem is that today's gas formulas will begin to gum things up in about three weeks. I'd be sure to keep the tank full and add some kind of stabilizer. Running it once or twice a week isn't a bad idea in any case. Just be sure to bring it up to operating temp if you can't ride it.
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Old 15th December 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x750rider
I live in Virginia where the winters can get harsh but at the same time you might have a 45-55 degree day thats good enough to get a little saddle time in. So my question is this:I keep my 2004 1200c covered in a shed w/no heat but is there any reason(sane) that I just coundn't start my bike at least once a week and bring it to operating temp. for say 5 mins?
X750rider,
I have a differing opinion!
If your bike is kept in any non heated shelter (especially a metal shed) that flutuates in temperature from below freezing to above freezing you will run the risk of your bike sweating. It is best not to "drape" cover it, but if you must, only use a couple old bed sheets, to keep the dust off and air in. Definitely, do not use a rain cover. The metal must breath to stay dry.
I'm of the opinion that starting cold bikes and running them for short periods to "keep them oiled" is a grave mistake. If your going to take a 1/2 hour or more ride, that's a different story. A short run cold engine can become full of moisture. Running it for 15 min., or just operating temps is not IMHO enough to dry it out sufficiently!

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Last edited by collinsb; 15th December 2004 at 04:10..
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  #8  
Old 15th December 2004
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My Harley dealer told me that unless the engine is running at a constant speed of at least 3,000 rpm's, that the battery is actually being drained. In other words, even if you start your bike every few weeks, you're actually chipping away at your battery every single time you do it. You'll need to put a battery tender on it, if you plan on actually being able to start and ride the bike when the feeling hits.
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Old 15th December 2004
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I have to agree with Greg and Billy on the two issues they each raised.

My dealer recommend not to start the bike up unless I plan on running it for an hour or so. As soon as you start the bike water vapor is going to get sucked into the crank case and mix with the oil. Unless you get it hot enough to vaporize (dealer said that would take about an hour) the water will condense and accumulate in the bearings. He said that it wouldn't cause any immediate problems but could easily make a difference whether you get beyond 100K miles or not.

The cover isn't a good idea in the cold because the little bit of moisture in the air will come in and condense on the bike everytime you open the door to the shed. With the cover on the bike it will be less able to evaporate back off. My dealer actually recommended that anyone keeping their bike in a cold garage spray down all the exposed metal surfaces with WD40 or Mazola cooking spray to prevent water vapror from condensing on the surfaces.

Gary
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  #10  
Old 15th December 2004
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"My dealer actually recommended that anyone keeping their bike in a cold garage spray down all the exposed metal surfaces with WD40 or Mazola cooking spray to prevent water vapror from condensing on the surfaces."


Have you ever tried that!? Sounds good in theory, but boy could that get messy.
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