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Thread: Winter storage

  1. #1

    Winter storage

    Hello,

    I'm wondering what the general consensus is on storing a 2015 RT in an unheated storage unit for the winter.( I'm in Gunnison CO which has the distinction of being the coldest place in the nation at times.) This past winter I stored it in a garage with a trickle charger with no ill effects but I wouldn't have electricity in the storage unit.
    Thanks.

  2. #2

    What I would do . . .

    I would remove the battery and store it where you live. You could put it on a trickle charger a couple of times over the winter to top it off.

    As for the engine, I would put in some fresh oil, then drive it an hour to slosh the oil around everywhere. That way you would optimal levels of anti corrosion additives and all moisture should be forced out.

    Then I might also consider removing the plugs and spraying in some some or your usual motor oil (not WD 40, LPS, or anything lightweight) directly so that the bottoms of the cyclinders had about 1/2" of residual oil lying there (where rust is most likely.) Then screw the plugs in a few threads, only. When you start in the Spring you would have to remove the plugs and make sure everything is spinning OK before reinstalling the plugs (avoid hydraulic lock.)

    I would make sure the gas tank was filled with non-alcohol gas.

    Of course, it might do just fine with none of the above. Chain saws and lawnmowers seem to do just fine, don't they? I think they have chromed cylinders, however. Maybe motorcycle manufacturers similarly harden their motos?? I don't know. I think most motorcycle owners just park them and forget them. As for me, living in Portland, Oregon, with expected low temps around 20F (occasionally) and lots of rain, I just plan on riding my bike every two weeks to drive the demons out. I don't use a battery tender or anything--I just ride periodically, because it is easier to do than "pickling" the motor.

    Interesting video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9XnycHKIu0
    -----------------------------------------
    You might also read the following regarding storage of horizontally opposed aircraft engines (similar issues as have the R12 bikes):

    https://www.cessnaflyer.org/maintena...servation.html
    Last edited by jkjohnson; 10-29-2019 at 03:52 AM.

  3. #3
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jolev55 View Post
    Hello,

    I'm wondering what the general consensus is on storing a 2015 RT in an unheated storage unit for the winter.( I'm in Gunnison CO which has the distinction of being the coldest place in the nation at times.) This past winter I stored it in a garage with a trickle charger with no ill effects but I wouldn't have electricity in the storage unit.
    Thanks.
    Without power it might be best to keep the battery at your house.
    Our bikes can sit for 5 months in a unheated garage in winter and about the only thing I do is add stabil to the gas and fill the tank with non ethanol gas.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  4. #4
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    My bike are stored in an unheated garage with pretty widely varying temperatures, it's not uncommon for us to have temperatures 5 to 20 below zero then a few weeks later rain, these swings tend to create quite a bit of condensation. I do pretty much as recommended by the other folks here, the battery comes in the house for periodic charging, tank filled with non-ethanol gasoline and a rich mixture of Sta-bil gas additive, a through washing, waxing, cover chrome bits with vaseline, fill tires with correct air pressure and cover. One of my bikes, new to me this year, is a wet head, I've not tested the antifreeze but have assumed the glycol mixture is appropriate for up to minus 20 or so.

    In the spring if we've had a winter where there have been several warming events, and I'm concerned about the possibility of too much condensation, I'll change all engine, gearbox and final drive oil first thing in the spring. This varies from season to season, if we experience only one or so days no big deal, if however we experience several days and the water is running down over most everything, then I'll change fluids in spring.

    For the most part, non riding season here for me is from early November to end of March, 6 months.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

  5. #5
    Registered User cap's Avatar
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    rodents

    Quote Originally Posted by jolev55 View Post
    ... storing a 2015 RT in an unheated storage unit for the winter....
    I live in CO too. I leave my bikes connected to a "smart" charger all the time. I think the advice to remove the battery is good. I have never had any other concerns about the temps over the winter -- I usually change the oil in the spring rather than the fall because I want to start the riding season with fresh oil.

    However, I have had a consistent winter challenge: rodents. They will climb all over the bike and wreak havoc. I have found nests under seats, in the air filter, and other nooks. They chew up upholstery and sometimes the wiring. They pee and poop everywhere and smell bad. Here is what I recommend: First, buy some poison bait and leave it out near the bike. I have pets that I don't want poisoned, so I buy the bait that fits into a plastic housing that mice can access via a small opening. Second, remove the seat(s) and put them somewhere out of rodent reach. Likewise with anything else you don't want chewed up. I lost a tool roll one winter. Finally, at a farm and ranch store, you can buy some scented packets of rodent repellant. I put a few in the far rear of the tail cone, and another 1-2 in the airhorn opening to the airbox. The scent packets I use are lavender, and I have no real reason to believe that they deter rodents, but at least for the airhorn they provide a physical block to entering the airbox.

    Since applying these precautions, my winter rodent-damage has been greatly curtailed.

    Good luck, Cap

  6. #6
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    All the above sounds good. Donít forget to plug exhaust openings as rodents and insects will nest in there or deposit egg clusters. I wouldnít spray regular motor oil into cylinders; it just adds to coking and plug fouling when the bike is fired in spring. A better option IMHO is fogging oil: https://www.goldeagle.com/tips-tools...-fogging-oils/

    I donít do the intake method they recommend, but do use the oil on bikes I wonít be pulling out for winter rides.

    Best,
    DeVern
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST ó 1984 R80 G/S-PD ó 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C ó 2010 K1300GT ó 2018 R1200GS
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  7. #7
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Jolev:

    I've stored boxers in unheated garages for 30 years; no issues. I would pull the battery out and put it on a maintainer.
    Rinty

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cap View Post
    I live in CO too. I leave my bikes connected to a "smart" charger all the time. I think the advice to remove the battery is good. I have never had any other concerns about the temps over the winter -- I usually change the oil in the spring rather than the fall because I want to start the riding season with fresh oil.

    However, I have had a consistent winter challenge: rodents. They will climb all over the bike and wreak havoc. I have found nests under seats, in the air filter, and other nooks. They chew up upholstery and sometimes the wiring. They pee and poop everywhere and smell bad. Here is what I recommend: First, buy some poison bait and leave it out near the bike. I have pets that I don't want poisoned, so I buy the bait that fits into a plastic housing that mice can access via a small opening. Second, remove the seat(s) and put them somewhere out of rodent reach. Likewise with anything else you don't want chewed up. I lost a tool roll one winter. Finally, at a farm and ranch store, you can buy some scented packets of rodent repellant. I put a few in the far rear of the tail cone, and another 1-2 in the airhorn opening to the airbox. The scent packets I use are lavender, and I have no real reason to believe that they deter rodents, but at least for the airhorn they provide a physical block to entering the airbox.

    Since applying these precautions, my winter rodent-damage has been greatly curtailed.

    Good luck, Cap
    Dryer sheets work too. two sheets per bike.

  9. #9
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    As long as the battery is charged you could leave it in the motorcycle, but disconnect it to prevent and parasitic draw. Batteries, as long as they are charged store well in cold, better than warmer temps. Fill the tank with pure gasoline, no ethanol. I would make sure the battery is charged before trying to start it in the spring.
    As far as pests, you are on your own! Mothballs or dryer sheets are common, rags in the exhaust, whatever floats your boat. I never have trouble with pests, but I live in the city and there is no food in the shop. In 30 years I have never found evidence of mice. I really don't winterize my motorcycles as I might go for a ride anytime, as long as the roads are clear.
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

  10. #10
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    In the off-seasons, Iíve switched from believing in maintenance chargers for AGM motorcycle batteries, to believing I should fully charge the battery and then disconnect it. Specifically, that was the advice given to me by Odyssey. Even though my 2017 doesnít have an Odyssey battery Iím going to take that approach this year. Then Iíll fill the tank, inflate the tires, and let it snooze.

  11. #11
    skibum69 skibum69's Avatar
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  12. #12
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger 04 rt View Post
    Specifically, that was the advice given to me by Odyssey...
    Roger:

    Could you elaborate on this? I've had good experience continuously using a maintainer on a solid state battery i.e. 10 years of life, and it was still going strong when I retired it.
    Rinty

  13. #13
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    Fuel Stabalizer

    I live in Tennessee and don't have this issue. I ride all year ☺️.

    I used to live in Minnesota. In addition to what folks said above. I used to add the appropriate amount of fuel stabilizer in my last tank fill up and let it run awhile to get it circulated.

  14. #14
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rinty View Post
    Roger:

    Could you elaborate on this? I've had good experience continuously using a maintainer on a solid state battery i.e. 10 years of life, and it was still going strong when I retired it.
    Sure but since you get 10 years out of a battery, I’d stick with what you’re doing.

    I’ve been using AGM batteries and for a decade too. I’ve called on Odyssey a couple times for advice on how to desulfate their PC680 batteries which can be damaged by maintenance charging them at a too low voltage. During the course of those discussions I asked about winter storage. Because their batteries’ rates of internal discharge are so low—and also because their batteries are designed for dual use (starting and deep discharge)—rather than risk undercharging them, they recommended a full charge on an approved charger and then disconnecting the battery for 6 month storage. Upon return, full charge again.

    Almost a month ago, I followed Odyssey’s procedure for storage. It’s voltage is still over 13V.

    I don’t have a lot information on other AGM batteries but know that all require a higher charging voltage.

  15. #15
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    A battery works off of chemical reaction, slow down the reaction and the battery will last longer. A friend of mine takes his batteries out of his snowmobiles, cleans, charges, bags them puts them in the freezer for the summer. He will get several years out of a battery where other guys get 2-3 years.

    When I had a boat I would charge the battery, disconnect it, and leave it in the boat, parked out side with a tarp over it. In the spring I would put the maintainer on it for a few hours before I got it ready for the season. I had the boat for five years and the original battery was in it when I sold it.

    Cold doesn't kill batteries, neglect does. A charged battery will not freeze, if it does, it was discharged or in bad shape anyway.
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

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