From “The Educator”
Continuing with the theme from the October meeting, getting your bike ready for winter storage. We discussed putting Sta-Bil in your gas tank, starting right now, so it will get into all the lines and because we don’t know how often we will ride in the next couple of months, the bike could be sitting for a while unused. We also talked about pulling your battery and making sure that every cell is filled to the top level line, using distilled water only. We touched about charging your battery, so I contacted the makers of the Battery Tender Plus and Junior, to get their advice for the winter ahead. They said that using either of their chargers, you can leave the charger on at all times if you want to. The only caution is that, most never check the battery again for a long period of time, and if something does go wrong with the charger or battery, you won’t know it. They suggest that every so often, you feel the battery. It should not be hot to the touch. And you should check the fluid level. You can do short term charging if you want. That would be to connect the charger for a day at a time, once every couple of weeks or once a month. The longer the time in between, the longer you will need to leave on the charger. The battery will with no load on it deplete its charge naturally. If hooked up to the bike, there are circuits that draw power, even if very little, like the clock and memory circuits in the radio, etc. they will add to the depletion rate, so charging will need to be done more often. The next major item for the winterizing process is the oil. Here there are two common schools of thought. One is, do nothing now. In the spring, change your oil and filter. Start the new season with fresh oil. The second, Near the end of your riding season, change the oil and filter. This school thinks that while you are running your bike, gasses and moisture enter the oil and if left there will harm seals and gaskets as well as effecting the operation of the oil itself. If you have ever smelled old oil from your engine, well it is potent. By putting in this new oil for the winter storage, if you should ever want to ride the bike on a great winter day, you can. Just start it and go. Once or twice will not effect the new oil that much and it will still be right for the beginning of the new riding season. You Choose. Next item are the tires. If you will be leaving a tire on the ground under weight of the bike, then I suggest putting in the maximum air pressure as stated for a fully loaded Goldwing. I wouldn’t go much beyond that, the idea here is to keep the tires from developing a flat spot where the tire was on the ground. If you leave the bike on the center stand and the rear tire is off the ground, don’t worry about it. You can also block up, under the front of the engine to lift the front tire off the ground if you really want to. But when the bike is on the center stand, there really isn’t that much weight on the front tire. Gas, Battery, Oil, and Tires are the basics, after that we get into those things that are optional. Cleaning and waxing/polishing your bike. The longer the bugs remain on the finish, the harder they will be to get off on the other side of winter. In addition, some coating on the finish will keep the elements, moisture and salt, from ruining the finish. Using a bike cover is a popular idea to help keep the bike in good condition. Other ideas, more involved. Some pull the spark plugs and put a little light weight oil in the cylinders, then turn the engine over a couple of times to coat the walls of the cylinders, then put back the spark plugs. This is to keep the walls from rusting or pitting. Necessary, ?. Another option, some drain the carbs, by removing the screw at the bottom of the carb, and then reinstalling it. This takes all the gas out of the carbs and lines leading to the carbs. Necessary, ?. Last but not least, inspect some of the components on your bike that due to wear would need to be replaced at the beginning of the new riding season. Tires, brake pads, foot peg rubber, shifter rubber, headset cords, helmets, gloves, windshield, just a few items that you would be looking for at the winter motorcycle show at O’Hare Expo/Rosemont in January. I know we usually wait for Wing Ding, but in the off season sometimes you can find a great deal at the show.
David and Kathy Bierman