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Not everyone is blessed with "year round" riding weather, so for those of you who are forced to store your beloved bike, here are some tips:

The following is from Greg in Wisconsin (brrrrrrr, it gets cold there):

  1. Change the oil and filter. Dirty oil will eventually drain from the bearings leaving contaminants behind that can lead to scoring on startup.

  2. Add a fuel conditioner to the fuel tank (per the instructions of course). Turn the fuel petcock off and run the bike until it stops. Open the petcock and start the bike again. This insures that the conditioned fuel is in the carburetors. Then top off the rest of the tank. This keeps condensation from forming on the sides of the tank which can cause the inside of the tank to rust.

  3. Remove the plugs and squirt some oil (just enough to coat the cylinder walls) into each of the cylinders. Put the plugs back in and just turn the engine over a couple of times (but don't start it) to get an even film of oil on the cylinder walls.

  4. Pull the battery out and store it indoors. It may need a charge in the spring anyway.

  5. Covers: If you cover your bike, cover it with a porous cover so moisture can escape. A plastic sheet will trap moisture under it and promote corrosion. The cover should be soft so it won't harm painted or plated surfaces.
Also, on the practice of starting the bike every few weeks or so--I've been told it does more harm than good. One, starting the bike will wipe away the oil film on the cylinder walls and second, idling the engine won't help charge the battery, it really takes highway miles to do that.

Of course if you ask 10 people how to store a bike for the winter you'll get 10 different answers, but this is what I've been able to fine out. Hope it helps.

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