WhyBike Motorcycle Blog

Mailbag: Winterizing your Motorcycle

By James - 11/25/2005

Jarrod emailed me . . .

I am new to the motorcycle family and was wondering if during the winter just going out once a week or so and letting it run without riding would be ok, instead of winterizing it?

They say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and the same is true for storing your motorcycle. Spending some time at the end of your riding season will save you time and money when you are ready to ride again. While running your motorcycle periodically over the winter months will prevent clogging of the fuel system, it is the bare minimum you can do and may drain your battery. Everybody has a different way of doing it, but there are alternatives that will preserve your motorcycle over the winter months.

There are a few problems that motorcycles have when stored for an extended period. The first is that gasoline can break down and clog your fuel system. The best way to prevent this is by putting a fuel stabilizer in your tank and running the bike for a few miles. I have used products like ISO-HEET or Sea Foam in the past. They prevent the fuel from breaking down and restricting your fuel system from getting gas into the engine. The second advantage to these products is that they absorb moisture. Rust inside the tank is a major problem if you are storing your motorcycle, especially in cold weather. Moisture condenses out of the air in the tank and the alchohol in ISO-HEET will remove it. Some say to fill up your tank then add the stabilizer, some say to drain it. I don’t think it matters much, except you will need more stabilizer with a full tank than an empty one.

Washing and waxing your bike is an important step. You don’t want gunk sticking to your bike for 3 months, especially if the gunk has salts or acids commonly found in road-side dirt.

If you can, keep the battery above half charge. You will lose capacity if the battery stays at a low charge for an extended amount of time. A trickle charger can help with this.

Here are a collection of articles that outline in greater detail what you should do to store your bike for those months when you cannot ride:

From WhyBike.com:

From around the Web:

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Loud Pipes

By James - 11/15/2005

I came across NoiseOFF’s site about loud pipes and was amused by how outraegeous their site is.

“Our goal is to present the facts honestly and directly to the media. We leave it to the noise industry to hire public relations firms to spin the media. . .”

OK, start the “facts":

“Do not approach or attempt to reason with bikers. Most of them are belligerent. When possible, take down their license plate number and call the police. In communities where the police pull over bikers, often they find alcohol, drugs and sometimes weapons. In a few cases, bikers have outstanding warrants for their arrest.”

Actually, most motorcyclists are not beligerent, in fact most motorcyclists have quiet bikes, and the amount of drugs, alcohol and firearms on bikes is miniscule with the amout found in cars, but go on . . .

“If you see a motorcycle shop opening up in your community, get together with your neighbors and stage an organized protest. Make picket signs and send a media alert to all the newspaper and television news outlets so they can cover the event.”

Does it matter which kind of motorcycle shop is opening up? Does it matter that most motorcycle clubs raise money for their community? It seems to me the louder your bikes the more money they donate, but that is just an observance.

“There is a marketing mythology that loud thunderous motorcycles are a part of the American way of life. As flag waving patriots, it gives us the uniquely American right to stand out and express our rugged individualism. All of this smarmy American patriotism is championed by the Harley-Davidson Motor Company.”

I thought that getting poor gas milage was our patriotic right, and as belligerent rebelious bikers we are sticking it to the man . . .

“Inexperienced and aggressive bikers often cause accidents and fatalities on the road endangering you and your family.”

Yeah these are just the people who we want behind the wheel of a car. Does this statement have anything to do with noise?

I encourage all of you to join their forum and learn about how a belligerent, smarmy biker can clean up his act. If their message wasn’t so funny they might get something done.

Thanks to Uncaged Librarian for turning me on to this one.

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Mailbag: Brother-In-Law Stole my Motorcycle

By James - 11/3/2005

Chrystyna wrote to me about a situation that can’t end well no matter what.

I would like some information on how to contact/find out my rights in regards to a motorcycle/title which I bought in good faith from my brother in law, Was not running at the time, estimated value 5 grand, took to the shop, fully restored 48/68 SPCON Harley Panhead, value @ completion 15+ grand. Meanwhile bro in law used titla as collateral and was never returned title after his agreement was paid off. The other guy took the title to the bike shop, paid remaining balance and now has possesion of said motorcycle. ANY BODY HELP!
Can anybody help her out? All I could find out was general info about car titles.

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