Author Topic: Overwintering and Storage  (Read 8750 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline SteveD CB500F

  • Global Moderator
  • Old Timer
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,555
  • Ride on the Steel Breeze...
    • TVAM
Overwintering and Storage
« on: September 06, 2005, 06:53:56 am »
I've seen a few threads on this subject, both here and on the old site, so now that winter is approaching (at least it is here in the Northern Hemisphere), I though that I would gather the accumulated knowledge of the membership on this subject:

1. Oil and Oil Filter.
You want to get rid of any acids in the oil before storage.  Drain it when hot,  refill with fresh oil and circulate the new oil with the kick start to flush the oil galleries and bearing surfaces. Do not run the engine to do this.

Since the engine breathes with temperature and barometric changes, humid air can enter the crankcase and condense on the internal walls during storage.  When water meets organic oil, amino acids form. 
When returning to service change the oil again.

2. Fuel Tank

Fill the tank to keep the humid air from entering the tank through the vent and rusting the internal walls.  If storage is for longer than 5-6 months, add a stabilizer (anti oxidant) so the fuel doesn't lose too much potency.

3. Carbs

Drain them.  The carbs are vented to atmosphere and fuel in the bowls will evaporate leaving a residue.  A squirt of WD-40 into the bowls should keep them fluid and deter corrosion.

4. Chrome

A squirt of WD40 wouldn't hurt, but a protective coating of wax would be easier to clean come Spring as it won't attract and hold dust.  While oil or wax on the head pipes will deter corrosion, this also may cause the exhaust chrome to blue if not thoroughly removed before they heat again during run operation.

5. Battery

Check electrolyte and use a battery tender.  Or, remove from bike and put in cold non-freezing storage.
There appears to be some confusion around whether it is safe to set your battery down on concrete. It appears that this is an "urban myth" based on old-design batteries that could discharge or fail if stood on concrete. Modern batteries should be fine.

6. Tires / Tyres

Ah, yes the rubber bits on the wheels...
Wax to keep from dry rot.  (I wonder what that blue stuff is that the manufacturer puts on them at the factory for storage?  It is water soluble, but keeps the rubber supple.)  Block the bike so there is no weight on the tires and deflate.
Another thought about tire preservation: Since most of us are "shop rats" of one form or another, if you store your bike in a garage where you have a workshop set up, try not to park the bike near any electric motors (air compressors, etc) since they can produce ozone, which degrades rubber.
For the CB550, the engine breather foam at the bottom of the airbox should be cleaned, dried and lightly oiled.  I don't remember if the 750 has something similar.

7. Other

Wax painted surfaces, Lube the chain, Grease all fittings.  Wouldn't hurt to lube the cables.
You're supposed to clean the bike before storage, as dust will wick any moisture onto the surface and hold it there. Use a cotton cover to help keep dust off, but at the same time allow air circulation. This, of course assumes the bike is stored in a covered, protected environment.
I've heard of some people finding a plastic bag that's bike enough to put the bike in and toss in a few bags of desiccant (moisture absorbent) to keep things dry. Info on "Vac-Bags" can be found here:

For those of us that run in-line fuel filters the spring is a good time to change them since they can trap water that might have formed in the fuel system over the winter.

Thanks to:

Bob Wessner
Chris Liston
« Last Edit: September 06, 2005, 08:57:37 am by SteveD CB500F »
SOHC4 Member #2393
2015 Tiger 800 XRT
1971 CB500K0 (US Model)

Offline SteveD CB500F

  • Global Moderator
  • Old Timer
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,555
  • Ride on the Steel Breeze...
    • TVAM
Re: Overwintering and Storage
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2006, 08:06:41 am »
Proteal said:

1. Jack the air pressure up in the tires alittle
2. Park the bike on carpet or something to prevent tires from flatspotting
3. Top off gas tank with good fuel and add Sta-Bil to insure the fuel doesnt turn to water over time
4. Run the bike to get the Sta-Bil into the fuel system , then turn the petcock off and run the carbs dry (or untill the bike dies).
5. Get yourself a battery tender, and plug the bike in. This will maintain the battery at 12volts, and insure a easy start-up in the spring.
6. You could wax your chrome to prevent rusitng, but I dont worry about it (not allot of chrome on my scoot..)
7. Start the bike once in awhile and get to operating temp. I try and take mine around the block atleast once a month, to get things lubed and moving..

I have been following this steps for years, and never had an issue...
SOHC4 Member #2393
2015 Tiger 800 XRT
1971 CB500K0 (US Model)