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Extended Bike Storage


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*Extended Bike Storage

Every year many people just come in from riding, park their bike and walk away. They return in four or five months and wonder why their bike won't run. If you want that bike to work for you, you've got to take care of it. Let's take a look at how to do that.

For starters
Gas gets stale, so you must put in fuel stabilizer and run the engine long enough to get it completely through the carbs. Then, either fill up the gas tank to full ( To the bottom of the filler neck ) with gas that has no Alcohol ( Oxygenated ) in it, and has the proper mix of fuel stabilizer in it. Or drain all of the gas out of the tank and spray some gas soluble oil on the inside of the tank to keep it from rusting. The choice is up to you. Either way is OK.

Drain all the gas out of the carbs. Most carbs have a drain screw on the bottom of the carb.

Take the battery out and, if necessary, add distilled water to it and clean off the outside and also the battery box with a mixture of baking soda and water. Then put the battery on a trickle charger ( No more than one AMP ) Charge it till it is fully charged. Do this at least once a month, till you start riding again.

The Maximum - Add The Following
Wash and wax your Motorcycle.

Change the engine oil and oil filter.

Change ALL other oils and fluids.

Take out all the spark plugs and put about a tablespoon of engine oil down each spark plug hole. Now, before putting the spark plugs back in, turn the engine over several times to distribute the oil around the cylinder. Be sure and ground the spark plug wires when you do this. This is to protect the ignition system. Now reinstall the spark plugs.

Use a breathable motorcycle cover to keep dust and moisture out. Plastic tarps that don't breath trap moisture in, causing rust.

Something More
I like to put some type of water displacing, penetrating oil in each cylinder to dry it out, before I put in the engine oil. Combustion makes a lot of water, and some of it always seems to get into the piston ring area.
I like to use some kind of Armor All type preservative on all plastic and rubber parts.

If you change your brake or clutch fluid, use the type recommended for your system, Dot 3, 4, or 5. Which one ? It's in your Shop Manual.

It costs a bit more, but you can get a trickle charger that will shut off automatically when the battery is fully charged and start up again when it's charge goes down. You can leave it connected and on all the time.
Aluminum does corrode so an application of spray wax or the like, to all surfaces of the engine, wouldn't hurt.
Keep the bike in a dry, heated garage, if possible.
Once a month or so, turn the engine over a couple of rotations without starting it to keep things loose and lubed !
Keep it in the dark... sunlight through a window can fade paint and dry out rubber etc.

Here's the short term storage suggestions.
Short Term Winter Storage - Harley Davidson Community