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Short Term Winter Storage


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One of our members (Joesnuffy) asked about short term winter storage and I thought it may be helpfully to post the reply here also.

His question was this...

What are the parameters for doing a winter storage? Meaning since I live in the south my riding will never really cease just taper way off. Meaning, if I ride it once a week should I winterize it? Once a month? It won't ever be "up on blocks" but will probably not be ridden nearly as much as during the warmer months.

As a reply...

I would say once a week, don't worry about it, once a month, keep the tank topped up to avoid condensation and corrosion and a battery tender on it. Less than once a month, it's really not needed to "winterize" it but wouldn't hurt it at all if it will be dormant for long periods of time. Fuel stabilizer added to the tank wouldn't hurt it either.

One thought is that if a battery tender is used on a regular basis for extended times , the plates in the battery can sulfate because of the lack of discharge and recharge in a sizable amount so if you aren't into running it over the winter (extended periods) with a fan on it for cooling the engine, at least discharge the battery with the lights somewhat before reconnecting the battery tender.
If you do run it over the winter, It will charge with the idle speed higher than a normal idle (about 1200-1400) and not at the regular idle speed. Idling at normal idle speed will discharge the battery because of the draw of the lights and not enough output at idle from the charging system.

If you run the engine over the winter, it's advisable to attain full operating temps so any condensation in the crankcase will be dissipated.

When the plates sulfate from non use, the only way of removing the sulfate is to trickle charge using a small battery charger of not more than 10 amps (not battery tender) for a period to get the acid to bubble and it will sound like an alka seltzer if you listed closely to the battery. The bubbling removes the sulfate and will return the battery to normal capacity in a short period.

NEVER fast charge a battery, slow charge it only with a trickle charger or you will warp the plates rendering the battery useless.
Trickle chargers (not battery tenders) are not a good source of battery maintenance over the winter as they do not have a tapering charge that goes low enough as not to boil a battery away. You can however use them if they are monitored for short periods once in a while.

Here's the long term storage suggestions.

Extended Bike Storage - Harley Davidson Community
Never mind, G. The transmission on my truck took a crap so it looks like I'll be on two wheels pretty regularly for awhile. Gonna be chilly from time to time!!