my 1st winter with motorcycle

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by robfilms, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. robfilms

    robfilms Been here awhile

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    i am a returning rider.

    i live in the metro nyc area.

    i ride a kawasaki z750s.

    i store the bike inside my apartment building's standalone non-heated garage.

    i am hoping to ride throughout the winter, even if it is only to take the bike out on a "warmer" winter day to run errands or tool about.

    what preventative strategies should i employ to minimize any winter/cold weather headaches?

    what is the collective opinion on gasoline treatments (seafoam)?

    though the battery is 1yr old and has not been an issue, keep the battery on a tender/charger?

    i am such a noob that i don't even know what else to ask!

    any and all thoughts are appreciated.

    by the way, nearly 1200 miles in three months.

    :clap

    be well.

    rob
    #1
  2. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Battery tender won't hurt, but if your charging system is in good shape and you are riding the bike regularly, it's not strictly necessary. I don't use them on my bikes, which get ridden maybe once a week during the winter.

    I would definitely use a fuel stabilizer. In my experience, Stabil and Seafoam work equally well to stabilize fuel. Seafoam has made a noticeable difference in smoothing out slightly rough running on a bike that's been sitting for a while.

    Whatever you use, make sure it's run all the way through the fuel system.

    Also, if the bike sits for more than a few weeks without running, you should drain the carbs.
    #2
  3. Myfuture_yourdebt

    Myfuture_yourdebt Banned

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    To drain the carb you more likely can turn the petcock to it's OFF position with the bike running until it stops running.
    #3
  4. NHADV

    NHADV Been here awhile

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    Battery Tender and Stabil. The New England winter will zap that battery. Keep putting those miles on! If you don't have a heated jacket buy one and you should be all set.
    #4
  5. MrBob

    MrBob Certified Geezer

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    Heated grips will make your winter rides much nicer. Some people prefer heated gloves but I like the option of being able to choose different gloves.
    If you're making short runs you need to be aware of moisture build up in the oil. It's important to run the bike long enough to cook the moisture out of it but having the engine cool quickly when its shut off after a ride on a cold day can also promote moisture formation in the oil. This shows up as a whitish foam or white streaks in the oil. Cook it off by riding or change the oil. Of course, change to a lighter weight multi-viscosity oil.
    I've used SeaFoam and Stabil and find them both to be good products and I've been told that modern gasoline tends to break down after a few weeks.
    Not all batteries are compatible with the Battery Tender so make certain you're cool there. I do tend to periodically charge over the winter but YMMV. I keep my battery nice and warm in the house.
    Tire pressure will drop in cold weather and cold tires will provide less grip unless you can get them thoroughly warmed up.
    If you get too cold your reaction time will slow and your judgement will be questionable and you won't have as much fun.
    I ride all winter here in Colorado and did when I lived in Minnesota.
    #5
  6. robfilms

    robfilms Been here awhile

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    good replies-thank you one and all.

    i've never used stabil/seafoam.

    pour in a can when the gas tank is empty and then fill up the gas tank?

    i imagine then run the bike for more than a few miles to "mix" the stabil/seafoam with the gas?

    (is there a preference between stabil and seafoam? are they different or brand names of the same type of liquid?)

    since my z750s has fuel injection, is there anything i can do to keep the fuel jets clean?

    i'm not a guy who gets cold very fast.

    i know how to layer and my gear-most bought used on the flea market board!-all has various liners.

    that said, i am a true noob.

    i do not know how to create a lead off the battery to heat the grips or power a heated vest/jacket.

    any REALLY SIMPLE web videos that someone can recommend for creating an electric aux on my 2006 z750s?

    again, thanks in advance for any and all thoughts.

    be well.

    rob
    #6
  7. MrBob

    MrBob Certified Geezer

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    There's not much to wiring up heated grips. If you choose to do so, buy the grips of your choice (there's a thread on these) and study the directions. Find some Youtube videos of the installation. Go to your regional thread and ask for help. With all the materials in one place, it shouldn't take more than a few hours from start to finish.
    I use Hot Grips because I always have and they're simple and reliable, but that's just me. Also, the directions are really simple. It's a fun project.
    For certain, you'll be pulling the tank and seat and you'll need some ability to solder or crimp, or the ability to lure someone who can solder or crimp.
    I've used StaBil for decades for stabilizing fuel and I've used Seafoam for almost as long to keep things running smoothly, especially with fuel injection systems. Follow the directions and, yes, run it in before shutting down.
    If you do add more electrics you may find that you do need to periodically charge the battery.
    #7
  8. The Other Allan

    The Other Allan Been here awhile

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    On those warm days, keep in mind that the salt is still on the roads. Salt is slippery.
    #8
  9. mjydrafter

    mjydrafter evil boy for life

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    :d
    #9
  10. robfilms

    robfilms Been here awhile

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    i must say, i REALLY appreciate the thoughtful sharing of experience and ideas.

    when i started looking for a used bike, i was stunned to find sellers willing to come to my place show me their ride, let me ride it, then talk motorcycle and maintenance.

    sure these guys were "selling" and maybe because i'm an older guy just getting back into riding after 37 years i was able to create a non-threatening situation but they possessed a true generosity which i found welcoming and remarkable.

    i find myself wanting to ride to rid myself of that cynicism that occasionally clogs my brain, my heart and my soul.

    thanks for the winter tips.

    ymmv

    be well.

    rob
    #10
  11. kruzuki

    kruzuki Gear in the Machine

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    Although you intend to keep the bike rideable al winter, you never know what mother nature's going to throw at you; especially where you live.
    Your bike could end up not ridden at all if you have a bad winter and you'll be happy you did all the prep work.
    #11
  12. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    Make sure the bike is in good tune before lay up. If you're having any ignition or starting issues, get those squared away before lay up. Then keep the battery charged and the fuel from going bad and you're good. Don't over think it..it's not like you're storing the bike for years. I've never used Seafoam but do use Stabil and I usually add a bit of MMO (marvel mystery oil). Not much MMO. I put one squirt from a plews can into every tank of fuel. I think that translates to about an oz or two per squirt? in a 5 gal tank. I choose MMO more out of habit than science. Been using it since the 60's. I would also recommend dielectric grease in all your harness wiring plugs and connections including the HT coil and spark plug caps. Keeps the water out especially out east slushy road salt water.
    #12
  13. MrBob

    MrBob Certified Geezer

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    People want to have contact with one another and reduce the isolation that most of us feel. Motorcycles are a fine platform for doing so and a way for people to express their generosity which, I believe, is intrinsic to most of us.
    #13
  14. GoNOW

    GoNOW Long timer

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    In the shop I work at, the number one cause of problems is the bike sitting and the fuel going bad. Our rule of thumb is that after 3 months, the carbs will be plugged up and the bike won't idle. We rebuild the carbs and flush the fuel out of the fuel tank.
    The 3 month old fuel will still burn, shoot, 2 year old fuel will also still burn, but we don't trust it.

    With fuel injection, you come out easier. The fuel sitting in the fuel injectors and fuel lines is not exposed to moisture and don't tend to clog. On a FI bike that has been sitting for 2 years, toss in a new battery and it will often fire right up. We still flush out the old fuel to be on the safe side.

    We do see issues with moisture building up in the fuel tank and rusting out the fuel pump.

    I don't put Seafoam in the same category as Stabil. Stabil seems to do a better job of preserving the fuel. Seafoam does a good job of cleaning the fuel system.

    Here is my suggestion. If you are going to burn up a tank of fuel every 3 months or so, then don't do anything. You are good on a FI bike. A "tank" is not assuming a fuel tank. Fill it up only half way. As long as the bulk of the fuel in the tank is being replaced every 3 months, then you are good.
    #14
  15. silvergoose

    silvergoose Adventurer

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    Rob, along with the many fuel suggestions and such, I would suggest washing the bike after a ride. I like to wipe down the chrome parts (wheels and spokes) with a light oil, maybe some WD40 sprayed on to a rag. Wipe any of the bright areas it should cut down on any corrosive activities caused by the salts and such.

    Good Luck ride safe
    #15
  16. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    I ride year round and put around 30,000km on a Z750s a few years ago. Not the machine i would recommend but you use what you have. The biggest problem i see is the HP factor. You will need good soft rubber to keep that 100+ hooked up. A couple of lbs of air less might be helpful but it will affect handling. Frame sliders recommended at minimal and a set of engine guard/rollbars will save even more plastics. The salt can be washed and a good coating of green rust check between will keep most of the rusties off.
    I don't own a car and I use a KLR for winter duty. Lack of HP and knobbier lower pressure tires are my best defense. And it is a beater. It keeps the winter damage off my more valued equipment.
    Good luck.
    #16