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Thread: Long term storage- Motorcycles.

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    Corroded spit_fire's Avatar
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    Post Long term storage- Motorcycles.

    Hey guys,
    I was just browsing through most threads and was quite surprised to find no threads on this topic. Since I'm planning to leave India soon for educational purposes (2-3yrs), I thought i could use some Info on long term storage. Well, here's some info i found on Guide To Custom Choppers. Tips, Reviews, History, Gear, And More. . Please feel free to add any points missed out..

    Keep in mind that these tips are meant mainly for not-so-long storage. Here are 7 important tips to keep in mind.

    Motorcyle Storage Tip #1- Fuel: The best and most logical place to begin your storage preparations for your bike is with the fuel system. Because unleaded gasoline has a short shelf life of only three to four week before deterioration begins, the fuel must be stabilized. Consider this: unstabilized gasoline oxidizes and turns to a substance that is pretty much like varnish after a short period. Some folks think that draining the gas tank and float bowl is the best way to go to prevent sludge build up. In reality, it is all but impossible to completely drain the fuel from the carburetor jets and small lines. For this reason, fuel stabilization is a much better method to use. You can buy any reliable brand of fuel stabilizer and add the recommended amount to a full tank of gas. Run the engine for 15 minutes or more to get the stabilized fuel into all the parts throughout the engine and fuel system.

    Motorcycle Storage Tip #2- Oil: Next, while the engine is still warm, change the oil to remove sludge that might deteriorate during storage. When you are ready to get up and riding again, you'll have fresh oil and not have to worry about this important maintenance step at that time. Of course, you should always use top-quality oil and you might consider using synthetic oil since this will last longer. Let the engine run for a short time to ensure that lubricant is distributed throughout the engine.

    Motorcycle Storage Tip #3- Brake Fluid: If you haven't changed your brake fluid recently, this is a good time to take care of that. Dirty brake fluid can contribute to corrosion and cause the hydraulics to deteriorate. New brake fluid is light amber; if your fluid is dark or clouded, you definitely need to change the fluid by thoroughly flushing the system and filling with new brake fluid.

    Motorcycle Storage Tip #4- Battery: For a long battery life, it is important to keep the battery charged if you are using the common lead-acid battery. If your bike will be stored where extreme temperatures are possible, you will need to remove the battery from the motorcycle and store it in a dry place that will not reach below freezing temperatures. Do not place the battery on concrete; instead, store it on a work bench or other raised surface. You can obtain specialized chargers that will not overcharge your battery.

    Motorcycle Storage Tip #5- Clean, Then Lubricate: Storing your motorcycle with road grime and grit is a sure way to start corrosion and cause damage. Before storing, clean your scoot thoroughly. Wash and dry it completely, then apply a coat of wax.

    Lubricate the chain properly. All the moving parts like cables, pivot points, and center and side stand should be lubricated thoroughly. A good protectant spray made specifically for metal can be sprayed on the frame and drive train to prevent rust and potential pitting. Also, do not use WD-40 on any motorcycle anywhere. Buy the right products for the job; your bike is worth it.

    Motorcycle Storage Tip #6- Tires: Check the air pressure in your tires and be sure they are inflated properly. For those who have an air compressor, you can deflate the tires and then refill them to get rid of any moisture that may have condensed inside the tire. It's best to get both tires off the ground so they do not have any load on them. Bottle jack lifts have failed under long use, so be careful about the method you choose to use for lifting the load from the tires.

    Motorcycle Storage Tip #7- Cover: The last step is to cover your motorcycle for storage. Use a cover that allows air to pass in and out so that moisture will not condense and become trapped under the covering. Plastic tarps are famous for allowing condensation to occur. If you are storing your bike in a place that creatures could possibly get into the storage area, cover your exhaust ends with plastic bags to prevent anything from deciding that your pipes look like a good hiding spot.

    Regards,
    Tony
    incipient and petrolhead_chn like this.

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    i would like to add that kindly put vaseline on all rubber washers, mounts etc, to keep them soft and spongy.

    Also vaseline acts like a strong protector ( yes it will attract dust, but that can be easily washed off when you bring your bike outta storage )

    - Im not in favour of changing oil before you put the bike in for storage ( unless its for 1-6 months)

    - If storage period is more than 6 months, better to remove spark plug, and pour about 50 ml of oil in the cylinder head. A few kicks after that, will ensure that the cylinder lining is coated with oil, and no scope of any rusting at all.

    - A lil oil in the exhaust pipe will also do the same. The exterior can be coated with vaseline or any other suitable protection agent.

    - Pouches of silica gel in various parts of the bike, especially hung from the fuel cap and suspended in the tank, will help control moisture in and around the bike.

    - Also rather than parking the bike in one corner, better to find a elevated spot, and if possible park it atleast 6 inches higher ( you can make a platform using bricks and a suitable board as a base ). This will control dust, moisture in and around the bike.

    - Covers are essential. Ideal way is a clear plastic cover to control moisture, then a opaque one to control light as well as add a layer of protection to protect the paint and the bike. A soft desi quilt in between would help protect the bike if stored in a garage or place where there is movement. But it has to be dry and kept dry.

    - all bulb points should be opened and sprayed with WD-40/zorrick or any other alternative spray that will keep the holders and the bulb bases from rusting.

    - The tyres can be rubbed with tube powder to keep em soft. But generally any tyres in storage for more than 3 years ( after being used once), should be changed.

    Ill add more if i remember...
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    frm where one can get fuel stabilisers???

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    Rusted RanjithMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spit_fire View Post
    Motorcycle Storage Tip #2- Oil: Next, while the engine is still warm, change the oil to remove sludge that might deteriorate during storage. When you are ready to get up and riding again, you'll have fresh oil and not have to worry about this important maintenance step at that time. Of course, you should always use top-quality oil and you might consider using synthetic oil since this will last longer. Let the engine run for a short time to ensure that lubricant is distributed throughout the engine.
    I have a doubt here...right now ive done over 1k km on my engine oil...next week ill leave for Riyadh and be back only after 2 months.
    Should i change the oil to a new one before leaving?ive read tht once the oil is opened frm the container then it can start getting spoiled ?tht means ill have to do my next oil change earlier right?

    and for 2 months storage do i have to follow all the steps?

    thank you
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    Corroded spit_fire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anmol_1990 View Post
    frm where one can get fuel stabilisers???
    you can find them in most petrol bunks... here in chennai most of em have it...

    Quote Originally Posted by RanjithMN View Post
    I have a doubt here...right now ive done over 1k km on my engine oil...next week ill leave for Riyadh and be back only after 2 months.
    Should i change the oil to a new one before leaving?ive read tht once the oil is opened frm the container then it can start getting spoiled ?tht means ill have to do my next oil change earlier right?

    and for 2 months storage do i have to follow all the steps?

    thank you
    well, wouldn't recommend following all the above steps for a 2 month storage. Make sure you clean the bike properly so that the dirt doesn't attach to the paint. Put the bike on center-stand to avoid load on the tyres. And remove the battery and keep it aside.
    apart from the above, make sure the bike is in a somewhat dry place. And the most important of all, make sure it's safe. You don't want to come back and find your bike missing after you've worked ur ass trying to maintain it..

    tc..
    tony

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    Corroded spit_fire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd666 View Post

    - If storage period is more than 6 months, better to remove spark plug, and pour about 50 ml of oil in the cylinder head. A few kicks after that, will ensure that the cylinder lining is coated with oil, and no scope of any rusting at all.
    Dude, plz explain tht part a bit in detail. I read about it in the manual as well but didn't really understand. would appreciate.. thanx..

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    ^^ the inner cylinder lining is cast iron.. So what happens over a period of time is that it tends to get rusted if not used. When the engine is in use, the oil layer and the constant fuel burning etc, do not allow for any rusting to take place at all. But when the engine is lying idle, the inner lining gets susceptible to rust. So a way to prevent that is to remove spark plug, pour about 50 ml of oil in the cylinder, and kick the bike a few times, and then put the spark plug back. this will cause the oil to spread out on the inner lining, and will reduce the chances of rusting ( not prevent fully ).

    If the bike is kicked once every few weeks, then the chances of rusting go down further.


    Edit - by kicking i obviously do not mean that you vent your frustration out on it, and physically assault the engine in places, but by cranking the kick of the engine!! lol!


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    Please name any (some ) good fuel stabilizers.

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    Default Regarding bike maintainence if not used for a year.

    Hi,

    I own 16 months old Apache RTR 180. I will be travelling out of the country for a year so won't be using my bike at all. What should be done so that the bike is maintained?

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