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To Winterize or NOT to Winterize?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by robindean, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. lhaolpa

    lhaolpa XS400 Junkie

    The temperature itself is not the problem,but the fact that it's going to be setting for several months without being started with gas in the tank and carbs.I would at least drain the carbs before the long sleep,and plug in a battery maintainer to keep the battery from being ruined. lha
  2. thlillyr

    thlillyr XS400 Addict

    Rat bastered I live in pocatello as well. I say lets go riding but I trying to replace my front forks first. After that we should cruise up scout mountain or something cool.
  3. Lana

    Lana XS400 Member

    Hey 63 coupe, since you also live up here in Canada, I'm about 40 mins from you, I'd like to hear how you winterize your bike plz. I'm about to get a storage shed, and want to know the best way for our winters. I will not be riding it, and plan to bring the battery inside. Have some stabilizer ready for it, and a full tank. ty
  4. Scorpio1963

    Scorpio1963 XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    You want to ride your bike during winter time in Chicago,good luck:laughing:
  5. robindean

    robindean XS400 Addict

    @Scorpio1963 ... Eat this:

    As for winterization, I started this thread in 2011 and have since learned a good many things. With concern for O and X ring chains, it's likely good advice to NOT use kerosene to clean them. I'll probably add photos and alterations to the page this year.

    Anyhow ... steps to winterize:

  6. I have a 15 year old detached, unheated, dry, double car garage with a concrete floor. I don't get outrageously fussy when storing any of my stuff but here is basically what I do with my bikes;

    Change the oil and filter. Make sure the gas tank is full to reduce chances of condensation. Add stabilizer and run the engine long enough to get it into the carbs. Remove the battery and sit it on the workbench, if it is a good battery and fully charged the cold should not hurt it. Put the bike back in the corner of the garage on the center stand, cover it with a breathable cover, give it a pat on the seat, walk away. If I think of it, sometime during February I will throw the trickle charger on the battery for a day, more for my peace of mind than anything else. Come Spring I take off the cover, put the battery in, fire it up and go for a ride, after checking over the obvious, lights, brakes, etc. of course.

    I have been using this method for almost 40 years on bikes, Corvettes, lawn tractors, rototillers, and I even "Summerize" my snowblower in a similar fashion. I have never had any problems in the Spring. Avoid the temptation to start it up and "Warm it up". Unless you are planning to take it out for a fairly long ride you will not get it hot enough to do it anything but harm. Just remember that your biggest enemy is not the cold but moisture, and that is often caused by extreme temperature swings. Years ago I used to store my Corvette in an old barn where you could see daylight between the boards. It was drafty as Hell but the air movement kept it dry.
  7. Lou Ranger

    Lou Ranger Former xs400 Luddite Top Contributor

    Firstly, it is much too early in the riding season to be thinking of such things, however, since you brought it up, I followed 63 Coupe's method for the past 3 W-words and it seems to have worked without any problems.

    I am a bit nervous about running the old gas through it though, so in the spring I have siphoned out as much gas as possible and replaced it with fresh SHELL 91 before initial start up. I dump the ~ 11 litres of old gas into a nearly full tank in my car and it goes away nicely.

    The first start in spring is never the easiest, but I found that setting the petcock on PRI pretty much solves that. OliverB is right about the CV carbs.

    I put the battery in the cold room along with several others, and hook each to the tender for a day every month or so.

    I also spray a bit of WD40 on any black frame parts where I have noticed any rust because by the time I get around to putting it away for winter it is too cold to touch them up with Rustoleum. That's for the first nice warm day in the spring.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  8. robindean

    robindean XS400 Addict

    The season ain't over until the snow gets salted!
  9. 16VGTIDave

    16VGTIDave XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    ...and there is salt left on the road!
  10. jonjkim12

    jonjkim12 '77 XS360 Owner

    Hey guys,

    I'm in california, so i don't need to store my bike away for the winter (not to rub it in), but for those you do ride in the winter, do you find yourselves having to turn the throttle stop screw so it idles higher in the winter? my morning commute is something like 20 min, and it doesn't fully warm up when its cold in the morning (50-60), sometimes it idles so low itll just die.

    just curious if this is a thing, i haven't done it yet, but today was the first cold morning i've ridden this year, and i feel like i may need to raise the idle, at least in the morning and turn it back down in the afternoon for the ride home.

    any thoughts?
  11. robindean

    robindean XS400 Addict

    1) (probably not your favorite answer) ... be sure and give it at least 2-3 minutes at 1/2 choke.

    2) (more favorible but probably annoying answer) Eyeball your air filter, sync your carbs.

    3) (prediction) This could be a humidity/altitude thing. Idle up. 1200rpm is the spec.
  12. jonjkim12

    jonjkim12 '77 XS360 Owner

    hey robin,

    1. i'll give it a try tomorrow morning
    2. all those i've set already, pretty recently, and shes been riding beautifully since
    3. good point!, it was a little misty today, maybe some humidity built up.
  13. robindean

    robindean XS400 Addict

    Cool :)

    I failed to mention the 1/2 choke is only for the warm up LOL (not that you would ride that way hahaha)
  14. Lou Ranger

    Lou Ranger Former xs400 Luddite Top Contributor

    I noticed on cold days that if I pushed the enricher all the way in, it would sometimes stumble and stall. I could ensure it didn't do that by turning the throttle cable stop (on the right carb) a half turn to keep it idling at 1200.
    The problem was, when warned up, it would idle above 1200. Annoying.

    One day I put the stem of a little leaf in the stop's gap. This did the same as the half turn to keep it idling while I got helmet and gloves on. The moment I'd start off and open the throttle, the leaf stem would drop out and I could use the throttle if necessary until it was fully warm.
    Not exactly a high-tech solution, but no more fumbling with the screw with gloves on.
  15. robindean

    robindean XS400 Addict

    Lou's right (and has taught me a lot across years past).

    The Seca has three temps: cold, warmish, warm/hot. Warmish is where you can start riding with a bit of extra angst while in first to give it motion.

    Here's the thing. Adjust the idle while warm/hot. Then, thwart the issue accordingly through personal chemistry with the bike.

    - Choke 1/2 on, warm up in neutral for 2 minutes (summer), 3 minutes (winter).
    - Use a little extra throttle to get going for the first five minutes of actual riding. Idle will be slightly lower than you like.
    - Keep riding and take note that once going, idle is normal.

    Don't be afraid to reach 7k-9k rpms once she's fully warm/hot! I don't mean "all the time after every stop light", just two or three times in 1/2 hour of riding. That really kicks out the moisture and bakes the gaskets nicely.

    Here ya go ... (summer and mine was "modified")

  16. Lou Ranger

    Lou Ranger Former xs400 Luddite Top Contributor

    Thanks Robin. You summarized and described the processes better than I :thumbsup:
    And not everyone has an unlimited supply of leaf stems like I do :wink2:
  17. Scorpio1963

    Scorpio1963 XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    so if your bike hasn't been ran all year and theres no gas in the tank or carbs what about the rubber diaphrams,are they going to dry out and crack?
    #2 I hate the fact that we have a w season and how long it can be before it even warms up enough to start tinkering.No worries on me tinkering with it anymore.Im going to take it to a shop over time and let someone else see if it can get running again.

    Also California,no snow and no water either.:doh:You`ll be hauling water tanks on your bike from another state just to have something to drink or bathe in.
  18. jonjkim12

    jonjkim12 '77 XS360 Owner

    so i warmed up the bike this morning longer than i normally do (same cold weather as yesterday), but when used my choke it killed the engine, so i just warmed it up without it.

    i increased the idle a little as well, and it rode perfectly into work. it idled around 2k, but to be honest it sounds more right around there than where it was before 1.5k, i almost feel like my tacho is reading wrong. the other day the cable wiggled out and i had to reattach it but even before that i always felt like it gave me a higher reading than what it actually is.

    when she idles around 1.5k, its so quiet. and when i didn't warm up properly using the brake light would kill it.

    doesn't matter, it works i'm happy, i'll turn it down when its warmer in the afternoon. any cons in having a higher idle than 1.2k? damage?
  19. robindean

    robindean XS400 Addict

    I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you've got a good ear for how the motor should sound/feel at idle. Plus, heck ya if you don't need the choke, keep it off :cool:

    That said, PAY MIND to this youtube link. It's my own Seca 400, sold months ago. This is what between 11k-12k idle should sound like rhythmically. That's spec. 2k is high.

  20. Lou Ranger

    Lou Ranger Former xs400 Luddite Top Contributor

    Gas mileage? Condescending stares from the general public? Hoots of derision from expert tuners who happen to be in the crowd?

    If it's a dohc and it starts without any choke, it could be that the engine is perfect and the tach is off - I don't think it's a direct mechanical connection after all. Maybe you could find someone with an engine diagnostic machine who could give you an accurate rpm reading to compare to.

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