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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For you cold-weather riders, how long do you let your bikes warm up on cold days? Do you have any tips or tricks?

This morning it was 27 degrees as I started my DL650. Tuesday morning, when I head out to go take my motorcycle driving test, it is forecast to be 28 degrees. I layered up well this morning, taking a test run to make sure I wouldn't be a popsickle during my test Tuesday, and felt pretty good upon my arrival at MVD (or DMV, for some elsewhere). Found out this morning I CAN ride in the cold. Stopped at Mickey-D's on the way back for a sausage mcmuffin breakfast (a whole new story for what happened inside that restaurant this morning, which is not for this forum. There truly are some ashholes in this world!)

ANYWAY, for Warm-Up, I like to let my bike idle until I get 3 bars on the temp gauge scale. I didn;t have time to let it go that high today, so I rode out of the neighborhood easy until getting to the highway. Even then, it was only at 2 bars, and didn;t reach 3 until about 2 miles later (I was baby-ing it).

What say you?
 

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Owners of light aircraft have been dealing with the issue of cold starts for a long time. Engines with aluminum cylinders and steel pistons have a differential rate of expansion with temperature. With aircraft engines, the general rule is that there is no real problem until the temps drop below about 20F. At that point, engine pre-heat is recommended before attempting to start the engine. So, for your 28F temps, that is not a consideration.

However, you might also be wondering if you have effective lubrication while the engine is cold, and warming up. And that might be a consideration if you are using older engine oils. But modern oils are capable of flowing well at lower temps. So, as long as you are using the types of oil recommended by Suzuki, you will be fine without some extended warm-up period. In fact, that procedure is generally discouraged because it wastes fuel among other things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I give it a minute or so, then take off. By the time I've cleared the residential area I live in, it will be up to temperature.
That's generally me, too. And Yes, to @LazyRs post, fluidity of the oil was a consideration. So I think I'll just give it a minute or so, then buzz off gently until she warms. 28F and lower is not unusual for us down here, but getting up early and riding in it is! Even with my winter riding gloves my fingers were pretty darn cold when I got there.
 
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First thing in the morning in winter: jacket on, helmet on, start bike, gloves on, go. Ride gently till it's up to temperature.
I only give it just enough idle time to get oil pressure up before riding off.
 

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Owners of light aircraft have been dealing with the issue of cold starts for a long time.
...
Aircraft use full throttle full power to take off so for them it's important to be fully warmed up before takeoff. That isn't normally the situation for bikes and cars.

..Tom
 

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For you cold-weather riders, how long do you let your bikes warm up on cold days? Do you have any tips or tricks?

...
What say you?
I routinely ride below freezing with 0⁰f -18⁰c being my normal low. These days my bike lives outside under a cover. I generally start the bike and go. Sitting there idling is counterproductive for the bike as it extends the length of time it takes to get to operating temperature There is not real reason to sit and idle. It does nothing good for the engine l, wastes gas and causes unnecessary emissions

Start the bike and go, although gently for the first 10 minutes or so.

This has worked well for me on 448,410 miles/ 721,648 km total riding on the three stroms I previously owned and my current strom.

..Tom
 

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Aircraft use full throttle full power to take off so for them it's important to be fully warmed up before takeoff.
Well, for most of the single engine piston aircraft that I have flown, the advice is: "Once you've done the magneto checks (around 2000 RPM), if the engine idles and goes to full power without faltering, you're good to go." They don't need to be fully warmed up.

Of course the relative advantage that these engines have is that they run about 30% overly rich on take-off, so there's a significant cooling effect from fuel evaporating instead of burning. By the time you lean out the mixture you're usually established either in a cruise climb or in the cruise itself and by then the engine is warm enough to sustain a little extra heat from the optimised mixture.
 

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I get on it, start it and ride it gently until I get it up to 3 bars.
I'm in the start it and ride camp. No excessive idling or long warm up.
Start the bike, strap the helmet, put the gloves on. Then ride off easy 'till it's up to temp.

Me four.

Same with my cars, just don't run them hard or anywhere near redline for the first few minutes until the engine is good and warm.
 

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I find my 650 has diminished power and throttle response till it is warm. I ride gingerly in any vehicle till the oil is up to temp, but there is no need to prolong the warm up with idling. That is what I have always heard.
 
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Aircraft use full throttle full power to take off so for them it's important to be fully warmed up before takeoff. That isn't normally the situation for bikes and cars.

..Tom
Also, aircraft, at least the one's I flew, used straight 40 weight oil during "cold" weather, 50 weight when it was over 60 degrees. Those oils did NOT flow well on start up so in colder weather we paid to have them "pre-heated" before running them.
On my motorcycles I start them then go put on my helmet and gloves (taking my time) then take off. Since I have to ride through my neighborhood streets before hitting the main roads the bike has plenty of "warm up" time.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That's funny. Just yesterday or the day before I was thinking "I wonder if this idling is affecting the global temperature in some way". It was a funny thought, and left me wondering if I'm doing my duty as a man to affect "global climate change" since I'm indirectly accused of it by so many. "Should we idle or should we join Greenpeace? THIS....is the question".
 
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