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I just bought my 2014 Vstrom 650 last weekend and rode it home and loved it for that first ride! It's now late January and most likely will not ride it until end of March (2 months).

Should I drain the coolant, or not bother? At what point of storage time is it worth it to drain the coolant to prevent possible issues with it becoming acidic?
 

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Do not drain the coolant unless you are going to replace it. You don't want an empty cooling system. It's oil that becomes acidic with use and should be changed before storage.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do not drain the coolant unless you are going to replace it. You don't want an empty cooling system. It's oil that becomes acidic with use and should be changed before storage.
Oh ok, I'll focus on draining the oil for storage then. Thanks!
 

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Do not drain the coolant unless you are going to replace it. You don't want an empty cooling system. It's oil that becomes acidic with use and should be changed before storage.
Oh ok, I'll focus on draining the oil for storage then. Thanks!
Should I change the oil filter as well if it is not due for a change for another 5k miles (11k mark, currently at 6k)?
 

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Suzuki says every third oil change. Some people demand every oil change get a new filter. I did it every second oil change. Whatever you decide will work fine.
 

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Suzuki says every third oil change. Some people demand every oil change get a new filter. I did it every second oil change. Whatever you decide will work fine.
I'm thinking to change it if it's going to hold oil that turns acidic (if that little bit even matters?). Also...should I put in new oil after draining immediately, or leave it empty until spring?
 

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Fill it. You can ride with it in Spring. Don't leave any fluids drained. Empty areas draw water from condensation and water is harmful. It can freeze and promote rust. It's especially important to keep the fuel tank full of stabilized fuel.
 

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I'm thinking to change it if it's going to hold oil that turns acidic (if that little bit even matters?). Also...should I put in new oil after draining immediately, or leave it empty until spring?
Do NOT store the bike without engine oil.
I would even recommend that you change the oil and filter not now but before you start up the bike for riding - and the radiator fluid then also if you feel that necessary.
Fill the gas tank and add an inhibitor. Remove and place the battery on a battery tender. You could even raise both tyres off the ground. And lube the chain.

Cover with an old sheet - NOT a tarp.
 

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Oil has base in it. It would take a lot of use for it to become acidic. I wouldn’t change it unless it was due for a change.


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Stop speaking in truths you'll ruin all the fear mongering!

Everyone know that motorcycle oil turns to the most acidic substance on earth and will eat all the gears and cases if you don't change every other ride. Winter or long term storage is anything considered longer than a 3 day weekend. So if your bike has to sit for 4 days you need to change the oil/filter and tires no matter the mileage.
 

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The byproducts of combustion create substances that get into the oil and are are acidic when dissolved in water. Winter storage causes condensation, putting some water in the oil. Unless the mileage on the old oil is short enough that the acidity is nothing to worry about, I'm spending the $20 an oil change would cost me for peace of mind.
 

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Don't be tempted to start the bike and let it run for a few minutes every week, or month. That can be harmful as the engine does not get hot enough to evaporate condensates. Remove the battery and keep it charged. Follow the advice above. Install battery when riding season begins. Check tires and inspect the bike. Start it up and ride.
 

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and brush the snow off.
 

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The byproducts of combustion create substances that get into the oil and are are acidic when dissolved in water. Winter storage causes condensation, putting some water in the oil. Unless the mileage on the old oil is short enough that the acidity is nothing to worry about, I'm spending the $20 an oil change would cost me for peace of mind.
Agreed that a byproducts of combustion is water and acids. The "additives package" in the oil is responsible for many things. Neutralizing acids is one of the tasks.

Has anybody have 1st had experience with acidic oil causing an oil related failure? I've bought several Guzzi's back to life that sat unused for decades. They did need top end work because Guzzi used chrome for cylinder liners that would flake) but the pulling the sump off and looking at the crank every time I was pleasantly surprised to see everything looking shiny and bright w/ no pitting or rust. Clean out the sump pan of old crusty oil, replace refill with fresh oil and away you go.

The only time I seen corrosion is when bikes were stored outside with either the fill plug removed and/or a cylinder removed allowing water to enter the block and rust thing to death.

Im not trying to talk anybody out of what they feel is best for their motorcycle. If changing the oil is what you feel is necessary then by I say go for it.
 

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Agreed that a byproducts of combustion is water and acids. The "additives package" in the oil is responsible for many things. Neutralizing acids is one of the tasks.

Has anybody have 1st had experience with acidic oil causing an oil related failure? I've bought several Guzzi's back to life that sat unused for decades. They did need top end work because Guzzi used chrome for cylinder liners that would flake) but the pulling the sump off and looking at the crank every time I was pleasantly surprised to see everything looking shiny and bright w/ no pitting or rust. Clean out the sump pan of old crusty oil, replace refill with fresh oil and away you go.

The only time I seen corrosion is when bikes were stored outside with either the fill plug removed and/or a cylinder removed allowing water to enter the block and rust thing to death.

Im not trying to talk anybody out of what they feel is best for their motorcycle. If changing the oil is what you feel is necessary then by I say go for it.


I’m not either but having oil analyzed shows no drop in total base number of the oil I’m using. Just saying it’s your choice but it is not critical.


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Many of us probably pay more for peace of mind than necessary. Everybody gets to choose the worth of peace of mind. It's good to have facts on which to base those decisions.
 

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I just bought my 2014 Vstrom 650 last weekend and rode it home and loved it for that first ride! It's now late January and most likely will not ride it until end of March (2 months).

Should I drain the coolant, or not bother? At what point of storage time is it worth it to drain the coolant to prevent possible issues with it becoming acidic?
Going against the usual grain here, I'll say this: don't worry about it - any of it.

There's nothing in or on the bike that's likely to go bad or need attention over the span of a few months.

Used motor oil? I've seen engines that have sat for years with used motor oil in them with no harm suffered from it.
Fuel? I do recommend filling the tank before parking it, but that's about it.
Coolant? Change it at the recommended intervals.
Battery? Might be worth trickle charging it once or putting a Battery Tender on it, but chances are it will still be fine after only a couple of months of sitting.

I last rode my bike in November, and had it out for a ride on Sunday (Jan 28th). Fired right up, no problems with the battery, despite having to spin the engine with considerably colder oil than usual.
 

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I try to ride mine whenever possible, even throughout the winter. We have a had several days / weekends this winter where is was warm enough to ride (just be home before dark).

With that said, I don't do anything special to park it (inside the garage). A full tank is better than an empty one (minimizes headspace), but I have never used any fuel stabilizer. Once I tried running the last two tanks before storage with E0 gasoline, but the only source around here for 90+ octane E0 is $4/gallon. And it didn't make any difference from just running normal E10, so I'll likely forgo the expense and trouble of using the E0.

Occasionally, if it has been several weeks of straight cold, I'll eventually remember to plug in the battery charger/maintainer (but have also gone several months without it) and no problems starting it up first try. My 2014 DL1000 stock battery is AGM, which are purported to be able to handle slightly deeper discharging than normal flooded batteries. I have not yet needed to jump start or charge the battery...

I change the fluids on the regular specified intervals and even let one oil change slide for an extra 1,000 miles or so during a long road trip. However, oil analysis has always come back with plenty of remaining protective additives and a recommendation from the lab that longer service would have been possible.

As Greywolf and others have mentioned above ... to each his own ... and just work out whatever compromise between peace of mind and your wallet that you are comfortable with.
 

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I'm surprised that nobody has asked the OP what the expected winter temperatures are, and how the bike is stored. IMHO it all depends on these factors.

In case of serious frost (talking -20C or less here) the preventative measures are different than if you just get a mild winter, with temperatures around freezing. For seriously low temperatures you may want to check what the freeze point of your coolant is, and you may want to bring the battery inside. If your coolant or battery electrolyte freezes, it expands and will break things. Not good. (Note that the freeze point of electrolyte changes with the charge: A fully charged lead-acid battery doesn't freeze until -70C, while a depleted one can freeze at -10C. For other types of batteries the same principle holds, but the numbers may vary.)

Also, if the bike is stored in a (heated) garage, the moisture/oil/acidity problem will be virtually nonexistent, but if the bike has to be kept outside, in a humid climate with loads and rapid temperature changes, the situation is totally different. In such case you may want to do a preventative oil change, and you may even want to "winterise" the engine. This can generally be done by sealing off all but one of the inlet/exhaust/breather ports into the engine, and having some sort of dehumidifier in the one port that's left open.

Another approach, again assuming that the bike has to be kept outside in a humid and cold climate, is to put a bike cover over it, and then put a heat source under that cover. The bike doesn't need to be toasty warm: If you manage to raise the temperature under the cover just a degree or two above ambient, it will virtually eliminate all your condensation problems. That temperature difference can be achieved with something like a 25W light bulb running 24/7, as long as you make sure the bike is a bit sheltered from the wind.

My personal habit is not to winterise the bike in any way, but instead to try and ride the bike for at least half an hour every month or so. But my bike is kept in a heated garage, and temperatures here go only below freezing for a few consecutive days at most. So there's plenty opportunity to get a short ride in every now and then.
 
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