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I'm a first-time bike owner and I'm heading into the winter months a bit under-prepared. What are folks' general winter preparations?

I live in Oregon where we get a lot of rain, but very little snow. I don't have a garage, so I'm storing it outside under a cover and a large tarp I've strung up, but it's definitely going to get a little wet. Also, I'd like to still ride it through the rainy season a bit.

Any tips would be super appreciated!
 

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Don't use a cover. It'll trap moisture. The tarp suspended overhead to keep rain off the bike is okay as long as its away from the bike and air can flow freely all around the bike.

No need to stop riding or do anything special becasue of rain or wet conditions.
 

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Pull it in the garage and park it is my winter prep. Find some indoor storage, parking outside 24x7 is a great way to trash the bike.
 

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If you are going to keep riding it regularly, you don't have to do anything. Winterizing is for storage during the winter.
 

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I'm a first-time bike owner and I'm heading into the winter months a bit under-prepared. What are folks' general winter preparations?

I live in Oregon where we get a lot of rain, but very little snow. I don't have a garage, so I'm storing it outside under a cover and a large tarp I've strung up, but it's definitely going to get a little wet. Also, I'd like to still ride it through the rainy season a bit.

Any tips would be super appreciated!
Don't think you will be doing anything good by starting the bike periodically in storage. Best to ride it when you can but don't let it idle. It doesn't get warm enough and moisture will accumulate. Use a fuel stabilizer, put it in the tank, run it through the system for a few mins, put the bike away. If you cover the bike, use a sheet loosely draped. Center stand the bike, will take some weight off the tires, reduce flat spotting a little.
 

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I'm a first-time bike owner and I'm heading into the winter months a bit under-prepared. What are folks' general winter preparations?

I live in Oregon where we get a lot of rain, but very little snow. I don't have a garage, so I'm storing it outside under a cover and a large tarp I've strung up, but it's definitely going to get a little wet. Also, I'd like to still ride it through the rainy season a bit.

Any tips would be super appreciated!
If you have room for one of those harbor freight temporary sheds for storage, it will go a long way and makes storage easy especially if you intend to ride it when weather permits. I think I paid about $100 for my 10' x 10' one. It has lasted 3 seasons so far, but I think this will be the last one for it. IT is showing signs of wear. I am building an actual shed for it. It made it through 3 or 4 hurricanes, so I got my money's worth out of it.

I have read that it is a good idea to lube the chain after a wet ride. I haven't had one yet. (i have only had the bike for less than a week) My last bike was a belt drive and the one before that was a shaft drive
 

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I'm a first-time bike owner and I'm heading into the winter months a bit under-prepared. What are folks' general winter preparations?

.....
I usually start with an oil and filter change (unless recently done), check tire pressures, add Marine Sta-Bil, top off the gas tank with non-E10, take a brief ride to run the mixture through the system, swap positions with the snow blower in the garage, put on center stand, slide vinyl/rubber floor mat under front tire, plug in Battery Tender to bike and wall outlet, set out several boxes of d-CON type poison, and throw the mc cover over it. And hope spring comes early.

YMMV




279836
 

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I topped up the tank with non ethanol gas, put some sta-bil in the tank, and put it in my mouse proof shed and removed the battery to the garage for periodic charging. Also put a bucket style mouse trap beside the bike just in case. Got 2 mice in the bucket already...
 

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If you have to store the bike outside and under a cover, you can try putting a little heat source under the cover as well. To avoid condensation (your biggest issue) all you need to do is raise the temperature under the cover by about 3C or 5F compared to ambient. That's something that can be achieved by a fairly modest heat source of, maybe, 15-30W or so. Especially if the bike is parked in a place where the wind can't get to it, and if you have a tight-fitting cover.

I would suggest an old-fashioned lightbulb but if you're parked on the street then lighting up the bike 24/7 might attract unwanted attention. But maybe you can find a ceramic heating element of some sort in that power range.
 

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I read somewhere of a guy that swears by spraying all the metal parts on his bike with WD40 to keep it from rusting, but there are other rust inhibitors that may be better. I had a can of spray that said it would remain in the metal for a year, even in wet conditions, to prevent rust. I forget the name of it now. If you are going to keep riding it, then any gas is fine, but if it is going to sit a while, you want to fill with non ethanol gas as has been mentioned a few times. Leave it on center stand so wheels do not get a flat spot, and cover it, but leave room for air to dry underneath. Add a quick connect to the battery so you can have it on float charger all the time, and no need to remove it. My last battery lasted 9 years like this.
Now having said all that, I would do anything to prevent leaving it outside. A friend of mine left his outside and came out one day to find a screwdriver jammed into his ignition, some local kid tried to steal it. Roll it into the house and park it in the kitchen or something, makes a great conversation piece.
 

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I topped up the tank with non ethanol gas, put some sta-bil in the tank, and put it in my mouse proof shed and removed the battery to the garage for periodic charging. Also put a bucket style mouse trap beside the bike just in case. Got 2 mice in the bucket already...
Apparently your mouse proof shed isn't mouse proof.
 

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if you're going to still ride it you dont have to do much of anything. I'd get a battery tender, install the whip and plug it in one day a week or so when you're not riding it. other than that, double check your tire pressure as it will vary with the outside temperature.
 

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I read somewhere of a guy that swears by spraying all the metal parts on his bike with WD40 to keep it from rusting, but there are other rust inhibitors that may be better. I had a can of spray that said it would remain in the metal for a year, even in wet conditions, to prevent rust. I forget the name of it now. If you are going to keep riding it, then any gas is fine, but if it is going to sit a while, you want to fill with non ethanol gas as has been mentioned a few times. Leave it on center stand so wheels do not get a flat spot, and cover it, but leave room for air to dry underneath. Add a quick connect to the battery so you can have it on float charger all the time, and no need to remove it. My last battery lasted 9 years like this.
Now having said all that, I would do anything to prevent leaving it outside. A friend of mine left his outside and came out one day to find a screwdriver jammed into his ignition, some local kid tried to steal it. Roll it into the house and park it in the kitchen or something, makes a great conversation piece.
What about spraying a bunch of stuff down with some sort of dry lube spray, as a moisture blocker? (Not the tires, obviously, and probably not the hand grips) In theory, it wouldn't be all greasy when you went to get back on it later. I've never tried this, it just popped into my head when I read your post. Any thoughts from others?
 

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Winter riding in Oregon is outstanding. I've done it for 7 years, dont limit your riding season. Just get a heated vest and gloves. We get plenty of dry days if that's your preference. If there's a chance of snow or ice, just wait a for it to melt. If you still want to winterize, get at least a shed, fill with non-ethanol, oil chain, lift the rear tire, plug muffler, put seat in the house, smart charger, cover with an old bed sheet.
 

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I'm a first-time bike owner and I'm heading into the winter months a bit under-prepared. What are folks' general winter preparations?

I live in Oregon where we get a lot of rain, but very little snow. I don't have a garage, so I'm storing it outside under a cover and a large tarp I've strung up, but it's definitely going to get a little wet. Also, I'd like to still ride it through the rainy season a bit.

Any tips would be super appreciated!
We love to ride year-round too! As long as there isn't frost or ice on the road you're good to go as long as you're prepared for the cold. The crux to an enjoyable winter ride is keeping your hands warm. We combine Hippo Hands with heated grips (Oxford brand are amazing). The Alcan model Hippo Hands are the best fit for the Strom family.
 

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If you can make a lee shelter or lean-to, that would be much better than a cover. String a tarp with one end low and one end higher. Get bike off ground. 4 or 5 patio pavers on top of some poured stone makes gravity your drainage system! Keep prevailing wind direction against tarp with bike storage to the lee side and you will have much better results. Incandesant bulb in a mechanics light will prevent moisture quite effectively with under 40 watts. Keep low side of tarp several inches above ground to allow airflow. A ceiling and 3 sidewalls is an easy and inexpensive method for storage and way better than a cover if you have the spot. A tarp flown as a shed roof along a wall of the house is another quick fix.
Worth the effort, in my opinion.
 
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