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Thinking of leaving my DL650 -09 under covered by a tarp in an unheated garage during the winter. The temperature here may go down to -20 ° C (-4 ° F) but mostly it is at a few degrees of minus C.

Should I consider protecting it in any particular way (risk of coolant freeze?)?
 

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Writer, check the coolant. It must be good for colder temperatures than expected. Fill tank with fresh fuel ,non ethanol, if possible, with the correct amount of fuel stabilizer added. Go for a good long ride. At end of ride top up tank, not overfilled. Drain and change the oil and filter.Lube the chain.Inflate tires a couple of pounds higher than normal riding pressure. Remove the battery and store it in a warm place where it can be on a battery tend er if available or placed on a 2 ampcharge for a hour every 2-3 months. Place bike on centre stand or side stand. Centre stand reduces amount of space needed.Cover with a breathable dust cover. Uncovered is better than a non breathable cover. Cheers Doug
 

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Forgo the tarp unless its a breathable motorcycle cover.

Also a good idea to check the glycol content of the antifreeze to verify it at the proper percentage to offer protection for the temps it will see.

Top up the tank is a good idea. Changing the oil is up to you. If the oil is close to needed changed because of mileage go for it. If your only around 1/2 way through its life cycle I'd not change it. The additives package in the oil is still effective and will naturalize acids leftover from combustion.

The other myth is your tires will flat spot if you don't get the weight off the bike, over inflate the tires and/or move the bike every couple of days. Trust me over the winter even inflated with 3psi they won't flat spot.

So many people think unless you are overmaintaing a motorcycle you are undermaintaing a motorcycle. A motorcycle sitting out of the weather for 3, 6, 9, 12 months is not long term and really doesn't need any special treatment. I've brought several 40+ year old motorcycle that sat for 10, 15 or 20 years back to running order with a lot less work than you think. Change the oil, clean the carbs and gas tank put in a fresh battery and hit the starter.
 

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I would forgo the tarp as well. I would not start the bike unless you are going to ride it. Battery tender or remove battery and keep inside. If you could ride it once a month that will be even better than storing it. Gas stabilizer.

kfh000
 

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Make sure the gas tank is full. Maybe add stabilizer. Wouldn't hurt to change the oil before parking it.
Leave the battery in the same cold environment (it will self-discharge more slowly), but only if you can ensure that it stays charged. A fully charged battery will not freeze at any temperature it's likely to see.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Cold winter storage

Writer, check the coolant. I
Thank you all!

I have winterstored another bike in the same garage since -96. With removed battery, filled tank, engine and other metal parts sprayed with 5:56 and under tarp. With absolutely no problem!
But the situation with a "water" based cooling system is new to me so I will certainly check the level of anti freeze.

Earlier years I have stored a bike in a heated storage room. But the door opening is about 80 centimeters above ground level so I have had to use a home built ramp and drive up and in. Was nervous every year because I only had about 10 mm free space on every side of the handlebars. With the DL650 there will only be about 5 mm and I rather not risk that :)!#
 

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You can buy cheap and simple testers at autopart stores that allow you to determine the freezing point of your current antifreeze coolant in a matter of minutes. Alternatively, take a sample to a car or motorcycle dealership: They should be able to determine the freezing point for you relatively quickly and cheaply. If only for peace of mind.

If you're afraid of moisture building up under the tarp, place a small (let's say 15W or so) lightbulb under the tarp as well. Or use another heat source that produces about 15W. If you manage to heat the air under the tarp at least about 3 degrees C over ambient, it's going to be virtually impossible for moisture to condense there.
 

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Writer, check the coolant. It must be good for colder temperatures than expected. Fill tank with fresh fuel ,non ethanol, if possible, with the correct amount of fuel stabilizer added. Go for a good long ride. At end of ride top up tank, not overfilled. Drain and change the oil and filter.Lube the chain.Inflate tires a couple of pounds higher than normal riding pressure. Remove the battery and store it in a warm place where it can be on a battery tend er if available or placed on a 2 ampcharge for a hour every 2-3 months. Place bike on centre stand or side stand. Centre stand reduces amount of space needed.Cover with a breathable dust cover. Uncovered is better than a non breathable cover. Cheers Doug
All good advice, except for where to store the battery. It's a common misconception that a warm place is best for a battery. A cold environment (but not freezing) is best for storing a battery. A cool battery will discharge at a slower rate than a warm battery. Warm is best for cranking power, but for storage, keep it cold.
 

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Assuming the bike was filled with properly mixed coolant at the factory (which it almost certainly was), and was refilled with the same following service, there is no need to worry about its anti-freezing properties.
For example, I've had my bike from new so I know it has the right stuff in the coolant system.
Coolant may lose its anti-corrosion properties over time, but as far as I know the ethylene- or propylene-glycol that lowers the freezing point does not break down.
 

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Good advice so far. In addition to taping over the intake, I have either taped over the exhaust hole or plugged the holes with oily rags. Changes in barometric pressure can drive moisture into the exhaust and the engine if not stopped.
 

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Good info here. I agree with an oil damp rag in the exhaust pipe opening. A previous bike instructed me to do that, helps against mice, too.

Warm or cold battery storage, I do not trickle/smart charge constantly, only once a month for a Saturday afternoon with a Battery Tender, that's proven more than enough in my Minneapolis winter, where it drops even colder.

Lastly, I like to get my tires off the concrete floor, so I'll put scraps of plywood or boards under the tires. (Not pressure treated lumber, who knows what those chemicals do to rubber. I don't know, and I don't want to test it.) Concrete can start to deteriorate rubber a wee bit in constant contact for extended periods, like winter storage. Put the same thickness wood under the side stand if needed so the bike isn't tippy.

Let the bike sleep over winter. Starting for a few minutes periodically just to circulate oil never gets the engine hot enough to bake out any condensation that could be forming because of these short starts. Just leave it alone.

Lastly, and old queen size bed sheet tossed over it will help keep too much dust from settling on it, and it will breath constantly, too.
 
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Let the bike sleep over winter. Starting for a few minutes periodically just to circulate oil never gets the engine hot enough to bake out any condensation that could be forming because of these short starts. Just leave it alone.
Most definitely.
 

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Oh, another reason not to periodically start to circulate oil. To what end? Starting monthly, or starting after 5-6 months idle, the engine components are mostly oil starved (there is still a wee film on them, though). To me, it makes more sense to start an oil starved engine once per year rather than 5-6 times per year. Save the unnecessary wear and tear. Plenty of engines out there sitting idle for many months, or years, but if serviced properly before shut down, they come right back to life.
 

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-Battery on Battery tender. On bike or elsewhere doesn't really matter but on bike is easier in most cases.

-Ethanol Free Top-Tier gas

-Mothballs placed under bike if covered. Also under seat is a good idea.

I stored my 2012 DL650 and my Wife's 2009 Gladius in temperatures down to below -20°f in unheated sheds. Started instantly when taken out of storage.

Really that's all you need to do assuming the coolant is okay for the temperature.

Things you might consider:

Do NOT start the bike unless you are going to go out for a good ride. And by good ride not just enough to warm the coolant but enough to get the oil up to temperature.

Good idea to have chain well lubed with oil based product. Wouldn't hurt to wipe those few shiny parts with a cloth that is damp with oil.

Bike on centerstand takes most weight off tires. Make sure tires properly inflated or a bit higher if you feel like it.

You might think of spraying ACF50 on electrical connections and switches. In the case above I didn't.

..Tom
 

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Our highs in the coldest months average around 28° F (-2° C) and lows of 13° F (-11° C), but it can get down to -55° F (1996). The Wee is parked in an unheated garage during the winter months, usually the snow just gets too deep. :grin2:

I usually start with an oil and filter change (unless recently done), check tire pressures, add Marine Sta-Bil, top off the gas tank, 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 poison, and throw the mc cover over it. And hope spring comes early.

:smile2:


YMMV
 

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Holy Smokes Rocky!!!!

Yesterday, it was +50 deg F, so I wanted to fill up gas tanks, add fuel treatments, and put everything ('81 BMW R100, '06 KLR650, '15 650XT) on center stands for the winter. While doing a general clean up before, I noticed the mice had chewed a hole in a bag of sunflower seeds prior to me putting it in my steel trash can.

I started to notice little stash piles here and there but when I went to take the BMW for a ride, I saw the 'mother lode". Damn, they buried the screwdrivers. They must have been on speed because that bag wasn't there that long.

Now I'm wondering what the air filters look like on the bikes. It appears that the Victor brand electronic repellents (have 4 out in the garage and one was right by the seed bag) don't really work. I set up a trap line using their original tried and true product with Velveeta and will also use some peanut butter.
 

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