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Short/Medium-Term Storing a Bike

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by Engrider, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. Hey All,

    I'm heading off overseas for work for a few weeks, and I was wondering what people generally do to a bike to store it for up to 2 months?

    I read somewhere else that you should do the following when storing a bike:
    • Drain the carbies
    • Drain the fuel tank
    • Lube the chain afresh
    • Take out the battery, charge it and store it separately
    • Lock and Chain, and Cover
    But the fuel stuff seems a bit over the top for a few weeks out of commission.

    The other alternative is to have somebody run it in the driveway a few times while I am gone, but is there much point?

    What do you all recommend? All, some, none, run it?

  2. Nothing,it'll be right.
  3. Rather than draining the carbs and fuel tank, I'd leave it with a full tank of fuel to prevent the tank from corroding. Two months isn't enough for fuel to go stale. Just remember to turn the fuel tap to "OFF".

    Likewise with the battery, I'd just disconnect any accessories that aren't switched with the ignition (e.g. I have a USB port wired straight to the battery to charge my phone on long trips) and leave it as it is. It shouldn't go flat in that time. And if it does, well, you can always put it on a charger when you get back.

    I left my VTR for six weeks (mid December last year to end of Jan) doing just what I described above and it was fine. It was a little reluctant to start at first, but came back to life after cranking the starter for a bit. Then it died a few hundred metres down the road. That's when I realised the fuel tap was still switched off ;) If you're less absent-minded than I am, you should have no worries at all.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  4. Sounds like I'm in for the lazier options. :)

  5. You could try adding a fuel stabilizer such as 'Stabil' to a full tank of fresh fuel, and ride it for 5km or so to make sure the untreated fuel in the carbies has been consumed & replaced with the treated fuel. It supposedly keeps fuel fresh for up to 12 months, and might make the bike a little easier to start when you get back.

    You could also buy a battery minder, which is a charger which is designed to be left plugged in all the time. It will turn itself on & off as required keeping your battery 100% charged. Though depending on which one you get, I've heard that some may cycle too often & overcharge the battery.

    Put a rubber plug in the exhaust if stored in a damp enviroment or if mud wasps are active.
  6. #6 BitSar, Aug 15, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
    2 months!
    Are you crazy!?

    • Drain all fluids. Fuel, oil, coolant.
    • Place bike on stands and remove both front and rear wheels to prevent flat spots.
    • Wrap wheels/tires in plastic shrink wrap to further prevent oxidation.
    • Remove battery and trickle charge.
    • Clean chain with kero and lube.
    • Back suspension off to the most relaxed compression/rebound combination to relieve static stress.

    Good luck. Bikes get angry when they are left alone.
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  7. @Madman83
    Obviously blatant sarcasm is lost on you.

    6 - 8 weeks is not issue at all. The only real "concern" would be the battery.
  8. #8 Madman83, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
    I disagreed because someone who hasn't been riding long such as OP (which would be my observation) may actually take your advice unknowingly about your sarcasm which wasn't blatant. How about helping answer OP rather than sarcasm that I read, wasn't blatant to a newbie!?
    Sorry if it hurt your feelings disagreeing :) - genuine blatant sarcasm if you didn't catch that one ;)
  9. No hurt feelings fella - I'm not precious.

    I thought that my ridiculous list would scream sarcasm to anyone......all in an attempt to have some fun.

    I do see your point though - the OP may have taken that as truth.

    Hell - the worst thing that could've happened is he would have stored his bike exceptionally well for a relatively short period of time.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Bwahahaha, I would like very much if he did do it :)

    That being said, if you were storing for long periods of time, thats probably some of the stuff you actually would do, so kudos :)
  11. Fill the tank, throw it on a battery trickle charger (if you want) then piss off and do whatever.

    Just bought a bike that'd been sitting for a year and rode the thing 350km home (after oil change) without issues... apart from a weak battery to start with.

    You'll be fine mate, especially if its a reasonably modern bike that's been looked after. If it was anything over 6 months I'd change oil, fill tank, trickle charge battery and drain carbs.

    Cheers - boingk
  12. Sounds reasonable, thanks everyone who contributed.

    Gotta get my timing right, still wanting to ride but flight date is coming....:eek:
  13. I almost took it as advice but it is in the extreme, that's pretty much what you would do to ship a racecar overseas - which I've done before - or store a vehicle for a really long period of time.