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Should second bike be started up occassionally?

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by Jomac, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. Hi,

    I have bought a second bike (T100) ready for my upgrade and since I have a regular shadow am not using my GV250 so much.

    I have heard that the most damage to engines is done in first 10 mintues so starting it up just to let it run may be damaging.

    Then another has said you should run it once a week so that the oil can keep viscous and lubricate the engine parts.

    What should be done? I was wondering what netriders views are regarding the best way to look after a bike that isn't being used so much.

    Regards Jo
  2. A regular start up is only beneficial if the engine runs long enough to (a) ensure the battery is fully charged, which means both replacing the juice it took to start, plus whatever discharge has taken place over the week and (b) reach full operating temperature and boil off any condensate in the engine and exhausts.

    How long this will take will vary from bike to bike, but I'd be surprised if it was less than maybe 20 mins at a fast idle.

    Firing it up and running it for a couple of minutes will do more harm than good.
  3. As above - engines don't warm up all that readily when idling as well. Add to that your ACG that doesn't produce significant electrical output until above 3000rpm. You get rich mixtures from the choke that makes the bike run poorly, and can't be good for lubrication of the cylinder walls, and you fill up the exhaust with water over and over again - which is only good for corrosion.

    As long as you keep the bike dry, and change the oil before you let it sit for a LONG time, it'll be fine as it is. If you really aren't going to ride it for 6 months or more, you might want to consider following a winterisation guide, although in a country like Aus, you probably only need to pump the tyres up, charge the battery once a month and put a cover over it.
  4. I have a brother who gets home from Guinea every 4-5 months for a month or so and climbs aboard his Daytona.
    When he's away the bike is stored with fresh oil and the battery disconnected.

    It takes more than a start up to keep a bike well lubed. Here's an idea. Ride it!
    You'll be working the clutch, gearbox and suspension. The chain wont develop tight spots. The tyres wont crack and will last longer. The condensation will be removed from all the nooks and crannies and you will feel better.

    Old engine oil left sitting does nasty things to alloys and other soft metals.
  5. Thanks for the information. How often should it be ridden?

    Having to have it run for 20 minutes got me wondering about all the short trips to work - only 15 minutes most days. Guess I should be taking the long way.
  6. nothing wrong with using the bike for a short trip if you need it.

    Starting it and idling for a few minutes and then shutting it off is the pointless exercise, because it doesn't achieve anything useful.
  7. Short trips are a bit different because you're actually working the engine. It'll warm up more quickly and, because the revs will be higher for more of the time, the battery will charge more quickly.

    But yes, short trips are hard on machinery. 5000 km of stop start traffic commuting will put far more wear on most bikes than 5000 km of transcontinental cruising at 160+km/h, all other things being equal.
  8. as the life of a taxi will assert though, it is the number of cold starts that probably most influences long term reliability, not the total number of miles travelled, so choosing to travel the long way to work doesn't do anything other than costing more in fuel, maintenance and depreciation.

    If the trip really is short, you should be walking or taking the bicycle. Once you've made the the decision to push the starter button though, it doesn't matter if the trip is 1km or 100km, the total wear isn't much different.
  9. For the engine, yes, but clutch, gearbox, brakes, suspension, chains, sprockets, cush drive and cables all take a hammering. Admittedly, most of these should be treated as "semi consumables" on any bike. And yes, wear on these is also high if the bike regularly gets a real thrashing through out of town twistery too.

    Regardless, though, motorbikes are there to be ridden and they're a fun way to commute to the daily 9-5 grind. Avoiding wear and tear is not a valid excuse for not riding any bike on any journey :grin: .
  10. Taxi analogy is valid maybe for engine, but for nothing else. I know for a fact that a typical Sydney Falcon taxi gets around 4 to 6 gearboxes in it's working life for example.

    Regards, Andrew.
  11. oh, fer cryin out loud - have you seen the way they treat them? Besides, just because something is used as a taxi dosn't mean it was designed to be treated that way. People are just more familiar with them than heavy machinary.

    I'm not denying that lots of stop/start work is harder than a drone on a straight road. What I did say is that, to answer the original question about "should i take the long way to work" is once you have pushed the starter button, it doesn't matter how far you travel, EXCEPT that

    Choosing to travel further than you need or want to is just a waste of time and money, however you should also be aware of the severe use servicing intervals specified in the manual and treat the vehicle accordingly.

    Finally, general lubricants warm up as well, which includes gearbox and differential if your vehicle has independant models of these, as well as the chain and the grease in the wheel bearings, CV joints and everything else. Injectors also get a few poorly lubricated cycles on EFI models. Cold starts don't just influence the engine.
  12. What every one said, buy a trickle charger for the battery, you can get em for less than 50 bucks, plug in, and it does the rest.
  13. +1.
    Or, better yet, one of those $30 solar panels from Altronics or SuperCrap. I've had one for a year or so now, alternating between a bike battery and a car battery that are surplus to requirements but too good to neglect.

    So far it's kept 'em both in good shape.
  14. Isn't it good to keep the oil flowing through the engine?

    I met a guy who turned over his engine manually every so often. Then again, it was a Norton... and in his living room. "Hope you don't have nice carpet mate!" He didn't get the joke.
  15. the oil won't suddenly vanish in a week.

    Turning engines over by hand is really only of use if it has been sitting for years and you want to make sure the rings haven't siezed to the bores before you try the electric starter and strip the teeth off the ring gear.

    For a vehicle that is in very desperate condition, you need to strip it and reoil it as you put it together, in the same way they are originally manufactured.

    There are special lightweight "fogging" oils for coating cylinder bores (and crankcases in 2strokes) for long term storage to inhibit corrosion.