Bike stored Dec to Feb - what needs doing?

I don’t ride anything but my little C90 over winter. The Freewind might get the occasional run out if there’s no salt down.

But the Griso 8V is enjoying its first winter in my garage. It gets a regular go on the Optimate but hasn’t run this month, last ran on a ride in November, and won’t probably until late February.

In view of the possible less-than-tough-as-nails cam followers I don’t really want to start it unless I’m going to give it a good run and get the engine well up to working temperature. Occasional cold starts and running it in the garage seem asking for trouble; or am I being over-cautious?

So if it remains un-run for the best part of 3 months, should I be doing anything else to ensure its 12 week or more slumber won’t have detrimental effects?GZK6NK2013-12-15 21:46:17

It needs to be ridden, not hidden.

I use fuel stabiliser in the tank and run the engine for long enough to get the mixture through the fuel system. It stops the fuel oxidising or gelling.

I change the engine oil and run the engine for long enough to get the clean oil round the engine. It doesn’t do the internals any good to be sitting around in the acidic combustion products in the old oil.

If you plan it you can do both at the same time.

(I also run ZDDP Plus additive in the oil to protect the cam followers.)gtmdriver2013-12-15 23:20:52

The important thing is the battery. The ECU has a permanent connection to the battery so there is a parasitic drain all the time. This will completely discharge it in about 4 weeks, and the one thing which kills these small batteries is deep discharge.Optimates are not the best when it comes to recharging either as they only have a very low output, you really need a minimum of 2 to 3 amps charge rate to work properly. There are several small automatic chargers on the market which ut out 3 amps, Ihave a CTEK, but Aldi were selling their equivalent for about £14 recently.

Ta all. Regarding Optimate, they do have a low charge current but provided you use them frequently (or leave it on all the time) and it shows ‘green’, surely the battery IS fully charged?

I put it on every couple of days and it shows ‘green’ within a couple of hours, indicating the battery’s fully charged. All 3 bikes share the use of the Optimate like this.

It depends which optimate it is there are more than one. It needs to be one for AGM type batteries they DO allow a pulse charge. I have mine on a timer plug SO it is NOT on permanently that way the barrery gets drained and the charger comes on, does a test charge then either pulses or charges.

The AGM in the V11 was put in when I bought the bike way back in 05 It has been on this type of charger and a timer seems to be fine it also has an alarm fitted which also causes some discharge.

As far as I can figure it the AGM batteries need to be “used” so they get some out and the smart chargers then deliver different types of input.

Just whacking a charger on, leaving it on seems no solution, But hey It is what I have found works may NOT be totally correct…as I say 8 years and the battery is still good.

Gtmdriver - what ZDDP additive do you use, how much and where can you get it from ?

I use the AGIP Eni oil in mine, but have wondered about putting in an additive as well.


[QUOTE=TonyG] Gtmdriver - what ZDDP additive do you use, how much and where can you get it from ?
I use the AGIP Eni oil in mine, but have wondered about putting in an additive as well.

As I said in my post I use ZDDP Plus.

You can get it from Frost Restoration or Burton Performance.

Couple of tips I read only this year : #1. Do not periodically ‘warm it up on the stand’, this is worse than not running it at all, due to it just encourages condensation to form in the engine oil because it will never get hot enough. Also, most engine wear occurs at every cold start, so better not to turn it over at all if it’s not going to be used. Instead it must be properly driven some miles to get it hot enough to ‘boil off’ all condensation. If you can’t do this best not to run the motor at all. #2. store tank full or nearly full, with anti-ethanol additive or stabiliser, such as e.g. Frost’s Ethomix. Having tank full or nearly full means very little air space, ergo the minimum humidity and therefore minimum condensation inside tank. #2.5. if you’ve got carburettors, drain them and leave dry, this avoids the dreaded brown gum / varnish and green crud deposits that block jets and galleries. I think this also takes the ‘stress’ off petrol hoses as well, but I’ve yet to prove it. #3. I put batteries on a charger for a few hours say once every couple of weeks. Time clocks etc. are maybe best disconnected to avoid a continuous drain. Note any electrical connections that are permanently ‘live’ (battery positive) can corrode away, cover with Vaseline or WD40. HTH
Mike H2013-12-16 16:22:08

Yes, it’s best not to start the bike unless you are going to take it for a run long enough for the engine to reach operating temperature. Air cooled engines in particular if run ‘on the stand’ can suffer local overheating with the core engine and oil not getting hot enough.

I always turn off the fuel on the C90 just before before I get home, and let it ‘run dry’ so the carb is empty to minimise the chance of gumming the carb.

The Freewind, unfortunately, has a vacuum operated fuel tap, so its twin choke carb can’t easily be drained. But it seems to survive a couple of months of disuse OK (it’s now on its 3rd winter with me).

I just hope the Griso does the same!

It occurred to me it might also help if you chucked a bit of 2-stroke oil in?

My garage isn’t heated so I take the battery off and into the house as freezing temperatures do your battery no good, when I worked in the motor trade our busiest time for battery sales was when the first serious frost arrived.

I also top up the charge in the battery every two months.

I never bother doing anything to my bikes that are not used over winter, charge the battery now and again, and that’s it, something is always standing for a while unused!ianboydsnr2013-12-24 14:23:16