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Old 02-19-2020, 09:06 AM
 
446 posts, read 116,145 times
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I have a few bikes under my care, as well as a side-by-side and unfortunately not enough time to ride them all regularly, due to weather and work.



Lately, I've been starting them up and letting them run 1x every one or two weeks.



Better just to keep the batteries on a tender and use fuel stabilizer? I've read that starting them and idling can do more harm than good.
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Old 02-19-2020, 10:56 AM
 
4,694 posts, read 8,508,740 times
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Idling is worse than not starting at all when looking at the big picture over the long haul. But more importantly, it doesn't accomplish anything of value. You burn fuel and risk engine damage (cylinder scoring, head warping, blowing the head gasket and developing coolant leaks, burning valves, etc... ~ I've seen all sorts of damage resulting from long-term cold-engine idling)



If the vehicles have carbs, drain the float bowl anytime it's not going to be used for more than a month. Fill the fuel tanks all the way each time a vehicle is going to sit (yes, with your choice for fuel stabilizer). Battery tender for 24 hours once every 30 days is enough to keep them in good health.


When you DO start a vehicle, make sure the OIL comes to temp. Lots of things have coolant temp, nearly nothing has oil temp... generally speaking though, 20~30 minutes of actual use will get the oil to temp. I don't think you can get oil to temp with just idling... Shorting yourself on this just loads the oil up with acid (by-product of combustion that's neutralized with heat) and spreads around water/condensation to all the internals (naturally occurring, also cooks off with heat).



You Can do a whole lot more, like fogging cylinders, fully draining fuel systems, getting the tires off the ground, etc... but if you want to be able to use anything on any given day where it's nice out (and not storing for years upon years), it's pointless work. At least that's my opinion after nearly 30 years as a motorcycle mechanic.
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Old 02-19-2020, 01:21 PM
 
446 posts, read 116,145 times
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Thank you so much! I will take this advice for sure. I am so glad I asked this question.


Running the engines was a pain in the butt to boot.
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Old 07-26-2020, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
2,540 posts, read 836,890 times
Reputation: 3483
Quote:
Originally Posted by RevelateTransform View Post



Better just to keep the batteries on a tender and use fuel stabilizer?
YES!
Quote:
I've read that starting them and idling can do more harm than good.
You read correctly.
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Old 01-23-2021, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA USA
335 posts, read 125,883 times
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I have three bikes, and try to ride each of them at least once every ten days or so. I live in SoCal, so don't have the weather hassles other riders do. Riding it for 30 minutes will get it up to temp. I have several routes I take for these rides.
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:28 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
27,097 posts, read 45,179,135 times
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I make sure I use non-ethanol gas (Available at a nearby Walmart) when stuff has to sit for longer than a month. (as well as run each out of fuel before parking).

I only use Marine grade fuel stabilizer. (blue)

I wish I had diesel motorcycles and chainsaws. (they can sit for years)

I keep (4) motorcycles in Texas, heat in summer... and wild temp swings (condensation) is the enemy there.
I have (7) in WA and weather keeps me from riding any of them enough.

Love my XT-500s (no battery required) Magneto ignition. But... you better hope they start on first or second kick (and they usually do).
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:30 PM
 
3,872 posts, read 1,395,688 times
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I have 6 motorcycles (2016 R1M, 2019 KX450, 2017 Grom, 2012 DRZ-400, 1996 CR250R, 2001 CR250), 5 cars/trucks (2021 Z4, 2019 Transit, 2018 M550i, 2017 F150, 2014 Taurus SHO, 1992 Typhoon) as well as a Kubota 4WD TLB, a JD LA135 mower, and a bunch of other gasoline powered mowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, generators, etc.



Everything with a battery is on a Battery Tender or NOCO Genius maintainer. I've never used fuel stabilizer, but I do use Sunoco CAM2 110 octane race fuel (no ethanol) in anything where it is legal to do so and is rarely used. For things that must use unleaded fuel, I try to start, and ideally drive, them every couple of weeks. Since COVID started, I've been working from home so I probably haven't put more than 2,000 miles all 8 of my street legal vehicles combined in the last year. I rotate driving them and all seems to be well. The only fuel related issues I've had was due to ethanol destroying the inlet needle seat in carbureted engines. The Kubota is a diesel and has sat unused over a year with no issues.
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Old 01-26-2021, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
5,280 posts, read 4,199,426 times
Reputation: 10442
Quote:
Originally Posted by RevelateTransform View Post
I have a few bikes under my care, as well as a side-by-side and unfortunately not enough time to ride them all regularly, due to weather and work.

Lately, I've been starting them up and letting them run 1x every one or two weeks.

Better just to keep the batteries on a tender and use fuel stabilizer? I've read that starting them and idling can do more harm than good.
Stop. Good enough, you've got a system. I've usually lived in cold climates, northern states. Michigan, Reno, now Seattle and kept bikes indoors. Bay Area doesn't count. I've had bikes since 1987. None have failed due to sitting out winter months, nor has bad gas every screwed me up, but let's continue as to why:

You "should" have Stabil or similar in the gas, that is true. And there are other ways to winterize. I've used them over the decades, notably in Michigan which can get quite cold as one may imagine.

Practically speaking, here in Seattle I park my current steed(s) and keep them on my dual terminal Battery Tender, and that works. One terminal on my sports car, one on a bike at-current. The DD...currently a Land Cruiser...needs no such device. My garage does not get below 45F usually due to the nature of the insulation and etc. Seattle gets chilly but not too often below freezing, guessing winter averages in the day are 30s and 40s, sometimes high 20s and 30s at night.

I get crazy mileage from batteries, or rather time: 7 years on one, 9 on another past decade or so. The 7 was my Honda Blackbird, sold some years ago. I figure my BMW, bought used last summer, will do well also since that dealer keeps bikes on Tenders too, and the dealer owner was the prior bike owner. Always a good sign when you buy a used bike and there is an SAE dongle off the battery (properly fused, too).

I start the BMW (R1200RT) about monthly and run it a bit. If the roads are clear, I do a brief ride. Ditto the sports car (currently a Shelby GT350R). That is sufficient. Come late Spring, which is for us c. May, they're used more often.

This works for me. I don't let vehicles sit for 5-10 years, that's when the trouble starts as I've cleaned out and re-started JPN bikes that have sat for years and usually the gas varnishes the carbs. Can't imagine it does any favors for FI either, it's been years since I revived a bike (1990s).

Bad tires are another threat (due to age): more subtle, but when they go...BOOM at-worst.
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