Date: 17-01-21  Time: 10:20 AM

Author Topic: Winter & pandemic non usage:  (Read 476 times)

butthead

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Winter & pandemic non usage:
« on: 13 January 2021, 04:14:16 PM »
most of us use bikes less during the winter and topically during the several lockdowns these past 12 months.  lets start by saying i dont need my bikes (3) for anything other than pleasure , however  even during the long winter , I pick a dry day and will give them a 30min ride to maintain usage year round during dec to march maybe once every 4 weeks until spring and from April - November use them all  regularly anyway.
however there might be times , like now where you just cannot use them , unless it genuinely is your only form of transport, its feasible as we have seen before now  than a lockdown can be 3 months or even more.
so how to maintain them for a period of lay off , where as in this instance , its pretty much illegal, apart from if it was your only form of transport.


do you just lay them up accept the situation and wait it out, or do you start them up every now and then ?  I heard that running them up for short periods like 5-10 mins can cause condensation in the header pipes etc.  is it ok to run them stationary for longer amounts of time until the cooling fan comes on , apart from the I.C.E nothing else moves and the oil pump and charging system are on a limited variance of rpm, and ideally you'd want the oil temp to get fully up to temp. then there's the brake calipers that need movement etc ,  how to achieve maintenance during a dormant period of time where the bike can not be ridden as designed to be used ?
a lot of bikes in showrooms get unridden until sold for many months sometimes a year , i think newish bikes cope better with that situation but older bikes i believe need to be ridden at least once a months to keep everything in shape.


what do you guys do , particularly in this lockdown when we cannot ride .
« Last Edit: 14 January 2021, 01:27:45 PM by b1k3rdude »

Gnasher

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Re: winter and pandemic non usage
« Reply #1 on: 13 January 2021, 04:59:22 PM »
Nothing  :)

Well my bikes are all tip top, I just attach each to a trickle charger and leave them, typically I take mine off the road Oct - May and have done so for some years now.  I've got one bike that I use all year though  ;)

That said mine are garaged, if yours aren't and your sure you not going to use them for a good few months.

I'd recommend really good clean and remove the battery or any other electrical non permanent/weather proof extras. Thoroughly oil/grease the drive chain and give the whole bike a good covering of ACF50 or some other oil, including the discs but not the pads better still take the pads out.  Put an oiled rag in the end can and put a plastic bag over the end secure with a zip tie.  Cover the bike using canvas cover (they breathe) or quality breathable man made. 

That's it.  Obviously if you do all that you can't just pop out on it on a nice winter day/s, the bike will need a thorough degrease/oil of the discs, pads and battery refitted, end can cleared as a minimum .  If you're planning on using them on the odd day, do all but protecting the discs and don't grease the chain just oil, as the odd ride will keep the discs clean and corrosion free.  The ACF50 applied wont be an issue while riding, but it will collect crud.  This won't matter as the surface is still protected, that said avoid riding in heavy rain and wet roads with salt, or you will need to reapply depending on how bad and how many rides made in those conditions.  After any ride in rain/salt during the lay up, hose off the bike.     

Don't keep starting them, there's no point none this is what causes most carb issues come spring and as you've said condensation not just in the exhaust but in the engine.       
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fazersharp

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Re: winter and pandemic non usage
« Reply #2 on: 13 January 2021, 06:47:32 PM »

however there might be times , like now where you just cannot use them , unless it genuinely is your only form of transport,  its pretty much illegal, apart from if it was your only form of transport.

I don't know where you got that from but it is wrong. There are no laws or even guidelines or advice that cover this. Nothing stopping using whatever transport you have to carry out an allowed activity.   
I don't do rain or threat there of. dry rider only with no shame.

darrsi

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Re: winter and pandemic non usage
« Reply #3 on: 13 January 2021, 06:54:59 PM »
When i was furloughed early last year my bike didn't get touched for 3 months and my battery was dead when I did go to start it, but i have a charger at home so that was no big deal and the battery isn't old so was absolutely fine.
And over Xmas I picked the warmest day (still cold) and gave my calipers a good clean up and regreased the pots, just in case we got shut down again, or we got hit with snow. But as I clean them twice a year anyway they were in really good nick under the road dirt, due to less use last year, but I don't mind doing the job as I find it weirdly satisfying.  :lol
Gave the chain a good oiling too, but again, I do that regularly too so that was just habit.
Those are the 3 main things for me to keep on side with if the bike is going to be left standing for a while, especially in winter.
More people are born because of alcohol than will ever die from it.

NJD

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Re: winter and pandemic non usage
« Reply #4 on: 13 January 2021, 10:24:46 PM »
From what I understand the current lockdown does not have an end date simply because the hopes of "Boris & Co" are that they can strike a reasonable balance between the numbers vaccinated and those not before mixing of any kind will begin again; and even then I think they'll opt for a slowly progressive release like they did from the first lockdown last year. So, in short, if you're waiting for a period in time like the one we experienced between the first lockdown in March and the second in November where for periods of the summer it was relatively "safe" and not frowned upon to partake in activities such as biking to other areas, or visiting restaurants to use the "eat out to help out" scheme then I wouldn't be holding my breath for very long.


I wouldn't say its illegal to ride in the current times, but not overly smart to go too far from home. Riding a motorbike is perhaps one of the few things you can do in the current climate with very little exposure to covid, but then you could say that if you get a puncture and have to get recovered home that sitting in a van with someone you don't know for 10, 20, 30 mins is potential unnecessary exposure (keeping in mind there's always a delay between catching and showing symptoms for covid, but of course with current testing times that is way faster than last year).


If I wasn't using mine for work I'd guestimate that for at least one day of a week I'd venture out for a 20-30 minuate round trip to keep some form of mental normality.


Ultimately you have to remember that there are people out there going shops in large groups, collecting items they really could do without from Argos; way more shops open this time round, and plenty of traffic on the road. So, in summary, riding a motorbike for a short period locally is not the worst thing you could be doing at the moment so long as you come back in one piece and stay well away from everyone else.


~


On the other hand you have three bikes, and hopefully a garage (?). For me I'd be over the moon at that prospect, and ripping them apart one by one to clean and service within an inch of their life simply for something to do.


In terms of what to do to keep bike in a rideable state after being stored for a period of time:


> Put them onto the centre stand, and raise the front with a headstand or suchlike (keeping weight of the bike off one area of the tyre)
> Fill fuel tank as much as possible
> Disconnect battery terminals (I've had a battery sitting on a shelf for several months now from an old bike that I use as a spare / item tester and it still reads 12 v and works fine and has never been charged)


Beyond that, and providing the bike didn't need any work, then not a lot. I'd have to make sure they were thoroughly cleaned to prevent any corrosion, mind.


I'd use this time to tackle some of the bigger jobs like suspension rebuilds, coolant changes, swingarm lubrication, headstock lubrication, oil changes, brake rebuilds etc as there literally couldn't be a better time for it.


I hate when I can't use my bike for a short period for whatever reason so can share the frustration, but providing you put it away in good running order and don't leave it for an overly long period of time then there shouldn't be a huge amount to do when it comes to taking it back out on the road again.


darrsi

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« Last Edit: 14 January 2021, 08:20:01 AM by darrsi »
More people are born because of alcohol than will ever die from it.

b1k3rdude

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Re: winter and pandemic non usage
« Reply #6 on: 14 January 2021, 01:24:47 PM »
Just a reminder to stay on topic, I have cleaned up the thread and removed posts not relevant to original question/topic.

The question in the OP is what do you do with your spare/other bikes during lockdown. Gnasher answered the maintenance side of this question with a few others suggesting how the OP if he wanted to, could use each bike in turn when out doing essential activities.
« Last Edit: 14 January 2021, 01:27:12 PM by b1k3rdude »

Gnasher

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Re: winter and pandemic non usage
« Reply #7 on: 14 January 2021, 01:59:32 PM »
> Put them onto the centre stand, and raise the front with a headstand or suchlike (keeping weight of the bike off one area of the tyre)

There's no need to do this and hasn't been since radial tyres were introduced, even before that it would take a good few years to deform a tyre and it would be lack of air that would allow weight damage.  It's the same with oil in fuel tanks, long term yes, over winter no waste of time.   

Quite a few large road bikes since the mid 80's (e.g. GSX-Rs) haven't had centre stands, my then GSX-R, those I've had over the years since and my ZX10R doesn't.  All have tyres that last 2 -3 years all stored over winter months as mentioned above, on their side stands, no tyre issues, but you must keep them inflated  ;)
« Last Edit: 15 January 2021, 07:11:50 AM by Gnasher »
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NJD

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Re: Winter & pandemic non usage:
« Reply #8 on: 14 January 2021, 11:15:31 PM »
Interesting to get a different perspective.


Oil in fuel tanks? I assume you mean like some sort of additive. I'd never think of needing to do any more than fill it to the top to prevent condensation, but then again I'd probably sell before storing for what I'd consider long term.

Gnasher

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Re: Winter & pandemic non usage:
« Reply #9 on: 15 January 2021, 08:24:55 AM »
I assume you mean like some sort of additive.

Nope.  Like much in the motor/bike trade, quality of products has steadily improved both in how they're made and the materials and finishes used.  Up until the mid 70s ish, the advice was when storing a bike over winter or any prolonged period was to drain the tank, tip in about a cup full of engine oil and use it to coat the inside.  This was due to either poor or back then more common no inner tank coatings.           


I'd never think of needing to do any more than fill it to the top to prevent condensation, but then again I'd probably sell before storing for what I'd consider long term.

Filling the tank wont do any harm, save your pocket  :D and something I used to do, but again hasn't been really necessary for many years.  Improvements in coatings, steel alloys, more and more have plastic or aluminum.  Most rust is either due to small dents that damage the inner coating and/or water introduced when filling.  Oldest bike I own is my XJR now 18yrs old, there's no rust whatsoever in the tank :)       



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butthead

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Re: Winter & pandemic non usage:
« Reply #10 on: 15 January 2021, 11:25:19 AM »
lots of very useful tips thank you guys and as someone said you can use your bike for essential reasons , so to apply this to the maintenance aspect, since you can for example use a bike to do  " a bit of shopping " for example, how much of a ride in terms of miles or duration is long enough to get everything up to temp and not too short to allow condensation etc?
 I by choice usually ride for a minimum of 30 mins,  when we are free to do so, but since im surrounded by supermarkets all less than 2 miles from me id have to be very creative and at the same time not in the spirit of the rules to get 30 min run.  but is that necessary or would 15 mins be enough or too short?, the battery wont be re charged by the energy it took to start it at 15 mins  but thats no issue for me personally as i can trickle charge mine, but what about the engine and oil etc what is a long enough duration for that to be enough maintained ?

Gnasher

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Re: Winter & pandemic non usage:
« Reply #11 on: 15 January 2021, 12:29:24 PM »
It really depends on the air temperature at the time.  15mins on a warm sunny day most certainly on a below 5* winters day 30mins at least even longer if colder and so on.   If you're supermarkets are all only a couple miles away you'll be doing more harm than good in riding.   

As you say " id have to be very creative and at the same time not in the spirit of the rules" personally I wouldn't.  Unless we all follow these current rules, it's just going to get worse.  The virus doesn't spread it's self and I'm not getting into the debate "well I'm on my own etc etc", any interaction increases the spread, anything we do that increases the likelihood of us going out does likewise, hence why they'll telling us not to go out!

Personally other than riding for work, I'm not riding for leisure until this thing is over.             
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fazersharp

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Re: Winter & pandemic non usage:
« Reply #12 on: 15 January 2021, 01:14:14 PM »
lots of very useful tips thank you guys and as someone said you can use your bike for essential reasons , so to apply this to the maintenance aspect, since you can for example use a bike to do  " a bit of shopping " for example, how much of a ride in terms of miles or duration is long enough to get everything up to temp and not too short to allow condensation etc?
Unfortunately the information about how far under the rules was removed. Is there a farm shop open where you prefer to buy local produce as oppose to supermarkets. 
I don't do rain or threat there of. dry rider only with no shame.

Gnasher

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Re: Winter & pandemic non usage:
« Reply #13 on: 15 January 2021, 01:16:27 PM »
Unfortunately the information about how far under the rules was removed. Is there a farm shop open where you prefer to buy local produce as oppose to supermarkets.


Put another record on  :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :z :z :z

Stop encouraging people to flout and abuse a national lock down, during a world pandemic, that's costing millions of lives world wide over 100,000 here now and climbing, to say nothing of the economic damage.  Whether you support the government or not, the more idiots keep going out, socialising, mixing, having parties, basically taking the piss, with "it's my right" "I'm alright Jack" bollocks, etc etc etc the more this virus is going to spread.   Before you say "I'm not and it's perfectly fine to visit a farm shop etc etc", you're only suggesting it, so this chap can come up with an excuse to ride his bike if stopped, having driven past a good few closer supermarkets.  Before you come up with the supermarkets didn't have what I want excuse etc etc, we're only supposed to be going out for essentials, not what we prefer.   

This carry on as normal attitude, playing cavalier with lockdown laws and guidance is what's perpetuating the situation, STOP it.   :evil



 
« Last Edit: 15 January 2021, 05:10:22 PM by Gnasher »
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b1k3rdude

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Re: Winter & pandemic non usage:
« Reply #14 on: 15 January 2021, 05:29:48 PM »
There was a lot of important useful and bike relevant info there by 4 contributers.
Those posts were removed because they were off-topic and didn't have any relevant info.
  • Unfortunately the information about how far under the rules was removed.
  • Is there a farm shop open where you prefer to buy local produce as oppose to supermarkets.
  • See the link in Darrsi's post, all the info you need is there - as in from the government, not someones opinion on an internet forum.
  • Do NOT be suggesting that people find some shop that's miles away just so they can ride their bike! That breaks several lock-down rules so is illegal, plain and simple.
Any further posts suggesting illegal activity will be removed and continued posts of the same nature will result in a temp ban.