Coming Up On Winter Storage Time! - Honda CBR250R Forum : Honda CBR 250 Forums
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post #1 of 26 Old 10-08-2017, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Coming Up On Winter Storage Time!

It's almost that most-hated time of the year here in New England - Winter Storage Time!
I've got my oil change kit & GN4, battery tender and track stands at the ready. This year I'll be storing my bike with the tank full of ethanol-free gas instead of treating it as I have for all of the past seasons since I purchased my 2011 CBR250R new.
Those of us who regularly observe this sad ritual every fall are well versed in the basics. Oil change with fresh oil, gas tank topped off with treated or ethanol-free gas, freshly-lubed chain, up on track stands if you've got 'em to prevent flat spots on the tires and removing or hooking up the battery to a reliable battery tender for the duration of winter.
Added to that are all the small "common sense" things that experience tells you are helpful, like a final wash & wax, a spritz of WD-40 on any exposed bolts and surfaces prone to corrosion and (in my case anyway) eliminating the possibility of pest invasion by throwing a packet or two of "Mouse Proof" mint-scented repellent under the seats and setting a few snap traps around the storage shed.
For 5 seasons now these preparations have rewarded me with a bike that starts on the first crank and is ready to ride when spring eventually arrives, but I always feel like there is more I could be doing to help protect my investment for the interminably long 4 or 5 months my bike sits in suspended animation while the snowflakes fall.
If anyone has further any suggestions or good ideas that have worked for them in the past I'd love to hear them. One thing I'm still unclear on (and have discussed with MotoMike in past seasons) is the advisability of blocking off the exhaust pipe outlet with a plastic bag to (supposedly) prevent condensation build-up and rust on the inside of the pipe. I've always heard that it's a good idea, but Mike seems to think that the constant temperature changes in a closed exhaust may actually PROMOTE condensation.
What's your personal experience with these "accepted" practices? And do you do anything differently or in addition to these age-old storage methods that you've found to work?
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post #2 of 26 Old 10-08-2017, 11:47 AM
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What really works is moving to Australia.

Apart from that I do pretty much what you do.
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post #3 of 26 Old 10-08-2017, 06:34 PM
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There are closer alternatives than Australia.

I brought the batteries inside for the winter when I lived in Montana. It didn't take long to top them off every couple of months.

I never worried about the open exhaust system, but I did check the air box before starting the bike in the spring.
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Last edited by jsonder; 10-08-2017 at 06:36 PM. Reason: answer the question about exhausts
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post #4 of 26 Old 10-08-2017, 10:21 PM
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Just to clarify, I recommend treating the gas - even if it's ethanol free. You need to run the engine enough to get the treated gas into the entire system right down to the injector. The tank should be filled to the top to reduce the chances of condensation forming.

I add some air to the tires to make sure they don't drop down when cold and buckle the sidewall. I put it up on the rear stand, but I'm pretty sure new tires don't have the same problem with flat-spotting they used to.

I charge the battery every month or so, and remove it if the bike is stored in an unheated area. My original battery lasted 8 years.

Closing up the openings is a good idea if there is any chance of rodents making a home in your engine. They love the airbox. Not sure if closing the exhaust is a good idea or not.

Do all the maintenance required before putting it away. Fresh oil is the best for preventing corrosion during storage, and never start it up during storage to "warm it up" - it only contaminates the oil with acids and moisture which is exactly what you don't want in your oil. Adjust and lube the chain, change the fluids if necessary, and do anything else that needs to be done so you are ready to go in spring.

My bikes always start up after storage just like they do normally. After running through the storage gas each year I add a strong fuel system cleaner (Techron Concentrate 1oz per gal) to the next tank.
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post #5 of 26 Old 10-09-2017, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Great post, jkv357.
Yeah, I think adding stabilizer to even ethanol free gas is a good idea. No matter how completely you fill your tank there is going to be some air in there, so condensation is possible, IMO.
Speaking of condensation, I always read that you should cover your bike during storage and I have a bike cover for that, but I noticed several times this summer when uncovering the bike on a cool morning that there was obvious condensation on the gas tank.
So even though the cover is "breathable", in extreme temperature changes (like when the morning sun hits the shed it's in) it definitely causes condensation under the cover.
I'm just wondering if that's something I should be concerned about or not, since there are plenty of people here who leave their bikes parked covered in the rain without incident.
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post #6 of 26 Old 10-09-2017, 10:33 AM
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+3 on using Stabil in non-ethanol gas.

On the cover issue, for a bike is being stored inside an old bed sheet actually works better than a motorcycle cover. It's breathable and keeps dust off the bike.

As for covering the exhaust outlet to keep mice out, I'd also use something that is breathable.
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post #7 of 26 Old 10-09-2017, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoMike View Post
+3 on using Stabil in non-ethanol gas.

On the cover issue, for a bike is being stored inside an old bed sheet actually works better than a motorcycle cover. It's breathable and keeps dust off the bike.

As for covering the exhaust outlet to keep mice out, I'd also use something that is breathable.
Thanks Mike. I was hoping you'd weigh in.
I like your suggestion of the bed sheet and will give it a try. I'm really not happy with the condensation I'm finding on the gas tank when I remove the bike cover I'm using, since the condensation is mostly accumulating at the spot where the tank meets the seat. Way too much chance of repeated condensation infiltrating the airbox and battery area and causing corrosion down there. Since the bike is stored in a shed and already protected from snow and rain, a bike cover seems like overkill anyway and the bed sheet will take care the real problem: dust.
This will be my first season of storage since I installed 1/4" hardware cloth mesh over the airbox opening. It's been working well on keeping critters out during the summer months, so hopefully it won't be turned into an acorn storage bin again this year as it has in so many past winters!
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post #8 of 26 Old 10-16-2017, 08:25 AM
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Isn't all gas 10%. ethanol? Where do I find ethanol free gas? Anyone have a affordable bike stand they recommend for winter storage? Also, where all should I be looking when plugging the holes for rodents near the engine and what do you gentleman use to plug said holes?
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post #9 of 26 Old 10-16-2017, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aintnoskank View Post
Isn't all gas 10%. ethanol? Where do I find ethanol free gas? Anyone have a affordable bike stand they recommend for winter storage? Also, where all should I be looking when plugging the holes for rodents near the engine and what do you gentleman use to plug said holes?
Peace Love & Crackers
Mike started this thread with that info - https://www.cbr250.net/forum/cbr250-p...ilability.html

In some areas, all gas does contain 10% ethanol, but there may be options in your area.

The main opening to plug during storage is where the air enters the airbox. Critters find the airbox to be a great place to live over the winter and store food. It can be tricky to find something to block an unusual shaped opening, but something that they won't chew like aluminum foil of steel wool will work.

Stands are handy to have but not required during storage IMO. Harbor Freight has a few inexpensive stand choices, as do other manufacturers. They are OK, but not very secure without the use of spools (don't know if the CBR has spool mounts, but I didn't think so).

A front wheel chock (https://www.cyclegear.com/accessorie...on-wheel-chock) is pretty handy as well and not too expensive. I use one a lot. It makes putting the bike up on the rear stand a lot easier and is much more secure than just the rear stand.
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post #10 of 26 Old 10-17-2017, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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I have T-Rex stands that I mount the bike on for storage each year. I don't have spools, but the rear stand still holds the weight of the swingarm securely and my shed has a good, flat concrete floor so I'm not worried about tippage. Since the bike is stored perfectly upright, it allows me to fill the gas tank completely and eliminate any voids in the tank that could promote condensation and corrosion.
I also learned from experience that the airbox opening MUST be blocked or critters WILL move in for the winter. My solution was a piece of inexpensive 1/4" hardware cloth (wire mesh) bent around the opening and secured with zip ties. It's held up well and doesn't obstruct air flow at all. I also throw a packet or two of a product called "Mouse Proof" under the seat. They're small bags of mint-scented repellent that are (apparently) only widely used by Harley-Davidson owners. I'd never even know about this excellent product unless I had a couple of friends with HDs.
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