Winter Storage Guide


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1100
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WingAdmin
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Winter Storage Guide

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:09 pm



I just finished putting my bike away for the winter, and not a moment too soon: the day after I finished, we got almost two inches of snow. I thought I would go over what I do to my bike to get it ready for storage.

1. First, I want to clean the sludge out of the crankcase. This holds acidic deposits that I don't want sitting inside the engine all winter. To start this, I open the oil fill port:

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2. My product of choice is Seafoam. Seafoam is also excellent at cleaning carburetor deposits when added to fuel.

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3. I add 1/2 can of Seafoam to the crankcase oil, then close the oil filler.

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4. I then add the appropriate amount of fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank. The exact amount will differ depending on the type of stabilizer you choose. I make sure the tank is at least 3/4 full when I do this.

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5. The next step does not have a picture: I take the bike out for the last ride of the season! This needs to be at least 20-30 minutes, to get the bike up to good operating temperature, to get the Seafoam well mixed with the engine oil and distributed throughout the crankcase, and to make sure the fuel stabilizer has a chance to get into the carburetor float bowls. Just before I come home, I stop and fill the fuel tank as full as I can possibly get it. This is to prevent moist air in the fuel tank from corroding the tank.

The owner's manual says for storage to drain the carburetors and fuel tank, and to spray an anti-corrosion compound into the tank. I prefer to leave stabilized fuel in the tank and carburetors, which in itself will prevent corrosion. I have been doing this for years for all of my engines (motorcycles, snowblower, lawn mower, etc) and have never had a problem with it.

6. Once I return, and while the engine (and oil) is still hot, I open the drain nut and drain the engine oil out. Note that my GL1100 has a dipstick that fastens in place of the oil drain nut - your bike may appear slightly different. Make sure you drain the oil, and not the coolant! The coolant drain nut is the flanged nut to the right, on top of the water pump housing. It should be said that if you live in a cold climate, you should be running standard 50/50 antifreeze as your coolant.

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7. The engine oil will be quite thin, both because it is hot, and because it contains Seafoam. You will notice that even if the oil is relatively fresh, it will come out almost black, because the Seafoam has dissolved the sludge in the engine that normally remains.

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8. As the oil is draining, I loosen the oil filter.

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9. Careful - as you loosen the filter, it will start draining oil as well. Make sure your catch pan is situated to catch it!

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10. Get ready with the new filter you will be installing.

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11. The new filter comes with two O-ring seals.

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12. Remove the oil filter casing completely from the bike. With your thumb, push on the retaining bolt in the center of the filter.

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13. The bolt will pop out of the end of the filter housing. You can see the old O-ring on the bolt.

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14. Remove and clean the bolt.

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15. Gently remove the old O-ring from the bolt and discard. Lubricate the new O-ring with some fresh oil, and slide it gently onto the bolt.

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16. Remove the old filter from the housing and discard.

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17. Remove, but do not discard the washer and oil filter spring. The washer sits between the spring and the filter. This washer is easy lost, because it commonly sticks to the oil filter, and is accidentally discarded.

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18. Remove the old O-ring from the housing and discard.

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19. Lubricate the new O-ring with fresh oil, and press it into the housing.

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20. Press the retaining bolt into the housing until it snaps into place.

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21. Install the spring over the retaining bolt.

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22. Place the washer on top of the spring.

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23. Install the new filter into the housing. Press it in until the bolt comes through the end.

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24. Ensure the new oil filter mounting face is clean, and apply a film of clean oil to it.

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25. Place the filter housing in place and screw it on by hand several turns to ensure it is not cross-threaded.

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26. Position the two notices on the filter housing so that they are on either side of the tab molded into the engine cover. This keeps the filter housing from rotating when it is tightened. Tighten the retaining bolt on the filter housing.

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27. Replace the oil drain nut and tighten. Note again that my bike has a dipstick in place of the oil drain nut, so it may appear different than in this picture.

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28. Get your fresh oil ready. I have used this Valvoline motorcycle oil for many years, you may use whichever brand you prefer.

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29. Open the oil fill port and use a funnel to fill the crankcase with the correct amount of oil.

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30. Watch the oil level indicator.

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31. You should fill the crankcase with oil until it shows at the "full" line as shown here, and no further. If the window on your indicator is too dirty, put a small screwdriver on the flat screw in the middle, and turn it - this will operate a wiper on the inside of the window, which will clean the dirt away.

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32. Install and tighten the oil filler cap.

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33. Switch the kill switch to OFF. Turn the ignition on and crank the bike for several seconds. Wait 45-60 seconds, and do it again. This will distribute the new, clean oil throughout the crankcase, coating the interior.

Note: It is also a good idea to remove the spark plugs, squirt about 1 teaspoon of oil into each cylinder through the plug hole, and then replace the plugs before cranking the engine. This will coat the insides of the cylinders with oil, preventing corrosion. For information on removing and replacing spark plugs, see How to remove, analyze, gap and replace your spark plugs.

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34. Next, I remove the battery for storage. Remove the left side cover.

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35. Anytime you do any work on or around the battery, you should wear safety glasses and gloves. Sulfuric acid from a motorcycle or car battery can cause severe burns, and will instantly blind you. A few moments of prevention are better than a lifetime of regret.

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36. Loosen and remove the battery tray retention bolt.

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37. Slide the battery partially out, and remove the NEGATIVE TERMINAL FIRST. Remove the bolt and completely disconnect the wires, so that they are no longer touching the battery terminal.

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38. Follow this up by removing and disconnecting the positive terminal. When reinstalling the battery, you will connect the positive terminal FIRST, and the negative terminal last. Why do you do this? Because if the negative terminal is already connected, and while connecting or disconnecting the positive terminal your tool happens to contact any metal part on the bike (which is grounded), it will cause a dead, unfused short, which can weld your tool to the bike and at worst cause the battery to explode, spraying you with sulfuric acid.

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39. Once disconnected, remove the battery from the bike. Notice the electrolyte levels in my battery are extremely low! I have no idea how this battery was functioning - despite the fact it was starting and running the bike with no problem.

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40. I cleaned the top of the battery before removing the red fill strip, to prevent any foreign material from falling into the cells.

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41. Fill the battery with distilled water, NOT sulfuric acid. Filling with sulfuric acid will cause the specific gravity of the battery to be incorrect.

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42. Using a small funnel, fill each cell separately to the fill line.

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43. This battery now has correct electrolyte levels.

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44. You can see the difference now from how the battery looked in step 38.

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45. I leave my battery on a battery tender over the winter. I prefer the Battery Tender Jr., and find it extends the life of my battery significantly.

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detdrbuzzard
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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby detdrbuzzard » Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:33 pm

i use seafoam for my fuel stabilizer
'99 ST1100, '93 se
'75 cb750k, '79 cb 750f, '79 cb750 superK
cb 450sc, sunL70
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.... william

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WingAdmin
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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:44 pm

detdrbuzzard wrote:i use seafoam for my fuel stabilizer


I likely will next year as well...I just wanted to finish off the bottle of stabilizer I had left.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:57 am

I had a few suggestions sent to me that I thought I would share:

  • Spray a LIGHT coating of oil (WD40 or similar) inside the muffler. Then spray a rag (an old sock works great) LIGHTLY with oil and stuff it in the pipe. Cover with a plastic grocery bag and tie in place. This will keep the creatures from making nests / webs / etc. in your pipes.
  • Get a 3/4" piece of plywood (8 inch square or so) and place under both tires - this will keep them off the concrete
  • Place a few dryer sheets (Bounce) around the electrical "stuff" - mice don't like these and will be less likely to chew the wires

The first item is great - WD-40 is ideal for this, as it was originally designed as a water displacement (hence the WD) and corrosion inhibitor agent.

The second one I'm not so sure about. I have heard people mention "don't store tires on concrete" before, but I've heard a lot more people say there is absolutely nothing wrong with having tires on concrete - they spend a fair amount of their life already on concrete, especially if you park in a garage! I'd be far more careful about storing it so that oil, grease and other contaminants (including ozone - generated by electric motors like those found in air compressors) don't come into contact with them. Make sure you store the bike on the center stand, so the weight is off the tires - that's the most critical item.

Lastly, I have read about this one as well. Strangely enough, it seems it's only the Bounce sheets that have this mice repellent effect.

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dough0216
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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby dough0216 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:13 am

I would not use the seafoam in the gas tank for winter storage!!! The seafoam will do the same thing inside your gas tank that it does in your carbs. i.e. it will pull any varnishing and crud from your tank, and this can clog up your fuel system when you start it up in the spring. It is great for cleanig things out but not a good ideal for long term storage. Use a sta-bil instead, I have read some horror stories about seafoam being used in this manner. Just thought I would post this and maybe save my fellow wingers some grief.
Ride safe !!!!

flw
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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby flw » Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:47 am

The tip on putting a teaspoon of oil into each cylinder does not state the type of oil or how best to circulate it within the cylinder. My GW is a carb model.

I would assume 2 stoke Oil so it burns out and does not leave any residue on the plug surfaces. Please let me know if this is correct or not. This is my first winter with a GW and want to see it for many years to come.

My other question is when I used to do this on 2 stoke snowmobiles we would also rotate the pistons (ignition off) so the oil would work/coat its way around the piston/cylinder walls.

Other than unplugging all the spark plug wires, how can this be accomplished?

Thank you for your help.

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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:42 pm

flw wrote:The tip on putting a teaspoon of oil into each cylinder does not state the type of oil or how best to circulate it within the cylinder. My GW is a carb model.

I would assume 2 stoke Oil so it burns out and does not leave any residue on the plug surfaces. Please let me know if this is correct or not. This is my first winter with a GW and want to see it for many years to come.

My other question is when I used to do this on 2 stoke snowmobiles we would also rotate the pistons (ignition off) so the oil would work/coat its way around the piston/cylinder walls.

Other than unplugging all the spark plug wires, how can this be accomplished?

Thank you for your help.


When I have done this, I've always used just regular engine oil. It's not like it's being pumped in there continuously, and it will burn off without fouling the plugs fairly quickly once it's started.

As for rotating the engine without starting it - same as the snowmobile! Switch the kill switch off (right handlebar), and give the starter a press.

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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby yogie007 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:17 pm

I have my 1980 Goldwing since it was new. This was a great methond of winter storage. I also have the battery tender Plus. Great tool to keep for battery. Thanks for the info on seafoam. I also use stable in the gas tank and keep the tank foull of fuel. Still have clean original gas tank.

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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby tfdeputydawg » Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:20 am

WOW!!!!!
It's amazing my bikes have survived without such elaborate winter prep!
I do this:
1. Add Stabil-fill the tank-ride 10miles to make sure the Stabil gets circulated. Mine has EFI,so don't need to worry about carb bowls!
2. Plug in the battery tender
3. Cover it w/a bed sheet.
Now, if I were storing for years, instead of 3 months................

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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby littlebeaver » Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:32 pm

that's a awesome write up on everything thanks..Really good stuff.. :D

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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:26 pm

It's that time of year, and quite a few people asking about this, so I thought I'd bump it up to the top for people to find easily.

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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby mbuesing » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:44 pm

tfdeputydawg wrote:WOW!!!!!
It's amazing my bikes have survived without such elaborate winter prep!
I do this:
1. Add Stabil-fill the tank-ride 10miles to make sure the Stabil gets circulated. Mine has EFI,so don't need to worry about carb bowls!
2. Plug in the battery tender
3. Cover it w/a bed sheet.
Now, if I were storing for years, instead of 3 months................


Same here, doing the same thing for 30 years on all my motors before storing. Fresh oil change, Stabil and put smart charger on for a day every 2 - 3 weeks. They all start right up.
The GL1800 is a crotch rocket on Steroids.

wing_newb
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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby wing_newb » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:10 am

I was wondering the fuel tank capacity on my 1980 GL1100 Interstate? I need to know the right amount of stabilizer to add. I am long overdue on getting it winterized and I need to take it for the last ride before the snow comes for good.

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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:49 pm

wing_newb wrote:I was wondering the fuel tank capacity on my 1980 GL1100 Interstate? I need to know the right amount of stabilizer to add. I am long overdue on getting it winterized and I need to take it for the last ride before the snow comes for good.


1100's have 5.3 US gallons capacity (20 liters).

Make sure you run it after adding the stabilizer, so the fuel in the lines, carbs etc. also has the stabilizer in it.

wing_newb
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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby wing_newb » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:14 am

I'm planning a good 45 minute ride or so to run that through. I hope my hands don't freeze!

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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby wally » Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:56 pm

I use stabil in the gas tank and run it through, but what do you guys think about shutting the gas off and running the carbs dry the po did this on my bike and never had any problems. I also read that it's a good practice to check & lubricate the throttle and clutch cables at least once a year

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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby jskeys » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:43 pm

Great guide, I intend to follow the steps to the letter. Just got contacted that I may be going overseas for a year. Will this set of procedures be good for a year storage? I am especially worried about the fuel. Would following the procedures, then on return drain the tank and fill with fresh gas be a way to do it? Will the fuel stabilizer work for a full year? The bike will be in a garage in Florida. Don't want all the work getting her back on the road to go to waste. Open to any suggestions from guys who have put their bikes up for long term storage.

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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby gof » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:55 pm

jskeys wrote:Great guide, I intend to follow the steps to the letter. Just got contacted that I may be going overseas for a year. Will this set of procedures be good for a year storage? .


Just wanted to stay I recently pulled my improperly stored bike from the garage after 3-4 years. Luckily, I had put Stabil in and circulated it through. It started after about 6 cycles, of maybe 5 seconds each, of starting.

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petesgoldwing
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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby petesgoldwing » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:55 am

dough0216 wrote:I would not use the seafoam in the gas tank for winter storage!!! The seafoam will do the same thing inside your gas tank that it does in your carbs. i.e. it will pull any varnishing and crud from your tank, and this can clog up your fuel system when you start it up in the spring. It is great for cleanig things out but not a good ideal for long term storage. Use a sta-bil instead, I have read some horror stories about seafoam being used in this manner. Just thought I would post this and maybe save my fellow wingers some grief.
Ride safe !!!!

Thank you that make a lot of sense to me :D

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RobH
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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby RobH » Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:27 am

I can't thank you enough for this step by step guide. I go back to it each year just to refresh the (aging) memory, and utilize it with my '86 Interstate. Like the rest of this site, a tremendous help! Thanks!
"In Valor There Is Hope" Tacitus

Allan10
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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby Allan10 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:58 pm

wingman you had talked about a cleaner polish that you use on a different post and it was a honda product. I lost tyhe slip that I had written it on could you let us know what that was. Thanks Allan

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Re: Winter Storage Guide

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:26 pm

Allan10 wrote:wingman you had talked about a cleaner polish that you use on a different post and it was a honda product. I lost tyhe slip that I had written it on could you let us know what that was. Thanks Allan


I have two.

The main one I use for almost everything is the Honda Spray Clean. I use it for quickie cleanups, windshield cleaning, or pretty much anytime. I carry a can in my saddlebag. You spray it on, wipe it off with a towel, it's like magic.

The other one is Pro Honda Ultra Glare Wash. This stuff I use as a polish/wax - i.e. only applied after things are clean, and only on painted surfaces. I use it also on my cars, because it does such an unbelievable job.




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