Not riding for months at a time - KawiForums - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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Not riding for months at a time

Hello,

I need some advice on how to keep the bike in rideable condition when it's ridden only sporadically. The bike is an 2010 Ninja 250 with 3000 miles and in very good condition.

Specifically, I am about to start a new job where I can be home only once every month or two. The bike will be my primary form of transportation when I'm home.

Stowing per manufacturer's instructions seems like too much trouble since I may be home for only days at a time. The best I can arrange for is to have someone start it up once a week, but it can't be ridden because nobody else I know has an M1.

Does anyone have any recommendations on how to keep the bike ridable under these circumstances? It will be garaged in Southern California. Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 09:06 AM
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Hi Bensaur welcome to the forums

here is a link to one topic which will help you

http://www.kawiforums.com/ninja-250r...read-250s.html

This can be found on the How To thread by whitehendrix

Make sure you give him and any other contributors a rep point for their time.

1999-2000: Aprilia RS 50, 2000-2000: Suzuki TS 50, 2001-2002: Kawasaki KMX 200, 2002-2006: Yamaha Virago 250, 2007-2009: Yamaha Virago XV 535, 2009-2012: Suzuki GZ 250 Marauder, 2012-present: Kawasaki ZZR 600
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 10:08 AM
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Since your bike will be garaged, most of you storage issues will be small.

Fuel will be your biggest priority. Keeping it stabilized will be important, however since you say the bike will be ridden every one or two months you may should able to keep the tank full and add some Star Tron Fuel Treatment. This stuff works great once it is in the carbs.

Make sure you have some fresh oil.
Keep your tires properly inflated.
Keep your chained lubed.
Disconnect or remove the battery. You can keep the battery on a battery tender, but it's a lot easier just to charge it up prior to riding the bike. If the battery is good it should not discharge all that much in a months time.
Use a cheap cover also. It helps keep the dust off the plastics and metal parts.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 03:14 PM
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Fill the tank up all the way, then pour in fuel stabilizer.

Change the oil, lube the chain, and inflate the tires to the correct PSI.

Hook the battery up to a battery tender.

Wash, wax and cover it.

Get the tires off the ground. Either lift the bike with a front and rear stand or roll the bike onto sections of wood.

-Will

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 06:12 AM
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For two months at a time, don't do anything. The bike and the fuel will be fine.

Just disconnect the battery and leave it with the tank full if you can manage to do that.

Do not get anybody to start it and run it at idle. That's one of the worst things that you can do.

The two posts above are good basic advice, but it isn't needed for periods of less than three or four months.

Rob
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williamr View Post
For two months at a time, don't do anything. The bike and the fuel will be fine.

Just disconnect the battery and leave it with the tank full if you can manage to do that.

Do not get anybody to start it and run it at idle. That's one of the worst things that you can do.

The two posts above are good basic advice, but it isn't needed for periods of less than three or four months.

Rob
In Southern California, gas goes bad in about 3 weeks. Definitely use Stabil or else the carbs will clog.

On the other hand, I can't imagine why someone would tell you to disconnect the battery on a well running reasonably new bike, but not use fuel stabilizer. Or why you wouldn't want some one to start it an idle it once a month. Soooo, I pretty much disagree with everything that is quoted.

Since I live in Torrance, I'll keep the bike at my house in perfect running condition free of charge, if you let me race it :-D

Otherwise I'd consider getting some stands for it so it's not on it's tires creating flat spots. A very nice to have.

When you turn your bike on, does it return the favor?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiebug79 View Post
On the other hand, I can't imagine why someone would tell you to disconnect the battery on a well running reasonably new bike, but not use fuel stabilizer. Or why you wouldn't want some one to start it an idle it once a month.
Starting it and running it doesn't really do anything. Having it just sit there and idle isn't producing enough power to charge the battery.

After starting it, it takes around ten minutes of riding around to replace the power used to start it.

-Will

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by av8r-92 View Post
Starting it and running it doesn't really do anything. Having it just sit there and idle isn't producing enough power to charge the battery.

After starting it, it takes around ten minutes of riding around to replace the power used to start it.

-Will
Starting it moves fuel through the carbs so that they don't gum up.

Just starting it a few times won't wear out the battery. But if you're worried about it, the $40 Battery Tender Jr in an excellent product (but unnecessary for this instance IMHO).

DELTRAN Parts & Accessories - Battery Tender Jr. - Cycle Gear

When you turn your bike on, does it return the favor?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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First off, thanks for your thoughtful comments. I have gone through the winterization threads and they are helpful but I wonder how much of it is applicable in Southern California.

Right now I seem to have gathered the following:
1. Fill the tank, add fuel stabilizer, and drain the carbs by closing the petcock and running the engine until it dies.
2. Disconnect the battery.
3. Elevating the bike on stands. I may not be away long enough for this, but it seems like a good time as any to get a set of stands anyway.

And I have the following related questions:
1. At least one person complained that running the engine until it dies, per the owner's manual, killed the fuel pump. Does this seem to be a common issue?
2. If the battery dies while I am away, can I jump the battery with jumper cables connected to my car battery?

These are rather practical concerns as I would not like to spend too much time winterizing/dewinterizing for the short durations that I'll be home. I think my idea of having someone start it up occasionally is DOA, because you guys say don't do it, and I doubt the person starting it up is going to know how to reconnect the battery and open the petcock, etc. I also have access to an auto battery charger but that's at someone else's house so it adds to the complexity.

Again, thanks for all your help and I greatly appreciate your input.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2012, 09:19 PM
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You can just drain your carbs without running the engine out of gas:
How to drain the float bowls - Ninja250Wiki

If you drain your carbs, there's no reason to have someone start it periodically.

I really wouldn't worry about the battery dying if you're away unless you've added a bunch of electronics to the bike. If you really want to, you can disconnect the battery when you store it. If it's disconnected, nothing will be drawing current from it.

Jumping your bike from a car battery is a heavily debated subject. People have done it with success. Some people think you risk frying your electrical system. If you need to do it, I would start without the car running. It really doesn't take much to get the 250 running. But don't forget to prime the carbs.

Don't over think it!

When you turn your bike on, does it return the favor?
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