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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For some of us riders in the northern parts of the hemisphere, our riding season is coming to an end. Winter is at our doorsteps so bad weather is coming, and some insurance companies give you a discount when you store your bike during winter. For me that means the bike will be inside my parents garage where it will be dry and warm, but most of all, stationary for two or three months. Having your bike hibernate for such a long time has its consequences so what are the things you have to do to prepare your bike for winter?

Top tip: Read the entire post before starting, you might need to ride around with your bike (read the fuel part) and that's not handy when you've just prepared your bike.

Wash it
Most of us do this already, but I wanted to start off with this; wash the bike. Do it really thoroughly, to make sure you don't forget anything, follow these steps:
- Get your bike upright to have water flow straight down, this minimises the chance of it creeping into nooks and crannies and don't come out again. Most of us don't have a center stand so the best way to do this is by using a paddock stand on the rear wheel. You could also prop up the bike on its side stand with a couple of bricks or wooden blocks underneath it. Be careful not to knock your bike over if you're doing the sidestand thing, because it's a lot less stable than using a paddock stand.
- Rinse off the bike. Just use a garden hose or a watering can. Be careful to not use a high powered jet washer (if you do, be careful on seals and parts that need to stay lubricated), and make sure you don't spray up into the battery box.
- If there are dead bugs on your bike they will probably not come off using a regular cleaner, so get yourself some bug specific cleaner and spray it onto the areas most affected by dead bugs. Leave it to soak for a minute or so before rinsing off. If there is some residue you can repeat, or take a wet cloth or a sponge to wipe it off.
- On to the regular cleaning. It is best to use the two-bucket system; one bucket for the clean water with soap, one bucket to clean your sponge in. If you stick your dirty sponge into a bucket of clean water it will contaminate the water with all kinds of dirt, grease and little things like sand particles. When you continue to wash your bike with a dirty sponge you risk damaging the paintwork by scrubbing sand or other stuff into it.
When you start washing it is best to start at the top of your bike and continue down, as most of the real dirt is on the lower parts of your bike. This way you minimise the chance of you spreading dirt to the parts that need to shine, or which you have to touch.
Top tip: Stick an old rag or a piece of cloth into your exhaust tip to stop water from running into it.
- Drying. Use a towel or a microfibre cloth to dry your bike, try to pick up as much as possible from the hard to reach areas because that is where the water will stay the longest and can possibly do a lot of damage. You could use a simple blow dryer for your hair, or buy a motorcycle specific dryer, to really get off those last drops.
- Protecting. Some people (In particular The Missenden Flyer (look him up on youtube)) like to then spray the bike with some protecting agent like ACF50. This will penetrate into the mechanics and coats the plastics and metals in a greasy layer that will fend off moisture and dirt.
DO NOT SPRAY THIS ONTO YOUR BRAKES AND TYRES!! This kind of stuff is incredibly greasy and slippery, so keep it out of reach from your rubber grips and footpegs as well.

Chain
Now is the perfect time to clean your chain and lubricate it. Really apply a thick layer of lubrication to really protect the seals.

Battery
- Disconnect your battery. First disconnect the negative side, then the positive side. You can take out the battery and store it inside your home to keep it warmer than it would possibly be in your shed/garage.
- OR use a battery tender to keep it charged while being stored. These gadgets can keep your battery topped up without overcharging it, prolonging the life of the battery. By the way, you can also do this when the battery is off the bike.

Tyres
Most modern tyres have strong sidewalls, but still, every tyre benefits from not being pressed down onto a small patch of its surface for too long. If you want to prolong tyre life, you could get the bike up on front and rear paddock stands while in storage. This greatly reduces stress on the tyres and so prolongs life.

Fuel
Most gas stations in the western world add (bio)ethanol to their fuels, sometimes 5%, sometimes 10%. One drawback from this is that ethanol attracts water, and this becomes more apparent when it isn't used for a longer period. When you don't treat your fuel, the inside of your tank could corrode and particles can become lodged in your fuel lines and/or injectors (worst case scenario).
Add some ethanol stabilizer (you can get it from most gas stations or automotive shops) to your fuel as per instructions. If you don't use it year round, it can be best to take a ride on your bike to make sure the product is flushed through the entire system. After you are sure the fuel system is treated, fill your tank to the brim with gasoline. The less amount of air remains in the tank, the less amount of water can be subtracted from it, leading to corrosion.

Oil
Do an engine oil change before storage. The carbon particles that reside in the oil can come to the surface when you don't use your bike for a longer period of time. When you start up the engine again after some time, the carbon residue gets scraped around the cilinder walls, damaging them in the process. So, it's best to change the oil before leaving the bike stationary.

Cover
If you have a bike specific cover, use it. It will keep off dust and protect it from small scratches when the bike is stored in a small workshop. If you don't have one, just use an old bed sheet or something, anything is better than to leave it uncovered. To keep out rodents you could cover up your exhaust tip with a plastic bag and strategically place some moth balls to keep away mice that might fancy your electrics.

Enjoy!
Enjoy your hard work with a cup of hot cocoa, and don't forget to snap up a picture from your spoiled two wheeled friend. This way you can look at it without disturbing it in his hibernation. Enjoy winter time and look forward to a new season of riding in the coming spring, hassle free because you treated your bike well.

If you are riding your bike through the winter, good for you! Stay safe, visible, and keep taking care of your bike even more than in the summer months, because road salts and grease can really destroy your electrics and corrode your metal parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great post! Do you have a battery tender that your would recommend?
Yamaha has their own charger, the YEC-50; YME-YEC50-EU-00 (around $100,-) which should work on all motorcycles. You could also go with an Oxford Optimiser 900 ($50,-), or basically any other battery tender that goes into trickle charge as soon as the battery is fully charged.
 

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Nice post! It seems accessing the spark plugs on this bike is a total PITA. Per the OM, it states to put a teaspoon of oil in the cylinders for storage. Anyone do this?How important is this?? Thanks!
 

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Nice post! It seems accessing the spark plugs on this bike is a total PITA. Per the OM, it states to put a teaspoon of oil in the cylinders for storage. Anyone do this?How important is this?? Thanks!

There is no need to do so, when storing for a winter period. Even if the winter lasts some months, or you are living directly sea side.
If you are considering to store your XSR for some years, you should do so and many other things.
 
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