Storing WR for Winter

This is probably a stupid question, but I have to ask since I've never had an insulated garage before. For years I have always been forced to store my bikes in below freezing temps over the winter months. Now that I have an insulated garage, I can store the WR inside, where it will never see temps lower than 50 degrees. The only reason I ask is that if I store it in the garage, I won't be able to park my truck inside (which really isn't that big of deal I guess, but it is nice on those really nasty days).

So, am I gaining anything by storing the bike in above-freezing temps or not? I didn't know if it made any difference to things like O-rings, gaskets, etc.? Also, I don't think the relative humidity outside should be a problem because it is very low in my neck of the woods (east side of the state)!

If there's no difference either way, it's probably going outside.....


I too have always stored my bikes in an unheated garage (until now - I have a walkout basement). I think as long as you drain the carb (or maybe some fuel stabilizer in the carb bowl, to prevent gaskets/o-rings from drying out...???) you should be fine. On my 2 strokes, I always did the tablespoon of oil in the spark plug hole thang (that would be southern for "Thing")with a few kicks to distribute the oil over the cylinder wall. I really don't know about these 4 strokes and lubing the cams...

Maybe our Guru's, i.e. Clark and James, may have some realistic, tried and proven winterizing points?


I live in California and ride the year around. Some of the best riding is winter desert riding like Im heading out for over the next full week. What's winterizing???

One week of blasting in the desert will be riding out of a location near Charlies Place SE of Ridgecrest Ca.


hey tim where do you live at in washington... Iam from Spokane and we have about 5 or 6 guys that ride regular maybe we could talk sometime and plan a ride.... and yes we do ride in the winter! we head down to the tri-citys or over to moses lake and hit the sand dunes its a blast!


Here's my drill I use when storing my flat tracker for long periods of time.

1) Wash thoroughly.

2) Remove the chain. Lube it & bag it with the master link attached to one end.

3) Lube all cables.

4) Completely drain fuel tank and carb float bowl.

4a) I would open and close the throttle a few times to also get all the fuel out of the carb's accelerator pump circuit.

5) Pull spark plug. Add one tablespoon of your favorite motor oil down the plughole.

6) Kick over (slowly) several times to coat the cylinder walls.

7) Remove the timing plug and position crank to TDC so all the valve springs are totally relaxed. Reinstall timing plug.

8) Reinstall spark plug about half way and leave plug wire off to remind you to install a fresh plug when bringing it out of storage.

9) Place on stand with both wheels off the ground. Someone once told me to deflate the tires, but I never do that. I guess it wouldn’t hurt. It would, however, make moving the bike around the garage more painful if you had to.

10) Tie a plastic bag over exhaust pipe opening to keep moisture out and deter kids from pouring anything down the pipe.

11) Clean, oil, grease and reinstall the air-filter.

12) Try to complete any other maintenance your doing as soon as possible and have the bike back together so you won’t forget anything or leave internal parts exposed to the elements for long periods of time.

I don’t think one cold winter will degrade your seals/gaskets too badly. Just crank it up in the spring and replace anything that leaks. I think long periods of hot dry weather are actually harder on inactive seals than the cold (I could be wrong on this assumption). Like Clark, I’m also from So. Cal and try to ride all year long and have no experience with your type of environment.

One other thought. If there is a lot of humidity/moisture in your area, you may want to consider pulling the brake pads and coating the brake rotors with a thin film of oil. Obviously, clean the rotors with some brake cleaner/degreaser solvent before your next ride. If you do this, also remove the front brake lever and disconnect the pedal from the rear master cylinder so someone won’t inadvertently pump all the fluid into the calipers and slow down your re-assembly bleeding the brakes next the spring. (Note: this is easily done if you ever find yourself sitting on the bike playing with the controls and making motor sounds some night in the middle of winter when there is six feet of snow on the ground). The lack of a brake lever will also remind you to clean up the rotors next spring. Be sure to bag the lever, rear master cylinder pin & washer and the four brake shoes and keep in a safe place with your bagged chain.

My 2¢…


I had my Stroker built KLX stored for a pretty short time and the accelerator pump plunger seized inside of it's bore. Since it was of a dissimliar metal, it was as if it was welded in place. The float bowl was effectively ruined. The lesson I learned here was to drain the gas and squirt a mixture of oil/WD-40 down thru the gas line and let it fill the float bowl and accelerator pump circuit. That was a Mikuni carb...the Kehein has a diaphram instead of a metal plunger as the accelerator pump design so this can't happen with the YZ. However, gas allowed to sit stagnate inside of the carb will cause a chemical reaction and do damage. I imagine mineral oil would be a good medium to use...just clean the carb really well when it's time to start it up.

OK, now you guys have me thinking of moving south just so I can ride all year round! Seriously though, thanks for all the good information guys. I don't mind riding when it gets cold, but riding in a foot or more of snow just doesn't cut it for me! I have a friend who offered to let me store my bike in a large heated crawl space under his house, but I'm planning on going through a few things this winter (like greasing the swingarm compenents, etc.), so it's handier for me to have the bike at my place where I can tinker on it when it's convenient.

Shane, I'm over here in Wenatchee. Most of my riding is within 50 miles or so of town. Half of which I just hop on and take off from my house. I rode a few times at the Moses Lk. dunes years ago, but sand really doesn't do much for me. I'm into trails mostly. As for the tri-cities area, I haven't heard what kind of riding they have down there. I would guess more sand. May have to check it out sometime, especially early Spring when the snow is still heavy in the mountains!

[This message has been edited by Tim in WA (edited 11-22-2000).]

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