Winter in Thumper-ville

For anyone living where the Winter thing is taking hold of temperatures in an ever decreasing way, I need some advice.

Two questions for the wise and knowledgable:

1) What are some tips and suggestions on proper bike prep. for Winter riding(like cold days or in the snow)?

2) When the sad times of storage for a couple months comes, what are some best practices to winterize, then get ready again this coming Spring?

As a recent four-stroke convert, who frankly didn't care much about his mid-80's two-stroke, I would appreciate any replies to either question. Thanks!!

Last winter I was out riding when it was about 15 degrees below freezing and after a while the bike started to run bad, and I could feel that it didn't have any idle.

Then I couldn't keep it running and it died and would not restart. Luckily I was close to home and you get really warm when pushing your bike.

Turned out that snow had melted on the engine and flowed down all the vent lines from the carb and freezed to ice blocking everything.

So, run your vent lines into the airbox.

for the winter i'd say unless you really want to, avoid riding your bike. it wasn't meant to be ridden on the snow or in freezing temperatures, i'm just imagining what a HOT block would do when it comes into contact with that snow bank you could slide into sideways, can someone say BIG ASS CRACK. a simpler and cheaper method than acutally winterizing is just to pull the bike out and start her up every few weeks and let it idle for a while, if the roads dry enough, maybe blast up and down a couple times to piss the neighbors off :) just kiddiing, who would want to tick the neighbors off?

Point taken, no snowbanks!! And good thought about the carb lines samohT, I would never have thought about them freezing or how to solve the problem. As for riding temps, I don't plan to be out when its too cold at all, just a few joy rides with a few inches on the ground before the dead of Winter sets in.

Also, my good man out East, starting the bike every once in a while is an idea I had forgotten from the good ol' two stroke days. I'll be sure to find ways of ticking off...I mean quietly putting by the neighbors. Or I can assume that what they can't see, they can't get mad at...okay, you're right, bad idea :)

Thanks for the comments!

Any thoughts out there about smart things to do right before Spring riding?

Off to dream of big air and technical mountain trails!

Look, there is no way your going to crack anything by riding in snow.

I've ridden my WR on fields with over a ft of snow and gotten snow plugged up in the radiators, around the carb, block and cylinder without problems.

Snow contains alot of air and acts as an insulator. When it hits a hot enginge it melts to water which cools the engine.

Have you ever heard of anyone cracking there block when going through a puddle of water?

Make sure you change your oil to 10w 40.

Yep - there's no way you're gunna crack anything from snow hitting it. If it's not too cold the stock jetting should be O.K. on a stroker , but if you plan on riding quite a bit (you may love the snow) or in really cold temps, going fatter on the pilot and main is a good idea. This is essential on a 2-smoke, unless you want to add to your collection of melted pistons, that cold air makes 'em run LEAN. The most common damage winter riding will inflict on your trusty steed is corrosion from road salt. Whether riding on the road, or just getting a salt spray from traffic whilst in the back of your pick-up, that salt is tres bad for the bike. It will get in everywhere and rust it all to hell. It'll even pit the rims before you know it. A thorough fresh-water bath right after your ride is the only solution. Putting the bike away in warm garage will accelerate the rate of corrosion, so washing it after your ride is important. Studded tires (sheet metal screws) are a must once the frost gets into the ground. The amount of traction you get with those will amaze you. It's too bad that mike68 wasn't still around, he was/is a die-hard year-round rider and actually liked riding the snow as much as dirt. He could give you lots of good advice.

If you decide that winter riding just seems like too much trouble and you are going to store the bike, this is what you should do. First of all, don't start the bike periodically, if you're putting her to bed, do it right and let her sleep! Starting the bike, letting it warm up, and then shutting it off causes condensation as it cools and you can get water in the oil (bad) and internal rust (bad,bad), so DON'T do it. Best to wash the bike well,change the oil (never store with dirty oil in the engine) lube the chain, cables etc., clean the air filter and put it away for safe keeping (not back in the bike). Now you can either put stabilizer in the fuel now or drain it all later. I prefer draining it,I have used stabilizer with no problems, but if the storage period is unexpectedly extended, you will have to drain it anyways. So start the bike up now with the stabilized fuel so it gets to the carb, (or without if you're going to drain it) and while the bike is running spray aerosol fogging oil into the carb until she's smoking out the exhaust like a Chrysler minivan with 300,000 miles. Shut the bike off, and don't start it again until you're going to ride it. Now drain the fuel if you chose to go that route, and put it in your sled or snowblower. Dampen a couple of rags with the dirty oil (from the change) and loosely stuff one in the air intake, and the other in the exhaust outlet. Depending on what environment the bike will be stored in, you may want to spray fluid film or something similiar on all exposed metal. Don't worry - brake clean will remove it easily when the time comes. If the bike will be sitting in a dry, temperature-stable place, you could probably skip that last bit. There - you're done, now go and have beer or something and quit yer cryin', spring will be here soon enough. :D

My bikes seldom get stored like that of course, I usually take the damn things all apart every winter and do the fix and upgrade thing. Number of upgrades dependent on amount of fixing required. :)

Peace Eh - P.Z.

Good points, and well taken thanks. One thing though...A Chrysler minivan with 300,000 miles? No way....try 75K. (I never had to change it I used so much) :)

Im part of the non storing crowd. I go bigger on the main jet and ride the sucker all winter. Studded tires are a must in the snow. Im gonna add heated handgrips this winter. :)

Single trackin in the snow at night is a blast.

I can attest to the road salt problem. Its nasty if you have to trailer your bike. A couple of times when we had to drive like 1hr to go ride. We wraped the bike in shrink wrap to keep the salt off. Looked a little funny but it keeps the salt off.

I have never had a problem with a hot motor coming in contact with the cold snow. The only problem I have in the winter is gettin the sucker to start. I dont know about everyone else but mine is really cold blooded in the winter. Once Ive started it and warmed it up it runs great. But gettin that sucker started often requires a new plug.

And you really need to let them warm up good in the cold. We ice race sometimes and you cant get the bike hot enough to run right. We often put duct tape over the radiator fins to reduce the amount of air through it, and to help it warm up and stay warm.

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