To run or not to run

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Bullethead
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To run or not to run

Post by Bullethead » Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:06 pm

I’ve always kept something or other of the two-wheeled variety running year-round. If I couldn’t do an actual ride, I’d roll whatever out on the drive and run it up to operating temperature...cylinder-head temp...once a week or so. Just read another piece that suggests that this practice causes condensation, corrosion and all manner of nastiness. As for me, crossing fingers ever so tightly, although I’ve seen that advice before, I’ve never seen that problem. Have you?
Way Out Western NY
2018 Gear Up; The Black Pearl
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RC20
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Re: To run or not to run

Post by RC20 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:23 pm

Frankly just the opposite.

Aircraft sitting in AK is a big topic and they did some studies.

It was determined that the longer they sat the worse the condensation got and pitting on cylinder walls .

I too start and run my cycle of the past regularly and I am doing the same with the Ural a couple of times a week.
Fear No Gravel
Formerly Owned: ( various rides on others)
Honda 90
2 x CB750K (one a true Japan Model flown to Hawaii by a P3 Orion Sub Patrol Aircraft!)
1 x CB700 SC ala Shaft Drive Nighthawk S (RC20 is the actual in house production Model)
1 x R80GS (ok to start with, learned to love it for what it was)
1 x CB450K

Current:
1 x 2019 cT Terracotta

What I Did (I quit June 2 , 2019)
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rivers
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Re: To run or not to run

Post by rivers » Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:44 pm

I vote: DON'T DO IT unless you ride it. Just idling heats the upper end. Doesn't bring the motor to full operating temp, in turn not fully heating the oil. Burning fuel be it gaso, dsl, propane whatever creates water as a by-product. The water vapor gets by the rings regardless of how good your rings/compression are and condenses in the crankcase. A smidge of water in the oil isn't a big deal but cumulative isn't doing any good. You don't need to circulate the oil to recoat/lube everything weekly. Oil film lasts a lot longer. You need to start then ride it a few miles at normal running speeds to get everything up to temp so the moisture in oil gets cooked off and expelled out the crankcase breather. For me my run is to town about 12 miles round trip at 40-45 mph. Heats everything up nicely and puts the charge back in the battery the starter used up. Not saying your method is going to kill your motor but water in the crankcase/oil isn't doing you any long term good.
Joe
014 GU
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Re: To run or not to run

Post by chaos2 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:09 pm

I'm with rivers. Don't start it unless you're going to drive it enough to get the oil up to temp.
Past afflictions include limey motocars and bikes, R60/2, R65ls, & a Citroen.
Now a DB Haanjo and Canyon CF SL Endurace, '87 K75s,
and a rusty 2012 GU bought new
dual K&N cones on homemade intake, 40/137.5
Raceway needles, Modtop exhaust, E starter delete
$29 VW Hydraulic steering dampener

jeffsaline
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Re: To run or not to run

Post by jeffsaline » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:10 pm

I think to a large extent it depends on the climate it is stored in. If the machines are stored in a location that doesn't have rapid temperature changes and is not very humid (maybe below 50% humidity) I think starting them might cause more harm than good. If in a cold storage location but near a window that allows the sun to warm the machine each day I think that could cause some moisture concerns in containers that do not have much mass (think fuel tank). I think starting the engine and not getting it to operating temperature for long enough to remove/prevent condensation is a poor practice.

In 1996-1998 while working in the military with a focus on long term storage of War Reserve Material, I was the vehicle guy for our Pacific area. I don't remember the exact number of vehicles we had stored but it was at least a few thousand stored. Overall we oversaw more than 14,000 vehicles providing maintenance guidance and procedures. Those stored vehicles were only started on a test basis of a small percentage of the entire fleet. We had vehicles that had been stored for over 5 years and started with very minimal preparation. What we wanted to make sure was when/if they were needed they would be operational without issues in a very short time.

On my personal machines I don't start them unless I'm going to use them. I monitor battery voltage if a battery is installed and if it gets below 12.4 volts I'll put a battery tender like device on it for a couple of days while monitoring voltage. In most machines that use a carb(s) I drain the fuel from the carb if I know I'm not going to be using it for at least 30 days. The exception is a 1986 Nissian pick up truck I've owned since 12 November 1985. I don't drain any fuel and only monitor the battery. That vehicle only gets used maybe 400 or less miles each year. This year in October I filled the fuel tank most of the way and looking at the fuel use record saw the previous fill had been 11 months prior. It has never failed to start and run well even after being parked for more than 5 months at a time. Please do note I do not use any fuel additives or stabilizers but also have the good fortune of being able to easily obtain and use ethanol free fuel. In machines I've had stored for 18 or more years and some only 7-8 years I do drain the fuel tanks and system when putting them in storage. Lawn mowers and snow throwers have the fuel systems drained when stored for the down season. When I'm ready to put them back to work it only takes a splash of fuel and the engines always start.

Hope this is helpful.

Jeff
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Re: To run or not to run

Post by stagewex » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:08 pm

Yes it does. Either don't start it at all or start and then really run it. You don't have to take and hour ride.
Stagewex

Current Herd all running amok:
2019 Honda CRF450L (Elec Start)
2008 Vespa 150S (Elec & Kick Start)
2007 Ural Patrol (2WD, Elec & Kick Start)
2006 Honda "Big Ruckus" PS250 (Elec Start)
1991 Honda XR250L (Kick Start Only) *NOT running amok, out for Bottom & Top-End Rebuild.
1986 Yamaha BW200ES (Elec & Kick Start)

List what you "have", keep the others in your precious memory bank.

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Re: To run or not to run

Post by RC20 » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:49 pm

Well I did it for all the years I had the CB700 and the R80GS - clealry more than one way to skin a cat here. Might not make any difference.

AK tends to cool and cold and I have never seen fuel degradation but I did buy one stateside rig that had varnish in the bottom of a tank (my guess was it was never used). I did see seals on carbs dry up so I have opted to leave fuel in them.

Just sitting and idling it get quite hot. Never saw a hint of water in the oil.

The key is to keep some lube on cylinder walls. Its one reason Standby engines are run once a week.

I don't know it hurts thing hugely either, lawnmower sits no start all winter. We have been running it since 2000 or so (nice Honda given to us).

Each to his own, I start and run it and I also run errands temp permitting (once its under 15 degree rigging up for an errand gets to be onerous.

None of it gets pickled, just leave fuel in it. Change the oil on the blower and lawnmower once every 5 years.

Snowblower is different MO, once its warmed up it goes to being put to work so it gets heated.
Fear No Gravel
Formerly Owned: ( various rides on others)
Honda 90
2 x CB750K (one a true Japan Model flown to Hawaii by a P3 Orion Sub Patrol Aircraft!)
1 x CB700 SC ala Shaft Drive Nighthawk S (RC20 is the actual in house production Model)
1 x R80GS (ok to start with, learned to love it for what it was)
1 x CB450K

Current:
1 x 2019 cT Terracotta

What I Did (I quit June 2 , 2019)
Mechanic/Technician/Engineer: Electro Mechanical Systems

Robert Whitten
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Re: To run or not to run

Post by Robert Whitten » Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:27 pm

I think it's good for it. Even better if you do a short ride. I think where most of the condensation problem is where it's stored. IE outside verses a heated gerage & all in between. If you have done it for years & it works, who can contradict you.

I've ran into the same thing on changing brake fluid annually. I wick everything out of the reservoir & fill with New. Pump brakes multiple times. Check fluid & if not clear, repeat until clear. Most say I've got to bless the system to completely clean it but, got bikes I've done this to for 25+years with no problem. Any movement of an engine out ways it setting idle. It relates everything in oil & lubes the system. Check, your going to change the oil in spring anyway weren't you. :-)
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Re: To run or not to run

Post by RC20 » Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:25 pm

I don't plan on changing oil come spring. Never fond that to be a need either. With the older bikes I went with Mobil 4T so they would spin ok in the colder temps and ran it 3-4000 mile before changing.

Passat per VW good for 10,000 mile oil change intervals which was the first confirmation by a company that synthetic was good (it had a special EP oil due to the unit injector cam lob they slipped in between the valve cams).

I think I only changed Brake fluid on cycle once, quite late when I ran it so 2000 or so. I think the front had quit working. Pretty gummed up. Probably a good idea to do that once every 5 years or so as well. I forget if I did the other circuits then when done as well.

My stuff has always been outside as no garage to store it in.
Fear No Gravel
Formerly Owned: ( various rides on others)
Honda 90
2 x CB750K (one a true Japan Model flown to Hawaii by a P3 Orion Sub Patrol Aircraft!)
1 x CB700 SC ala Shaft Drive Nighthawk S (RC20 is the actual in house production Model)
1 x R80GS (ok to start with, learned to love it for what it was)
1 x CB450K

Current:
1 x 2019 cT Terracotta

What I Did (I quit June 2 , 2019)
Mechanic/Technician/Engineer: Electro Mechanical Systems

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Re: To run or not to run

Post by Mr Wazzock » Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:13 am

Just to throw another wrench into the works, my Piaggio X10 manual said if not using the bike, once a month start it up and let it idle for 15 minutes. That's in the manual. And it charges at idle too so battery is also recharged. :D

I often left it for 20 minutes and sometimes the radiator fan came on. I think that's the thing has to be hot enough.
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Re: To run or not to run

Post by windmill » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:20 pm

Good options,
1. Correctly prep it for storage. Full tank with fuel stabilizer, a few cc's of oil in the cylinders, battery disconnected or on tender.
2. Occasionally ride until up to full operating temperature when conditions permit.
3. Start and let idle until fully up to operating temperature.
Which is best will depend on ones local climate.

Bad options.
1. Do nothing.
2. Start it without riding and/or not getting up to full operating temperature.
Barry

"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills".

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RC20
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Re: To run or not to run

Post by RC20 » Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:23 pm

Well I guess that puts me in the poster child of bad options :D

While Alaska is somewhat different in its lenght of winter, I think its analogous to the Northern Tier states. Maybe as far South as South Dakota tier (if that is such a thing)

I would guess Washington state could be a challenge area if you simply elect not to ride in so called Winter in the lowlands (humid and warmer temps possibly leading to corrosion creep in to the picky stuff like electronics, FI )

I think its pretty clear that those options really are preferences.

Mine have changed and shifted over the years (at one time I put the cycles in heated storage we had - can't remember what caused that to stop - mostly they were outside)

I did learn not to tightly tarp them, created a rain forest.

One year I got a pickup going, forget how long it sat, 10 - 20 years, got a battery, dribbled a bit of fuel in the carburetor and away it went (no idea what the condition inside the engine was) but the oil was fine.

On the other hand, memories of my dad getting Cat diesels running in the spring on a grader and a dozer. Hours and hours and hours. Ungh.

Alaska is huge on airplanes and some sit all winter and never started. While we have a lot of crashes, none yet had anything to do with oil, cylinder walls or that area (or leaking seals and all the oil going away).

Boats sit all winter long, most without running, very few inside storage. Some in harbors, many towed in yards outside.

Frankly, sitting wise, the one area I know is an issue is fuel degradation, but that is temp specific. But where that occurs, you would not be sitting all winter long either. Or as we often see, low temps and then the next week its 65 degrees (that sure does not happen up here)

I had one group of 6 diesel engines that had their day tanks jacked up in the air and that was an issue when we only started them once a week for 30 seconds, you could see the fuel turning an ugly color. Temp was 77 or so at the tank level all year round (long story on the whole thing in too many ways)

But on the other hand, same low use on a Generator fuel wise that the tank bottom was in contact with the cold ground, fuel was clean, clear and as pure as distilled water.

My lawnmower sitting all winter long (do they have winter?) in Louisiana might be an issue but if the grass keep growing and you keep mowing probably wearing out a mower is a bigger problem.

Philosophically what we can get into is confirmation bias. I did it this way and it all was great, that proves this way is the only way.

That is along the lines of throwing the Maiden into the Volcano. We do that once a year and it does not go boom. We all know Volcanoes go boom on their own schedule that has nothing to do with throwing perfectly fine Maiden into them (it is an ugly form of population control though)

What I have not run into is gasoline Fuel Injection system sitting for long periods and any possible issues. So I avoid that by starting and idling the Ural though I am also riding it when the temps permits because its fun not for the heat up need. If I was not I would do exactly the same thing of starting it, getting it warm and away we go.
Fear No Gravel
Formerly Owned: ( various rides on others)
Honda 90
2 x CB750K (one a true Japan Model flown to Hawaii by a P3 Orion Sub Patrol Aircraft!)
1 x CB700 SC ala Shaft Drive Nighthawk S (RC20 is the actual in house production Model)
1 x R80GS (ok to start with, learned to love it for what it was)
1 x CB450K

Current:
1 x 2019 cT Terracotta

What I Did (I quit June 2 , 2019)
Mechanic/Technician/Engineer: Electro Mechanical Systems

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Re: To run or not to run

Post by Desantnik-VDV » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:04 pm

+ 1 with all of you:-)
It depends on climate, machine, etc. if it has a water, liquid cooled engine, then yes you can start the engine and let it sit there for 10-50 minutes but with air cooled we don't want to cook the engine. It does more good to ride it for at least a few miles if there is a chance...then you can keep topping the battery with any gadget you choose. Otherwise, proper conservation isn't a bad idea either if you need to keep it sitting for a long time on jacks. And right, it all depends on your surrounding conditions.

I use to put up to around around 100,000 miles max. on US made cars per year. They were v8 Chevy and Ford formed Police interceptors some gone up to 600,000 miles with the same engine and 2-3 transmission swaps or rebuilds. If I parked unused for 10 days or so, that's it...they would start stinking when engine started. Probably because of carbon deposits on pistons, valves?
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chaos2
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Re: To run or not to run

Post by chaos2 » Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:00 pm

An advantage to actually riding it is circulating oil in the trans and rear end, plus exercising the brakes and other components.
Past afflictions include limey motocars and bikes, R60/2, R65ls, & a Citroen.
Now a DB Haanjo and Canyon CF SL Endurace, '87 K75s,
and a rusty 2012 GU bought new
dual K&N cones on homemade intake, 40/137.5
Raceway needles, Modtop exhaust, E starter delete
$29 VW Hydraulic steering dampener

Bullethead
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Re: To run or not to run

Post by Bullethead » Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:18 pm

Gee...this has been fun. I guess consensus is pretty much out of the question. Interesting that Alaska and Buffalo folks have a similar philosophy. :D One thing I might have added to my initial post could have been that I’ve always been a stickler for changing oil in anything being used sporadically before and immediately after a winter’s duty. Stored motors only before hibernation. Indeed, excessive condensation in oil will CERTAINLY lead to engine damage. Old adage about oil being a cheap mechanic is one truism I’ll defend to the death. Anyway, Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays.
Way Out Western NY
2018 Gear Up; The Black Pearl
1977 Yamaha XS650D
2002 Honda Metropolitan II
2012 Genuine Stella 4T
2012 Vespa LX 150

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