Paul Sutton

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I always found water in my 81SH's carb bowls. I believe it comes from condensation due to fuel evaporating around the main fuel nozzle. With the Virago I have never seen water droplets in the bowls. Comparing the two bikes, the Virago has a very long air path from the air filter to the carburetor. So draining the fuel from the bowls should stop any water appearing in the XS carbs.
 

Jim

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So, late last Nov. I topped the SG off with non-alcy premium, rode it into the garage, put it on the centerstand and threw some blankets over 'er. No draining the bowels, no battery tender.... nada. Just parked it and covered it for the winter snooze.
Fast forward a little over 4 months to today. Pulled the blanket, blew the dust off with shop air, topped up the tires and rolled 'er out into daylight. Turned the key on and she said 11.1V on the meter. About 3 pushes on the start button and she fired off... poppin' and protestin' up a storm.... said she weren't ready to come out of hibernation. After about 30 seconds of snortin' and fartin' she settled into a lumpy 1600rpm idle with full choke. A minute in and 2K I started backing the choke off (gotta love a handlebar choke lever) and things started smoothing out. 2-3 min. in and choke was off and idle was a smooth 1200. Puttered around the 'hood for about 30 min...... back in the driveway and she's purrin' like her ol' self. Shut 'er off and battery's at 12.7V.
Im'a call that a success. :D
 

Mikey

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So, late last Nov. I topped the SG off with non-alcy premium, rode it into the garage, put it on the centerstand and threw some blankets over 'er. No draining the bowels, no battery tender.... nada. Just parked it and covered it for the winter snooze.
Fast forward a little over 4 months to today. Pulled the blanket, blew the dust off with shop air, topped up the tires and rolled 'er out into daylight. Turned the key on and she said 11.1V on the meter. About 3 pushes on the start button and she fired off... poppin' and protestin' up a storm.... said she weren't ready to come out of hibernation. After about 30 seconds of snortin' and fartin' she settled into a lumpy 1600rpm idle with full choke. A minute in and 2K I started backing the choke off (gotta love a handlebar choke lever) and things started smoothing out. 2-3 min. in and choke was off and idle was a smooth 1200. Puttered around the 'hood for about 30 min...... back in the driveway and she's purrin' like her ol' self. Shut 'er off and battery's at 12.7V.
Im'a call that a success. :D
The curse of a good 650 :smoke:
 

bosco659

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So, late last Nov. I topped the SG off with non-alcy premium, rode it into the garage, put it on the centerstand and threw some blankets over 'er. No draining the bowels, no battery tender.... nada. Just parked it and covered it for the winter snooze.
Fast forward a little over 4 months to today. Pulled the blanket, blew the dust off with shop air, topped up the tires and rolled 'er out into daylight. Turned the key on and she said 11.1V on the meter. About 3 pushes on the start button and she fired off... poppin' and protestin' up a storm.... said she weren't ready to come out of hibernation. After about 30 seconds of snortin' and fartin' she settled into a lumpy 1600rpm idle with full choke. A minute in and 2K I started backing the choke off (gotta love a handlebar choke lever) and things started smoothing out. 2-3 min. in and choke was off and idle was a smooth 1200. Puttered around the 'hood for about 30 min...... back in the driveway and she's purrin' like her ol' self. Shut 'er off and battery's at 12.7V.
Im'a call that a success. :D
That’s great. I do lots of off season prep work on all my machines. I guess its a fall ritual for me and have been doing it forever. Lots to prep tho.... lawnmowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, outboards, cars, bikes..... Good news is I’ve never had a bad surprise in the springtime - knocks on wood. My friends think I’m doing unnecessary work, like my friend that turned his car off in the driveway and 13 years later put a battery in it and started driving it around.
 

Jim

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Digging this thread up from the nether regions....

Looks like another successful winter snooze with just the pure high test.
Parked the SG last fall same as before... topped the tank off with non-alcy high test, rode it into the garage, shut it off and pulled 'er up on the center stand. That was it for winter storage... no draining the bowls, no battery tender... hell, I didn't even throw a blanket over her.... (sorry girl :redface:) just parked and walked away.

It's currently 68° and sunny out there. I can't stand it...

Took an air hose and blew the worst of the dust off, turned the petcock to Prime and turned the key on. 11.0v on the meter. Pressed the starter about 3 times and she woke up.... wheezin' an fartin' just like last spring. Took about 4-5 min and it was a smooth 1100rpm idle.
We doodled 'round the 'hood for about 45min and battery was back up to 12.6v with the engine off and she was purrin' like her old self. Guess now I'll spend the rest of the day sittin' on the garage floor cleaning up whatever salt stuck to 'er.
Ah well..... it was worth it. Tomorrow brings a cold snap that'll have us back in the teens or single digits. Ya take what you can get.
 

gggGary

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doodled 'round the 'hood for about 45min
Stop torturing me!
Yesterday was 50F but there are huge white stripes on all the roads where the brine trucks sprayed. every intersection and many corners have little brown drifts of fine sand, salt, waiting for motorcycles like bad tempered bridge trolls.
Glad you got out.
 

Jim

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....brown drifts of fine sand, salt, waiting for motorcycles like bad tempered bridge trolls.
Same here. Kept a close eye on the road and still managed to slide in a few places... damn salty trolls. :cussing:
...'fore anyone asks... :cautious:... yes, I also topped up the tires before pulling her out of the garage.
 

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I top up the tanks (with regular E10) after almost every ride. Starting in September I add the recommended amount of Stabl after every ride. All are on Battery Tenders. All 10 of them get used regularly so I never know when the last ride of the season will be for any of them. I don't do an extra oil change or try to run the carb bowls dry. I've owned them for anywhere from 5 to 45 years - bought the '77 GS400 new. Several have over 50,000 miles. The only time I had a problem was once when I forgot to put Stabl in the GS650.
 

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I don't put Sta-Bil in any of my bikes or my lawn mower. Sitting through one winter in my unheated garage never seems to harm them. I do need to add it to my snowblower though. Sitting through a hot summer does hurt the gas. I found this out when I didn't add it one summer. It gave me starting and running issues the next fall and I had to swap that fuel out for fresh stuff.
 

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Agreed - I gave up on Sta-Bil, SeaFoam and all other snake oil mixes for winterization many years ago.

I just change the oil, fill 'em up with premium unleaded, pop the gals up on their centrestands, make sure the tires are properly inflated, run the carbs dry and cover them up (usually).

In fact, since the advent of modern battery tenders (hey: are they like chicken tenders...?), I don't even take the batteries out. I just plug them in and leave them.
 
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Jim

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'Nother spring wakeup in the books.

Parked the SG last Oct/Nov. Topped off the tank with alcohol free premium, rolled her into the garage and let her sleep. Only special treatment she got was the jacket I slung over the windshield.
No fuel additives, didn't drain the carbs, no battery tender... nothin' special. Put her up on the centerstand and let her be.

Rolled her out into the daylight today, aired the tires up, blew all the dust off.... turned the key on, petcock to prime, full choke and she lit off on the first push of the button. Within 15-20 sec or so she settled into a lumpy idle... two minutes in and the choke was off and she was idling jus' like she always does.

We ambled 'round the 'hood for 30min or so, back 'ome and she's happy as can be... like the winter snooze never happened.
Near as I can figure, it's been 3 or 4 yrs since she's seen empty float bowels or a battery charger. Gotta like that. 😁


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Paul Sutton

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I have never used those Winter treatments but glad you have seen an improvement. Did you check for water in the carb bowls? The XS seems bad for water droplets in the bowls. The paint work looks very nice! Did you paint it?
 

gggGary

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Got madness out today, a bit different story; her battery is getting old, it got charged once or twice over winter, but not recently. Mid 50's and sunny.
gas is low in the tank. LED headlight comes on with ignition. petcocks to prime. VM34s, chokes on, a couple kick throughs then ignition on. Couple more kicks, then a bit of action and a chuff cloud of smoke out the left airfilter. Voltmeter now down to 10. One more cloud, from the RH airfilter this time and it started and ran. Petcocks to on, the VM34s alway take some nursing, chokes burped on a few time to bring a cylinder back in. Used the electric start a couple times while getting it to settle down. Likes around 3K to keep running at first. But after 30-40 seconds it was pretty happy, holding steady at 1500. Gear on and off to town for supper groceries (forgot to gas it up, darn). Was all manly at the grocery store, went to set the lever for a kick and she bit my ankle (kicked back) this Pamco e-advance will do that, fire before TDC at extreme slow kick over. After that little fun, used the button and back home.
 
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Jim

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I have never used those Winter treatments but glad you have seen an improvement. Did you check for water in the carb bowls? The XS seems bad for water droplets in the bowls. The paint work looks very nice! Did you paint it?
No winter treatments Paul, just non-alcohol gas.
Nope, as I said, bowls haven't been drained in 3 or 4 yrs.
Yeah, repainted it about 4 or 5 yrs ago.
 

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E5 is the commonly available stuff at the pumps here, and while I can't say I've had any trouble with it, I don't trust it overmuch. The content of ethanol could rise and I'd be non the wiser until it hit me.
Was announced just last week or so that shortly E10 will be all that's available from then on.
Pish, in other words.
 

Mikey

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Here they have E85 which has at least 15% alcohol
It's quite a bit cheaper but I noticed in my car the mpg is way down
 

MaxPete

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Here they have E85 which has at least 15% alcohol
It's quite a bit cheaper but I noticed in my car the mpg is way down
Yup - ethanol has a lot less chemical energy than gasoline and so any ethanol blend is bound to reduce your fuel economy because you must burn more to go the same distance. In cold climates Canadian government tests (and who would know more about cold sh!tty weather than the Canadian government??) has also found that car heaters and defrosters don't work as well either - for the same reason.

Fort-Nine did a really good study on fuel treatments for winterization etc. and he found that none of them do much of anything and some are actually harmful (see below):


He concluded that to keep your bike in good shape: do what Jim did, namely,
  • fill your fuel tank right up (air space will allow condensation to form which will promote corrosion).
Remember that corrosion (i.e., rust) requires oxygen and moisture - no air space in the tank >> no air >> so no oxygen >> no corrosion.
  • fill it with non-ethanol fuel (not easy to find everywhere - but worth it).
For me, non-ethanol fuel is always preferred, but not essential during the riding season because the fuel is not sitting in the tank for very long, so rust generally doesn't form. Also, I always store my bikes full of fuel after a ride - so again, no air >> no air space >> no oxygen >> no corrosion.

I will admit that I also always such my petcocks off as I ride into the driveway and then I let the bike die as I take off my gear so that the float bowls are empty - but as Jim has noted, that is not likely necessary.

BTW - RyanF9 is one of the most authoritative and reliable sources of motorcycle-related information on the web (IMO). He does the work AND he understands the science and engineering behind it. He presents his results clearly and concisely without a lot of BS or stupid music blaring in the background. He has also done great work on helmets, gloves, jackets, boots, Bluetooth helmet communicators etc. - and his videos are usually quite funny as well. He did a great expose on Harley-Davidson's devious corporate stock manipulations and also a hilarious and illuminating test of the Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive Scooter - which makes me want one so I can humiliate Sportsters in drags.

He is the most un-Scotty Kilmer of the non-Scotty Kilmers on the web - followed closely by Wes Jonson of Watch Wes Work whose YouTube videos are also excellent and educational.

Pete
 

jpdevol

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No winter treatments Paul, just non-alcohol gas.
Nope, as I said, bowls haven't been drained in 3 or 4 yrs.
Yeah, repainted it about 4 or 5 yrs ago.
Hmm...they must have changed formulations again.......I haven't had the guts to leave fuel in the carbs, for more than a couple months, since ~ 1985...

I'll have to screw-up the courage and select a guinea pig next fall:thumbsup:
 
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