Best way to store my V during upcoming deployment - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Best way to store my V during upcoming deployment

Hi everyone,

I have a few questions that I need a little advice on. I am active duty Air Force and I am being sent to South Korea for a 1 year tour. My plan is to keep my 08 Versys (14K miles) stored in my back garage on a battery tender, and have my wife start her up every few weeks. I plan on adding fuel additive to the tank and placing the bike up on stands.

My main question is their anything else I should do to the bike prior to placing it in storage? I have heard of people draining all fluids and removing the battery. I have heard the opposite too.

I will come home on leave next spring and will probably want to ride the bike and further prepare the bike for my next assignment, which will be Ramstein Germany.

Here comes another question:

Should I do any major preventative maintence prior to me leaving for Korea this September, or should I wait until the spring so that the bike is ready when the movers ship it to Germany. SHould the bike have fresh oil prior to storage? I haven't put enough miles on the bike since last oil change to warrant another oil change.

I think it is due for a valve adjustment because it is sometimes difficult to start in the morning and the mileage is hovering right at 43MPG. It used to be closer to 50 MPG.

I also don't know if the throttle bodies need to be sync'd too. I did the vacuum hose mod to cure the low throttle jerkiness, but I was thinking the throttle bodies needed to be sync'd as well.

I also want to replace the tires soon with Michelin PR4's and replace the chain and rear sprocket (44T)


I have owned this bike for 3 yrs now and so far it has been bulletproof. I haven't had to do anything except change the oil. It is now approaching the time/mileage that I need to start doing some maintenance; however, with me deploying out, I dont know if it is worth it before I leave.

Any advice yall can offer would be helpful. I can do minor maintenance on the bike, but things like valve adjustments and throttle body sync's kind of scare me.

Thanks everyone
Jason
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 02:09 PM
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I would say put a little fuel stabilizer in it. Having someone start it and letting it run is the best thing you can do. The biggest problem I have seen of late is the higher ethanol rating gas tends to dry rot the rubber seals and plastic faster than "old gas" before they put ethanol in it. So running it and keeping the parts moving is best. As far as an oil change, I wouldn't worry about it if its not due. If you think it needs an adjustment with the valves and/or carbs and are not up to it, I would say do it now so you can test ride it after in the case that it is acting funny you will know it was the adjustments, and not from a storage/ sitting issue. I hope this is a little helpful. Thanks for serving.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 02:22 PM
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Sounds like you need to change the plugs, easy to do. I had my valve check done at 15,000 it was a waste of money they were perfect. Wouldn't bother with the oil till you get back. Put it on stands hook up the battery tender, put in some fuel stabilizer. Have the wife crank it everyonce in awhile and you should be good to go.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 02:56 PM
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Having someone go start it up and leave it running in the corner of the garage now and then is positively the worst thing you could do. It would be far better to have some one ride it. Short of that, store it indoors with some fuel stabilizer and disconnect the battery. When you get home connect and charge the battery, bleed and change the brake fluids, put new tires on it and ride it like you stole it!

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 06:28 PM
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Replace your spark plugs, coolant, and brake fluid which are due anyway. Check and adjust valve clearances, and vacuum synch the throttle bodies. Change the oil and filter, then DO NOT start engine until you''re ready to ride in a year from now. You want to have your engine stored in immaculate unused oil, free of acids, moisture, etc. I also spray some storage oil in cylinders, then turn the engine over a bit by rotating rear wheel in 6th gear by hand... Leave battery on battery tender in a nice cool spot. Have ethanol-free premium gas with stabilizer in fuel tank. Remove 1/3 of tire air pressure. Cover airbox inlets and exhaust outlet.

http://pure-gas.org/index.jsp?stateprov=LA

The most crucial step would be for you to survive through the battle, so that you can ride again.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 06:41 PM
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I let my V run free on deployment and Jody stole her.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 07:06 PM
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Do the Chain and sprockets when you come back - don't want new ones rusting up in the year you away.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 07:13 PM
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One thing off the wall. If you have mice or think you might pull the saddle and store it in the house. She can look at the bike and see if there are seeds and grass showing up tucked in places that's that's a sign of mice. If she see any, glue boards and or traps under the bike will help.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 07:21 PM
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I also TOTALLY agree with NOT RUNNING IT at all. It will do more harm than good just running it and not getting ALL the moving parts moving.
-Add Fuel stabilizer AND take it for one last ride.
-When you get back plug the exhaust while it's still warm to keep all the moisture and condensation OUT while it sits.
-Pull or disconnect the battery (Don't set the battery on concrete) Put it on a trickle charger if possible
-Maybe put on a fresh coat of wax on, but for sure clean it as best as you can
-Lube the chain
-SOME say put it on a Paddock stand or bike lift to take the weight off the suspension..Others say it will harm the suspension to let it HANG for an extended period of time. YOU DECIDE
-Coat the tires with some good protectant even Vaseline will work to keep them from drying up while sitting
It should be fine, I've seen things sit for years with NOTHING done to them and fire right up. Not recommended but some people are just lucky...
Stay safe and THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE brother I am retired AF


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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 07:26 PM
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I agree you should put some fuel stabilizer in the tank and store it with as full a tank as possible. Expect to come back and find some rust in the top of the tank. Riding keeps all that steel coated and not rusting. Don't start it if your not going to take it to full operating temperature for at least at 10 -20 min period of time. You will create condensation in the crankcase otherwise. Again just asking for rust to develop. If it was me, I'd put fuel stabilizer in it, run it out of gas, empty the last ounces out of the tank, take it off and store it in a climate controlled place. Take the battery off the bike put a tender on it and just ignore the bike as it sits for a year. You can easily get it restarted later with fresh fuel.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 07:42 PM
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You can store it in my shop. I'll make sure it gets tender loving care and I will disconnect the speedo before I ride so the miles will be the same when you get back.

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 07:09 AM
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Huh... anyone want explain to me how starting and letting the engine run from time to time hurts an engine? It is how I have stored every motor, every year. Lawn mower gets started in the winter and snowblower in the summer bike in the winter etc.. I have never had trouble in doing this and have the theory that letting motors sit is the worst thing you can do.

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanThomas View Post
Huh... anyone want explain to me how starting and letting the engine run from time to time hurts an engine? It is how I have stored every motor, every year. Lawn mower gets started in the winter and snowblower in the summer bike in the winter etc.. I have never had trouble in doing this and have the theory that letting motors sit is the worst thing you can do.
One word: CONDENSATION build-up from NOT getting the engine AND drivetrain (if applicable) up to and a sustained operation temp. You just can't do that by letting it run for a few minutes once and a while.
I do just the opposite of you; letting everything sit in their off season. They have ALWAYS roared to life for me when taken out of hibernation....
There will ALWAYS be two schools of thought for extended storage of an engine or a vehicle. Just do what you are confident with and hope for the best.


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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 07:52 AM
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Huh... anyone want explain to me how starting and letting the engine run from time to time hurts an engine? It is how I have stored every motor, every year. Lawn mower gets started in the winter and snowblower in the summer bike in the winter etc.. I have never had trouble in doing this and have the theory that letting motors sit is the worst thing you can do.
Starting an engine, especially during cool or cold weather will cause condensation inside the crankcase. This moisture builds up, over time. In order to evaporate that moisture, the engine needs to be at operating temperature for some amount of time - which is typically more time that the owner is starting and running that engine.

I've worked in bike shops off and on all my life. We would get bikes like that in the spring for "service". Many times, we would pull the dran plug and have a couple tablespoons of water come out first. I'm not a rocket scientist, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that any water in the oil cannot be a good thing.

P.S. - a lot of short trips in cold weather can have the same effect. Most manuals recommend cutting the oil change interval in half for these type of riding conditions.

Last edited by kballowe; 05-22-2014 at 07:55 AM.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 07:56 AM
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Change oil and filter. Lube chain. Support rear with track stand. Support front (I just use bottle jack and piece of wood). Fill tank and add Stabil. Another step involves fogging the cylinders. You start the engine and feed a special oil compound called fogging oil into the air intake until the engine dies. Remove battery and put in on trickle charge/battery maintainer.
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 08:25 AM
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Oh, and good luck and be careful Merlin. North and south just exchanged some shells out in some disputed waters.

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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 08:38 AM
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Well I have never heard of that. Learn something new everyday. It makes perfect sense now that you say it, but I have never really noticed water in the oil. Typically I do oil changes myself too. could also be because I never really look for water unless it is a four wheeler as we have been known to go under from time to time. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...type=3&theater

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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by IanThomas View Post
Huh... anyone want explain to me how starting and letting the engine run from time to time hurts an engine? It is how I have stored every motor, every year. Lawn mower gets started in the winter and snowblower in the summer bike in the winter etc.. I have never had trouble in doing this and have the theory that letting motors sit is the worst thing you can do.
My very limited experience managing shops is full of examples of anal retentive assholes who bring their bikes in after storing them for months and months who have started them and left them running unattended. When things go wrong..they go very wrong and usually beyond the point of bringing everything back to plumb and square. Its the main reason that I will not buy a low mileage bike. That '06 Road King with 826 miles on it is just a shiny, very expensive boat anchor

This is the advice I would seek to follow:
Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
Replace your spark plugs, coolant, and brake fluid which are due anyway. Check and adjust valve clearances, and vacuum synch the throttle bodies. Change the oil and filter, then DO NOT start engine until you''re ready to ride in a year from now. You want to have your engine stored in immaculate unused oil, free of acids, moisture, etc. I also spray some storage oil in cylinders, then turn the engine over a bit by rotating rear wheel in 6th gear by hand... Leave battery on battery tender in a nice cool spot. Have ethanol-free premium gas with stabilizer in fuel tank. Remove 1/3 of tire air pressure. Cover airbox inlets and exhaust outlet.

http://pure-gas.org/index.jsp?stateprov=LA

The most crucial step would be for you to survive through the battle, so that you can ride again.

I'm no diplomat

Last edited by aka Yamadog; 05-22-2014 at 09:12 AM.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 09:21 AM
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Just chiming in to state I agree with Invader's advice, and others who stated similar advice. Except I'd try to get the wheels off the ground, and I'd add the max allowed pressure to try to eliminate a flat spot (interested to learn why to remove air!). If you can't get the wheels off the ground, I'd put corregated cardboard under the tires to kind of insulate them from cold concrete.

If you can get ethanol-free gas that's best. I can't, so I fill the tank to the top and add marine Stabil, the Startron enzyme stuff, or similar. If the gas you use isn't ethanol-free, when you return, drain that gas out, replace with fresh, and add a bottle of Seafoam or injector cleaner.

Thanks for your service!!
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thank You everyone for the advice. I suspected their would be two schools of thought on how ot store the bike.

After reading what everyone stated, I think I might go with having the maintenance done before I leave for S. Korea; then when I come back in the spring, replace the tires, chain and sprocket.

I plan on buying a front paddock stand so that both tires are off the ground.

Question: Where do I find "storage oil" or somethign similar? Pep Boys, Autozone or do I need to find it online? If I searched this forum, would I find instructions or similar on how to spray this stuff into the intake. Not sure I want to take the top of the engine off to expose the cylinders.

I do have a place that sells ethanol free fuel, so that wont be a problem.

I use Amsoil oil, so I guess I will need to order some soon.

I have some Stabil, but I am not sure what version it is. Does it matter what type of Stabil you use, as long as you use something????? Someone mentioned a marine version of Stabil.

I will probably get a cover for the bike as well so that dirt and other stuff doesn't get all over it.



What about tires and chain/sprockets??? Should I replace the tires before I leave so that I have a fresh pair for when the bike is shipped to Germany? Would it hurt the tires to sit for the year? I only ask because if I replace the tires in the spring when I come home on leave, I will need to ride the bike to the local shop; thus defeating everything I prepared before I initially left. The bike will continue to sit for another 5 months after I return to Korea, plus however long it takes ot ship it to Germany.

I have pretty much decided on Michelin PR3's or PR4's for tires. What about chains and sprockets? I think a 44T is the best option for my style of riding, especially with the bike going to Germany. Any thoughts on this? What brand is the best replacement for an OEM rear sprocket? Should I replace the front sprocket while I am it?

What size chain and what brand should I use if I switch to a 44T.

Again, thanks everyone for yall's advice.

This is why I love this forum. Everyone is very helpful.
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