advice for keep the bike outside in the winter

Hi guys,

I will need some advices and suggestions regarding keep the bike out door during the winter.

Ok, this is my 1st winter with bike (I also own a Vespa ET2 50cc over 2 yrs and it have always kept out door) and I am house sharing with other people so I can’t keep it inside the house. I have every intention to ride the bike during the winter as I don’t really mind the cold as long as it is dry.

So, is it very difficult to start the bike in the winter? I was told if it is fuel injection then I should be ok but I have the 1st gen R1 which is not fuel injection. How about the battery? should I expect it will die on me one day when I try to start? I only intent to ride it when it is dry which I think I have a very good chance to use it up 40% over the winter.

Any advices and suggestions are welcome and many thanks in advance.


Interesting question, I’d also like some tips if people have some :slight_smile:

I rode my Vespa LX 125 (07- not injected) approx once a week last winter and as long as the sparkplug was snug it started every time no matter what the weather. It lives in the back garden with a cover on…

my bf rode his Honda 2002 CB250 throughout winter in 07 and there was never a prob starting it. That resided outside. Just open up the choke for a good minute or so and it should be fine!

In terms of starting, it should be OK, but you should really start to protect against the weather particularly if you are riding it when roads have been gritted as the salt will eat through metal. You can protect things with ACF50 and other such sprays, have a look around the internet for them. :slight_smile:

+1 ACF50 is what I’ve used for a good few years on my bikes and they’ve all spent life outside as I don’t have a garage.

Coat all metal work in the ACF50, particularly chain, around suspension bolts and linkages, maybe once every two weeks, and be prepared to clean and lube your chain more often.

I think the best advice about keeping a bike outside over winter months is just to keep it clean and lubed, and try to use it regularly so things like your brake callipers don’t start seizing up.

Fork seals are also susceptible to winter months and lack of use as they seem to gum up which can cause them to break the next time you use the bike, causing the forks to start leaking oil.

You can help prevent this by spraying lube on the fork stanchion (shiny metal leg).

Thanks guys.

Regarding the ACF50. Can I spray it everywhere and anywhere? I won’t damage the cables and paintwork ect., will it?

Oh, where can I get the ACF50? Can I find them in hardwear store?

i would say get an optimate charger and every other night leave it to charge the a cover and use the choke wisely;)

Hey folks. I ran the choke on my ice cold bike today… left it for about 30-45 seconds, reduced to half, another 45 seconds, then turned it off and rode.

Is this roughly what I should be doing? I know not to ride with choke on. Bike did feel a bit slower today, did I imagine that? (it is a 125, so maybe it was already that way heh!).

OK, I keep an R1 outside all year round and this is how:

Use a DECENT cover, I recommend the Oxford Stormex
Use ACF-50, apply by spraying on to cloth then rubbing on to all fasteners, wheel rims, outer electrical connectors etc. once a week - *see cleaning.
Get an Optimate: fit the optional optimate external power connector then connect the optimate maybe once a week overnight. I pass an extended cable out of the window from the living room for this. With the connector you don’t have to fart around dismantling your bike each time.
Clean bike thoroughly every weekend and wax. Reapply ACF-50 afterwards.

Works for me!


Wow kingdan, cbr600 summer; R1 winter! Brave man :slight_smile: good for you.

I kept my 2001 600 hornet outside lasst winter. didnt need to optimate the battery at all and reading above should have treated the chrome bits. I used it daily to commute bar a couple of weeks when it was snowing. Everything else was fine as she was. Needed TLC - cleaning and lubing a few times throughout winter, when weather wasnt so bad. But on the whole very robust bike.

I’d recommend a heavy duty cover like the RDM - i got mine from infinity for £40.

Def 2 Almax chains and ground anchors chemically bonded into solid concrete!

What did you mean wisely? it is either on or off, right?

I aint got a Scooby hahaha:D:D:D

You can spray it everywhere (not your brake discs or tyres obviously :wink: ) and I get mine here


On my hornet it was like this

Full on, touch in, start up and let warm for a couple of mins. Once off the bottom of the cold bar.

Push in slowly until sounds right, ride gently.

Once off cold bar indicator, choke off! Continue normal riding! Sometimes I’d forget this step and burn too much petrol and prob blacken my spark plugs somewhat :slight_smile:

On my R6 its like this

Start and wait for 30-40 seconds or so

Ride gently till about 70degrees

Ride fast :w00t:

{p.s. r6 is EFI :D}

ACF-50 is very good - get all the bodywork off an apply it generously.You can use it on electrics and bodywork too.
I don’t wash the bike after applying it til spring and it works a treat.