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Winter Storage - Oil Change Before or After?

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  • Winter Storage - Oil Change Before or After?

    My philosophy has been to change the oil at the end of season before putting the bike to bed for Winter because I don't want all that dirty oil sitting in there all Winter. Others change oil after Winter and before riding season to deal with condensation. Is there a consensus opinion on which is best?

  • #2
    Always before. Acids in used oil will eat away and can cause corrosion.

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    • #3
      Before, take battery out so no temptation to start it and cause condensation, this is in a winter climate for me, off season anywhere from 5 to 6 months.

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      • #4
        I'll ride when 30 or so outside clear/no sand....so I wait till spring.....I get bike up to temp by riding and not just letting it idle. I know about condensation and acid but it is somewhat ameliorated by using full synthetic oil....suspends particles better.

        but honestly I don't worry about it...these things are tanks and hard to hurt....
        "I'm Ricky Bobby. If you don't chew Big Red.....then Fuck You"

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        • #5
          If my bikes are ready for an oil change before I put them to bed for the winter, I change the oil. If they are not ready for an oil change before winter, I don't change the oil. Been doing it like this for over 50 years and have never had a problem.

          I have also restored many a bike that has sat for countless years with old oil in them without any problems.

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          • #6
            JUST read some good research on this very question.... I've ALWAYS changed each spring, but the conclusion of the research was... dump the used oil BEFORE storage for the reasons cited above. I didn't this year. They're in storage already.... but, in the future I plan to.

            The fact simply is that corrosive elements build up in oil, especially due to combustion, and then over storage time, moisture. Fresh oil, having no combustion or moisture contaminates prior to installation, serves a stored engine better than used, having contaminates in it.

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            • #7
              So for the people that change and store for the winter, do you change again in spring?

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              • Questcap
                Questcap commented
                Editing a comment
                NO... the new oil from before is good to go!!!

            • #8
              Lol. No.

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              • #9
                Got it. Mine only may sit for a few weeks between rides. Bertha doesnt get put away for winter so Ill just keep changing every 3-5 thousand miles.

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                • #10
                  Another good point is that oils for diesels, think Shell Rotella, are also better for longer term storage than regular motor oils, too... which might make for another point in the favor of using that, rather than the pricey V-Twin bike oils. Read an article years ago from a classic, antique and muscle car collector enthusiast magazine that made the point that little used, long stored cars are better off using made-for-diesel engine oils than regular auto oils. My brother has a fairly extensive car collection, and that's what he does, since he also read that same mag article back then. The reason was that far-higher compressed diesels have more combustion contaminants from blow-by that create acids in the oil, so their additive packages have more of what's necessary to neutralize those acids. Same reason why long-stored bikes and cars could benefit from the same extra additives.

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                  • #11
                    In the broadest sense, gas and diesel engine oils have the same anatomy or makeup. They are formulated from the blending of base oils and additives to achieve a set of desired performance ch…

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