I have a 1978 Yamaha XS 1100. I need to put it to bed for a number of years. it will be stored in my garage in northern New York with the temperatures can be extreme in both winter and summer. I was thinking of filling the fuel tank and draining through the carburetors filling it up with nothing but kerosene to stop any chance of condensation. This way 5 to who knows how many years it will be looked again I know I will not have any rotten fuel and fuel system. Since kerosene is an oil-based product it keep the 4 aluminum carburetors and the gas tank any form of corrosion I was considering this might be my best option, what do you guys think?
Here is an article on the subject:
Nice article, just one sentence that made me wondering.. "Start it once in a while and ride around in tiny circles in your garage."
Eww, no thanks.. Carbon monoxide is a real threat indoors.
Kerosene may protect the innards from condensation, but I think the carbs will survive dry too if you drain them from any gasohol. What does parts that has been stored for years in your garage look like? If they're rusty and molded you may want to try find another place for long time storage, like in the basement?
Being a motorcycle guy for 40 years Mark's link is good. Also once you preserve it, don't start it. It needs to get hot enough to vapor off contaminants in the oil and exhaust system. Do drain the carbs and have the tank full. To my knowledge, Startron is the better fuel conditioner for ethanol fuel.
Remember if it is stored for long periods rubber tends to dry rot. You will need to treat any gaskets and "O" rings also.
Before I store my Honda generator from month to month until I start it again, I let it run until hot, then shut off the fuel and let it run until it runs out of gas. That way all of the gas is out of the system and there is no unburned gas left in the cylinders or carburetor. This makes sure no gas get left in the carb to go bad in case I go for several months until I crank it again. If I had a motorcycle and knew it was going to be years before cranking it again, I would do what I just described then siphon all the gas out of the gas tank as condensation can cause rust and hang a bag of desiccant in the gas tank from a string to absorb any water and clean any remaining gas out of the carburetor bowl. I would also wipe down all the rubber parts including hoses, wires and tires with brake fluid, fill the crankcase with fresh oil and disconnect the battery. Also, to keep the mice out of the engine, I would put a rag in the exhaust pipe. I would also wax the chrome and coat in vaseline. You can get big thick bags that some furniture storage companies use to keep vermin out of couches, which are big enough to seal a motorcycle. If you can suck out all of the air with a vacuum cleaner and seal it up, it will help to preserve it. For added protection, it would not hurt to build a custom measured crate around the bagged up motorcycle using 5/8" plywood and 1 1/4" drywall screws to keep the motorcycle from being damaged in your absense. Jim Patrick
My experience with carbs that have been "run out of gas" still have a small amount in them. This drys and holds the float down and causes a flood condition when you bring it back out to restart.
If it is going to be unknown years before you use it, I would just consider selling it to someone who can be enjoying it and purchase another when the time comes you can ride again.
Tires will dry rot no matter what you do.Rubber gas lines they make now are pitiful and will rot in a few years.
I honestly don't know of a way to store it without parts deteriorating to a point a full restore wont be in order once you are ready.
Paint may survive but chrome will rust due to condensation.
Cosmo line may actually be a viable option.
McMaster-Carr has 60" x 108" jumbo polyethelene storage bags 2 mil thick, you can push the motorcycle right into. I would get two or three to ensure complete protection against moisture, vermin and other harmful influences and seal them with pull-ties and duct tape. You can see the bags by going to www.mcmaster.com and typing 4079T54 into the search box. Jim Patrick