Engine maintenance Question - ZX6R Forum
  • 1 Post By commiehunter
  • 1 Post By capitalcrew
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-18-2017, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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Engine maintenance Question

I have a question about motorcycle engine maintenance. I know how to take care of a bike during the riding season and I know how to properly winterize my bike during the off season. I now have five bike and I honestly do not have time to ride them all. I have my daily riders and I have those that I only ride maybe once a month. I'm good with all of the regular things, like fluids, lube, and cleanliness. My question is about the engine start up. I feel like I'm doing some sort of damage every time I start it after a month of no activity. When we winterize the bike, you put some oil in the plug holes to help with dry start. I have my track ZX6R and my street R1 that will only get riding love maybe only once a month. Do I just start the bikes every week, do I not worry and just start them to ride when ready? What is everyone doing with bikes that only see action maybe once every month or two.
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-18-2017, 07:58 AM
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I only own three bikes, but you should be able to just start them once a month and use them without worrying about anything.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-18-2017, 08:03 AM
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Don't worry about it. I bet if you pull the valve cover and check the clearances after it sits for a month you'll find oil on your feeler gauges. It's a small clearance and the surface tension of the oil will hold it in there. The cylinders/pistons will slide easy even totally dry at the speed a starter will crank it and once it fires oil will be everywhere.

Don't start them and not ride them, you'll promote condensation.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-18-2017, 08:08 AM
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I've never worried about it. All my track bikes sit in the garage for 6 months during the winter season. Occasionally I've turned them on for a few minutes, but not much, and certainly not regularly. I've had bikes that sat around for close to 3 months without ever being started, and I never really winterize any. I may put Stabil in the tank if there is plenty of gas left, but that's about it. Never done anything else other than that. Bikes always started just fine.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-18-2017, 08:28 AM
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The only thing I do to winterize a four stroke engine is top it off with gas and put the battery on a tender. Two strokes will get some oil thrown in the cylinders or fogged depending on how lazy I am. Sometimes just a WOT hit at high RPMs and flip the kill switch to coat things lol.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-18-2017, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response...
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-18-2017, 08:48 AM
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In this respect a bike motor is no different than a car motor..... sailors who go on 6-8 month deployments leave their cars sitting for that period, go out and turn the key and drive away.

With the current design of cylinder walls, it's nearly impossible to have the oil film go away. Nikacil, and whatever the other mfgs call their surface treatments are almost like a diamond coating on the cylinder walls to keep the steel piston rings from wearing on the aluminum. It's a super fine grit bonded to the surface, and the rings ride on the tips of the granules. The grit is so fine, it really doesn't wear on the rings.

Because of the sides of all of those (millions?) granules, the oil has a ridiculously large amount of surface area to stick to. So much so, that gravity will never pull all of the oil off the cylinder wall. Same way that plain bearings on the crank, and cams will not run dry. Those first few seconds without oil pressure bringing in a new supply, it's best to not work the motor any harder than you need to -- once the supply is replenishing the oil between the bearing and the rotating part, all is good.

The gap between a bearing and a rotating part is extremely small.... if a cam sits still for a really long time, it will eventually push the oil out of the way, and make contact with the bearing. A circular part eventually concentrates all of the pressure into one point and that will touch the matching surface.

If there is any water at that point, and you have a steel part resting on a bronze bearing -- you have a battery, and galvanic corrosion will start. (This is why fresh oil before storage, is such a good idea. Reduces the amount of water available.) The lowest point where oil pools, you will find whatever water was circulating trapped there as well.

A bike in motion constantly sloshes everything around so it doesn't pool as much.....

Brake fluid draws water out of the air, and it's very similar to oil in that the water is more dense, and the water will sink to the lowest point, and cause corrosion.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-18-2017, 01:48 PM
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It really doesn't matter over the timeframe you describe. If it were going to be a 6+ months, I'd perhaps add some fuel stabiliser (or drain the tank) and have the battery on a tender, but that's about it. For a few weeks? Zero concern necessary.

When the engine first gets assembled and run, it's the exact same situation. Lubricants and liquids have pooled. The first 30 seconds of running will get any liquids flowing where they're needed.


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