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I bought my 05' Shadow spirit with 5000 miles on it. I put on another 500ish miles over the summer. The person I bought it from had done an oil change before the winter of 2018 and did not ride it much before selling to me. Since the oil is not brand new at this point should I do an oil change before storing for winter (about 4 months left here in NJ)? Or is it ok to leave the oil in the bike over the winter and then just do the oil change before riding season starts in spring?
 

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Whether you leave the old oil in, or swap it out for new, the only thing that will happen over the winter is condensation of water vapor in the crankcase as the garage warms and cools back down, etc over the winter.

Since the same amount of water will form whether the oil is old or new, I always leave the old oil in, and then change it in the Spring.
 

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I asked this question of an automobile mechanic once and was told there was a chance some corrosive action may develop from leaving old oil sitting in an idle bike over the winter. Still, I'm going along with Chuck_Michigan.
Even though my riding may be limited over the winter, I still try to take the bike out and ride it (or at least just run it) once in a while as weather and safety permits. I'm assuming that will burn off whatever small amounts of water 'n stuff are in there.

Also, I know that I'm going to change the oil in the bike before I get into more serious riding in the Spring anyway, so there's no point in wasting the time and money for the oil and filter just to sit there all winter long.

But, I'm hardly a mechanical expert, so if someone offers a compelling reason to change my opinion, I'm open to it.
 

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@Chuck_Michigan is right and also condensation is not that big of a deal if it is only a few months since the volume of air inside the engine isn't huge anyway.
I'd just wait for spring, get the initial start up over, warm it up with a run round the block to free clutch and transmission up
and then change the oil and filter.

There are people who put new oil in their engine before storing it and then again when taking it out since it has been in there for three or four months, I'm not one of them.
 

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Honda recommends changing oil and filter before storage and changing oil again when removing from storage if after 4 months. I can hardly disagree with Honda that also recommend drain the carbs, remove the battery, fog the cylinders etc. However, these optimal procedures were written a long time ago and oils and fuel have improved substantially since then.

I have a 78 GL1000 and a 1995 VT1100C2 and owned both since new. They are stored minimally 7 months a year. I change the oil and filter based on the scheduled mileage or at least once a year, usually in the spring. The 78 has 400,000 km and 95 as 80,000km and are in perfect order.

No use starting an engine unless you will apply some load for at least 20 minutes to burn off condensation. Plus your tank likely has summer blend fuel in it and it is likely losing some octane so if you live somewhere cold enough to require storage, the summer blend fuel will not ignite properly so will cause difficult starting. My bikes sit covered for the duration. The covers helps reduce my temptation to run them!

Wash/Dry/Wax. Stabilizer and fill the tank with 91 E10 (to address octane loss)
Cover bike. Done. Now that I have an AGM-type battery I don't even plug in a charger.


G.
 

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I change oil one per year, whether needed or not. Car, truck, motorcycle, mower, snowblower etc. My truck is 18 years old, mower 14, snowblower 33. Just sold a motorcycle that I rode for 24 years with 212,000 miles on it and the engine was perfect with no major problems ever. I have better things to do than obsessively change oil.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Just my opinion and I’ve only had a bike for a about 8 years, but I always winterize my stuff (including lawn equipment) by changing the oil before storing it. I’m in my late 60’s, so it’s interesting to hear the other opinions. I always start my bike a few times during the cold months and run it for 15 minutes or so. I also own a classic car that I store in one of those zip-up bags and they recommend changing oil before storing. I have a Troybilt tiller that I never bother changing the oil until I go to use it in the spring. The oil breaks down quickly in the spring, if I don’t change it right away. I guess I can’t stand the thought letting it sit with dirty oil. However, it sounds like maybe it doesn’t matter when you do it, so long as you do it.
 
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