Is there any risk in keeping your bike outside in extreme cold?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by cserpico, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. cserpico

    cserpico New Member

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    If I could I would keep mine inside but that is not an option. I live in illinois and today it was 2 degrees (below 20 with windchill) It's my first motorized bike, 2 stroke china girl and she is only about a month old. Can this cold damage my bike?
     
  2. Davezilla

    Davezilla New Member

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    Not unless you count theft as damage... but as long as you got it somewhere where others can't steal it, the cold by it's self shouldn't hurt it. You do want to make sure certain areas stay dry tho like the magneto coil, if it gets wet from a hard rain or melting snow it's toast.
     
  3. Ludwig II

    Ludwig II Well-Known Member

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    "Is there any risk in keeping your bike outside in extreme cold?"

    Only if you don't insulate your Manly Parts when you get on it.
     
  4. mr42ndstblvd

    mr42ndstblvd Member

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    my bike has always been outside rain snow ice sunshine ect if i know what the weathers gunna do sometimes i put a motorcycle cover on it
     
  5. GoreWound

    GoreWound New Member

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    Is there any risk in trying to break in the engine when the ambient temperature is below freezing?
     
  6. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    The bike can take the cold. Just make sure you don't stick your tongue on it.

    Seriously, cold won't hurt but wet is not a good idea. Cover the bike to keep the moisture away and you should be good to go.

    Tom
     
  7. Davezilla

    Davezilla New Member

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    Cold weather is always a good time to do the break in too... Much better cooling, and quicker cool downs when the ambient temperature is nice and low...

    These things don't mind the cold at all... it's the wet that they really don't like...
     
  8. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Active Member

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    You must be in my neighborhood, cserpico. Our weather forecast is exactly what you've described. But the wind is not as strong as they were expecting. So the wind chill is a mere 7 below.

    I just finished my home from work commute. But it was on a pedal bike. Somewhat warmer than an MB. That wind was in my face. Bracing!

    But anyway.....I've had a few 2 cycle MBs and they've stayed outside in the winter with no trouble. I'd often cover them. But the guys above are right when they say that cold is not as much of a problem as wet.

    So if we get more of those rainy days followed by the deep freeze, then you'll certainly want to throw a tarp over it.

    My thinking is that extreme cold might some day cause some component to fail. But it won't be often. And the same thing applies to a car or a pedal bike anyway.
     
  9. Trey

    Trey $50 Cruiser

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    cserpico- I live in Montana at about 5500' up, so I've considered this. The answer is yard equipment. The snow blower is fine. So is, (should you need them for some reason), the string trimmer, leaf blower, hedge trimmer, mower etc. Moisture is your enemy- act accordingly.
    I had the $50 Cruiser on a trailer, at 75mph, for about five hours, with an ambient temp of between -10 and +20. Wind chill... you do the math:) I didn't even chip the ice off, and three pulls later it was running. (I use about an ounce of SeaFoam in every gallon of mogas.)
     
  10. cserpico

    cserpico New Member

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    That is an excellent point you make. I don't worry about my snow blower or weed eater so I dont know why I thought the bike would be any different haha
     
  11. cserpico

    cserpico New Member

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    I can tell you I cant wait for this black ice crap to go away. They are usually good about salting the roads here but lately not so much. I have no problem with riding in the bitter cold (even though my bike is very difficult to start in this cold) but it would be stupid to try to ride in the conditions we have now and I am getting antsy.
     
  12. Semaj

    Semaj Electric Enthusiast

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    from what I hear you don't want to Leave Electric bike batteries out in the extreme temperatures, but you obviously don't have to worry about that what with your gas bike. :)
    Unfortunately for me that means my whole bike has to come inside. This means if I hadn't of been living on the first floor I would have definitely invested in a garage at these appartments
     
  13. Kioshk

    Kioshk Active Member

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    The two issues I experience when the temperature drops: at about 20F, the ambient lube in the cylinder becomes too viscus to allow normal starting. I make a habit of rolling the bike to allow about 10 cycles before I try to drop-clutch start it, otherwise the clutch will slip. Choke always helps, but isn't critical. The 2nd issue is moisture in the cable-sheathes...if I neglect these and allow moisture in them, the frozen water acts like solder and prevents normal operation.
     
  14. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Active Member

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    Aaarrrgghhh!!! Frozen cables! yes......

    one of the curses of winter riding.

    We're just coming out of a deep freeze here. I had one brake cable freeze up. No big surprise there. But my U-lock also froze solid.

    That's something else to watch our for.

    I had to drive to work for two days because of that. Day #1 I probably would have driven anyway. The roads were just too dangerous to be bicycling. But I probably would have ridden my bike on day #2. But it took me that long to get my bicycle unlocked.
     
  15. GoreWound

    GoreWound New Member

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    sometimes with a frozen lock you can break the ice inside of it with a light tap or two from a hammer.
     
  16. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    A few drops of automotive anti-freeze in the lock would help too. But then so would a propane torch. :)

    Tom
     
  17. jburr36

    jburr36 Member

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    Only when I'm on it trying to ride the damned thing in the snow and ice.
     
  18. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Active Member

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    It sounds like it's worth a try and I'll keep it in mind. No doubt there's more freeze-ups in my future.

    The propane torch is what got me up and running again this time. But I'll remember the anti-freeze. That sounds like it's worth a try, too. That stuff has a 'slipperiness' to it that could be helpful. It might act like lube, staying in that lock for a while.


    By the way, since we are talking about a lock here. I put some powdered graphite in there before Christmas in anticipation of winter.

    Don't bother. It didn't do any good that I can tell.
     
  19. GoreWound

    GoreWound New Member

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    if you blow torch it it will open but also definately be frozen again next time.

    if you want to go hardcore you should soak a lock in grease before bringing it outside, the grease should not be displaced by water and also wont freeze.

    in a pinch blasting it with wd40 could help.

    the hammer trick works if the lock is seized due to the cold because it forces it to move, but that only becomes relevant at less than -25, few locks will seize above that.
     
  20. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    I learned about the antifreeze in a lock trick from my father-in-law. He used to do it with a padlock on a driveway gate and a crawlspace door. I've seen it work for years. In the spring he cleaned the locks with solvent then next winter filled them with antifreeze again.

    I also learned from a locksmith that WD-40 was the all time worse thing to spray in any kind of lock. He said that he loved it when people did that. It was easy money for him to spray solvent in and clean out the lock that was gummed up from WD and the dirt it holds in the tumblers, cylinders and pins. He suggested dry silicone spray but that won't keep them from freezing if they get moisture in them.

    Tom
     

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