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Starting in cold weather

Old 03-26-2011, 08:53 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 140
Default Starting in cold weather

hello all, question for u guys that actually get a real winter. i've been trying to get my bike started lately but she doesnt wanna go. she cranks and sounds like she's gonna start but just doesnt catch. she started up fine a little less than 2 weeks ago, but the weather was above 0c (im in canada, so temps are in celcius) overnight. we had another cold spurt for the last week wheres its getting to below -20c and our highs arent going above freezing. is this too cold for our bikes to run?

my bike is in an unheated garage. keep in mind everything is working correctly, fuel pump primes, headlights work, no FI lights, bike in neutral and kill switch on start. i put fuel stabilizer in before winter.

i actually got the bike running last night but it ran like a bag of hammers and shut off after i bumped the throttle. i killed my battery with all the cranking so i'll prolly just recharge it and leave it alone til its consistently decent weather.

so my question, is -20c too cold for our bikes to start up nicely? hopefully someone who experiences a pretty cold winter can chime in.
Old 03-26-2011, 10:03 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 19

There is no reason to start your bike during the winter. Wait until the weather breaks and she will probably start right up.
Old 03-26-2011, 10:16 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 445

The battery is most likely a little tired and that's the reason the bike is having problems starting.

If the bike is out in the cold, I'd let it be for now. It's real easy to trash valve seals that way. Do yourself a favor and go pick up a battery tender for it.
Old 03-26-2011, 10:35 AM
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Posts: 140

Yea thats what i was figuring. the weather is ridiculous up here. it was warming up to like 9c for a week so i figured id get my bike ready for the season. then the cold stretch came down again and thats when all the trouble started. ill just leave it alone for now. its supposed to get back up in the pluses next week.
Old 03-26-2011, 10:52 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Calgary Alberta
Posts: 491

I am in Calgary - I used to start my bike in the winter but I also found it difficult to start and it ran like crap. Just wait until spring and it will run fine. The battery does not like the cold - neither does the bike.
Old 03-26-2011, 11:16 AM
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cool, thanks guys, really puts my mind at ease.
Old 03-26-2011, 12:46 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Saint Paul Minnesota
Posts: 731

The battery's that are on the bike have no cold cranking amps. Plus its hard to turn over the crank when there is cold 10w-40 motor oil in there. This is not recommended to start it unless its in a slightly warmer garage. Maybe around 40 degrees I would then.
Old 03-26-2011, 01:02 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: near Brookville, PA
Posts: 513

I was told not to start the bike unless you are going to ride it. reason being, that supposedly, the motor gets hot and less hot spots just sitting and the heat doesn't blend unless there is air pushing heat around.
Old 03-26-2011, 01:50 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Posts: 1,564

Could be moisture in your air filter has froze and it is having a hard time getting the air it needs.
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