Battery Tender,
Front/Rear Stands,
8mm Wrench (Floats)
Please!  Please ride me!  I don't want to sit
here all winter next to a Kawi!
Cold weather wreaks havoc on your bike (or car for that matter).  When it comes
time to store your bike, a few simple procedures will mean the difference between a
quick and easy Spring startup or a day or two at the dealership troubleshooting.
You can take the plugs out of the bike and squirt some oil in the holes to keep the cylinders lubricated and
rust-free.  Then, turn the engine over a few times with the bike in neutral using the starter.  Then put the plugs
back in.  You should also clean any gunk off the paint or wheels to prevent it from permanently staining the
finish.  If you plan on leaving the bike for a long time, it is a good idea to change the oil first.  If left to sit, the oil
breaks down and doesn't provide adequate lubrication upon startup in the Spring.  As far as covering goes, make
sure the cover is breathable.  If not, water will condense inside and cause rust and mess with the fuel.  When it
comes time to bring it out again in the Spring, give the battery a little charge and check the oil level.  Also, if the
carbs were drained you can open the bowl drain screws and give it a little suction to get fuel flowing up there (you
don't want to have to fight to get it started).  Check the tire pressure and all the electrical connections and it
should be set.  Just these few things can make a big difference when it comes time to ride again.
This page is in no way associated with, nor is it an entity of Ducati Motor Holding, S.p.A.  All content, information, and views expressed
herein are those of myself and do not reflect those of Ducati or its affiliates.  The "DUCATI" logo and "Circle D" are registered trademarks of Ducati Motor
Holding, S.p.A., all other content on this website is copyright 2006, Monster Man Productions.

The first thing you need to do is come up with a plan.  Is the weather going to be so crummy
that you won't be able to ride for several months, or will there be some days that are tolerable?
 Where I live, the latter is the case.  This means that some of the procedures I will outline do
not make sense as far as time and trouble is concerned, and can be skipped.  Just be sure that
if they are skipped, you actually do go riding on a regular basis to keep the juices flowing.
This is where most of your trouble will come from.  Over time, batteries will naturally discharge, and the cold
weather makes them go even faster.  You can disconnect the cables or even take the battery out of the bike and
store it on a shelf (perhaps wrapped in insulation) to slow this process down.  A better option if you plan to ride the
bike is a Battery Tender or similar product.  This is a trickle charge that is wired to the battery and plugged in
when you are not riding.  Once the voltage starts to drop, the tender will automatically turn on ond charge it to a
set volatge, then turn off.  Even if left for two weeks in the cold, the battery will show signs of discharge and may
need to be charged before riding.
The second biggest problem come Spring is the fuel system.  Fuel + time + water = crap.  Over time, fuel rots.  It
gums up and sticks in all the worst places, such as your floats, needles, injectors, and filters.  Also, the cold
weather causes condensation in the fuel system and this leads to watery gas.  One way to combat this is to add a
fuel stabilizer to the tank.  But, be sure to run the stabilizer through the sytem so it reaches the float bowls, and
only add a little bit (an ounce or so
tops, otherwise it will run crummy).  If the bike is to be stored indefinitely,
pinch the fuel line by the tank or turn off the fuel flow valve (on manual shutoff tanks) and drain the float bowls
into a container.  This will ensure that the carbs don't get gummed up (I don't know exactly what you drain on a
non-carbed bike, sorry!).  The best way to fight condensation is to fill the tank to the brim.  The less space there is
for air, the less condensation you will get.  Rather than go through all this trouble, I simply make sure I ride the
bike and get some fresh gas once in a while.  This keeps everything from settling.  
If the bike is to be stored for a long time, you should definitely get a front and rear stand.  Tires, if left to sit, will
get flat spots from the weight of the bike.  Some people claim overinflating the tire before storing will prevent
this, but I doubt it.  In fact, it is better to store the bike with the tires deflated, so this is another reason the
stands are needed.