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Cold weather starting

Old 10-31-2006, 07:47 AM
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Cold weather starting

This morning was 13 degrees and the ol' hawk didn't want to wake up very easily. Turns over slow enough that any colder and I think I will have to use the car. Reminds me of my diesel pickup I had when gas was cheap.

Anyone else ride in that cold of weather and know any starting tricks?
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Old 10-31-2006, 08:02 AM
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There was a thread on batteries with the most cold-cranking amps. I forget which one was the outstanding winner - but seemed like a good idea and cheaper than moving to Florida or adding fuel injection. I have a portable jumpstarter at my garage that does the trick when my battery gives out - so it seems to me that the stock battery is crap.
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:54 AM
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at 13 degrees outside I wouldn't consider anything but the car or truck in my case with the remote start and heated seats! Coldest I have even ridden in was upper 20's and that was darn cold!!!

We had a warm upper 50's day yesterday in Buffalo, NY and was able to get in an hour ride - still warm today but raining... the rest of the week is highs in the 40's

When mine is going to sit for a few days or better I toss on the battery tender to keep it fully charged - seems to help...

Originally Posted by Nanotech View Post
This morning was 13 degrees and the ol' hawk didn't want to wake up very easily. Turns over slow enough that any colder and I think I will have to use the car. Reminds me of my diesel pickup I had when gas was cheap.

Anyone else ride in that cold of weather and know any starting tricks?
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Old 10-31-2006, 02:25 PM
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I think I can ride up to 0F before it will be too cold, but only if starting isn't a problem. We get quite a few bright sunny cold days here during the winter, and not alot of snow.

My commute is only 2 miles, so that does make a big difference. I'm not tooling around the canyons in this weather.
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:26 AM
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hey nanotech did you find an answer to this problem ?
i am facing the same problem ...i called odyssey and they have a battery for a honda CBX1000 or something like that ...its abt a 125$ ....do u have other solutions?
cheers
hari
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:26 PM
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start uphill
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Old 12-04-2007, 03:24 PM
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Might help to go with one of the 5w40 motor oils like Rotella or M1 Turbo Diesel.

You can also warm up the crankcase with a hair dryer or a propane torch.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:49 PM
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Flush the oil with gunk engine cleaner (gets out the goo that thickens) and use synthetic 5 weight oil. I would make sure all the grounds, etc. connection on the battery/electric are clean along with cleaning the spark plugs as you would on a car. Is the antifreeze good? I would also make sure the carbs are clean so ice/condensate doesn't form on any carbon build-up. If you have the tools, do some tests on the battery voltage draw when it cranks before you consider replacing it.

Also, if you have APE CCT's, make sure they're not set too tight which can put additional drag on the engine when it cranks.

13 degrees? My boys just shrunk in their sack. BRRR.

P.S. Wal-Mart carries motorcycle batteries, just not sure if they carry them for the hawk.
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Old 12-04-2007, 05:34 PM
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If you have access to parking lot power, I would try one of those pipe wrap heaters and loosely wrap it around the lower part of the engine. An inexpensive bike cover could enhance its effects greatly. I would think that a half hour and you're good to go. You would have to have a place to stash it at work but it would get you going in the afternoons after sitting all day. You can do the same thing at the house to get you going in the morning. 13? Yeah, my rollers done shrunk too!
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:17 PM
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"My boys just shrunk..."

Years ago, a buddy and I decided to ride from Pa. to Ft. Lauderdale in Jan. We imagined that since Virginia was just a couple of hours away and "down south" it would be "warm". Coming home after a week... it was 36 degrees and raining when we hit Rocky Mount N.C. By the time we hit N. Virginia it was 26 degrees with snow flurries.

By the time we got off the interstate in Pa. it was 18 degrees. At the first red light I had to guide my foot to the road surface visually 'cause I had no feeling in my feet.

Got home and headed for the hot shower with girl friend I hadn't seen in 9 days. Took off my clothes and she bust out laughing. Manny and Moe had receded to somewhere between my pelvic bone and Adam's apple and Jack was doing his best to join them.

That ended up being the longest and most memorable hot shower I've ever had.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:20 PM
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no on 5w = energy conserving star

not good for clutch plates but I have a heated shop
don't think there is a straight 5 syn available but Mobil 1 Racing 4T is 10w-40 and Yamalube® 5W-40 Semi-Synthetic for Utility

below 45F I run Shell Rotella® T Synthetic SAE 5W-40 (wal-mart X gal) which is not energy star.

still not going anywhere with 4~6 comin down and everything apart for my bar conversion, got the heated grips cookin though and the tender running
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:16 AM
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Castrol markets the 5w40 R4 Superbike oil, but the "heavy duty", aka diesel, 5w40s cost about half as much, exceed JASO standard for zinc and phosphorus , and none of them is energy conserving.

I've run both Rotella and Mobil 1 5w40s without any clutch or starter slip.

Last edited by RK1; 12-05-2007 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 12-05-2007, 07:13 AM
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Yuasa YTX14-BS(14 amp hour battery) drops right in but is a bit taller than stock YTX12-BS-still clears the Sargent seat with no problems. Mobil 1 5-40 'Truck & SUV' oil (name may have been changed) lets my '98 spin over and catch right away. These two changes allow my Superhawk to fire at the slightest touch of the starter button. But even when I lived in the frigid climate of Chicago winters I don't think 13 degrees was part of my riding weather. Anything below 32 degrees had me in my car. Of course bump starting air head BMW boxers in an Arctic Cat snowmobile suit took some of the fun out of it.
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Old 12-05-2007, 09:17 AM
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Yes. What WAS Mobil1 Truck and SUV 5w40 is now called Turbo Diesel Truck 5w40. This oil is marketed as Delvac1 at truck stops. It is the same product. Works fine in the VTR.

To confuse maters even further, Mobil is now marketing a 5w30 oil as Truck/SUV. You don't want to use that one in your VTR.
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Old 12-06-2007, 07:50 AM
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I went the cheap route, have a 1.5A tender I plug in, routed a connection that comes out under the seat. Stores nicely in backpack for when I go to work. A few of us got together and ended up getting the plant to concrete a "bike parking pad" in the blacktop parking lot for the cages. They also put in two light poles with 4 outlets each for those of us that ride in the single and negative digits to plug things in to. Don't know if you have anywhere at work to plug in, but since I have been doing that, I haven't had any problems starting. Went out this morning at 4* and she fired right up. Running Rotella 5w40 also.
Good luck!
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