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Thread: Moving to Iowa in a year

  1. #1
    Boxer Rebellion! TexasT's Avatar
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    Moving to Iowa in a year

    Hello Iowegians! My wife and I are planning on moving back up north, and towards the Iowa City area. She really wants to be closer to her Minnesota family, and I am looking at doing postgraduate studies at U of I.

    I lived in Iowa City about 15 years ago, but I wasn't into riding then. So, my question to you guys is this, what do you do during the winter months? I ride year round down here in Central Texas, and I am pretty sure that ain't gonna happen up there!

    We're still planning a year or so out, so there's no hurry. But some pointers would be great so I can start planning for how to take care of my machine when storing it.

    I own an '07 R12R, very high mileage (over 161k), and was wondering if storage during the winter months was going to be real hard on the bike. I thought I'd turn to you professional winter weather riders to send me some knowledge on how to handle the storing, the battery and fluids, etc.

    Thanks!

    T
    '07 R1200R - She has 174,550 miles and counting, though I only did the last 24k!
    Still lookin' for my dream bike, a beautiful R1200C...

    "It ain't braggin' if you can do it!" Dizzy Dean, '34 Gas House Gang

  2. #2
    Registered User chasman's Avatar
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    Just for reference, Gina's BMW in Iowa City is a great dealer with an experienced staff of mechanics.

    For winter storage in central IL, I change the engine oil and the drive train fluids, stabilize a fresh tank of fuel, and keep the bike plugged into the battery tender. I also place moth balls on the seat and around the bike to deter any mice.
    Chuck Manley #12106
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    Black '13 R12GSA (the Outlaw), Black '02 K12RS (157K)

  3. #3
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    Winter is just the perfect time to add that always wanted accessory to the bike. Send the seat in for customization.....

    'cuse you aren't going to be needing it for a few months.

  4. #4
    Boxer Rebellion! TexasT's Avatar
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    I can see myself sitting on it and pretending while waiting away the frigid days!

    So prepping the bike for the long hibernation isn't too bad then. What do you do when the weather turns? You can't just fire it up and go can you? I see these posts about spring tune parties, etc. Do I have to bring it in every year before riding even with fresh fluids?

    What are some common issues these newer bikes run into due to sitting for months? Are there any? I'm kinda paranoid about doing my bike real harm up there!

    This has been my only transportation for the past few months, and I am good about the routine upkeep. I even just bought a truck to haul it in case I need to in the spring!
    '07 R1200R - She has 174,550 miles and counting, though I only did the last 24k!
    Still lookin' for my dream bike, a beautiful R1200C...

    "It ain't braggin' if you can do it!" Dizzy Dean, '34 Gas House Gang

  5. #5
    From MARS
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    Winter doesn't really set in 'til maybe late Nov, and even then, not every day is it too cold, wet, or slippery to ride. Buy heated gear and enjoy those "warmer" afternoons. About the longest I've had go without a ride (here in KS, anyway) is four weeks. I keep the fuel topped up with high-test and I check the battery voltage and tires once a week.

    As a side benefit, it seems like the LEO's give you an "extra" measure of leniancy when its in the 30's.

    Tom

  6. #6
    Rally Rat CATHDEAC's Avatar
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    That's a tough decision.... To ride or to sit inside half the year... wish you all the best!

  7. #7
    ABC,AMA(LIFE),MOA,RA,IBMW MANICMECHANIC's Avatar
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    You could always check out the Rounders (yearroundriders.com) and see how we cope with the season of poor riding.
    F.O.G.Rider, Rounder #6,
    Ambassador, Biergarten co-chair
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  8. #8
    Registered User savategreg's Avatar
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    know why its so windy in Chicago??

















    Cuz Iowa Sucks so much!!!!!

  9. #9
    Route 66 Missouri gstom's Avatar
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    Be prepared

    I grew up in Iowa and graduated from Iowa State in Ames. The last winter I was there it snowed on my birthday, November 20 and we had snow on the ground continuously until April 15, just shy of 5 solid months in a row. Other winter memories include a low of minus 35 degrees (not with wind chill, that was the temperature) minus 10 to 20 degrees with 20+ Mph winds was not unexpected.
    I had a VW beetle and often had to bring the battery inside at night if I wanted the car to start the next day. Ah, what memories!

    When I graduated I didn't even look for a job north of Kansas City and ended up down here in Missouri just north of the Arkansas line. I have lived here for thirty years and am beginning to think I didn't get far enough south.

    Call me a wimp, but there is nothing about an Iowa winter that I find appealing. On the other hand, there are not many places as beautiful as Iowa in the summer when everything is green and tranquil, so I guess its all a trade off of one kind or another.

    Don't count on having more than a tiny handful of days to ride in the winter.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasT View Post
    I can see myself sitting on it and pretending while waiting away the frigid days!

    So prepping the bike for the long hibernation isn't too bad then. What do you do when the weather turns? You can't just fire it up and go can you? I see these posts about spring tune parties, etc. Do I have to bring it in every year before riding even with fresh fluids?
    I have always just checked the tires and fired them up. Go for a short, less than ten mile ride, and check to make sure there are no probelems from winter hibernation then ride some more. NOTE: You may notice a slight loss in performance for the first tank of fuel from the Sta-Bil.

    Quote Originally Posted by TexasT View Post
    What are some common issues these newer bikes run into due to sitting for months? Are there any? I'm kinda paranoid about doing my bike real harm up there!
    Since you will be Ethanol country try and find fuel that is NOT a blend when putting the bike in storage. Ethanol sitting for a long period of time may damage fuel lines etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by TexasT View Post
    This has been my only transportation for the past few months, and I am good about the routine upkeep. I even just bought a truck to haul it in case I need to in the spring!
    Truck should not be neccessary for hauling the bike but will be needed to haul you through the icy roads...

    Now for the loaded question... If we Are D**!! Yankee's when we move south, What are you called when you move back North??
    Roy G.
    85 K100RT Ol Ruby "Gone but not forgotten"

    02 K1200LTC Hoss

  11. #11
    Route 66 Missouri gstom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roy View Post
    Now for the loaded question... If we Are D**!! Yankee's when we move south, What are you called when you move back North??
    Nuts???

  12. #12
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    I lived in Minnesota for years and was a rounder. I had a three year+ stretch riding every month of the year. I have not matched that down here. Savategreg has it wrong. Iowa does not suck it blows. Once the streets are cleared I am able to ride around town if I want but wind makes riding cross country a foolÔÇÖs errand. The end result is I moved south and ride less; go figure. IÔÇÖm in the SW portion of the state until next spring then who knows where. YMMV elsewhere in the state.

    Last winter came early and stayed late. The year before was greenish for Christmas and road out to FL when I took a contract job for six months. This year we are still in the upper 70s during the day and low 40s at night right now.

    There is plenty of winter storage advice on the forum. Will you have a garage or use a storage unit of some sort. This may make a difference in how detailed you need to get. Basics for an extended layup are stabil in the tank, cover all openings including your exhaust so rodents donÔÇÖt nest, wheels off the ground if possible, protective breathable cover, disconnect your battery.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

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  13. #13
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    It's nice to see all the Iowa experts weigh in.

    I use ethanol, I'm not a rounder, and all 3 of my bikes ('78, '92, '08) get by just fine with nothing more than a garage, late season oil changes, and battery tenders.

    Of course things could be different in Iowa City, home of Lower Iowa University (Upper Iowa University is in Fayette). AFAIK, there are only two good things about IC - John's Grocery and Gina's BMW.

    Dave from Iowa.

  14. #14
    Boxer Rebellion! TexasT's Avatar
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    I really appreciate all the advice! I am demanding that if we have to move up north, then there will be a garage! It does seem a bit depressing, even though there are plenty of nasty days down here too in the winter. Not with the bitter cold, ice, snow, etc. Just days when I'm too lazy to bundle up enough to ride!

    I went through Iowa a couple times this summer, and it is beautiful when everything is alive. And it sure beats the 110 plus ridiculous humidity of Central Texas!

    We have a great shop down here in Austin, so it will be good to have another good one to deal with in Iowa City. Outside of that town, are there a lot of BMWs? I got a lot of weird looks and comments on my bike as I passed through. I heard tell that somewhere outside Des Moines one was supposed to open.

    And, outside of the cold, sounds like I'll have to carry a raft with me in August!
    '07 R1200R - She has 174,550 miles and counting, though I only did the last 24k!
    Still lookin' for my dream bike, a beautiful R1200C...

    "It ain't braggin' if you can do it!" Dizzy Dean, '34 Gas House Gang

  15. #15
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    The upper Midwest is HD country

    I'm in Cedar Rapids quite a bit, I'll guess that 70% of the bikes are ridden by the HD crowd - often dressed up like pirates (Doo rags, leather vests, jeans, fake leather saddle bags and fringe).

    Nice enough people though, not really Hell's Angels - just dressed that way.

    Couple of weekends ago I accidently pulled into a fall party held by the Kenosha Hogs (I think). They are nice and welcoming - offered a beer and hot dog - and a few who recognized the non-HD bike among the chrome and faux leather, came over and at least recognized the brand and level of engineering.

    Enjoy your stay! BTW there is great riding in Western Wisconsin along the Mississippi and again in Northern Minnesota along the Coast of Lake Superior!

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