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Discussion Starter #1
I ride my 650 to work every single day that it isn't raining hard. My cage is an 04 bought February this year and I haven't even had my first 3000 mile oil change yet.

I plan on riding to work this winter, as long as the roads are dry. I'ts 1.1 miles one way and I don't think I'll freeze in that short a ride. My scoot is garaged at night, but my concern is it sitting outside at work all day on bitter Wisconsin winter days. Do any of you northern folks ride in the winter and do you have any problems with the coolant freezing or starting problems? I don't have any idea what the temp rating is for the tiny radiator and don't know how to check it.

Any advise?

Buzz
 

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The only thing I noticed was, Oil viscosity is very noticable. Currently I run 0-40 Mobil 1 in the engine and trans, and Amisol 75-90 in the final drive, with very good results. In winter, expect a 5 mpg drop, due to the additional restistance of cold (heavier) oil.
 

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You might consider getting a black cover. There are some insulated ones with heat resistant fabric that won't burn on a hot muffler. The covers help hold in any engine heat for awhile, and if there's sun will tend to act as a greenhouse to add warmth to the bike beneath. Lastly, any snow or rain during the day will shake off of the cover and not mess up your seat.
 

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Sorry forgot,

The radiator

You should be fine as is (-20F) I think. The manual should show specs. on the coolant, but it is fairly easy to check.

Check you tire pressure as well, it will go down.
 

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You could always drain the coolant prior to the cold, and refill with the maximum mix allowed by Suzuki, which I believe is 60/40 coolant to water. That will give you the maximum freeze temperature.
I live in MN and have had our cars outside overnight with temps in the -30 range and not had antifreeze problems. Also, my sled is liquid cooled with a 50/50 mix and never had freeze problems there either. My sled is fuel injected and starts easily in all temps. But then again, it's made for cold running.
Also the advice to run thinner oil and maybe changing your gear lube to #80 might be a good idea. Use the chart in the owners manual as your guide. It lists recommended oil weights by operating temperature ranges.

And let us know how it goes. I was thinking of this the other day, but I have a longer commute 20 miles each way.
 

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Winter riding

I am in the North Georgia area, and I ride year round. The coldest I have ridden is 9 degrees farenheit. I have a 36 mile, 1.25 hour ride to work. The only thing I would add is to get a set of insulated coveralls for the winter. With cold weather and a 60 mph windchill factor, they come in handy.

I grew up in Vermont where we used to be able to get snowmobile suits. 5 years ago I had to buy camoflaged insulated coveralls as I can't find a website that sells an actual snowmobile suit. You gents in the really cold weather, can you help me out?
 

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Snowmobile Suits? For starters:

Try Dennis Kirk they sell a lot of winter wear.
http://www.denniskirk.com

Also try Tousley Sports Center. They sell snowmobile branded suits for a few manufacturers, and sell over the web.
http://www.tousleymotorsports.com

I've done business with both places and would recommend either.

Don't like those? Let me know, I've got a few more!
 

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I got caught last winter with my Burgman in the carport. We had an 'early' snow fall and it never went away so the bike stayed in the carport all winter. It was covered and I had a battery tender connected up as well as having filled it with gas conditionner.
Temperature up here got down to some where around 40 below a couple of times and the Bugman suffered no ill effects.
I did start it up sveral times just to make sure things were still working and to move it around due to the construction we had going on.
It started just fine, a lot like my car and van, the colder it gets the less they want to turn over. It was a little slower to move but that is just the oil not wanting to move.
So, I would suggest that you deal with it the same way you would your cage, check the antifreeze and keep it full of gas!
 

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1 mile of high speed commuting in the cold of winter. Pity the bike. Frankly I been more concerned about the motor rather than what may fall on it (rain, snow or hail) so cover it or not to cover it is the least of your real concerns. I guess even in the heat of the summer running an engine for such a short period of time probably isn't long enough to get it good and hot. Water condensation inside the engine can do more damage that you could ever imagine. Rust and corrosion? Think about it, unless you are willing to warm it up before leaving for work then be prepared and please do change the engine oil more frequently. Also use a lighter oil in the winter. The radiator coolant I think should be fine unless it gets down to about -80C. Look up the charts and find out when the stuff freezes at what ratio's. I've seen these charts but never had to concern myself because here in Vancouver its very mild even in the dead of winter.

I know you don't want to hear this, but maybe walking to work won't be such a bad thing. Wish I lived so close.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That mile to work is not high speed commuting. It's 25mph with 3 stop signs and 2 traffic lights. Depending on the lights, it takes 5-8 minutes to get to work. I fully intend to warm up the scoot before riding in the winter. My garage is heated all winter, so morning will be no problem. After work at night, I will let it warm up good.

With that in mind, do I really need to worry about condensation and rust in the engine? I'm not Mr. Goodwrench, so I don't know these things. Please enlighten me further. I don't want to damage the bike.

By the way, walk is a 4 letter word and I don't use 4 letter words. The only thing worse than walking in the hot summer is walking in the cold winter. That's why God invented the AN650K5 isn't it :?:

Buzz
 

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Buzz

I just noticed the length of your commute because Timothy's post drew my attention to it.

If you are so set against walking then what about a bicycle?

You will not be doing the engine any good at all but then probably less damage than would be suffered by your car on such a route.

I hope you manage to get out for some longer rides otherwise you are wasting about 625cc! :)
 

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Buzz,

How big an operation is your employer? Are there any out of the way places to park it or are you relegated to the middle of a huge lot? If the operation is relatively small can you park it inside or would they let you use a place in the parking lot that is out of the way enough to mount one of these? ---> http://www.thebikebarn.net
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have had my 650 since June 20th and when I stopped for gas last night my ODO read 1,024. No, I don't like walking but I didn't buy it to ride the mile to work, that's just a big plus to me in fuel savings. I haven't had a vacation in the last 2 months, so my longest ride so far has been just over 80 miles but I ride it everywhere and will be taking it on longer trips when I can. Haven't figured out yet how to pay the bills without working for a living.

We have a small parking lot and my space is sheltered in front by the building and on my right by 3 thick spruce trees about 6-7 feet away from the bike. That Bikebarn is interesting but I really don't think I need it.

Because of the short commute, I have my oil change indicator set at 2700 so will be changing it more often than recommended. I take extra good care of everything I own but at this time I am not inclined to move farther away from work just to give the bike a longer workout.

My previous question was whether I really have to be too concerned about condensation and rust by riding it to work. That still is my question. If it is that big a concern, I'll leave it in the garage this winter.

Buzz
 

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Get yourself a nice mountain bike if you don't already have one and ride that mile to work. It'll take you almost as little time, save you even more money on gas, reduce wear and tear on your scoot, and increase your fitness. Did I leave anything out? :lol:
 

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Condensation is an issue. I would not ride if it's less than 3-4 miles in the cold. It's pretty much the same as a car. It needs to good and warm to burn off any water.
 

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Jim's right, If you ride it to work in the extreme cold, you should take the long way home (an old Supertramp tune :D ). It really does need to heat up the oil enough to flash the condesation to steam which will then vent off through the crankcase. Now we're not talking massive amounts of moisture, but if it gets through the coating of oil inside the engine, well, you know, rust never sleeps (a Neil Young tune).

And now I go away, & take my musical alliterations with me.
 

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Wyldman said:
And now I go away, & take my musical alliterations with me.
Nah, keep them coming. We must be the same age, as I can relate to them all.
 

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Happy Birthday in advance!
I'm only a few baby steps behind ya.
 

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"Any advice?"

Yup - Get outta WI and move to southern climes! :wink:
 
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