some of us, Winter is right around the corner. For those of you who don't ride
their bikes year long, a few tips on storing your Honda Elite CH250 are in
order. How many crucial maintenance operations are there and what are they?
One of the first things you should do is a general cleaning of the scooter
which, when done carefully and without the use of particularly aggressive
cleaning products, helps preserve both painted parts and those made of plastic.
A good cleaner/wax will enhance the finish and protect it.
Now that the scooter has been cleaned, let's move on to the battery. This is
definitely one of the components most affected by the prolonged break. It is
therefore necessary to make sure that the battery is charged at least once a
month and kept, with the
charging clips disconnected, in a dry place that is not exposed to low
temperatures. To recharge it without the risk of ensuing damage, it is advisable
to use an intelligent battery charger, which automatically stops charging once
the optimum level has been reached and the amperage is suited to motorcycle
batteries. If any of the electrolyte is low, refill with distilled water.
Starting your scoot and running it for short bursts periodically in
the Winter without sufficient warming to charge the battery has little value.
Let's not forget the engine oil. Having been left sitting for a long time, there
is not only a risk of acidification and therefore corrosion of the metal, but
also of the prevention of condensation evaporation. This is discernible by a
brownish foam that often deposits in the air filter and clogs it. It is
therefore necessary to drain the used oil and clean the filter screen while the
engine is hot and the motorcycle is turned off, replacing it before leaving it
inactive for the winter. Follow the scheduled maintenance contained in the owner
or service manual. Do not run the engine over the winter! You'll just create
condensation in the engine and combustion byproducts (acids, etc) in the oil.
Resist the temptation. Hey, don't forget to change the final drive oil too!
Check the coolant level in the radiator to be sure it is full. Use an antifreeze
tester to determine that it has protection suitable for Winter. Use only
Hondaline or equivalent antifreeze. A 50/50 mix of silicate and phosphate free
antifreeze will take you to minus
As for the lubrication of the piston and the cylinder skirt, some die-hards feel
this protection is necessary. First, unscrew the spark plug. Pour or squirt some
two-stroke oil or Marvel Mystery Oil directly into the cylinder through the
spark plug hole. Turn the engine over a couple of times to distribute the oil
inside the engine cylinder. Be careful not to overdo it as the excess oil could
wet the spark plug thus making startup difficult. Once this is done, replace and
tighten the spark plug by hand then a quarter turn. Do not over tighten. Upon
Spring start-up, the piston and rings will be lubricated until internal oiling
Fuel is one of the most important subjects to deal with. Perhaps not everyone
knows that gasoline ages, but this would be the least of our problems. The real
problem is tied to condensation. When condensation comes in contact with the
inner surfaces of
the steel tank, it causes rust. The solution to this problem is to mix a fuel
stabilizer with fresh gas and fill the scooter tank full. Run the scooter to
ensure the gas and stabilizer are in the system. This allows the motorcycle to
be ready to run in minutes if the desire to hop on the saddle suddenly comes
over you. If you're not going to stabilize the gas, you must get all of the gas
out of the carb. The problem with only draining the float bowl is
that you haven't removed all of the gas from the carburetor -- capillary action
can hold fuel in the small passages inside the carburetor which may gel. Bottom
line---stabilize the gas and ensure its completely in the system and forget
draining the carb. The use of aviation gas as a winter storage fuel and
stabilizer has also proved to be effective.
Moving on to the tires, you should keep the tires off the ground during the
Winter. Rest the scooter on its center stand and prop the front tire off the
ground with wood. Inflate the tires 5-6 pounds over specification. When you
start using the scoot again, it will be
sufficient to restore the tire pressure indicated in the owner's manual.
If you decide to cover your scoot, use one that is made of breathable cotton
material. Avoid using nylon covers, as they do not allow transpiration and can
therefore create dangerous condensation underneath the cover. For outside
storage, purpose-made bike covers work well, as does anything made of Gore-Tex.
Randy Pozzi (Rev. 11/2005)