Sunday, November 9, 2014

Winter Maintenance

There is no cold temperature oil recommendation in the Ural manual, at least not that I can find. The airhead owners manual (pictured on the left) has oil recommendations down to -20°F I figured that the BMW recommendation is probably close enough. Now that winter is sort of here, I finally got around to changing the Ural engine oil from the normal 20w50 to something a little more winter friendly. Looking around the garage, there was a 5 qt bottle of 10w40 dino oil. I would have preferred a synthetic blend but since this was handy, it seemed like a reasonable option for the next couple of months. I don't really plan on riding much below -20°F anyway.

I'll change the transmission oil and do the rest of the maintenance at the 22,500km mark. There was evidence of moisture in the engine oil so maybe I need to take the scenic route more often to burn off the moisture. I drained the aluminum crankcase vent canister again and there was almost a cup of water and a little bit of oil. It needs to be emptied with every tank of gas.

It was -4°F this morning and the newly repaired Gerbings heated liner and gloves felt pretty nice. I had forgotten that there's heat along each finger and thumb. Today, I also made a slight modification to the Arctic Cat handlebar muffs and sewed a buttonhole for the mirror stalk to run through. I installed the 50 watt silicone pad heater that I had initially picked up for the airhead battery. There wasn't enough flat area on the oil pan so I attached it to the left side of the engine just above the oil pan. A bit of heat should help the engine turn over when it really gets cold. This afternoon, someone commented about the cord hanging out the back of the bike.

10 comments:

Martha said...

Did you ever use those little hand warmers in your gloves? In the "old days"? Obviously, not as comfy as the heated gloves and the bulk would make the grip really poor. Other than hand warmers I don't suppose there was much you could do before heated gloves.

RichardM said...

I used to use them quite a while ago for x-country skiing if it was much below 0°F. With skiing, I usually find myself with wet gloves and the chemical heat packs helped to dry them out. I still regularly carry them in my emergency gear.

Andrea said...

Safe riding and stay warm!

Learning to Golf said...

A block heater on a motorcycle is a novel idea that most riders would have never thought of. It takes a special breed of crazy to find the need for and method of attaching one. You are my idol for your winter riding exploits.

redlegsrides said...

Hubert would approve of the heating pad! He's the first rider I read about who did that, now you....

Near a cup of water from the crankcase vent.....wow...guess the humidity is higher there in the lower elevations! I don't remember it being humid. No wetness in the airbox on my '14 rig in the last two checks but then again, 30% humidity is seen as "high" here in Colorado.

Snow expected tomorrow morning....could be "brisk" riding, though nothing as your riding conditions.

The '14 manual comes with oil weight recommendations btw, you can download the manual from URAL.. Looks like they recommend 5W40 if you're running below 32 degrees F all the time.

RichardM said...

Thank you for stopping by!

RichardM said...

George Rahn mentioned that he had machined a BMW oil pan to bolt on the oil heater from an aircooled VW. And this would've been in the mid 60s so there are a few crazies around town. I don't have access to a mill so I took the low tech approach. High temperature silicone.

RichardM said...

I'm always surprised at the amount of water that is coming out of the crankcase vent. I guess it explains why I had so many water in the carb issues with the airhead.

No snow forecast around here. In fact it was 31°F this morning and the forecast is for warmer temperatures throughout the week.

Thanks for the note from the '14 manual. I may change to lighter oil when it gets really cold.

Steve Williams said...

I would think URAL would have a block heater as an option, or at least a dipstick heater.

I had to chuckle that your riding limit is -20F. Most people I know have stopped when the air is 80 degrees warmer.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

RichardM said...

Maybe Ural would've offered a block heater as an option if it was necessary. The engine starts readily even at below 0°F temperatures. I added the heat pad to keep the oil warm and flowing.

At really cold temperatures (such as -50°F), 10w40 has the consistency of honey and gear lube is almost a solid. If you don't have winter grease in your wheel bearings on your car, the tires will just slide rather than turn.

Isn't winter fun...