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Use the blue or "Marine" Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer.

All of the following are for the very anal.

  1. Wash, dry, and wax the bike thoroughly.
  2. Drain the coolant, flush the system, and add new coolant.
  3. Put some gas stabilizer in the tank (available at auto part stores). Also make sure the tank is as full as possible.
  4. Ride the bike until it's warmed up.
  5. Change the oil and filter.
  6. Lube the chain. (Shafties take a break.)
  7. Turn off the fuel petcock.
  8. Drain the carb fuel bowls.
  9. Remove the air filter.
  10. Remove the spark plugs. Inject a small amount of 2-stroke oil into each cylinder. Crank the motor a few times.
  11. Replace the spark plugs and air filter.
  12. Seal the air intakes with duct tape to keep out mice etc.
  13. Remove the battery and put it on a trickle charger in a warm place.
  14. Put the bike on the centerstand and block it up so the front tire also is off the ground.
  15. Spray some WD40 into the exhaust pipes. This absorbs water and puts a nice oil coating on the insides of the exhaust system.
  16. Seal the ends of the mufflers with plastic bags.
  17. Put some silicon preservative on a rag and wipe down all the rubber pieces except for the grips, pegs, and tires.
  18. Lube all cables and moving gizmos like foot pegs, levers, etc.
  19. Bleed the brakes and clutch.
  20. Cover with a breathable cover. Honda suggests that if the bike is going to be in storage for more then 4 months, you change the oil again when you get it out. If you do that, you might as well put cheap oil in for the winter, and replace it in the spring with good oil. (Some list members think this is a waste.) No reason to change the oil filter twice though.

If you don't "store" the bike and decide to start up the bike during the cold season, be sure to ride it around 20 minutes or so to get the engine hot enough to burn off the condensation/contaminants in the engine/oil. Idling the bike in your driveway can do more harm than good.