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Subject: Storing motorcycle

Storing motorcycle

From: Valerie Tomlinson <valerie_tomlinson>
Date: Monday, April 10, 2006
Marie-Chantale Poisson <misspoisson [at] yahoo__ca> writes

>We have a 1995 Aprilia motorcycle designed by Philippe Starck in our
>collection (look online for a similar model of the Moto 6.5), which
>needs servicing in view of long-term storage. ...
>Besides taking the battery and spark plugs out, does anybody have
>recommendations for its storage? Which fluids should be flushed,
>topped or replaced? ...

>From having owned a motorcycle in Canada where one has to store it
for the winter every winter I know that not only does one have to
remove the battery (electricity and metal are a bad combination: it
can accelerates corrosion rates when left to its own devices), but
one also has to remove the gasoline. The gas itself is not really
the problem, but it evaporates relatively quickly, and all the
additives are left behind to gunk up the carburetor, spark plugs,
the gas lines, and whatever else.

As the motorcycle has already been left some years with gas in it,
you should flush the carburetor and gas lines to clean out any
accumulated gunk. While I have never had to conserve a functioning
vehicle for museum purposes, generally speaking, this procedure
will apply to any fluids that evaporate over time.

I would suggest that you look at what systems you have and determine
on this basis what fluids need to be removed. Oils and greases are
generally protective of metals, but will accumulate dirt and slowly
crustify over time. My guess is that it is probably better to
maintain the oils and greases in the machine, rather than remove

Tires and tire pressure is another issue to be concerned about, as
rubbers degrade rather rapidly. I'm sure there are other
conservators out there with more experience with automotive
machinery than I have, but this at least is a basic introduction.

Valerie Tomlinson
Former archaeological and metals conservator

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:51
                  Distributed: Friday, April 21, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-19-51-003
Received on Monday, 10 April, 2006

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