KLR Storage - Mission Failure

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Stercutus
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KLR Storage - Mission Failure

Post by Stercutus » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:34 am

I decided to pull the KLR out of my on site storage and see how it was holding up. It has been put up for two years roughly. I was thinking I would go for a ride. So much for thinking...

After battery charge up it would crank but not start. I didn't drain the fuel when I stored it because I have such good luck with other vehicles storing them that I didn't think it was necessary. I shined my pen light inside the tank and it was a mess.

When I put it up it only had a half a tank of fuel. The half of the tank with the fuel in it was fine the top half was badly rusted. The fuel had levels of algae growing in it that was nice and thick. Kawasaki does not line or galvanize the KLR tanks apparently.

In order to fix this mess I had to do the following:

- Removed the tank from the bike and dump the old gas
- Clean the rust out the tank by soaking the interior with vinegar and smoothing it out with some BB's and lots of shaking daily (made it nice and shiny like new)
- Put a chemical liner in the tank to keep this from happening again

This process took about two weeks.

Anyway if you want to learn from my mistake I recommend putting a liner in tanks of your bikes and ATVs with metal tanks. Draining them won't stop the rust.
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Re: KLR Storage - Mission Failure

Post by Dabster » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:23 am

I had a KLR. Loved that bike. 17k miles in two years. What year is your KLR?

I'm also trying to resurrect an MG that has been sitting for ~15 years. I feel your pain. We did the same thing with the fuel tank but we used gravel instead of BBs, rebuilt the carbs and replaced all the fuel lines. First test drive went great until it didn't -it killed the fuel pump and the carb was full of what looked like BBQ sauce. We ran the remaining fuel (~2 gallons) to the engine compartment and collected more BBQ sauce. No idea where it's coming from!
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Re: KLR Storage - Mission Failure

Post by NT2C » Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:23 am

Dabster wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:23 am
I had a KLR. Loved that bike. 17k miles in two years. What year is your KLR?

I'm also trying to resurrect an MG that has been sitting for ~15 years. I feel your pain. We did the same thing with the fuel tank but we used gravel instead of BBs, rebuilt the carbs and replaced all the fuel lines. First test drive went great until it didn't -it killed the fuel pump and the carb was full of what looked like BBQ sauce. We ran the remaining fuel (~2 gallons) to the engine compartment and collected more BBQ sauce. No idea where it's coming from!
Sounds like your steel fuel lines are rusting from the inside out and your fuel hoses are rotting from the inside out, most likely due to 10% ethanol fuel. Replace the lines, all of them from the tank to the carb, as it's the only way to be safe. Oh, and flush your brake system too. No need to replace those lines unless they're showing signs of age, but like the gas, that brake fluid has spent 15 years absorbing moisture from the air.
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Re: KLR Storage - Mission Failure

Post by raptor » Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:32 pm

Stercutus wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:34 am

Anyway if you want to learn from my mistake I recommend putting a liner in tanks of your bikes and ATVs with metal tanks. Draining them won't stop the rust.
Sorry to hear about that PITA.
Capt obvious here ... storing fuel in a vehicle tank is asking for trouble especially in a humid climate. There is generally a fuel tank vent which will admit copious amounts of moisture even if you drain the tank. Gasoline with ethanol loves to absorb moisture. You may want to consider placing tape over the engine intake and the fuel vent to limit moisture. Fogging it with WD-40 to displace moisture can also be useful.

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Re: KLR Storage - Mission Failure

Post by Stercutus » Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:51 pm

The KLR is a 2013.

Capt obvious here ... storing fuel in a vehicle tank is asking for trouble especially in a humid climate.
It was the vent and unlined tank that got me. I had done the same thing previously with a car, truck and Vulcan MC. None of them suffered ill effects. The tank on the Vulcan was galvanized and prevented it from rusting. Venting on cars and trucks works a little differently. Lesson learned though.
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Re: KLR Storage - Mission Failure

Post by majorhavoc » Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:27 pm

Stercutus wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:34 am
Anyway if you want to learn from my mistake I recommend putting a liner in tanks of your bikes and ATVs with metal tanks. Draining them won't stop the rust.
There seems to be two schools of thought regarding fuel tanks and long term storage. Completely draining is one of them.

I've always topped of the tank, added fuel stabilizer and run the engine for a few minutes to ensure the stabilized fuel works its way through the entire fuel system.

This method has worked well for my 2008 KLR for several winters. Including the past two winters after I lost my barn storage option. The bike has been stored outside, wrapped up in a tarp but otherwise completely exposed to the elements. I also pull the battery, keep that in a heated space and throw it on the trickle charger every month or two. I'm continually astonished how easily the bike starts each spring. That machine just wants to run.

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Re: KLR Storage - Mission Failure

Post by Stercutus » Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:37 pm

I've always topped of the tank, added fuel stabilizer and run the engine for a few minutes to ensure the stabilized fuel works its way through the entire fuel system.
Whatever you do just don't go half a tank. It is the worst of both worlds.
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Re: KLR Storage - Mission Failure

Post by MacWa77ace » Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:34 am

I've never seen algae on gas, are there any photos?
I remember [not really] an episode of either fall guy or macgyver where they found a WWII B-25 and barrels of fuel sitting for 40+ years. They had to escape by flying the plane out, and used a hemp rope somehow to purify the fuel. I was skeptical about that at the time as I recall. Wish i could remember what show that was.
majorhavoc wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:27 pm
Stercutus wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:34 am
Anyway if you want to learn from my mistake I recommend putting a liner in tanks of your bikes and ATVs with metal tanks. Draining them won't stop the rust.
There seems to be two schools of thought regarding fuel tanks and long term storage. Completely draining is one of them.

I've always topped of the tank, added fuel stabilizer and run the engine for a few minutes to ensure the stabilized fuel works its way through the entire fuel system.

This method has worked well for my 2008 KLR for several winters. Including the past two winters after I lost my barn storage option. The bike has been stored outside, wrapped up in a tarp but otherwise completely exposed to the elements. I also pull the battery, keep that in a heated space and throw it on the trickle charger every month or two. I'm continually astonished how easily the bike starts each spring. That machine just wants to run.
yamaha doesn't [didn't] do anything special to the tank interior I had. I wasn't storing the bike, I was using a grinder on the uninstalled tank to repair a dent and shoved a wet rag in the opening, only for the few minutes of grinding, to prevent any spark fuel incedents. By the time I finished working on the tank, painted etc, a few days later there were rust spots in the shape of water droplets where they hit on the interior.

I agree, either completely fill or drain any gas tank. For cars/ boats with lined tanks, filling them still prevents/limits condensation with water which will get into the fuel and effect engine performance even though it won't effect the tank. If you drain carb engine, run the engine 'til it stops. if left full, or not run dry, carburated motors will evaporate all the fuel out of the carb's reservoirs leaving a 'glazing'' behind, if this happens multiple times its enough to effect carburation and require extensive cleaning. BTDT. Another drawback to completely draining IMO is that carb gaskets tend to dry out and crack, so would have to be replaced. BTDT. I live in Florida so I mainly deal with heat effects.

I've also heard but have never done this: you pull the plugs and put a small amount of oil in the cylinder, and replace the plugs. Is this real or an urban legend?
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Re: KLR Storage - Mission Failure

Post by flybynight » Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:19 am

MacWa77ace wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:34 am
I've never seen algae on gas, are there any photos?
I remember [not really] an episode of either fall guy or macgyver where they found a WWII B-25 and barrels of fuel sitting for 40+ years. They had to escape by flying the plane out, and used a hemp rope somehow to purify the fuel. I was skeptical about that at the time as I recall. Wish i could remember what show that was.
majorhavoc wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:27 pm
Stercutus wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:34 am
Anyway if you want to learn from my mistake I recommend putting a liner in tanks of your bikes and ATVs with metal tanks. Draining them won't stop the rust.
There seems to be two schools of thought regarding fuel tanks and long term storage. Completely draining is one of them.

I've always topped of the tank, added fuel stabilizer and run the engine for a few minutes to ensure the stabilized fuel works its way through the entire fuel system.

This method has worked well for my 2008 KLR for several winters. Including the past two winters after I lost my barn storage option. The bike has been stored outside, wrapped up in a tarp but otherwise completely exposed to the elements. I also pull the battery, keep that in a heated space and throw it on the trickle charger every month or two. I'm continually astonished how easily the bike starts each spring. That machine just wants to run.
yamaha doesn't [didn't] do anything special to the tank interior I had. I wasn't storing the bike, I was using a grinder on the uninstalled tank to repair a dent and shoved a wet rag in the opening, only for the few minutes of grinding, to prevent any spark fuel incedents. By the time I finished working on the tank, painted etc, a few days later there were rust spots in the shape of water droplets where they hit on the interior.

I agree, either completely fill or drain any gas tank. For cars/ boats with lined tanks, filling them still prevents/limits condensation with water which will get into the fuel and effect engine performance even though it won't effect the tank. If you drain carb engine, run the engine 'til it stops. if left full, or not run dry, carburated motors will evaporate all the fuel out of the carb's reservoirs leaving a 'glazing'' behind, if this happens multiple times its enough to effect carburation and require extensive cleaning. BTDT. Another drawback to completely draining IMO is that carb gaskets tend to dry out and crack, so would have to be replaced. BTDT. I live in Florida so I mainly deal with heat effects.

I've also heard but have never done this: you pull the plugs and put a small amount of oil in the cylinder, and replace the plugs. Is this real or an urban legend?
I've never owned a bike, but that's what you do with outboard motors

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