Sunday, December 10, 2006

Cold Weather Oil Woes

Here it comes again, old man winter and cold weather woes. Yep ! The wind, rain, sleet snow and ice season is fast approaching. The warm weather riding season is almost over for most of the US and Canada. Oh the horror, the horror of it all brrrrrr. Some will continue to ride off and on until the frigid cold strikes hard.
For these diehards who want to extend and pinch every last day that they can, they'll have to put up with thick cold oil. Just cranking up that cold bike can be a strain on the battery and a chore for kickers only. Once the engine is started, you will have to have an extended warm up period. Ahhhh, Don't rev that cold engine! That makes for a mighty fine mechanical nightmare to your wallet. Engine oil flows more like molasses in the cold and lubrication is at an all time low until warmed up. Take a quart of new oil and put it in your freezer for the night leave another in the warm house. Next morning take them both and see which one flows best. Its so elementary I know, but think about what that same oil is doing outside in your engines. Seeing is believing for hard nosed motor abusers who can't fathom why that engine wore out so quick and started burning oil.
"Those in the know, Don't crank and go."
For the few that have a heated garage or storage space, great. The rest of us will just have to put up with it .....or do we?
My Pop used to put a blanket over the front of his car, then run a trouble light out and place it as close to the oil pan as possible over night. Even so, he still would let the engine idle to warm up. Thing was, the warm up was much faster than without the light. However it was work every morning and night. Drag out the blanket and the light and the extension cord. Set it all up outside freezing your ass off crawling under the car with the icy wind blowing down your neck. Then in the morning having to go out, undo it all and put it up. Again while freezing your butt off lying on the ground to get the light loose.
You can buy block heaters for cars, trucks and planes, but what about bikes?
Guess what? You can!
Reiff Preheat Systems is a small company that produces them for use on motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, portable generators, airplanes and more. Once the unit is installed it stays so all you have to do is plug it in. Your done without hassles and freezing to death.
There are two sizes available, a 100 watt and a 200 watt system. The 100 watt is a single pad heater for around $125 Bills and the 200 watt which has two pads for faster heating for $169.
The second one is equipped with a thermostat that limits the temperature to around 150 degrees so it won't overheat.
Hook one of these jewels up to an automatic timer switch from a home center. Then you can have it come on and start warming before you get up in the morning. It won't run all night and you won't have to get up extra early. Engine warm up will now be much faster and safer for both of you. Check out the battery heaters that they also make to give you full cranking amps.
I think it is worth the price for convenience and piece of mind.
They have many systems for several applications. The warranty is 2 years and they don't exclude the warranty coverage for installation mistakes either. That's confidence unheard of in todays day and age.
Check out all their products and tips at


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