Working in the cold - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 10 Old 12-17-2013, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Working in the cold

I wanted to do some work over the winter on the bike in the shed but the temps will be under 0 C outside.

Are there any issues working on the bolts and parts in that type of cold other than me freezing?

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post #2 of 10 Old 12-17-2013, 02:28 PM
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Use a large tarp to cover you and the bike and then a small heater to semi heat the area in which you want to work.....just more comfortable.
Oil won't flow waste of time trying that one......unless you run bike.....
What work are you looking to do? Maybe start bike and let warm up before working on it? Valve clearances won't work on a warm bike though.

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post #3 of 10 Old 12-17-2013, 04:55 PM
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If you use a gas heater make sure you don't make your work area to tight. Monoxide poison can kill
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-17-2013, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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I meant more for the nuts and bots on the bike, metal fatigue etc for being worked in the cold, do they torque right etc.

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post #5 of 10 Old 12-17-2013, 05:49 PM
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I can't answer if the case will snap from possibly being torqued being too cold...but I doubt if the bolts will.

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post #6 of 10 Old 12-17-2013, 07:18 PM
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I've swapped out entire drivetrains on vehicles in -20 weather outside, no problems other than it's miserable work. The only thing that might get brittle would be the plastics... Especially if you have gen 2 hard plastic...

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post #7 of 10 Old 12-17-2013, 08:17 PM
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Interesting, and this has me thinking (sometimes a dangerous thing). Since torque is only a twisting force trying to replicate bolt stretch to provide adequate clamping force I have to wonder how temperature affects the final tightening requirements.

A couple of things come to mind. First is the coefficient of expansion (or contraction) of a steel fastener versus the aluminum parts to be held together at a particular temperature. Think of the problems the SR-71 engineers faced.

Second is what type of thread lubricant, if any, is used. Itís been proven that lubricated threads will provide more bolt stretch than non lubricated. The materials yield (or non ability to return to itís original state) must be considered.

As usual I only pose potential problems and offer no advice. But, we are not building something for intergalactic travel here. I think the the point is moot.

Run it and stay warm.

Gray-haired riders donít get that way from pure luck.

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post #8 of 10 Old 12-17-2013, 11:22 PM
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I do the tarp and space heater for anything requiring more time than the fingers can handle.
Our garage is attached but not heated. The fact that it's attached keeps it above freezing
out there so the heater in a tent is just a luxury.

This is my son, with whom I am well pleased." ----God
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-18-2013, 12:34 AM
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Hi Crash
I have done all kinds of work on all kinds of equipment in temps from +45c to -45c with no real mechanical issues at the temps you are asking about. Make the work area as comfortable as you can for yourself. The bike won't be adversely affected at any temp you can comfortably work in. In the winter I usually keep my personal shop at about 5c due to the high cost of heating fuel. If I am going to be doing a big job I may raise the temp to 10c but that is for my comfort only.
I would want it warmer if I was doing tire work but only to increase the flexibility of the rubber tires.
I'm not worried about torques and the like. There is more variation in torque due to the usual variances of torque wrenches than caused by temp changes.
You won't have any problems with broken bolts that you wouldn't have had at 25 or 30c as well
Stay warm....justjeff

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post #10 of 10 Old 12-18-2013, 09:02 AM
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You said the bike is in a shed. Is there enough room on in there to work?? You can toss your wife's gardening stuff outside in the snow. Close the door and get a small propane heater. Should get toasty warm. Even 40F is warm enough to take the chill off.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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