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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I may catch some grief for this but here goes...if one were to purchase a motorcycle (initially as investment only) and keep it in his living room, what would be the best state to keep the bike in ? No fuel obviously but what about battery? How long should any bike stay dormant,even when stored under ideal conditions? The wife is gonna freak out if I pull the trigger on this......
 

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I've checked a lot of long term storage discussions for cars - I suspect bikes are similar. Generally they say to store the vehicle with fluids (dyno oil vs. synthetic for some reason, and I'm not sure why even so because oil will all just sit in the pan), and if it's going to be stored for a long time (years) then they suggest backing out all the rockers so none of the valve springs are held under compression (not sure how that translates on a desmo) and doing some things with the suspension too. Not sure there is actually a definitive guide... seems a lot of opinion.

Stuff I can say for sure - you need to avoid fast temp changes and keep the air non-condensing, the valve spring suggestion makes sense too (to me anyway).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Dave. I am in line with your advice. I also agree as to the oil simply settling in pan. It would probably sit for 2-4 years???? The bike I'm looking at is a pristine, low mileage 1098 'R' , and set up for racing. I don't have track credentials as of yet, and not sure if I ever will, so the plan is to safely store and enjoy it....in the living room, if I can get it at my price point.
 

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Having disassembled quite a few old engines that have sat around unused, I can say the biggest danger would be rust on surfaces such as cam lobes and rockers, valve springs, and rings . I worked in the spring industry, and our lab performed many tests on valve springs. One test that was done was to check the springs before and after being held compressed in an oven to simulate the heat soak they might receive in severe conditions. Normally, most springs are also cycled until failure in the lab . Bottom line , being stored in a normal valve open compressed condition will have negligible effect on them, they’re designed for much worse. When I store motors I store them with STP or such that will coat the surfaces and crank the engine over to build oil pressure , or start it, periodically. Keep oil on your cam lobes.
 

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If it is going to set for a while you need to protect things that you can and write off the things that you can't.

What I mean by this it rubber will degrade no matter what so if the bike is not to be run just plan on changing these items when you are ready to run it again.
Tires
belts
Know that some seals/gaskets may weep later on under use but that is something you will just fix as it happens, nothing to do proactively.

Plastic tank should be left dry but know that the fuel line and pump will not be so getting some stabilized fuel or race gas into those items is a good idea if you do it right. Race gas is used as it is going to last the longest without going bad and ruining things but it has special care that is needed as well. I would put some top end lube in the race gas (marvel mystery oil or something like it) so that the race gas does leave some lube behind. If you run the bike on race gas you have to fog the motor.

Fogging the motor. Running the motor that last time you will want to fog the motor by spraying fogging oil into the intake ports until there is a steady stream of white smoke coming out of the exhaust. At that point kill the ignition and do NOT start it in the house as it should smoke a bit when you re-start. this is to coat the valves,seats and cylinders to protect them from corrosion. It does not matter that the bike is in a house there is a valve open and moisture will get inside.

Last oil change, I am sure they use dyno oil because it is cheap and there is not reason to put synthetic in if you have no plans to run it. The change is to have oil with NO combustion byproducts in it, when you put it back in service you can decide if it gets new again ( very old oil) or just run it.

Make sure the brake and clutch fluid are changed as well as you can get build up in there as well but if setting fresh you should be fine.

Long term you might have a fuel pump stick andd you will need new tires,belts and battery by the time you re-start it but there should be no other issues... well except for one you may not be able to get parts for a rare bike in the future and know that a 1098r is not what I would call a trouble free motorcycle. I have one on my bench now with a blown up starter clutch and a couple years back I had one with a stock piston that cracked. fantastic bike and yes it will be a good one to collect but be realistic and not overcome by motolust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I apologize for wrong posting category. Move at will. Thank you ducvet! Very helpful information. It seems pretty straight forward. As to the 1098R, anything in particular to be watchful for?
 

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Excess smoking when run hard (cracked piston)

charging system - common 1098 issue of the day

starter noises- 08 had a hard starting issue and it could be hard on the starter clutch.

plastic gas tank - warped,leaks, bubbles in paint.

If bodywork is carbon no issues if plastic then watch for broken tabs and splits on the lower fairings ( all the ones I see are track bikes with race bodywork).

watch for lowers to contact the exhaust and melt/burn.
 

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I think the engine suggestions are all correct and time honored, but what about..
Won't the actual appearance of the bike suffer the most over significant time in a living room situation, with friends and family, and maybe kids touching it, and sitting on it?

Will the bike be in a case?

There's a reason why wood is coated and treated for life in a house. In a weird way I think the bike might degrade faster in a living room than in a garage, where the only hands on action it will get is when you're completely covered head to toe in clothing and wearing gloves.
The rides, even if really spaced out, knock the cobwebs away, and ensure disposable changes are regular, combined with intermittent washes and waxes to keep that dust and dirt away.

In a living room however, it;s marooned on an island. Wouldn't that stuff be strangely damaging over the course of 6 or 7 years.. Perhaps even more from what you're saying.

Even collectors run and maintain their cars, right? Unless they're not meant for running ever again, like a museum might display.
 

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I may catch some grief for this but here goes...if one were to purchase a motorcycle (initially as investment only) and keep it in his living room, what would be the best state to keep the bike in ? No fuel obviously but what about battery? How long should any bike stay dormant,even when stored under ideal conditions? The wife is gonna freak out if I pull the trigger on this......
I bought a 1098R that had been purchased as an investment and not used. It sat for several years (5, I think) before I bought it. I don’t know how good of an investment it was for the person I bought it from but when I got it I changed all the fluids, the battery, the belts, and a few other things and started putting miles on it. It’s time for me to change tires and do fluids again but it’s run very well for me with regular use. It’s one of my favorite Ducati’s. I really doubt if a race prepped 1098R would have any investment value, unless it was Carlos Checa’s or something...

I have a 996R that lives in my home office. It has 7 miles on it. It was never used after it left the factory. It has all fluids, no battery, and a tiny amount of race gas with some marvels mystery oil in it. It’s awesome as an office bike and I know that if I ever wanted to prep it for use it would be a piece of cake.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well breaddrink...everything you said touched on all my concerns. I wouldn't want to buy and store an exotic bike and have it deteriorate prematurely. I have minimal visitors to my modest home and I am very clean, but when considering all of these things, I'm beginning to think the following : I have a good size breezeway/family room, that I spend most of my time in. My garage is connected to this and I could easily just keep the bike in the garage, covered, fueled and start it periodically. When I felt like it, I could roll it in the breezeway and enjoy it from there. My next post is going to ask what makes a particular Ducati collectible? From what I have seen , you can get VERY nice Ducatis right now for between $8000 - $15,000...and many of these are 'R's. I'm not looking for mutual fund like ROI, but a bike I can enjoy as a work of art / conversation piece. I would be happy if the bike simply didn't depreciate. It will more than likely be ridden from time to time. Maybe I'm crazy...
 

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I think the engine suggestions are all correct and time honored, but what about..
Won't the actual appearance of the bike suffer the most over significant time in a living room situation, with friends and family, and maybe kids touching it, and sitting on it?

Will the bike be in a case?

There's a reason why wood is coated and treated for life in a house. In a weird way I think the bike might degrade faster in a living room than in a garage, where the only hands on action it will get is when you're completely covered head to toe in clothing and wearing gloves.
The rides, even if really spaced out, knock the cobwebs away, and ensure disposable changes are regular, combined with intermittent washes and waxes to keep that dust and dirt away.

In a living room however, it;s marooned on an island. Wouldn't that stuff be strangely damaging over the course of 6 or 7 years.. Perhaps even more from what you're saying.

Even collectors run and maintain their cars, right? Unless they're not meant for running ever again, like a museum might display.
The biggest killer for long term storage is water... condensing humidity levels will leave a film of water on every surface of your bike on days when it warms up fast outside if your garage is not heated/dehumidified (which will cause rust). If you live in a desert then no worries (just keep it out of direct sunlight) but assuming you don't let your kids draw on it with permanent marker and you keep your home temp controlled and dry - I wouldn't think you'd have any worries. My aunt kept her 1982'ish 900ss in her living room for 20 years, still looked pretty good when she finally moved it to the garage.
 

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Maybe contact the owner/curator of the "Wheels thru Time" museum in Maggie valley, NC.
He has at least a hundred or more antique bikes in his collection and supposedly they all can be started at any time.
3 yrs. ago at ECM VII I believe he fired up a Curtis inline four from the early teens.
 

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"Well breaddrink...everything you said touched on all my concerns. I wouldn't want to buy and store an exotic bike and have it deteriorate prematurely"

No way man, I don't want to put you off the idea, I just think you've found an unusual tangent in that you want an investment but also an awesome ornament.
I also think it's completely obtainable, just an interesting slight difference to most other situations.

The ones I've seen, say in schools, or museums aren't meant to be ever started again or collections that are started and at great expensive kept up continuously but then usually not on display.

You want both storage, but not put away. Displayed and then life :D

I think the suggestion of contacting the museum is a great one.

Also, your life may be very different from mine, in that the garage is kind of my space and the safest place for these things.
I'm working on getting it climate controlled, but it's already not at the astonishing climate changes some places in the US see.

If I had a living room Ducati, I'd find PB&J's on it from time to time. The odd random dried on ketchup jet that couldn't possibly have happened at any angle or in any situation. :D
 

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I purchased a mint 2002 low mileage 900SSie from a dealer, at which the bike had been with for 7 years. I don’t think the dealer did something special to it other than running it occasionally and change the oil. I’ve had it for three seasons now and it has been perfect. When I inspected the bike before purchase I looked closely at all rubber and plastic parts. Also bolts and screws and other metal fittings etc. All looked like new. I’ve seen very low mileage bikes stored for years where plastic and rubber parts looked deteriorated and bolts and screws corroded. It seems like the type of ambient atmosphere the bike is stored in is the most important factor. If the outside parts looks bad from sitting still for years, one would assume the internals would be the same.

Personally, I use ACF-50 extensively to preserve the bike, it works very well and keep all materials looking like new and repels water and humidity.

If I was to store a bike indoor, I would preserve it with a thin layer of ACF-50, and the odour quickly wears off so your living room will not smell like a garage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That's funny stuff breaddrink! The ketchup and PB&Js... Don't feel like your putting me off, this is why I'm asking these questions. But to your point, minus the kids, I would have the general house dirt/dust, pet dander (two Cane Corso mastiffs), uneven sunlight fade....making the garage seem like a very safe place. It seems to me more than a few people do this with motorcycles that they love or co sider art. I may take flynmons advice and talk to a museum guy. I am in the Northeast which always makes moisture a concern. Luckily, my garage is climate controlled. I appreciate all this input guys. Thanks so much!!!
 

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So here is my 996R with 7 miles as it sits in my home office. It is no worse for the wear. And as secluded and off limits as my garage is, the home office is just as secluded. I have no concerns about ketchup jets or pb and j or anything like that.
 

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+1 on the ACF50 for plastics and bolts and such. Plastics and rubber go bad because chemical softeners evaporate out of them. (at least that's what the witch doctor told me). I imagine a fluid film would help with that. I always thought it smelled more like lanolin than a petroleum product, even though it's bright purple.

On another note, what kind of sick monster keeps a poor defenseless Ducati locked up in a house? A formaldehyde purgatory withholding the freedom of a beautiful stallion. Sad :crying:
 
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