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Mornin' HK, I live just a few miles east of you, so I know what your talking about. When the snow is gone & the blacktop is still white, you know that way to much salt has been used!

As far as your questions go, if your bike is stored in an unheated area I'd remove the battery like you've been doing to prevent damage due to freezing & just change the oil in the fall.

I'm no expert, but it is my understanding that the reason to change the oil in the fall is to get rid of all the nasties that will corrode you engine from the inside out if they are left to sit for many months. If your bike is not run during the winter then to oil should be just as clean as when you put it in. I have never heard anyone recommend changing in the fall & then again in the spring. I don't know if synthetics would breakdown over the 4-5 months while your bike is in storage, but I don't really see why they would. I mean, during the riding season are you supposed to change your oil every so many months or miles?

If anybody else can shed some light on this I'd also be interested in hearing your opinions.
 
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