Episode 3: So you bought a bike, what now?
Hey, welcome to episode 3 of Motorbike Mondays! Hopefully you’ve listed to our first couple shows, and you have a good idea who we are, and what we like to talk about. After last week covering buying a used bike, what to look for conditions-wise, and specific makes & models, we’re ready to help you figure out how to get started with it. If you’re new to motorcycles, and you’re not sure just where to start with a new (to you) bike, this podcast will help get you going. If you follow the pretty simple steps we’ve outlined and discussed, you should be able to get your bike running. Keep in mind, the point here is to get an old engine running in order to make sure there is no major damage or issues with it, so you can move forward with your project, this podcast doesn’t cover any major engine repairs. We are also starting this podcast under the assumption the engine is not running. Anyways, here’s an outline of the show:
- What’s in the shop? (segment where we discuss what we’re currently working on)
- What now!? I bought a shitty old motorcycle, how do I get started? (main topic)
- How is the battery? Measure voltage with meter, fully load test, inspect battery cables (ground especially). Clean terminals if ANY corrosion is visible, replace ground cable especially if questionable at all. If battery doesn’t check out during ANY test, replace it.
- Drain the oil and inspect it (color, smell, consistency). Drain oil through paper towel or coffee filter to catch any pieces or contamination.
- Inspect and/or replace oil filter. Refill oil (10W40 to 20W50 is fine for pretty much all bikes, if you can’t find what the owners manual recommends.) Use cheap oil (Wal-Mart) if you are going to be doing more work and draining it again.
- Drain gas tank and carburetor float bowls. Inspect gas tank for rust/corrosion. Add fuel filter. Refill gas tank and carburetor float bowls with fresh high octane (91/premium). Use auxiliary fuel bladder if the gas tank is too dirty and un-repair or clean-able.
- Pull the spark plugs. Clean or replace them if questionable (cheap insurance).
- Why was the bike parked? Specific things to look into based on why the seller said it was parked.
- A motor needs 4 things to start: Fuel, Air, Spark, Compression. Make sure it has all of these things. Spark & Compression can be visibly tested. Fuel and Air are carb/air filter related and more difficult to check.
- Try to start the bike. Give the throttle a few twists (prime cylinders with accelerator pump). Make sure fuel is on. Attempt to start. If the bike doesn’t start, pull the air box/cleaners. Spray starting fluid, carb cleaner, brake cleaner, into carb throats. Try to start again.