Jim C
Lv 6
Jim C asked in Cars & TransportationMotorcycles · 1 decade ago

Starting a motorcycle that has been sitting for about 5 years.?

Does anyone know what would be the best way to go about starting a motorcycle that has been sitting for 5 years or so?

12 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    What did you do to prepare the bike to be sitting so long? If you didn't do anything at all, your gas has turned to varnish and your carbs are gummed up. You'll need to get the carbs cleaned before you can even try to start it.

    I checked out a bike that had been sitting in someone's garage for about the same amount of time. The gas tank was full of rust so check that before you even try to start the bike. You don't want to get bits of rust in the carbs.

    A new battery is of course necessary. Check the electical system. Your wires may be trash. The tires are probably dry rotted (little tiny cracks in the rubber). If so, they'll need to be replaced before you go anywhere. You probably need to change the oil and if it's water cooled, new coolant.

    Again, it depends on what was done to prepare it. That bike we saw in the garage? They wanted $1800 for it (a Honda Interceptor 250) but it was going to cost that much just to get it running again with carb cleaning, tank coating, new tires and battery. Great if you're into restorations, but not so great if you're looking for a deal on a bike :)

    Good luck.

  • banach
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Starting Motorcycle

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If it's been sitting THAT long, then take the advice of having your carbs cleaned and changing plugs & all fluids. One additional step you should consider is pouring about a tablespoon of oil down into the spark plug hole and allow it to soak into the rings for a couple days before attempting to crank it. It will definitely smoke like a chimney when it first starts up, but otherwise you're looking at a definite engine rebuild.

    Clean fuel won't do you much good if you have no compression.

  • 1 decade ago

    First, change all the lubes (engine, tranny, bearings) and brake hydraulic fluid -if that applies. Pull the carb and soak it in carb cleaner, use any leftover fuel for cleaning parts-- old fuel is useless, and just gums up the works. It's likely a good thing to change out the ignition module.

    New battery for sure.

    Spraying starting fluid in air intake of carb is dicey; works on cars, but more harm than good for 'cycles.

    All of the above will get you going: if hard starting persists, crack open the pilot fuel adjustment 1/8 turn left 'till you get engine running regularly, then adjust back to original, otherwise you get crummy milage.

    Source(s): HardKnox U. xperience in reviving vintage Hondas. (5 so far)
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Griff
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    A few things that may cause you pain and anguish. It's possible gas has congealed in the fuel system and tank. Make sure to clean all of that up. The oil needs to be changed before you try a start. The carb. will be gunky. If it's a nice bike, take it to a shop and have them do that stuff for you. If you're handy, do it yourself.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    if it has been sitting that long please take out all the spark plugs and spray wd40 or some othe penetrating fluid in the cylinders and let it sit for a few days your rings may be stuck(rusted) to the walls and firing the bike may cause them to break and engine failure will be the result. once they have set leave the plugs out and put in 2 nd gear and push the bike easy to move the pistons if you if you fir the motor it still may fail once they are free spray a little more wd and replace the plugs try to drain all the old gas and fire it up good luck

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Drain all the gas from the carbs and gas tank and put in fresh gas.. change oil and filter. Pull the sparkplugs and shoot WD40 or ATF down in the holes Charge battery and see the cylinders are free. If so, install new plugs and fire that baby up.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Worst issue is varnished fuel system from sitting

    >Clean carb - disassemble and clean with carb cleaner

    >Drain Gas tank - clean and refill

    >Change oil

    >New battery

    >New plugs - first, spray a little nentrating oil inside chamber & rotate engine without plugs.

    >Lube chain - if applicable

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    drain the old gas from the tank the carb is going to be torn down and cleaned if it had old gas in it.check the plug or plugs ,change oil . if it has a battery its probably be dead or no good.

  • 1 decade ago

    If it is a Honda, you can probably start it with fresh gas, oil and battery.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.