I need some suggestions as to what I should to to revive my neglected old vn750.
About 4 years ago, I got a 1994 VN750 with 24,000 miles on it for $2,200 to use as a learner bike - my first "real" motorcycle. I liked it so much I decided I'd want one long term, but by then the bike was out of production (2006 being the last year). So when I found a 2004 bike with only 555 miles on it, I grabbed it. Unfortunately I had to deal with some vibration and tank rust issues on the 2004 bike, which took some time and ultimately a big chunk of money to fix when I had to get the engine pulled and examined to ID a factory assembly error (a long story I've told before on this board), so I kept riding my '94 for a few months yet. By September of 2009 I was ready to sell it.
That's when a good friend of mine, newly licensed, told me he had just put a deposit down on a $15,000+ H-D Fat Boy for his first bike
I told him that would be a really bad idea, and convinced him that he should borrow my '94 bike indefinitely to get used to riding first.
So off he rode with my '94 bike. Since then he's been busy skiing, traveling, etc., and only occasionally talked about riding to work. I tried to hook up with him this spring to go out for a Saturday road trip somewhere, and he finally 'fessed up: he'd decided motorcycling was not for him, in fact he'd only ridden it 5 times total in the past 30 months. Most of the time, it has just sat in his garage. Based on the odometer he's put less than 500 miles on it, maybe much much less (I remember rolling over 27,000 miles on the bike myself, and it now has a smidgen over 27,500).
I got it back from him yesterday and am preparing to sell it again. I noticed a few things about the bike after taking it for a short test ride last night.
1 - The transmission feels really stiff and heavy. Even rolling it around in neutral seems hard, and there's almost no feedback when shifting gears.
2 - The steering column seems off a bit... Like I have to pull the bars slightly to the left for the bike to track straight.
3 - The brake lever is very "tight". I only have to pull it a little bit and it fully engages the front brake, with the thicker Kuryakyn grips on my fingers are only just able to pull it in.
I'm inclined to attribute #1 to lack of maintenance. He has done NOTHING with the bike other than add fuel stabilizer while storing it. The bike starts up OK but with 3 year old oil in the bike, that's got to affect the wet clutch operation, right?
For #2, could being locked for a long time unused (with the front wheel turned to the left) affect the steering column? If so, how do I adjust it? I've never done that before.
For #3, I remember being an issue since putting new brake pads on it shortly before giving the bike to him, so I don't think it's brake fluid related. But of course it couldn't hurt to drain that too, or does brake fluid not degrade like engine oil would?
Is there anything else I should be alert for in reconditioning a bike that's been laid over for so long?