First Bike, Hasn't Ran in ???, What Should I Do Before Starting It - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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First Bike, Hasn't Ran in ???, What Should I Do Before Starting It

Hello Everyone, this is my first time posting, and the 1986 Vulcan 750 that I am picking up tomorrow is my first bike. The thing with this bike though, is that I don't know the last time it ran. The tags on the license plate are from 06, so I know it's probably been a while. I also know that it was kept in a heated garage. I bought it through an estate auction for only $300. The body is in great shape, and the tank doesn't have any scratches or dents. There are no tears in the seat, and there is no rust that I can see. The only issue that I can see so far is that the plastic connecting the turn signals to the bike has completely crumbled away, so I plan on replacing all four turn signals. I also know the battery is dead because the bike did absolutely nothing when I turned the key and tried to start it. SO, before I try getting it running, is there any maintenance that I should complete. I'm a newbie, so I'm not 100% sure what maintenance should be completed. So far, I know I probably want to change the oil. I appreciate any help, ideas, tips, or tricks for this bike. I'm beyond excited to hopefully get it in running condition and to learn how to ride!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-21-2017, 09:26 AM
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Welcome "Newb"!!!You should introduce yourself under Newbs...just sayin'!!Anyway get that AGM sealed high crank battery ,oil change/filter (do yourself),fresh gas....for "starters".
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-21-2017, 10:33 AM
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There are several things you should do before even trying to start the bike.

Yes, you'll want to get a new battery, an AGM like vulken mentioned above, a long with changing the oil and filter. I'd use a hairdryer to heat up the crankcase before draining.

You'll want to check the air filters....1. To make sure they haven't disintegrated and you end up sucking foam into the engine, and 2. To make sure there aren't any mouse or wasp homes built in there. (For some reason mice and wasps like camping out there)

If it truly sat for 11 years you'll likely have issues with goo in the carburetors. I'd pour some Sea Foam down the fuel lines and let it sit for a day.. you may end up having to pull the carbs and cleaning them, but I'd try this to start with.

Yes, fresh fuel ... Dispose of any fuel in the tank and check for rust in there.

Although this isn't needed to just start the bike, I'd be concerned over the condition of the tires. If the rubber on the turn signals rotted out, good chance the tires should be replaced too before trying to ride it.

Not sure how much experience you have working on motorcycles, but you should pick up a service manual for the bike. Big help if you need to do more.

I'd spray a little oil into the cylinders before trying to start it for the first time. (Just remove a spark plug from each jug and replace after shooting some oil in the hole)

After you get to that point let us know what happens....
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Last edited by Knifemaker; 12-21-2017 at 10:40 AM.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 12:05 AM
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Congrats on a great find!
When Knifemaker says "spray some oil in the cylinder", there's a product called "fogging oil" that is basically oil in an aerosol can. It works way better at getting an initial coating of oil on the cylinder walls than just squirting oil from a normal oil can used for day-to-day lubrication. The guys at my local auto parts store looked at me like I was asking for escargot, but it was there on the shelf when I looked for myself.

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Wiring Diagram + annotations * still undergoing revisions, but still more useful than the generic one. Let me know if you find mistakes or think something additional should be added
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 08:39 AM
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Yes, I wasn't specific on what oil to use there. "Fogging" oil would work great, as this is what it's designed for. But really any spray oil would be fine, as the point of this is just to make sure the inside of the cylinder walls have a coat of oil on them before the piston starts moving. Getting a bit of oil down into the piston rings helps to, especially for a bike that's sat for over a decade.

Those that rebuild older bikes will even do this and then turn the motor over a few times by hand, just to make sure the oil gets the entire cylinder wall. (If they decide not to tear the motor down in the first place)

I've been using this stuff since it hit the market back in the 80's :

https://www.triflowlubricants.com/pr...ricant-aerosol

It contains teflon, and penetrates well. Even when you wipe it off, it leaves a thin film with teflon particles suspended in it. Works good on lubing pretty much everything.

Which I'll also add here would be a good idea once you get your motor going....lube up ALL your cables and pivot points. (Use a grease on the speedometer cable)
Also if your turn signal rubber went bad, not only ditch the tires but check all your rubber hoses and ducts. A crack in a carb boot will make getting the bike to run right impossible.

Speaking of oil and guns, STP "oil treatment" thinly applied.. works awesome at lubricating the slide rails on your pistols.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 11:54 AM
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Cool

KnifeMaker:... "Which I'll also add here would be a good idea once you get your motor going....lube up ALL your cables and pivot points. (Use a grease on the speedometer cable)
Also if your turn signal rubber went bad, not only ditch the tires but check all your rubber hoses and ducts. A crack in a carb boot will make getting the bike to run right impossible."

100 % ! ...(Speedo Cable and Cracked Carb Boot)....ask me how I know !

Speaking of oil and guns, STP "oil treatment" thinly applied.. works awesome at lubricating the slide rails on your pistols. -

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Jardine Fwd Controls, Custom Fenders w/Rails
Iridiums DPR7EIX-9 & Wires, Tuxedo Mod, Coil Mod, P/U Sensor Mod, Fork Seals,
Splines Lubed - 11/4/2012 - MF AGM Battery, Dampers went out @ 13+K !
After TOC MCCT's..... so amazingly quiet I discovered a rattling heat shield on my stock exhaust !

...have a Vulcan good day !

Last edited by WilliamTech3; 12-22-2017 at 11:58 AM.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 06:36 PM
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Replace the radiator fluid. I had a lot of white thick gunk built up. Sat 5 years or more.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanford View Post
Replace the radiator fluid. I had a lot of white thick gunk built up. Sat 5 years or more.
Yes definitely do this..not just replace , but flush it out...(sorry, I forgot the Vulcan was water cooled. Must be going senile.....)

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 03:04 PM
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As someone in the same basic situation as you, let me add check your fork seals, and the wiring connections around the battery box. None of the connecters on this bike are weather tight as far as I know.

And I very much second looking into the carbs before trying to fire it up. Mine wasn't blocked off properly before it went into the barn and I got surprise dirt dauber nest in the slide caps.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 06:16 PM
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".....I got surprise dirt dauber nest in the slide caps."

Hope you didn't get stung. I had water jetting out of my engine block.
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