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Old bike maintenance

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by Sakislug, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Ok, so i've recently acquired two '83 Honda VT250F's to ride for my first bike. They've both been off the road for 2+ years and are looking a bit worse for wear. I've replaced oil/oil filter, spark plugs/leads and the front tyre. Will also change the chain and rear sprocket. This is my first experience with bikes, so is there anything else i should check or replace before going to get it rego'd? Thanks.

  2. Whatever they ask you to change. I assume this is a budget thing? - then I'd do as little as possible, just enough to keep the crate running without killing me. Don't worry, I'm sure it'll present you with a list in time....and re rego I prefer to let the RWC inspector list teh stuff first, rather than fixing it all before hand and tempting them to go looking for other stuff.

    (But here's some other general stuff: fluids - fork oil, brake fluid; are the cables - eg clutch - good or stiff and nasty?; brake pads?; tyre wear and age?)
  3. Make sure the battery and terminals are alright, otherwise the whole schemozzle will stop running somewhere inconveniant. Also check that all indicator, tail and headlight globes still work.

    If the battery is only a bit sulphated (ie not a solid mass with no fluid at all), put it on an overnight charge and see how it looks in the morning. Top up fluid if low with distilled water and charge again if no improvement. No good after that? Ditch it. Hell, it'll probably be cheaper and easier to get a decent battery rather than having to buy a decent charger.

    Check the air filter and carbys (if you are that keen) for buildup, the carbys will probably need a good cleaning if they've been sitting for that long. A mechanically-minded friend may be necessary on this one if you haven't done much mech work before. As long as it runs it should be ok for rego, though!

    Check the silencer for rust and, more specifically, exhaust escaping from any leaks. This is one thing that'll get you pinged at most places, that and a horn that doesn't work. Oh yeah, check the horn :)

    Appearances help, too, so perhaps get a few cans of degreaser and some metal polise, go over the engine and other trashed areas with the degreaser, then wipe clean. Use the metal polish (I like 'Mothers') on any exposed shiny bits, such as an unpainted alloy frame/swingarm and exhaust cans. If a tester gets a bad first impression, he'll be looking for things to confirm it with rigorous testing. If its a nice, clean bike he might go easy.

    Cheers - boingk
  4. Thankyou for the advice! Good point about polishing it up so they go easy :D

    Sounds like i've got it pretty covered then, i was just checking if there was any bike specific stuff that would need attention. I'm coming from a car background, i've got no problem tackling mechanical problems, just giving myself maximum knowledge to avoid looking a fool when i present it for rego :)

    Bike seems to run ok, but i've changed battery/spark plugs/leads/oil/oil filter and given the air filter a blast out anyway. My biggest hassle has turned out to be the front brake. It is a stupid invention called an "inboard" disc brake. Anyway, the calipers were pretty stuck, so i took the thing apart without disconnecting the brake line and pumped the pistons out a fair way. Then i disconnected the brake line and c clamped the pistons all the way back in, reckon that will have freed them up enough? Can't wait to get it on the road, i go for my L's on the weekend :D
  5. Depending on the place you take them to, I've heard of some places denying RWC's because of ripped seats :shock:
  6. Eeep! Lucky i've got 4 seats to choose from :p Actually the amount of spares i got with these two bikes is rediculous... Wifey is just going to have to adopt a liberal attitude towards motorcycle parts in the bath :p
  7. If it was me, I would have dismantled the calipers while I had them off and at least cleaned the crud of the pistons. Best to replace the seals as well. If they were stuck, there's a good chance there's enough dirt around to make them bind again.

    Happened to me - on the way to get a RWC.

    As for ripped seats - nothing that gaff won't fix
  8. I haven't put the brakes back together yet, i could still dismantle it.I pushed the pistons as far out as i could with the hydraulics, but they were nowhere near coming out. How would i go about getting them out? I would really rather not use compressed air on a stuck piston for explosive reasons...
  9. If they've pumped out as far as they can, you should be able 'wiggle' them out? Otherwise, pack the caliper with rags, cover it with more rags, and pop them with your air.

    You may get away with the same seals (in a pinch) because usually the problem is a build-up of crud in the groove that holds the seal, which pushes the seal against the piston. You'll need to scrape that out with a bent pick or something. That's my experience with alloy Honda brake calipers anyway :wink:

    Sounds like you have the know-how to overhaul the system once you have it apart.

    Nice little bike those VTs. Good luck with it.