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Old petrol a potential problem?

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by TheEvilPenguin, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. I hope I'm just being a bit paranoid, but I'd like to get a bit of mechanical advice before I buy my first bike. I'm looking at a 2011 CB400 which has only done 350 km. Considering how infrequently it must have been ridden, I'm a bit concerned about if it's had really old fuel put through it.

    If the current owner's run it with petrol a few years old could it have damaged anything, and should I be able to tell by listening to it? I doubt they'll let a brand new learner take it for a test ride :)

    If it shouldn't be a problem, should I just drain and refill the tank, are there additives or cleaners I should use?

    There's a 2013 bike with 800km for $700 more, should I think about that one for peace of mind?

  2. Having a bike sitting for years is not good. I would pay another $700 for the newer bike for sure. Either way don't buy a bike without first taking it for a good 20 minute test ride. If they won't let a brand new l plater ride it find a friend who can take it for a spin.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. Luckily I do have a friend with his full license, who coincidentally is a skydiver. He last had a V-Star though.

    I should have checked first, that bike is 300km away. Does late 2012 with 500km on it sound okay? The only other option for the ABS model in Victoria seems to be new.
  4. I'd be wary of a bike that's been sitting around for yonks without even being run in. But if you can convince the seller that the extremely low k's reduce the value rather than increase it, and manage to talk 'em down enough, it may be worth it. If you do end up with it, I'd suggest draining and replacing the oil, too, as that's not too hard and should do some good. Changing the brake fluid is a given (again, not too hard), since it's supposed to be done every couple of years an' I would bet against the owner keeping on top of that.

    The 2013 sounds like a better deal to me, though I should admit I have only limited mechanical knowledge.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. Old petrol won't cause damage, other than running rough. Although in severe cases it may cause piston damage due to pinging.

    That is unlikely however. The bigger thing for me would be to look for rust inside the petrol tank and gum in the Fuel injectors (CB400s are fuel injected?). If you can't clean this gum yourself, then it may be worth $700 to get done professionally.

    I would also question the reality of those kilometers. It's not hard to fudge kilometers on a bike.

    Then there is the higher resale value of the later model bike.

    So, yes, for me I'd find the extra $700.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. Low $$ but high risk. Imagine the $$ you'd have to spend fixing it up if it IS shagged when could just spend the extra $700 on the newer lower risk bike.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. Thanks everyone. I guess I'll need to keep looking.
  8. Good idea mate, don't put too much faith in odometer readings if they don't match the age and condition of the bike.