The bike as Received, and from it's first bit of work!


My original thoughts with this bike were to get the bike running and mostly presentable again on the cheap and then flip it for an easy $500-600 profit... but the I secreltly desired a mellow bike, and the thought kept growing on me. I've done the whole 170+- mph sport bike thing... I'm okay with a comfortable safe pace on the street!So with that in mind, I started rebuilding the bike as if I would be keeping it for myself.

Pictures as the bike sat in the kids garage (Before I got it):

[B][U]Bike's History, as explained and derived:[/U][/B]

The history of the bike is somewhat fuzzy, but it was last street legal and working in Hawaii in 2004 or so... or at least that's when the tags expired. Somebody brought it back from Hawaii to the Seattle area, and it went from person to person and has a variety of $1 bill of sales. I presume it hasn't been working for quite some time. No surprise there though, since it is a Hawaii bike it has some rust issues going on.

The owner I got it from managed to get the carbs semi clean-ish, installed a fuel filter, and tried using the insanely rusty tank. Needless to say he got the bike running, and very poorly at that, for a short period of time. Long enough to record a video though, which convinced me it was worth purchasing.

Video of the bike barely running from before I got it:

My initial work of getting the bike running

The first thing was to remove the gas tank and get all the way down to the carbs. Piece of cake... and the tank is undeniably quite rusty. It may not even be able to be restored, but we'll see what a POR-15 tank restore kit and a lot of hard work has to say about that!

Next up was to pull off the carbs and clean them. I wish I'd thought to take pictures, but I'm sure there's plenty of good tutorials out there for everyone. The carbs weren't bad as the prior owner had thankfully put in a fuel filter and tried to do a cleaning. I however have done these carbs so many times I was able to do a full take down and cleaning from memory... and sure enough there was some minor cleaning to be done. A slightly gunked pilot jet here, some general crustiness from Hawaiin sea air everywhere... some 0000 steel wool got the surfaces smooth and great again and it was all back together and happy.

Slapped it on the bike and... it ran but ran poorly. The riders right cylinder was sputtering and letting out these ungodly loud backfires, so loud one of my neighbors stopped by to see if I was shooting or something equally dumb for my small community. It was definitely somewhere between a 10/22 and a full size 9mm shot in volume!

At this point I was happy to get it back to running at all, but concerned over the weird state of the right cylinder. So my next thought was to replace the spark plugs, and get the fuel screws setup properly as I'd done 1.5 on my bench and I keep reading about how most people are at 2.

Anyways, I pulled the spark plugs, they were worn but not unusable... but I still replaced them with new NGK DR9EA spark plugs as I see recommended across the net. Put those in... got the fuel mixture screws to 2.25 turns out, and ran it. Still the same popping.

At this point I didn't have a clue. The carb was seated properly, the fuel was getting there. I checked for spark and it was good... what the crap could it be? I noticed on the engine intake side of the carb there was a vaccum line leading up to the emissions can, which was also thoroughly mucked up from a life in Hawaii. I decided that I may as well try deleting the emissions junk as I'd done countless times on EX-500's. At the very least, I'd have more space to work on the bike.

So I hit the local hardware store and picked up some rubber plugs ($2.38 or so total). I put them in the valve cover holes, put a large plug in the airbox, and removed the smog system. Next up I cut down the vaccum line to the riders right carb, and sealed the end with a small pencile propane torch and some pliers.

Sure enough... this seemed to have taken care of the issue. Best I can tell air was wildly sneaking in through the emissions system and this resulted in an excessively lean riders right side carb. This got the idle nice and smooth, got rid of all the pops, and had it running like a perfectly happy bike.

Video of the happy, running, now $558 motorcycle: