First start for Harley in 20 years


Old 03-23-03, 09:17 AM
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First start for Harley in 20 years

This bike has sat indoors for 20 years. It is electric start. What precautions should I take before turning it over for the first time?
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Old 03-23-03, 09:02 PM
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Just some suggestions..

Remove the spark plugs and pour about a capfull of oil into each cylinder. Turn the motor over by hand a few times to both distribute the oil, and make sure all the valves work. Valve stems will rust, the'll go down, won't go back up and bam, you got bent valves. change the oil and oil filter, check the air filter and intake, check the exhaust pipes, drain the carbs and tank and put in fresh gas (but don't fill the tank, just add a gallon or so), put in a fresh battery, check tires, etc.

When you go to start the bike, crank it over without using choke or anything that encourages it to start right away, you want to distribute that oil as much as possible before the engine starts. Slowly add choke until it starts. I'd let it run for a few seonds, long enough to hear any bad sounds and then turn it off. Let is set for a second then do it again.

If it runs, no bad noises and the oil pressure is up, I'd say you're good to go, just take it easy on the bike for a while.
Old 03-24-03, 02:36 PM
Oil Doc
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Just backing up Pendragon.. Excellent advice he has given you and would follow it to the letter.
Old 03-24-03, 03:15 PM
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Oh, and to add to that, change the brake fluid as well and make sure the brakes WORK before you get out on the street. Get the bike moving then try the brakes, do this a few times. Then when you ride it, check them occasionally until you are confident that are both working and not grabbing/not releasing.
Old 04-08-03, 08:36 PM
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