Getting A Motorcycle Roadworthy How-To Part 1

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edited July 30 in Cars Motorcycles

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“It ran just fine when I parked it.” Two years ago! You didn’t expect to not ride, but things happen, and it’s been a couple of years since your motorcycle fired. Now you want to go ride, but we both know it’s not going to be that easy. Today on MC Garage we look at Step 1 of getting your modern motorcycle back on the road.


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Hey, we aren’t here to judge, but you’ve parked your bike. You got busy with other stuff, and now a year or two later you want to go ride. Well, we all know what’s going to happen, pretty much nothing. You turn the key and, if you’re lucky, the dash springs to life, but then you hit the button—click.

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That click is the start solenoid trying unsuccessfully to feed amps to the starter motor to turn the bike over. But you didn’t take any precautions with your battery and now it’s dead and most likely junk. And if you can’t turn the bike over, you can’t diagnose any other problems that you are probably going to encounter.

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What to do? Well, if you have a modern motorcycle, there will always be some draw on the battery, and after 12 months of drain, it’s going to be tough to resurrect that battery. No matter the type. Lead-acid batteries can bounce back if the cells haven’t sulfated, but most likely they have. Lithium-based batteries are smoked if they drop below a certain level. For some that is 11 volts, but for others it can be as high as 12.3 volts. The takeaway here is to keep your battery healthy and charged while it is sitting. Every motorcyclist should own a trickle charger.

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So be proactive and bite the bullet. Get yourself a new lithium-iron battery like this Shorai before you even attempt to kick off bringing your motorcycle back from the dead. Make sure you get a charger that can charge the battery correctly. For this Shorai we have the Shorai charger with the charging pigtail that you can leave connected to the battery for storage charging. Or you can just disconnect the battery next time…

Now that the battery is in, it’s time to turn the engine over. But wait—what’s up with the fuel? Hopefully you drained the fuel or used a fuel stabilizer. This bike didn’t get a stabilizer treatment, but the tank is nearly empty. So we don’t have an issue with the tank being full of bad gas—a massive pain to drain and dispose of. Even so, in the bike we are working on, there will be cruddy fuel in the fuel pump and lines. And that will muck up the injectors. Which takes us to our next episode where I’ll show you how to clean your injectors with this Motion Pro fuel injector cleaning kit.

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Until then, that’s it for this episode of MC Garage. If your bike has been sitting for longer than a year, order a new battery, keep the new one charged and happy, and be ready to dig in deeper to get your motorcycle up and running. And next week we are going to be digging much deeper into the fuel-injection system.

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