Solenoid Coil

What are the essentials you clean or upgrade on a old motorcycle??

Inherited a 1972 Honda CB500, hasn't been started for 12yrs. Been stored inside since 1989. Motor rebuilt and overhauled, have front clip (fork,handlebars,tire,susp.) from a 74' 750?, no berring. All i know bout it. Seems pretty logical, but I'm not familiar with motorcycles yet. Wanted a experienced opinion(s) before I tore apart the motor lol. Any advice would be appreciated, Thank you.

You're looking for way more information than I can give you here so I'll give you a "brief" rundown. Bare in mind this is not an all-inclusive step-by-step list, but it should give you an idea of what you'll be in for.

1. Should you decide to go through with a restoration of this bike go into it armed with lots of information before spending 1 cent on it. Go over the entire bike for the things you'll obviously have to replace for road-worthy condition. Brake pads, rotors, lines? Master cylinders? Shocks? Tires? Body parts? Seat? Lights? Chain and sprockets? Exhaust? Figure out what it will cost you to replace all of these items that you know are bad. Consider this a minimum baseline on what you'll spend. Minimum.

2. Get yourself the pertinant Clymer mechanic's guide for your bike. Study it like you're going to be tested on it.

3. Early steps: Fresh oil and coolant (for liquid cooled models), new plugs, air and oil filters. Check inside the gas tank for rust or sediment. Pull your carbs and clean them thoroughly, especially the jets and float needles. Check static timing and point gaps. You will also need a new battery. I always use a well charged truck battery and jumper cables (no battery in the bike) when doing early testing.

4. With bike on centerstand, shift transmission all the way through the gears up to 5th and then back down 1 to 4th (your transmission appears to have full range). Gently turn rear wheel several revolutions to be sure engine turns freely. If it turns, you can move on. If not, you already have issues to track down. Turn ignition on, set choke and try to start the bike with the electric starter (you can also try the kickstarter if your starter motor is dead). It may take some fussing and adjusting to get the bike to start. If the bike refuses to start you'll have to track down why. Do you have spark, fuel, and combustion? All these things are necessary for a running motor. Ignition system, fuel system and charging system including solenoid, coils, plugs, wires, points, generator, starter, fusebox, carburetors, wiring harness etc. can all be suspect until they are eliminated. Remember that book I told you about? This is where it comes in handy.

5. Once you have a running motor, you can start looking to get it on the road. Go ahead and start getting together the parts you know you need (remember step 1?) It might take you awhile to learn to do the work yourself, but with patience and hard work (and that book) you will find yourself becoming familiar with the workings of your bike. Oh, whenever you replace a part, examine it. Know what a bad part looks like vs. the new part you have next to you.

-- I'm not going to cover the front end here. You'll have to do some research on how to mount up the clip to your steering head. It may fit right on, but don't be surprised if some modifications need to be made.

6. From this step on, much of your work is trial and error. New problems can pop-up at any time and you'll have to track them down and fix them. If the bike stalls everytime you stop at a light, Its back to the garage and troubleshooting time. If it makes a funny grinding sound and you lose power at 3,500 rpms, its back to the garage and troubleshooting time. If you start blowing main fuses constantly, well you get the idea. Once I get the obvious things, the annoying things, and the what-is-that-noise things taken care of, I take my bike to a professional shop for a once over to make sure I've dotted all my i's and crossed my t's.

7. By now you should have a functional motorcycle that you have sunk anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars into. I hope you enjoyed the process (I do!), because you'll likely never sell it for enough to break even on your investment. Personally, I recommend riding the hell out of it with a huge grin on your face. A bonus is that older bikes like yours are becoming rarer every year and there are often curious drivers or other bikers that will want to chat you up on your ride whenever you're stopped somewhere.

Good luck!

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