Getting back on the road

Exhausts can be sealed off with a plastic bag Disconnect the negative lead (A) first, followed by the positive lead (B)

Use a suitable battery charger - this kit also assess battery condition then switch off and allow to cool. Tape a piece of thick plastic over the silencer end(s) (see illustration 5). Note that some advocate pouring a tablespoon of motor oil into the silencer(s) before sealing them off.


• Remove it from the bike - in extreme cases of cold the battery may freeze and crack its case (see illustration 6).

• Check the electrolyte level and top up if necessary (conventional refillable batteries). Clean the terminals.

• Store the battery off the motorcycle and away from any sources of fire. Position a wooden block under the battery if it is to sit on the ground.

• Give the battery a trickle charge for a few hours every month (see illustration 7).


• Place the bike on its centrestand or an auxiliary stand which will support the motorcycle in an upright position. Position wood blocks under the tyres to keep them off the ground and to provide insulation from damp. If the bike is being put into long-term storage, ideally both tyres should be off the ground; not only will this protect the tyres, but will also ensure that no load is placed on the steering head or wheel bearings.

• Deflate each tyre by 5 to 10 psi, no more or the beads may unseat from the rim, making subsequent inflation difficult on tubeless tyres.

Pivots and controls

• Lubricate all lever, pedal, stand and footrest pivot points. If grease nipples are fitted to the rear suspension components, apply lubricant to the pivots.

• Lubricate all control cables.

Cycle components

• Apply a wax protectant to all painted and plastic components. Wipe off any excess, but don't polish to a shine. Where fitted, clean the screen with soap and water.

• Coat metal parts with Vaseline (petroleum jelly). When applying this to the fork tubes, do not compress the forks otherwise the seals will rot from contact with the Vaseline.

• Apply a vinyl cleaner to the seat.

Storage conditions

• Aim to store the bike in a shed or garage which does not leak and is free from damp.

• Drape an old blanket or bedspread over the bike to protect it from dust and direct contact with sunlight (which will fade paint). This also hides the bike from prying eyes. Beware of tight-fitting plastic covers which may allow condensation to form and settle on the bike.

Engine and transmission

• Change the oil and replace the oil filter. If this was done prior to storage, check that the oil hasn't emulsified - a thick whitish substance which occurs through condensation.

• Remove the spark plugs. Using a spout-type oil can, squirt a few drops of oil into the cylinder(s). This will provide initial lubrication as the piston rings and bores comes back into contact. Service the spark plugs, or fit new ones, and install them in the engine.

• Check that the clutch isn't stuck on. The plates can stick together if left standing for some time, preventing clutch operation. Engage a gear and try rocking the bike back and forth with the clutch lever held against the handlebar. If this doesn't work on cable-operated clutches, hold the clutch lever back against the handlebar with a strong elastic band or cable tie for a couple of hours (see illustration 8).

• If the air intakes or silencer end(s) were blocked off, remove the bung or cover used.

• If the fuel tank was coated with a rust

Hold clutch lever back against the handlebar with elastic bands or a cable tie

preventative, oil or a stabiliser added to the fuel, drain and flush the tank and dispose of the fuel sensibly. If no action was taken with the fuel tank prior to storage, it is advised that the old fuel is disposed of since it will go off over a period of time. Refill the fuel tank with fresh fuel.

Frame and running gear

• Oil all pivot points and cables.

• Check the tyre pressures. They will definitely need inflating if pressures were reduced for storage.

• Lubricate the final drive chain (where applicable).

• Remove any protective coating applied to the fork tubes (stanchions) since this may well destroy the fork seals. If the fork tubes weren't protected and have picked up rust spots, remove them with very fine abrasive paper and refinish with metal polish.

• Check that both brakes operate correctly. Apply each brake hard and check that it's not possible to move the motorcycle forwards, then check that the brake frees off again once released. Brake caliper pistons can stick due to corrosion around the piston head, or on the sliding caliper types, due to corrosion of the slider pins. If the brake doesn't free after repeated operation, take the caliper off for examination. Similarly drum brakes can stick due to a seized operating cam, cable or rod linkage.

• If the motorcycle has been in long-term storage, renew the brake fluid and clutch fluid (where applicable).

• Depending on where the bike has been stored, the wiring, cables and hoses may have been nibbled by rodents. Make a visual check and investigate disturbed wiring loom tape.


• If the battery has been previously removal and given top up charges it can simply be reconnected. Remember to connect the positive cable first and the negative cable last.

• On conventional refillable batteries, if the battery has not received any attention, remove it from the motorcycle and check its electrolyte level. Top up if necessary then charge the battery. If the battery fails to hold a charge and a visual checks show heavy white sulphation of the plates, the battery is probably defective and must be renewed. This is particularly likely if the battery is old. Confirm battery condition with a specific gravity check.

• On sealed (MF) batteries, if the battery has not received any attention, remove it from the motorcycle and charge it according to the information on the battery case - if the battery fails to hold a charge it must be renewed.

Starting procedure

• If a kickstart is fitted, turn the engine over a couple of times with the ignition OFF to distribute oil around the engine. If no kickstart is fitted, flick the engine kill switch OFF and the ignition ON and crank the engine over a couple of times to work oil around the upper cylinder components. If the nature of the ignition system is such that the starter won't work with the kill switch OFF, remove the spark plugs, fit them back into their caps and earth (ground) their bodies on the cylinder head. Reinstall the spark plugs afterwards.

• Switch the kill switch to RUN, operate the choke and start the engine. If the engine won't start don't continue cranking the engine - not only will this flatten the battery, but the starter motor will overheat. Switch the ignition off and try again later. If the engine refuses to start, go through the fault finding procedures in this manual. Note: If the bike has been in storage for a long time, old fuel or a carburettor blockage may be the problem. Gum deposits in carburettors can block jets - if a carburettor cleaner doesn't prove successful the carburettors must be dismantled for cleaning.

• Once the engine has started, check that the lights, turn signals and horn work properly.

• Treat the bike gently for the first ride and check all fluid levels on completion. Settle the bike back into the maintenance schedule.

This Section provides an easy reference-guide to the more common faults that are likely to afflict your machine. Obviously, the opportunities are almost limitless for faults to occur as a result of obscure failures, and to try and cover all eventualities would require a book. Indeed, a number have been written on the subject.

Successful troubleshooting is not a mysterious 'black art' but the application of a bit of knowledge combined with a systematic and logical approach to the problem. Approach any troubleshooting by first accurately identifying the symptom and then checking through the list of possible causes, starting with the simplest or most obvious and progressing in stages to the most complex.

Take nothing for granted, but above all apply liberal quantities of common sense.

The main symptom of a fault is given in the text as a major heading below which are listed the various systems or areas which may contain the fault. Details of each possible cause for a fault and the remedial action to be taken are given, in brief, in the paragraphs below each heading. Further information should be sought in the relevant Chapter.

1 Engine doesn't start or is difficult to start

Q Starter motor doesn't rotate

□ Starter motor rotates but engine does not turn over

□ Starter works but engine won't turn over (seized)

□ Engine flooded

□ Compression low

□ Stalls after starting

2 Poor running at low speed

□ Fuel/air mixture incorrect

□ Compression low

□ Poor acceleration

3 Poor running or no power at high speed

□ Firing incorrect Fuel/air mixture incorrect

Compression low Knocking or pinking Miscellaneous causes

4 Overheating

□ Engine overheats

□ Firing incorrect

□ Fuel/air mixture incorrect

□ Compression too high

□ Engine load excessive

□ Lubrication inadequate

□ Miscellaneous causes

5 Clutch problems

□ Clutch slipping

□ Clutch not disengaging completely

6 Gearchanging problems

□ Doesn't go into gear, or lever doesn't return ID Jumps out of gear

7 Abnormal engine noise

□ Knocking or pinking

□ Piston slap or rattling

8 Abnormal driveline noise

□ Transmission noise I □ Final drive noise

9 Abnormal frame and suspension noise

□ Shock absorber noise

10 Oil pressure low

□ Engine lubrication system

11 Excessive exhaust smoke

Black smoke Brown smoke

12 Poor handling or stability

□ Handlebars hard to turn

□ Handlebars shake or vibrate excessively

□ Handlebars pull to one side

□ Poor shock absorbing qualities

13 Braking problems

P Brakes are spongy, don't hold

□ Brake lever or pedal pulsates

14 Electrical problems

□ Battery dead or weak

□ Battery overcharged

1 Engine doesn't start or is difficult to start

Starter motor doesn't rotate n Engine kill switch OFF.

Battery voltage low. Check and recharge battery (Chapter 9).

□ Starter motor defective. Make sure the wiring to the starter is secure. Make sure the starter relay clicks when the start button is pushed. If the relay clicks, then the fault is in the wiring or motor.

□ Starter relay faulty. Check it according to the procedure in Chapter 9.

□ Starter switch not contacting. The contacts could be wet, corroded or dirty. Disassemble and clean the switch (Chapter 9).

□ Wiring open or shorted. Check all wiring connections and harnesses to make sure that they are dry, tight and not corroded. Also check for broken or frayed v/ires that can cause a short to earth (ground) (see wiring diagram, Chapter 9).

□ Ignition (main) switch defective. Check the switch according to the procedure in Chapter 9. Replace the switch with a new one If it is defective.

□ Engine kill switch defective. Check for wet, dirty or corroded contacts. Clean or replace the switch as necessary (Chapter 9).

□ Faulty starter cut-off relay, diodes, neutral, side stand or clutch switch. Check the wiring to each switch and the switch itself according to the procedures in Chapter 9.

Starter motor rotates but engine does not turn over

□ Starter motor clutch defective. Inspect and repair or renew (Chapter 2).

□ Damaged idler or starter gears. Inspect and renew the damaged parts (Chapter 2).

Starter works but engine won't turn over (seized)

□ Seized engine caused by one or more internally damaged components. Failure due to wear, abuse or lack of lubrication. Damage can include seized valves, followers, camshafts, pistons, crankshaft, connecting rod bearings, or transmission gears or bearings. Refer to Chapter 2 for engine disassembly.

No fuel flow

□ Fuel tank breather hose obstructed.

□ Fuel filter clogged. Clean or renew filter (Chapter 4).

□ Fuel tap vacuum hose split or detached (750 models). Check the hose.

□ Fuel tap diaphragm split (750 models). Remove the tap and check the diaphragm (Chapter 4).

□ Fuel line clogged. Pull the fuel line loose and carefully blow through it.

□ Float needle valve clogged. For all of the valves to be clogged, either a very bad batch of fuel with an unusual additive has been used, or some other foreign material has entered the tank. Many times after a machine has been stored for many months without running, the fuel turns to a varnish-like liquid and forms deposits on the inlet needle valves and jets. The carburettors should be removed and overhauled if draining the float chambers doesn't solve the problem.

□ Fuel pump faulty. Test as described in Chapter 4.

Engine flooded

□ Float height too high. Check as described in Chapter 4.

□ Float needle valve worn or stuck open. A piece of dirt, rust or other debris can cause the valve to seat improperly, causing excess fuel to be admitted to the float chamber. In this case, the float chamber should be cleaned and the needle valve and seat inspected. If the needle and seat are worn, then the leaking will persist and the parts should be replaced with new ones (Chapter 4).

□ Starting technique incorrect. Under normal circumstances (ie, if all the carburettor functions are sound) the machine should start with little or no throttle. When the engine is cold, the choke should be operated and the engine started without opening the throttle. When the engine is at operating temperature, only a very slight amount of throttle should be necessary. If the engine is flooded, turn the fuel tap OFF or disconnect the vacuum hose (according to model - see Chapter 4) and hold the throttle open while cranking the engine. This will allow additional air to reach the cylinders. Remember to turn the fuel tap back ON or attach the vacuum hose.

No spark or weak spark

□ Ignition switch OFF.

□ Ignition circuit fuse blown.

□ Engine kill switch turned to the OFF position.

□ Battery voltage low. Check and recharge the battery as necessary (Chapter 9).

□ Spark plugs dirty, defective or worn out. Locate reason for fouled plugs using spark plug condition chart and follow the plug maintenance procedures (Chapter 1).

□ Spark plug caps or secondary (HT) wiring faulty. Check condition. Renew either or both components if cracks or deterioration are evident (Chapter 5).

□ Spark plug caps not making good contact. Make sure that the plug caps fit snugly over the plug ends.

□ Ignition control unit defective. Check the unit (Chapter 5).

□ Pick-up coil defective. Check the unit (Chapter 5).

□ Ignition HT coils defective. Check the coils (Chapter 5).

□ Ignition or kill switch shorted. This is usually caused by water, corrosion, damage or excessive wear. The switches can be disassembled and cleaned with electrical contact cleaner. If cleaning does not help, renew the switches (Chapter 9).

□ Wiring shorted or broken between:

a) Ignition (main) switch and engine kill switch (or blown ignition fuse)

b) Ignition control unit and engine kill switch c) Ignition control unit and ignition HT coils d) Ignition HT coils and spark plugs e) Ignition control unit and pick-up coil

□ Make sure that all wiring connections are clean, dry and tight. Look for chafed and broken wires (Chapters 5 and 9).

difficult to start (continued)

DIY Battery Repair

DIY Battery Repair

You can now recondition your old batteries at home and bring them back to 100 percent of their working condition. This guide will enable you to revive All NiCd batteries regardless of brand and battery volt. It will give you the required information on how to re-energize and revive your NiCd batteries through the RVD process, charging method and charging guidelines.

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