I've participated in this forum since February 2019 but this is my first thread ever. So here goes, I'm jumping in.
My 1956 bitsa Gold Star Dual Sport bike (A covid shutdown project.) has been sleeping off in a corner since early spring but the first Southern California BSA club desert ride is this Saturday the 10th. I tend to put things off and often do the pre ride check over the day before. But, it's been sitting at least six months so maybe I need to start a little earlier.
So, the very first thing is to drain the primary
and the crankcase.
It appears there was more oil in the primary than in the crankcase and only the smallest dribble remained in the oil tank. This seems to be typical on these things.
So the primary gets topped up with F type ATF and the oil tank gets 2-1/2 quarts of Valvoline 20-50 VR1
Now that the engine and primary oils are ok it's time to put on heavy shoes and kick it over. It primes ok. (I usually run it on race gas which doesn't go bad nearly as fast as what you get at the pump and it doesn't tend to plug up the pilot jet so quickly.)
So I kick it through a few times. The compression seems low. Thoughts cross my mind. Has a valve tightened up or started to stick? Or is it just a few crumbs of carbon, loosened by sitting, that is holding the valve open? I kick it like I mean it. Nothing. Repeat a few times and it fires up then quits. Hmm, sounds promising. Prime it again, kick it and it fires right up happy as can be. Let it idle and warm up a little, run it up and down the street, then shut it down. The compression has returned to normal.This is good. It was most likely just some loose carbon. I'll adjust the valves after a longer test run.
So on goes the current sticker. (And top up the gas tank.)
And off we go for a 40 mile test ride. We are in the middle of a heat wave so it is relatively cool along the coast but baking hot on the other side of the coastal range. You can just see the channel islands peeking through the haze.
And everything seems pretty good. The engine hasn't missed a beat, the clutch (Triumph type) is working fine but the Kenda street legal DOT Trackmasters howl like you wouldn't believe in a straight line. They're not so noisy on a lighter unit single but on this heavy pig, they are obnoxious. I try leaning and that quiets them down a little. So far so good.
Next things on the list are: Nut and bolt check, charge the battery, tighten up all engine fasteners, adjust the valves, lube and adjust the chain and maybe clean it up?
To be continued.