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djsb

Engine not been run for a few years-Any precautions needed before starting?

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djsb

I'm hoping to finally get the bike started in the new year (maybe around Easter or earlier) and get it hot before doing an oil change.

Are there any particular precautions I should take before trying to start the engine after a couple of years? Maybe siphon out the petrol from the tank and put some fresh petrol in? Spray something in the plug holes in case there is any surface rust on the cylinder liner? I do I not need to worry?

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Andy m

You will need fresh petrol for sure, modern petrol is rubbish for storage, the ethanol and detergents absorb water.  You will need a freshly charged battery too. Also make sure the stand retracts, the brakes come off as well as on, basically the full daily checks done in detail. 

 

Once running I'd ride it. Fifty miles on the old oil will get everything warm and flowing where as going for the change after 5 minutes warm up on the drive won't. This isn't some old brit bike full of 30 year old swamp sludge, 2 year oil will still do its job. FI either starts or it doesn't, squirting methanol in the intake will just confuse it. 

 

The biggest hassle I ever had with laid up bikes was the clutch sticking. I don't think there is any DCT equivalent of starting it on the centre stand and rolling off it to either free the clutch or stall it on the brakes while trying to snap the chain.

 

Good Luck. 

 

Andy

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rjp996

Me, I would change fuel, and oil, take the spark plugs out and turn the bike over slowly to get the pistons moving and the oil pumped around the oil ways before putting the plugs in and starting it up. In my mind get chnace for the oil to circulate prior to login from zero oil in the top end to 2000 rpm on tick over when first started,

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Chris750

+1 on oil change, there's some nasty stuff in modern oils that is quite acidic if left. If you can't turn the engine by hand take the plugs out and bump the bike along (manual) with ignition off obvs.

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djsb

Is it worth just draining the existing oil out cold first? Oil is supposed to be drained after running the engine for a while. I agree on turning the engine by hand.

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Grumpy Meltdown

I don’t think it is all back together yet, David?

I would go with Andy. Change the petrol and charge the battery fully.

Pop the plugs out and turn it over to get the oil to the top end first.

Stick ‘em back in and go for it.

If it’s not mobile, run it till the fan kicks in. Not ideal but at least it will be up to temperature.

I think you’ll need the rear wheel in to check the DCT works ok though

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Grumpy Meltdown
Just now, djsb said:

Is it worth just draining the existing oil out cold first? Oil is supposed to be drained after running the engine for a while. I agree on turning the engine by hand.

 

You got in while I was typing the post above.

I would get it up to temp first, then change it and the 2 filters.

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djsb

Yes i'm just planning ahead. I'm working on the swing arm over the next week then I can get the arm,linkage, suspension, wheel and exhaust back on.

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Andy m

Turning an engine like the NC over without starting it has its own issues. You need to keep the plugs well grounded without setting anything on fire or cooking an ECU. You need to stop the ECU changing fuelling values when faced with a motor that refuses to go. The latter just involves removing the battery for a full cuppa before you try again in anger. 

 

You could drain it cold and use flushing oil to run it until the fan cuts in. 

 

How old is the coolant and fork oil? In for a penny and if a jobs worth doing etc?? 

 

Andy

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embee

Tricky to say what's best, but the others have more or less covered everything. It depends a bit how much fuel has been left in the tank. If it's maybe half full then I'd just add some fresh to top it up. If there's only some dregs it might possibly be a bit gooey. As said by others, don't spray stuff in the intake, with a fully charged battery it will start if it's going to. The fuel trapped in the fuel rail will probably still be OK to fire up on, the volatile parts can't escape so will still be there and with no oxygen present it should be fine. Probably worth not trying to start it on a really cold day though, it needs more volatility then.

 

If concerned about the clutches it's worth putting it in gear while on the centrestand (if you have one). It won't change up from first gear, but at least it will go in/out of gear.

 

If you wanted to spin the engine over with the plugs out, make sure you fit plugs into the caps and have them grounded so they spark, if you turn it over with no plugs in the caps the voltage will go very high and can possibly cause tracking to start over the surfaces, which isn't recommended.

 

If the oil is half decent it will provide enough lubrication to start the engine safely, once it turns the pressure will be up in a second and it'll get spread around where it needs to be. Remaining oil in bearings and on cylinder walls will be enough for the few turns before it gets pressure up.

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Graham NZ

And change the brake fluids because it will be well over the recommended two year period.

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commuter

Its all down to personal preference. I know that hot oil drops out of an engine more easily than cold oil, however, if the stuff on the dipstick / viewing window looks second hand ( black) I change old oil and filter cold since having the bulk of knackered oil flowing round the engine until the engine gets warm isnt going to do any good anyway, it'll just mean that when you do change the oil, more of the old stuff will come out. Doing a cold change wont get all of the old oil out but it will displace a lot of the potentially damaging stuff while the engine is warming up. Having warmed the engine on a run, I drop the oil again and change the filter again.  A lot of the other stuff people have mentioned are relevant and particularly so if you bike has been laid up in a damper environment. In a dry environment... which my garage is, I have never had a problem with anything other than battery, fuel and oil. Once started, using a gallon of good fuel, I have put the old fuel back in again and the bike seems to run ok

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makman

Before even starting the bike make sure it will stop.  I'd do the fork oil at the same time and check the seals.  Then do the brakes and pads.  Once all that is done you can think about getting it going.

 

Fresh Fuel is a must.   Drain old stuff out.  Get the Super V stuff in (Shell or BP).  Clean the plugs and charge the battery. Press "go".   In all likelihood it will just start.

 

As mentioned, a ride of a few miles does more than 5 minutes on the driveway ticking over.  You can then change the oil and be sure it all comes out.

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elbee

What's the collective wisdom on tyres if the bike was resting on them?

 

Had a mate who suffered a blowout when he took out a Jensen Interceptor that had been sitting on its tyres for a couple of years.

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Graham NZ
4 hours ago, elbee said:

What's the collective wisdom on tyres if the bike was resting on them?

 

Check the pressures and check for sidewall cracking.  If the layup has been for more than three years consider replacing them.

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Funkycowie

Out of curiosity my NC has been sitting for 10 months now, hopefully I'll get to ride in March when I get my license back (epileptic seizure). I put in a fuel stabilizer at the beginning of the down time. It will have sat for 1 year should I still change the fuel?

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Graham NZ
Just now, Funkycowie said:

Out of curiosity my NC has been sitting for 10 months now, hopefully I'll get to ride in March when I get my license back (epileptic seizure). I put in a fuel stabilizer at the beginning of the down time. It will have sat for 1 year should I still change the fuel?

 

The fuel should be fine after your 13 months.  Just the same I'd refill the tank as soon as possible to dilute what's in there.  If it's full to start with refill when it's half empty.  And don't have another seizure!

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tw586

all good information, just one little problem I can see. if the engine has not been turned over in that time, the bore and piston may have been exposed to the air causing corrosion, due to either an exhaust or inlet valve being open. putting in some oil and starting may cause any rust or corrosion particles  to circulate around the cylinder and score the bore or valve seats. I would be tempted to remove the plugs, blow out the cylinders with some compressed air, remove the cap from the Alt cover and turn the engine over slowly while blowing out the cylinders again. reassy and start up following the other good suggestions made.  

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Andy m

If it was 1973 and the engine was a Brough I'd be tempted to agree, but this is a 2010's Honda after 18 months. The barrel is coated with something nickel based and the threads on the plugs and covers are designed down to their 10-times in it's life level. On the balance of chances I'd risk the rust in the barrel scenario against disturbing more. 

 

Andy

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Tonyj

Think this depends on how old you are.........if you are 16  then you would drag it out of the river , get anything that burnt . Paraffin,old lawnmower petrol anything and it would go first time or nearly. But over 40 leave it in a garage with a blanket over it , go out and tell it stories once a week and will the bugger start ? No bloody chance .

i couldn’t tell you the best way but a few checks on all the bits that have fluid may need attention ,  some immediately . Dropping oil is a simple task and very cost effective. Oil is cheaper then a new engine . Like most have said old juice , refill . Oil new . Charge the battery. And away you go . Good luck 

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Tex
2 hours ago, Andy m said:

If it was 1973 and the engine was a Brough I'd be tempted to agree,

 

Funny you should mention Brough and 1973. That was probably the last time you could have bought one of those for less than the cost of a nice detached house.. ;) 

 

Fully charged battery, drop of fresh petrol and she’ll fire right up. Then give it a full ‘fluid’ service before using it (brake fluid, oils/filters, coolant). 

 

The tyres won’t burst just because they have been left standing but they may not provide optimal grip any more. That would depend on the use they got before laying up. It’s ‘heat cycles’ that determine that rather than tread wear. If they’re five years old and looking a bit ‘less than fresh’ I would change them. But I’m (probably too) fussy about tyres.. 

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macamx
1 hour ago, Tex said:

 

Funny you should mention Brough and 1973. That was probably the last time you could have bought one of those for less than the cost of a nice detached house.. ;) 

 

If they’re five years old and looking a bit ‘less than fresh’ I would change them. But I’m (probably too) fussy about tyres.. 

No you’re not, most important component on the bike.

 

Geoff.

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