The bike I had been handed down has not been up and running for at least 3 years. I am afraid to start it because it hasn't been maintained for a while and I also don't know what to expect. I read multiple threads about what to do if a motorcycle has been sitting, but I feel overwhelmed and don't know what to do first. 3 years is a long time for it to be sitting. Also, I have never restored or tuned up a bike before, so any recommendations to YouTube would be great!


The bike had brand new tires, a new battery, fresh oil, and gas when it was stored.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! I'm a layman when it comes to motorcycles, however, before you do anything, drain the gas tank completely, change the oil to fresh, and ensure the tires are up to snuff pressure wise. You'll also want to put a charger on the battery. It has more than likely gone flat over the time. Since it was new when stored, it just might still take a charge, but this depends on how badly the battery has been depleted. Do these things FIRST before you ever try to start it. Not sure if this is liquid or air cooled. If liquid, ensure it is up to level as well. Sep 29, 2020 at 21:23
  • The biggest single possible problem is if it had gasoline in it when it was stored. If it was only in the tank Just empty and put in new gas. If it was in the carburetors ,they will probably need to be opened and cleaned. If fuel injected ( most likely) I think you just flush the lines. And battery ,etc as noted br @paulster. Sep 29, 2020 at 23:30

1 Answer 1


Read all the service manual 1st.

Check battery and replace if it charges up too quickly with low current. Check plugs then put in fresh plugs if needed. Use new high octane fuel and semi or synth oil change.

  • Oil down cylinders and make sure it turns over by hand.
  • Change fluids and hoses (opt)
  • Make sure carburator and fuel system is good to go.
  • Make sure ignition is in good shape.
  • Prelube if possible.

Now fire it up!

  • Listen for any noises that shouldn't be there. If there is, shut it down and find out what it is. The engine will smoke for a while till the tsp of oil you lubed the cyl is burnt. This is normal. Then check the plugs and engine again after a run for odd sounding noises.

Conclusion Some engines will start right up and be perfect after not being started for 25 years and setting outside in a puddle. Some engines may blow up after starting them that have sat for 2 years in nice dry storage. It's kind of a roll of the dice. There are so many variables and little things that can go wrong when you start an engine. Hopefully this answer will help eliminate some of those and make your engine start up successful!

Keep reading the manual and perform all the lube functions (cables etc)

Nice ~500 cc racing bike

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