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While my brother was in Cali about 4 years ago, he bought a Ninja 500. He never did any modding to it, just bought it to have it. When he moved from Cali to back home in Chicago, he did not want to pay to store the bike in a storage place. So it ended up outside of my house with a tarp over it for the winter. There was no Stabil added to the gas tank. It snowed a lot that winter as well. Part way through the winter, the bike fell and laid on it's side for a while. The following summer, my dad and brother had no idea why it wouldnt run. Now, two years later, I have taken the state motorcycle school and want to buy his bike. In two weeks I will go to his house in Ohio and see if we can get it running. What are all possible things that could have and probably went bad with the bike? I don't exactly remember, but it either idles but does not drive, or it drives but will not idle. Any information to try would greatly help. It will be my first bike and, unlike my brother, I want the bike to ride, not just to have it. I tried reading through other posts but they do not deal with a problem of this magnitude. Thank You.
 

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You have your work cut out for you. But go for it anyway.

You probably have some issues with the bike because it was stored for so long. There is probably rust in the gas tank. There is probably gummy gas residue in the carbs. The battery is probably dead and won't hold a charge. And there is probably rust everywhere. The tires are probably rotted. Your biggest labor item is probably to clean the gas tank and carbs. Your most expensive item is probably new tires.

The first big thing I'd worry about is fuel issues. Take off the gas tank and clean it thoroughly. If there is any rust in there (and there probably is) you should seal it. Then clean your fuel lines (and change the fuel filter if you have one). Then it's time to give the carbs a thorough cleaning. Do a good job, and you'll be glad you did.

Clean the airbox and filter. Change the coolant, oil & filter, brake fluids, and spark plugs. Get a new battery if you need one. This would be a good time to check the compression. Check the tires. If there are little cracks on the sidewalls, then it's time for new tires.

Check the valve clearance and sync the carbs. Lubricate the chain and adjust the slack. Change the chain and/or sprockets if they need it. Lubricate and adjust the clutch and brake cables, and lubricate the speedometer cable.

Check the lights. You may have bad contacts from rusty connections.

Make sure the front and rear suspensions travel fully and evenly. Check for free play in the hubs. Check the brake pads for depth and condition.

Buy a service manual and do all of the recommended maintenance.

Did I miss anything, guys?
Curt
 

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yeah...CLEAN IT!!!
:D

I think it will be one fast mutha after you do all that maintenance
 

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Curt said:
You have your work cut out for you. But go for it anyway.

You probably have some issues with the bike because it was stored for so long. There is probably rust in the gas tank. There is probably gummy gas residue in the carbs. The battery is probably dead and won't hold a charge. And there is probably rust everywhere. The tires are probably rotted. Your biggest labor item is probably to clean the gas tank and carbs. Your most expensive item is probably new tires.

The first big thing I'd worry about is fuel issues. Take off the gas tank and clean it thoroughly. If there is any rust in there (and there probably is) you should seal it.
Rather than seal it (rust never sleeps) I would get the Yamaha rust cleaner. I feel it works better than a product called Kreme. The first part is acid that will remove the rust and the second part gets rid of all the moisture that remains in the tank.

Then clean your fuel lines (and change the fuel filter if you have one).
If it were me, rather than clean the fuel line I would just replace all of the rubber tubes on the bike. Radiator hose, fuel lines, vacuum lines etc. One less issue to worry about on the bike that does not cost that much, but could potentially give you lots of headaches on the road when you least expect it. Ever have a radiator hose go on you in a car and you get stuck?
Then it's time to give the carbs a thorough cleaning. Do a good job, and you'll be glad you did.
Clean the airbox and filter. Change the coolant, oil & filter, brake fluids, and spark plugs. Get a new battery if you need one.
Just get a new battery and give the old one back to the battery dealer.

This would be a good time to check the compression. Check the tires. If there are little cracks on the sidewalls, then it's time for new tires.
Dump the tires - you only have two things holding you to the road. My life is worth way more than a couple hundred bucks
Check the valve clearance and sync the carbs. Lubricate the chain and adjust the slack. Change the chain and/or sprockets if they need it. Lubricate and adjust the clutch and brake cables, and lubricate the speedometer cable.

Check the lights. You may have bad contacts from rusty connections.

Make sure the front and rear suspensions travel fully and evenly. Check for free play in the hubs. Check the brake pads for depth and condition.

Buy a service manual and do all of the recommended maintenance.

Did I miss anything, guys?
Curt
Sound advice from Curt! The rest is your comfort level to live with current condition parts. Some will be fine and others may be questionable.

I would say the main ingredient to getting the bike running again is new/clean fuel , battery , new spark plugs and clean carbs. Depending on the condition of the carbs - you may have to replace a few parts or just clean them real well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you very much for the quick replies. It is still a little while away before I go over but I am looking for shops around his house. I will post up wether we got it running and such when the time comes. Thank you again. I am so happy I found thi site.
 

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EliteFantasy said:
Thank you very much for the quick replies. It is still a little while away before I go over but I am looking for shops around his house. I will post up wether we got it running and such when the time comes. Thank you again. I am so happy I found thi site.
If your brother has the time and feels like the effort, he can take the carbs off the bike for you. He could then ship them to you to clean while you're waiting? Just a thought.
 
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