Getting an Old bike running that has been sitting help. - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Getting an Old bike running that has been sitting help.

Ok so I got a 2001 Vstar 1100 classic. The bike has been sitting in a garage for maybe 5 years. What would all be recommended before trying to turn it over.

The bike looks in showroom floor condition. there was nothing wrong with it when it was parked. Just the owner didn't really ride like he though he would.


It currently has 5k miles on the bike. I know it needs a new battery and fresh gas but I don't want to miss anything that will create an issue if I don't check before cranking.


Thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 12:35 PM
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Oil change for sure. If it's been garage kept. Oil change, Fresh gas, Fuel filter, battery, and a bit of fuel system cleaner wouldn't hurt, for the first few tankfuls.

Check condition of fuel and brake lines. After only 5 years if kept in a garage I wouldn't expect much deterioration. But give the bike a good once over looking for Mice and other assorted critters.
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Last edited by KentB; 05-27-2019 at 12:38 PM.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 01:14 PM
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drain the gas tank completely with the petcock on reserve - DONT crank it over with old gas in the tank, you will suck a pound of jello into your carbs.

Look in there with a flashlight and see if the tank if full of rust. It it was kept full it should be ok.

If its full of rust you will have to do the rusty gas tank procedure, replace the fuel filter, probably pull the petcock off and clean its strainer

If there is no rust then get a bottle of Seafoam or another fuel additive carb cleaner and use it with the new tank of gas

If it starts up it might run a bit rough for a hundred miles or so, but if it will run the carb cleaner should be able to do its job.

EDIT: should add, if the battery has been kept on a tender all these years it might still be holding a charge, but be aware: with electronic ignition if the battery is weak it might be able to spin the starter, maybe a bit slow, but if the battery voltage drops below about 10V the electronic ignition wont fire the plugs at all.

So... if you charge up the old battery and it cranks but wont start, either put a volt meter on the battery while its cranking and make sure its holding up around 12V, or just get a new battery.

They last about 4 years under normal use. A five year old (or more) battery is most likely shot, unless it was a very expensive lithium Ion or some other type of "performance" battery.

You can find an OEM rated battery online for about $35 with free shipping (battery shark is a good place to start).
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Last edited by KCW; 05-27-2019 at 01:29 PM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 02:04 PM
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I am a staunch supporter of SeaFoam. Most definitely get some and toss it in the tank.

Not so much a point to consider about before starting but yes, before riding it: Check the tires. Read the code on the tires and see how old they are. Its easy to get online and find out how to decipher the manufactured date codes on the tire.

In the other forums I am in there are many threads about the debate on when to change out tires, based on age alone. Obviously if the tread is kaput its a no-brainer. But age also matters. Its also easy to educate yourself on the subject of tire age and how age affects motorcycle tires. Motorcycle tires are made differently than car tires. The advice that I give to people on tire age cut-off dates are to read up whatever you can find on the subject and make your own decision about when to swap them out.

I kept my original tires for 10 years but that was because they still had tread on them and I was not aware that age was a factor at all. Right after reading about age-related issues I inspected my tires and sure enough, the rear one had rotted out along the center of the tread. Time to change for sure. My own decision for a swap time-frame is now about 5 to 6 years. But others are convinced much longer time periods are ok.

That is why I just advise to get smart on the subject and make your own decision. If your bike has been sitting for 5 years then they're a minimum of 5 years old already.

Congratulations on your machine! Have fun and be careful.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 02:48 PM
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 04:24 PM
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^that date code is WK YR

WK is the week of the year, from 1 to 52
YR is the last two digits of the century from 2000 to 2099

so 0304 is the 3rd week of the year 2004

the older code, before 2000, had 3 digits - if your tire has a 3 digit code its more than 19 years old now!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 05:49 PM
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Good suggestions from everyone. I went thru the same things few years ago with an 2001 1100 that had sat for years with only 1700 miles on it. Didn't see air filter check. I would also check the brake fluid. If it's amber color looks like coke for sure flush it. With brake fluid being hygoscopic I'm sure it will need changed. Look at the brake pads also, with age they will begin to deteriorate if previous owner put a semi metallic pads on. Another issue I had after I got it running was corroded electrical connections. The electrical connections will corrode over time causing all kinds of issues. My bike had been sitting in a garage before I bought it. I was having light issues and after cleaning the sockets and connections all the lights worked. I would suggest to clean all connections you can easily get to and put some dielectric grease on them to prevent future issues. I even had corrosion on some of the fuse blades. Rear brake switch was another one that was giving me issues. I'm sure the high humidity we have in Houston was the main cause for corrosion but something you might want to check out. Ride often and safe.

Just thought about something else, the battery cables like to corrode also. Check the ground cable at frame. We have chased many electrical issues and have found often the negative cable was the issue.

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Last edited by lesblank; 05-27-2019 at 05:54 PM.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 06:00 AM
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Check the air filter housing for critters
After you get it running, you should probably replace the brake fluid
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 06:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone, After getting it home, it is in alot better shape than thought, it was in a garage with a dehumidifier running. There is not rust anywhere on the bike. This is how it looked after a wash. I plan on changing all fluids and seafoam the carbs this weekend to try to fire it up. I got New filters and battery also. Will get tires after getting running. The bike looks like it rolled off the showroom floor in 2001.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 04:24 PM
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Looks real good! I have a 2000 that I bought a couple of years ago with 16,000 miles on it. It hadn't been sitting as much but was well cared for and even though it now has double the miles, I'd ride it anywhere without a thought to it's age.
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