You can tuna fish, AND a carburetor after all!
Now that the carburetor has been cleaned TWICE, I didn’t want to have to do it a third time. The fresh deposits noted in my last post seem to have been from ethanol after all. From all the assorted fuel stablizers and chemicals at the parts store, I came home with a bottle of plain old HEET, thanks to the counter guy’s suggestion.
Once home, I did a little quick math: 12 oz treats 20 gal, so a 2 gal tank gets 2 tablespoons of HEET, but I’m filling it less than halfway for now, so one tablespoon it is.
I hooked up my timing tach and set the idle again, which can now handle stock spec of 1200 RPM without stalling. The idle does waver a bit, with a range of about 100 RPM, so I set it to dip down to 1180 at its lowest point, while spending most of its time in the 1200 range.
But the following test ride (still just doing low-speed backyard runs) was less than satisfactory. It was particularly difficult to get moving from a stop, and was not happy in gear under light throttle at all. I was also having trouble trying to find neutral.
Back in the garage, I decided to re-adjust the clutch and clutch cable. It didn’t take much; in fact, it seemed to have already been within spec range. But I made sure all the same.
After playing around with it a little more, I found that it had actually been in 2nd gear for this most recent run, which totally explains the bike’s behavior. I have not been practicing gear changes at all (no need, really, during these first-gear test runs). Somehow, in the shifts between 1 and N, I must have skipped right over N and landed in 2. Is there some sort of “skip shift” feature here, designed to facilitate 1-2 gear changes? (pattern is 1-N-2-3-4-5)
With the transmission definitely in first gear, I did another test run. It ran great. Good idle, good take-offs, (and I’m getting better about using the actual brakes instead of reflexively using my feet to stop, too). With the engine warmed back up again, I played around with the carb one more time to make sure that the idle was set correctly. It still wavers a little, so I set it the same way as I did before.
Also during that run, I kept a closer eye on the inoperative speedometer and odometer. Not only were they not functioning, but there was no sign of movement, not even a twitch. Back in the garage, I found that the speedo cable was very obviously not even attached to the speedo housing. Unfortunately, upon closer inspection, I found that the cable collar had a broken piece of the housing’s threads inside.
But with the bike in the air, I was able to verify that rotating the front wheel did indeed turn the inner shaft of the cable. So even though I couldn’t secure it to the housing, I slid the cable up into place to see if it would engage. I spun the wheel, saw a little movement, and did another run with it.
Success! Both the odometer and the speedometer now function. And as a bonus, the cable seems to be staying in place as well. I don’t think that it ever “fell out”, but was forcefully dislodged from my father laying the bike down (multiple times, according to his own admission). That also explains the bent fork cover and reflector, as well as the symmetrical “tank-slapper” marks on the fuel tank.
Phase one is now complete! The bike is not road-worthy, but it is running. The engine, transmission, clutch, drivetrain, and brakes are all functional, but it still needs lights, mirrors, L side cover, and a cap for the fuel tank. My father says that he has all those items somewhere, no need to order them. Hopefully they haven’t suffered the same abuses of storage that this bike has gone through.