Motorcycles are a lot of fun. They can also make for cheap and convenient transportation. I will try to describe a few easy steps to revive (salvage) most old motorcycles. You would not believe how many motorcycles are ridden for 5-10 years and then just parked in a shed or barn to rust. In my experience, I've been able to save about 80% of the old bikes I get, with about $25-$75 in parts and 3-6 hours of work. I've been given several old bikes because someone just wanted them out of the way. I've bought others for less than $250, and ridden them thousands of miles. Hopefully this instructable will give you the information you need to do the same.

NEW NOTE: The response to this instructable has been really good. I hope to do another one related to slightly more advanced/unusual issues related to saving old 2-wheelers. I've had a lot of good suggestions (Tires, exhaust,points, etc.) that I hope to include next go round. Thanks for your enthusiasm and your continued patience!!!

Step 1: Choosing Your Bike : Better Safe than Sorry!

First of all, any free bike is a good bike, even if you just use it for parts. When it comes to actually buying a fixer-upper, you need to check a few things before you lay your money down. The three things (put simply) that a bike needs to run are fuel, fire and compression. These suggestions are for when you purchase a non-running machine.

1. Is it all there? Many broken parts can be repaired easily and cheaply, but missing parts must (usually) be replaced. Pay special attention to gauges, side covers, carbs, sprockets, and brakes. Lots of these parts "walk away" while a bike is lying around unused.

2. Is the engine seized? A seized engine may or may not be a big deal. If you buy one with a seized engine, only pay scrap prices as the engine MAY (or may not) be ruined. I'll show in a later "Ible" how to deal with a seized engine.

3. Can you shift through the gears? Transmission work is no small undertaking (but not impossible) for the newbie!

4. Does it have compression? If you can kick it over (or crank it), check for compression.

5. Consider buying a semi-classic, as these machines are easiest to deal with when searching for replacement parts.


Re: Step #4: Some petcock/fuel valves have a vacuum line running to them, and fuel won't flow unless there's a vacuum. Hook up a vacuum pump to test in those cases.
Hi all <br>For vacuum pump I usualy use a syringe. Works great and it's cheap :)
<p>You're genius :)</p>
Great idea!!
That's true. I came across one of those the other day. It kind of surprised me as it was a low-quality, low-tech machine. I'm used to seeing that on newer heavier machines.
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<p>So i have acess to an old bike, ive been eying it for months now,<br>its an old 1991 yamaha rx-100<br>its a very popular bike back in india <br>i really would like to fix it , but i want to do it myself or not at all<br>but i have no experience in any kind of garage work(i very desperateltywant to be able to do it)<br>it a total noob,but i have sense in fairly good amounts. I'm tight on cash too<br>does it make sense to you people(pro/semi-pros) for some one like me to attempt fixing it?</p><p>i could send in a picture <br>btw parts are not hard to find <br>but ill be doing every single thing for the first time,<br>also its pretty beaten un , no one has used it for 3-4 years now , it has rust in some places externally but the transmission seems not to be working<br><br><strong><em>(please say yes)</em></strong></p>
<p>Get a Haynes manual for the bike on ebay, some basic tools and go for it. Read the manual, check YouTube videos, join a discussion group for that bike and ask lots of questions. I'm not a mechanic or anything but I've changed the oil, replaced batteries, spark plugs and performed other basic maintenance on my 1994 Suzuki GS500. Unfortunately, I left this bike in my garage unused for 10 years and I'm doing my best to revive it. Youtube and my Haynes manual are teaching me what I need to do. Go slow, ask questions, and don't rush it. Use common sense and be cautious with fuel and electrical systems. Take care and I wish you success.</p><p>Alex R.</p>
<p>(its for my 18th birthday,liscense day)</p>
<p>I've got a 70s ducati here that I want to try to run. I have mechanic experience but I'm afraid of rust, on things like bolts...I'm afriad I'll strip something after its been siting so long</p>
<p>Thank you for this Instructable! Very clear instructions, and a fantastic guide for getting my baby up and running again. Currently working on cleaning out the carbs at the moment. This definitely gave me the confidence to get underway on this project after 3 years of &quot;Eva&quot; sitting in the garage. Thanks again, and looking forward to your advanced tutorial!</p>
Really like this instructable ! Recently used it to revive one of my own. I would like to add if I may that one tool everyone should pick up before jumping into a bike that has been abandoned in the weather is a manual impact driver. As most of your fasteners will be Phillips head screws that tend to round out with just a screwdriver.

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More by skunkbait:How to Clean a Muzzleloader (Black Powder Rifle). How to Store a Gun Safely How to Revive an Old Motorcycle: Save Money on Gas/Fuel! Cheap Ride! 
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