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Go to... Whats New.... Read ........"A Rant & a Confirmation"

I think it should be required reading.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have the FSM downloaded to my tablet and don't go near the bike without it being open.

I read the rent and love it. I have no intention of doing any more work then necessary to get this bike up and running, which right now doesn't look like it's going to take much.

A little history on the bike I got. It's an 81 gl500 that I got off craigslist for $200. No idea how long it sat. I was expecting it to be in shambles and have to do a ton of work to get it running but the engine turns freely, the tank is empty and rust free, the tired are even in good shape and hold air. The only things missing are the petcock, fuel line and air filter.

The plan right now is to charge the battery, get the few missing parts and try to fire it up. I just don't want to cause any damage by doing so prematurely.
 

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This is one of the best lists of startup procedures I know of Starting a GL1000 after a Long Lay-up | Randakk's Blog

If you don't have a petcock and you want to see if your engine will start or if you don't want to crank it over long enough for the engine vacuum to keep the petcock open long enough for the carbs to fill (or you don't want to put the tank on) put a small funnel into the end of the fuel line and pour 90cc of fuel in. That should be enough to fill both carbs so the engine can start and run for a few minutes.
 

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A little history on the bike I got. It's an 81 gl500 that I got off craigslist for $200. No idea how long it sat. I was expecting it to be in shambles and have to do a ton of work to get it running but the engine turns freely, the tank is empty and rust free, the tired are even in good shape and hold air. The only things missing are the petcock, fuel line and air filter.

The plan right now is to charge the battery, get the few missing parts and try to fire it up. I just don't want to cause any damage by doing so prematurely.
Sounds like you got a great deal! I look forward to seeing more posts.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Recommendations for a petcock? Should I buy a used one or is there something better?

Edit: just to clarify, I can use one that isn't vacuum activated as long as I cap the vacuum port on the carbs?
 

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Yep. The only advantage to the vacuum petcock is that no fuel can flow when the engine is not running. At least until the diaphragm fails, anyway :rolleyes: But if you live somewhere where lumps in the fuel that could keep a float valve from closing are uncommon (I would think just about anywhere in Canada & America should qualify, as well as a lot of the rest of the world that I'm not about to try to list here), your tank is clean and you look after your bike reasonably well, leaving the petcock turned on shouldn't be an issue.

FWIW, the only time I ever turn Eccles' petcock off is when I have to remove the tank.

Murray probably buys as more petcocks than nearly anyone else here. If you wait a while I'm sure he will post the best one to get.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Awesome info! I saw on an older post one the Murray recommended for my bike so I'll just go with that one. Thanks again, many more questions to come I'm sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Recommendations for spark plugs and battery? Should I trade out the lead acid for a more modern style?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Joebuck

What battery and plugs so you recommend? I'm right across the river in Gresham so similar riding and starting conditions.
 

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Hello harkness this is from my dog eared fsm that I have used to maintain two different gli500is for 30 years image.jpg . As far as a battery I use the old lead acid type they seem to work better for me. But a lot of guys use gel type cuz they like to turn them side ways to hide them in strange places , like where the exhuaust h box is or under a cowling some where. And they don't leak .... But sometimes lack power or oomph and are pretty dear
 

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You won't get much more bang for your buck with any of the exotic types than you will with the original type that Honda installed from new. Some of them might fit in smaller spaces or not need to stand upright but that is mostly important to the poodle bike crowd than it is to people who are interested in everyday reliability. If you want real world drive all year reliability coupled with reasonable reliability ask yourself why almost all cars still have lead acid batteries. Plain & simple, that is exactly what they are: Plain and simple.
Plain = common. If/when your battery fails (& they all do eventually) you should be able to find a replacement almost anywhere without having to wait for it to be shipped. In the real world this is extremely important.
Simple = uncomplicated. The chemical processes in lead acid batteries are pretty basic and have been understood for a long time so they are a "mature technology". This means that most of the possible improvements have been incorporated into them for decades and compatible replacements should be available for a long time into the future. Like 30+ years after the bike was made there is still no sign that the supply will dry up in the future :p

My biggest concern about people changing to alternative battery types (such as Li Ion) is that they have different charging requirements from lead acid batteries. I know that they are selling them for use in bikes and a lot of people are using them, but I wonder what the long term effect of running them with charging systems designed for lead acid batteries will be.

BTW: AGM and "gel cell" batteries have lead based plates in an acid based electrolyte so they are still lead acid. And both of those types have been around for at least 40 years.

The problem is that "battery maintenance" is a forgotten term these days. When I first got interested in bikes 30 years ago magazine articles about bike maintenance frequently told us to check the electrolyte levels in our batteries regularly and top them up with water (preferably distilled) when necessary and to charge them regularly during the off season. We knew that removing the side cover (or raising the seat or whatever was required for access to the battery), washing the top of the battery off and rinsing the area around it was an important part of washing the bike. I don't remember the last time I read anything about batteries in a magazine. Or much else about maintenance either for that matter. (But I don't read a lot of different mags so maybe someone will tell me its just my choice of reading material that is lacking :rolleyes:)

Info on how to look after your battery here Battery Maintenance/How Batteries Work
 
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