As I wrote a couple of posts ago, after taking my old bike to its retirement I had to go back and prepare it for long-term storage – change all fluids and the oil filter to eliminate moisture, pour a bit of oil into the cylinders to protect them from rust, etc.
I had some free days by mid-August, so I took the necessary tools and spares and went there. It took some effort to roll the bike out this time, as I was on my own. Once in the backyard and pointing to the street, I reconnected the battery and tried to start it. It coughed a bit and seemed to start, but then it stopped. It took several attempts more before the engine finally fired, but once it did it ran evenly and smoothly. However, when I left it on the sidestand with the engine running while I locked the gate, I notice something dripping onto the ground. On closer inspection I saw it was fuel, and it was coming from somewhere up between the cylinders, where the admission system is. Bad sign.
I switched it off, rolled it back inside and set out to remove the side panels and raise the tank to see what was going on. By the time I had access the fuel that had leaked had evaporated, and I could not see any traces of fuel anywhere. I thought it might have been a cracked fuel line, so with the tank raised to be able to see things, I started the bike again. This time it fired up instantly, without any hesitation, and ran smooth as usual. I took my time to inspect everything and there was no sign of a leak anywhere. I was mystified. I put the tank down again and decided to take it out for a ride without the side panels so that I could still inspect the engine easily. The bike ran without a hiccup, and none of the many times I stopped to check things did I see any fuel leak out. I concluded that the most likely explanation was that the engine had flooded with the many attempts to start it and the extra fuel had somehow leaked, but I still do not know exactly how. If anybody has more mechanical knowledge than I do and a possible explanation, please leave a message.
After going back home and putting all the panels back on the bike, I went out again for a longer ride. I took her on small roads, on the main road and on tracks. The engine worked well and had no problems revving up, the clutch and gearbox worked smoothly, the suspension was fine… It seemed I had just ridden the bike yesterday, even though it had been two months.
That was when I realized that it was a shame to store her indefinitely. I can pop around here once every two months easily and take her out for a ride, and after all, a machine wants to be used, it will stand the test of time much better than if you just leave it standing there.
So she went back into the basement, battery disconnected, and I will be going to visit her in a couple of weeks now that the summer holidays are over.