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Was given a 500 for free that has sat for a few years. Really excited about it. Not a total newb, but What do you all think I should check/replace/change? Want to make sure I don't overlook anything while I fix her up.
 

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Pulled everything off to begin maintenance inspection. Discovered battery acid all over the swingarm eating stuff away... Hopefully it will still be useable once I clean it up.
 

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1. Check Compression before you spend a dime on it.
a. Why?; was it parked?
b. What; if any will compression tell part of, or all of the story.
c. Where; to begin is step #1.

2. Vinegar is your best friend.
a. Why; I didn't know it kills battery acid and eats all the acid away?
b. What; you need is to dip the carbs in vinegar too.
c. Where; the testing begins with vinny. How many jobs it can do besides cleaning carbon off valves; won't swell rubber, and lots of experimenting.

3. Find the spec tag on the frame.
a. Why?; because it tells the valve clearance before you check compression.
b. What; happens if you have a tight valve and make the mistake the engine needs to be torn down, but was a tight valve needing adjusting.
c. Where; you'll figure out stuff on your own. Keep plugging away at it.

4. Replace the battery.
a. Why?; because without forcing a charge at it almost everyday, a chemical reaction takes place and decomposes the integrity internally.
b. What; you need to do is go over the whole bike from front to back. Detail all things in by inch, like is there a reservoir cap missing? Look left side [as if sitting on the bike], between the air box and voltage regulator. Hard to tell from here.
c. Where; you don't want to buy a battery and let it sit for weeks on end. How long it will take to clean the carbs and figure out what else is needed? That and fresh gas is what you buy last.

5. Change the tires.
a. Why?; even though they look like they have some meat left, you want fresh rubber under you.
b. What; looks like a bike that hasn't been thrown down the road, keep it that way.
c. Where; you would match profiles and not mix manufacturers up with say, one on sale and all that [saving a buck] for handling.
 
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