There are usually two main reasons that on old bike does not start :
1) no spark to the plugs and
2) no fuel to the engine.
1) Make sure your battery is providing enough power by trying the turn signals, the bright lights and horn. These items do require a good charge to operate properly. If they do not perform up to norm, charge the battery or buy a new one. J.C.Whitney(see below) and Sams Club provide a nice choice for a little outlay and if all else fails, go to a dealer. Once you know the battery is good, pull out one of the spark plugs and while out of its engine socket, plug it back into the spark plug wire. Now place the spark end of the plug in contact with the engine block so it makes good contact with the metal. Crank over the starter or have a friend kick the kick starter while watching the spark plug. It should give off a nice blue spark. CAUTION: you can get quite a poke from the plug if you come inbetween the plug and the metal. If no spark, or a weak yellow spark, then the coil, condenser, spark pulg wires or power to these units are faulty.
2) Drain and replace the fuel in the gas tank. Open the drain plug to the carbs (carburetors) and see if fuel runs out. If not then the petcock is blocked or the drain plug hole is plugged. If fuel does come out then you know fuel is making it this far. Crank over the starter or kick start the bike for a few turns. Pull out a spark plug and look at the sparker end. Is it wet with gas? If not, the carbs need to be pulled off the bike and cleaned and perhaps rebuilt. I will cover this "fun" process at a later date. Even if the end of the spark plug smells of gas, pull and clean the carbs because the carb may be set wrong, have a wrong jet, float valve may be bad or pilot jet plugged.
If the spark is there and the fuel is there also........? Is the kill switch on? Is the main fuse blown? Is there life after death? Some questions just don't have clear answers.
(J C Whitney phone info: (312) 431-6102)
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