® Starting my CB500 Four

At the end of the seaon I do nothing special. I don't even put the battery on a charger, because the battery I am using has never needed charging each time I've checked it. It's the first battery I have ever used that can go five months without attention and not lose a bit of charge. It's an amazing battery. Here is what I do for each first ride of the year. Every year I do the same thing.

  1. I drain the carburetors. Why don't I drain them at the end of the riding season? Two reasons. In the southwest the riding season does not always end at the same time each year. We do get snow, so that is a pretty obvious indicator. But the serious cold doesn't arrive til pretty late, and it varies a little year to year. The other reason I don't drain my carburetors at the end of the season is it is really isn't necessary. With Sta-Bil always in the bike--and I do mean always--it just doesn't matter. And of course, draining the carbs on the CB500 is bit more of a chore than it is on other machines. If I didn't use the Moroso tool it would be really messy.

  2. I check charge on the battery by connecting the charger. I have never yet had to charge it. This despite the fact that I typically ride less than 1,000 miles each year. Yup, I am getting old. I still want to do ride, just not as much as I used to. My 25,000 miles a year days are long gone. The forest is just a mile from the house and I like to ride up in there. Or sometimes I'll ride up into the high desert north of town.

  3. I air up the tires. They have usually lost 5-10 psi over the winter. That is typical for all kinds of bikes, and folks need to be on the lookout for that. It's an easy fix. But not to be overlooked.

  4. I check the oil level. When I remember to. Of course, I change it during each riding season, more or less mid-season. I do it when it's hot, along with the filter of course. And at the same time I lube the drive chain. I hardly ride enough to make this very critical.

And that's it. That's all I do, and each year it works perfectly. No drama. No urgent repairs. I just do the few things go for a ride. Let me say it again. Sta-Bil really works and works well. I run it even during the riding season. Because, it takes only a few weeks for gas to gel. And there are times, with running a business and all the other things that make up life, that the times between rides can be longer than that. Oh, and why do I drain the carbs if Sta-Bil has been in there doing its job? Because even though the engine will start okay after four to five months--or even the twelve to fifteen months the bike occasionally has to sit--the fuel in the float bowls does oxidize and turn brown, and this I have found will foul the spark plugs. So I drain the carbs. No big deal.

Last updated March 2024
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