Starting The Beast


Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Thanks for everyone's replies regarding my new bike.

It hasn't been started for a long time (40 odd years from what I can make out).

What sort of things would I have to do before attempting to start it?

Could I just change the oil, change the plugs, put some petrol in, then have a go!

Wouldn't it be great if it started on the first kick!



Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Hello Bill.
you need to do a little bit of work before starting it. After filling the oil tank you will need to prime all the oilways ie. pour some oil down the tubes, the pushrod tubes the oil filter house the rocker tunnels etc. this could be about a pint but please dont quote me on that, and have a fire extinguisher to hand , you never know. BUT if the bike has been stood you really need to strip it down and check how clean it is, and the rubber seals have possibly perished are the carbs clean (probably not, and all that muck will end up where you do not want it)and various other things should be checked. Personnally I would not like to start a bike without REALLY going over it first. Buy a copy of Know Thy Beast by E.M.G. Stephens it is a bible and every owner should have a copy.

Good Luck you will enjoy it and yourself

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Starting the new bike

The advice is good. But what I did, with a bike that had last been run in 1968, was check the valve timing (a desultory restoration had started in 1969 and pretty well stopped by 1975), fixed the externals, installed a new filter, filled it with oil and kicked it. It didn't run too evenly on the first 2 mile run (D-Day 2004), because the front carb was innocent both of main jet and needle jet........but without doing too much more I covered a couple of thousand miles to evaluate what did need to be done. Quite a lot......but nothing that I couldn't have lived with for a few hundred miles more. I've done the same with other old bikes. The chances are that if they kicks over easy with the plug(s) out, selects all their gears, and start, then nothing truly disastrous and expensive looms. Carpe diem.....
Last edited by a moderator:


Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Another little trick is to remove the oil quill and pump in some oil so that the crank pin has some instant lubrication.As already mentioned,squirt lots of oil down he the pushrod tubes.Different forms of penetrating oil are good for the freeing up of rings that may have stuck.