Garage Sale Bike

Steal Or Raw Deal?

1. Here is the '91 FXSTC as it was rolled out of the garage; it is a nice setup similar to what could be seen on the streets in the `90s. It was kept under a blanket so it was a fairly clean and it was a complete bike.

2. After we rolled the bike up onto the lift, we started by draining the oil and replacing the oil filter. Later we will replace the primary and transmission fluid as well.
Complete fluid change $90 Just an oil and filter change about $45-50.

3. We pulled the plugs and they looked like the bike was running rich. This could be due to a couple things such as a dirty air filter, sticky choke, rich fuel mixture, or low engine compression.
Set of new plugs $8.

4. Next, we pulled the air filter; this must have been one of the last things put on the bike before it was garaged. It looked like new.
New air filter cost about $30.

5. Moving onto the carb, we knew that the gas in the tank was very old, so we checked the float bowl and cleaned it out. Also we checked the carb's gaskets, seals, and fuel passages, to see if it needed a rebuild kit.

6. Once the float bowl was off, the carburetor pieces were sent to the solvent tank to soak for a bit. After a few hours they were brushed clean to remove all the gummed up chunks, and washed once more with carb cleaner.

7. Then the float, the needle and the seat were removed and cleaned. Then all the clean parts were reinstalled into the bowl and the float was adjusted.
If needed, a rebuild kit would be about $40, with around one hour of labor costs.

8. The next thing was to drain any and all the old gas from the tank. As we pulled the fuel line from the petcock we found it was clogged, we used some compressed air and blew out the line. After all the old gas (if you can call it that) was gone, the tanks were pulled from the bike and it was given a good washing. Everyone has a way of doing this, but one thing that you can do is let the tanks dry completely by letting them sit in the sun for a day or two. Then add a little gas to the tank, splash it around a bit, and drain that out and let it sit. This will help pull any leftover water from the tank.

9. With further inspection and the carb off the bike, we noticed oil along the rocker boxes and head gasket area. The rocker boxes were removed and the o-rings were replaced. The head gaskets seemed okay at this time; the oil was coming from atop the rocker box.
Cost of O-rings and rocker box base gaskets $45. and about two hours of labor.

10. We also saw exhaust carbon around the head ports, so after pulling the exhaust pipes we cleaned the ports and replaced the exhaust gaskets. It is important to have a good seal, exhaust leaks can make the bike run lean and damage your pistons.

11. Working our way to the driveline, we inspected the primary chain for wear and proper tension. we also checked the clutch plates. Everything looked good so we just had to replace the primary fluid.

12. After pulling the dipstick for the transmission we noticed that the fluid was not the right color. We drained the old fluid and inspected the seal and bearings, it seems that water found it's way into the transmission and contaminated the fluid (was supposed to be a red-ish color, was now pink). This needed to be completely cleaned out.
About one hour labor $85.

13. Next, we inspected the final drive belt; here you want to look for cracks or wear, look to see that there are no missing teeth. Then we checked the pulley as well, sometimes if you find a worn out belt you will find that it's the pulley causing the damage.
Cost of a new belt if needed $180 and about four hours of labor.

14. We moved on to the brakes, starting with the front. Once we pulled the calipers off we inspected the pucks and the seals for leaks along with the line fittings.

15. Then the pads were removed, after inspection we found that the pads were not bad but more then half of the pad was worn and should be replaced. The good thing was that the rotors looked like new.
Cost of new pads$50 a set, and about an hour of labor.

16. The next thing was to check the brake fluid in the master cylinders. It was low, old and lumpy, so we needed to get rid of all of the old fluid. After that we replaced it with all new DOT-5 fluid and bled out all the air from the lines. We did this for both the front and the rear brake lines.
Cost about $15 and an hour of labor.

17. It was easy to see that we needed new tires (they were well beyond their five year life span).
Cost of two new tires Front $175.00, rear $185.00 and about two hours of labor.

18. Lastly, we needed to go over the electrical and the charging system. The battery was dead needed replacing. After swapping out the battery, the blinkers, headlight and taillight, the horn, the starter, the switches, and all things electrical were tested. Fuses were replaced along with a few bulbs, but everything worked fine.
A new battery cost about $140. Cost of bulbs and fuses $10.

If you've been searching for the best deal on a "new to you" bike then you're probably aware that there are many of them out there, it just depends on your price range. But did you get a good deal on the motorcycle you just purchased? We wanted to show you some of the things to check for when you get your used bike back to your house or shop.

One of the HOT BIKE staff was in the market for a project bike and like most guys out there had a budget to stick to. He was trying to spend less than $10,000, so he started searching for Evos. He found tons of bikes in the 10 grand range, however this limited any extra money for maintenance or repairs. So he kept looking and found a '91 FXSTC Softail Custom with 40,000 miles for around $8,000 tucked under a sheet in some lady's garage. The new owner is not sure how she acquired it but he knew she needed to sell it to pay some bills. She said the bike had been sitting for over five years but she remembers it used to run. After he checked the paperwork and VIN everything seemed fine and a deal was struck.

So the next thing he did was load it up and took it over to Freedom Cycles in Orange, California. Devin the shop owner went through the bike and put together a parts and labor cost sheet to see just what it would take to get the bike up and running safe, (note: this is priced at Freedom Cycles so others may vary).

As we added up the cost for all the parts needed to get this bike on the road safely it came to about $1,050. The labor charge was around $ 1,200 (just an estimate due to the fact that some stuff will overlap as the work is getting done). Add that to the cost of the bike and that puts us just over the $10,000. Maybe it wasn't a steal, but with some updating and TLC it could be a cool ride. After we had all the work done and the bike out on the road for a ride, we started to hear a noise from the cam area. We're not sure what it is at this time, but we took it back to Freedom so they could check it out. Check back in next month where we find out what's making the noise and how much this may cost.