I've got a 2001 Toyota Tundra Access Cab pickup truck to bring bikes home in.  I bought a 10' x 10" x 2" board (yes, I'm too cheap to buy a motorcycle ramp!) to use as a ramp and we stuck a log underneath the midpoint to prevent it from bowing too much.  We really had it easy, because Randy's (the previous owner) yard had a good slope to it so I could leave the truck towards the bottom and the elevation difference between the bed of the truck and the ground was decreased.  The bike did move up the ramp ok (the wheel bearings weren't frozen or anything) It took three of us to get it into the truck, one to guide it and two to push from the right and left of the bike.  After it was in, I used about 4 ratcheting straps that you can get at any Home Depot or hardware store to tie the bike down.  As a precaution, I also put the bike into gear and duct taped the front brake handle down.

The trip home was only about 10 miles.  The suspension on my truck and the roads were good enough to me that the bike stayed nice and stable throughout the journey.  Unloading was a bit more difficult because I don't have a nice sloped area to help get the bike down.  We ended up building a small additional ramp at the end of the board to ease it down slower.  I also had to strap the ramp board to the bed tie downs to prevent the ramp from slipping off of the tailgate...maybe I should splurge and just get the dumb motorcycle ramp next time!

Assessing the Work

Once we got it into the garage, it was time to take a good look at everything.  I checked the following:

  • Tires: Checked for two things basically.  1 - The tread left and 2 - the condition of the rubber.  The tread depth on the tires was pretty good (about 1/4").  The condition of the rubber wasn't bad considering it was stored for 13 years.  What really helped was that there was no sunlight (and hence UV rays) pouring down on the bike for the 13 years in storage.  The rubber could have looked better...I've decided I'm gonna replace the tires anyhow.  Have you ever heard of a motorcyclist getting a tire blowout?  There's a good reason why you haven't...motorcycle tires are CRUCIALLY important to keep them in good condition.  It'll probably be the single biggest cost for the rehab work, but I'll feel a whole lot better selling it to someone if it has new tires on it.

  • Oil Leakage:  Not much to speak of right off the bat.  UPDATE - After leaving the bike in the garage for a few days, I found out that there was oil leaking from the gear shift shaft seal.  I'll have to replace the seal that seals around the shifter shaft...I hope the shaft isn't doesn't look like it (the seal is fairly cheap!).

  • Overall appearance: Lots of dirt.  Lost of surface rust.  Not much real penetrating rust though.  The fork tubes are rusted a bit, but mostly above where the seal will need to seal up to.  The aluminum on the bike looks pretty poor, but I've got polishing equipment that will take care of that!

  • Electrical:  Wires looked good (no dry rot or separated insulation).  Connectors looked good; I unplugged a few and the inside of the connectors were dry and clean.  The rubber boots on most of the plugs were still in pretty good shape.  The battery...will get recycled - I'm not even gonna try and use it.  The coils and spark plug wires looked good, again no dry rot and the connectors were all clean.

  • Gas tank/fuel lines: Whew!!!  It smelled like varnish and alcohol in the gas tank!  I shined a flashlight in there...didn't look so good.  There were chunks floating and chunks on the wall of the tank, as well as some light rust above where the fuel came up to.  We're gonna be talking definitely a KREEM job.  (KREEM is a high quality gas tank sealant used to seal up small holes, as well as re-coat the inside of the tank).  The fuel lines were probably the originals.  There are two separate lines that each feed a pair of carbs - for about $1.50, I'll go ahead and install new fuel lines with an inline fuel filter.

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