So I'm about to buy a bike...

So I'm getting ready to get my first bike in about 8-10 years... Last bike was an XR200 before I was a grown up... Found a WR426 for sale that I'm going to look at tomorrow. My concerns: Seller said it hasn't run for about a year. I doubt he ran the carb dry before parking it, and I don't want to try to fire it on bad gas... at the same time I don't want to buy it without at least starting it up and running it through the gears.

My second, and much smaller concern is probably better posted in the Yamaha forum, but he said the headers glow after idling 20 minutes... First off I have no idea why he's idling the bike for 20 minutes, but secondly, sounds like from what I've read on older posts, that's pretty normal? Or at worst means the bike is running a bit lean. I appreciate the feedback.

Ryan,

why dont you just take the 17MM fuel bowl drain nut off the bottom of the bowl and drain out the old gas that was in the carb? You can then turn on the fuel petcock and flush some fuel through there and put the drain nut back on. It might be stale in the tank, but unless the fuel in the tank is filled with dirt or has turned to gel, I dont think it will cause any issues. But if you are real worried, bring a container to drain the entire tank of "bad gas" into and bring some fresh fuel to replace it.

People always talk about gas going bad, but I am willing to bet if you poured it out and took a match to it, it would ignite rather easily, just like it will in the bike provided the pilot jet isn't all gummed up.

No way would I consider buying an older bike without running it and making sure it runs...either that or I would be deducting $1500 for a rebuild by assuming the motor is trashed if it wont run.

i jus recently sold mt yz450f and bought a kx450f and my yamaha would sometimes glow after riding for awhile i only would notice if it was dark outside. Its not a problem as long as your bike's coolant level remains the same and it is not overheating. Maybe look at the wr450 its a good bike. I would ask the guy if he cleaned the carb before he let it sit, then iwoulod start it and see how easy it kicks over. Maybe ask the guy if he would be willing to let you take it home and clean the carb to make sure the bike is running correctly and if not then give your money back.

Ryan,

why dont you just take the 17MM fuel bowl drain nut off the bottom of the bowl and drain out the old gas that was in the carb? You can then turn on the fuel petcock and flush some fuel through there and put the drain nut back on. It might be stale in the tank, but unless the fuel in the tank is filled with dirt or has turned to gel, I dont think it will cause any issues. But if you are real worried, bring a container to drain the entire tank of "bad gas" into and bring some fresh fuel to replace it.

People always talk about gas going bad, but I am willing to bet if you poured it out and took a match to it, it would ignite rather easily, just like it will in the bike provided the pilot jet isn't all gummed up.

No way would I consider buying an older bike without running it and making sure it runs...either that or I would be deducting $1500 for a rebuild by assuming the motor is trashed if it wont run.

Good advice!

slvfx has a good idea with the gas thing,as far as the header its not uncommon in the new 4ts for the header pipe to glow,the bike might be jetted a little on the lean side wich will make it run a little hotter as well,this is a cheap relatively easy fix

If I'm going to try and fire it on the gas in the tank after draining the gas out of the carb, why not just see if it will fire with the fuel in the carb? Any difference? Sitting for one year, should I even be worried at all? Or just fire it up and put in a full tank of new gas to dilute the old stuff as soon as I have a chance and rock and roll?

Do yourself a favor and drain all the old gas and refill with fresh before trying it, and drain the carb as well- 1 year old gas is gonna be most of the way to turpentine by now and the bike won't run right, if at all. I hope the bike is inexpensive to make this hassle worthwhile, I'd blow off any bike that I had to do this stuff with unless it's about half price.

unless youre a carb guru, these pumper carbs can drive you nuts. if you dont hear it run, walk away unless you feel like spending 300-500 getting it sorted at dealer

Yea, don't buy it unless it runs good. Carb issues can be a major pain and expensive to fix. There are tons of bikes on the market, don't be afraid to pass on the deal and move on to another bike either.

i agree with the running bike thing,dont buy it if it doesnt run,dont get your crab cleaned by the dealer either,buy the manual for your bike ask questions on the forums and do it your self,it will literally save you hundreds or dollars,mabey thousands

I would clean out the tank and carb, also the air filter could be dried out after sitting a year. So be sure and clean and reoil it before riding.

Ryan,

regarding your question on why drain the carb and not the whole tank....my reasoning is to see if there is sediment (i.e. dirt) in the bottom and/or whether the fuel is gummed up. The main and pilot jet sit right down near the bowl drain nut and pull in whatever is in the bottom of the nut into the jets and sometimes it will clog them. So at a minimum, I like to remove the drain nut, clean it out and flush any fuel through the float before trying to fire the bike fi it hasnt been running in a while. Depending on what I see when I flush out some fuel from the tank through the float or how much gunk is in the bottom of the nut, I might want to then drain the whole tank.

I actually encountered this situation this past winter when buying a 2005 WR250F for my son. The owner said he hadn't started in a year and they had fired it up prior to me getting there for another interested buyer. When I started it, it fired quickly using the choke and then would sputter when I turned the choke off. I figured it was just cold and it might run better once I warmed it up while riding (it was about 30 degrees out at the time). But, As soon as I turned off the choke and twisted the throttle .....it would stumble and nearly die. This continued to happen even though the engine was fully warmed up.

I pulled off the bowl drain nut and there was sediment in the bottom that had 'probably' been pulled into the jets. The owner didn't even know about the float bowl drain nut but did have a 17mm wrench handy.

The bike was in very clean condition and it sounded fine while running with the choke on, so I was still somewhat interested in purchasing. But I told the owner I really couldn't tell whether it was a $100 problem or a $500 problem and would have to take a pass on buying it. I had only owned 2 strokes previously and had only had experience with these relatively simple 2T carburetors. The four stroke carburetor looked very complicated and I didn't think I could do the diagnosis/repair.

Since he was a college student and low on funds, he didn't want to spend the money just in case it didn't buy it. After I drove away and headed home (this was in Ft Collins about an hour north of Denver), I started thinking about how to make the deal work for the seller and for me since the bikes didnt look like it had ever been laid over or ridden on a trail. When I got home, I called him and said that perhaps we could agree on a final purchase price and assuming the dealer could get it running to my satisfaction, I would pay him the agreed to purchase price less the dealer repair cost and I would pay the dealer directly for the repair cost (so he didnt have any out of pocket expense).

He agree to get the bike to a local dealer. The dealer charged $180 to clean the carb, replace some gaskets, etc. I don't even believe they drained the tank. I rode it after the repairs were completed and it ran great. I ended up buying it for our agreed price and he paid the dealer directly for the repairs.

He probably could have avoided the repair expense if he had cleaned out the float bowl drain nut before trying to fire the bike. but, I got a great condition bike for a decent price with a freshly cleaned carburetor.

First thing I did when I got it home was to drain the rest of the gas from the tank and replace it with fresh fuel. It all depends on how much work and expense you want to do for "free" just to test ride it. I see suggestions above about cleaning the air filter, etc. I don't have any disagreement with the concept, I just don't think that is something I want to spend my time and energy on for the seller's benefit. The float bowl drain nut removal and the flushing of fuel takes several minutes (if that) provided you have a 17mm wrench handy.

Good luck with the test ride and let us know what happens today

What a piece of $#!!

Got to go look at this bike today... didn't even make a lowball offer... and I'll buy almost anything for the right price. Took SilvFx's advice and pulled the drain plug at the bottom of the carb, which DID have some gummied up fuel in it, was NOT clean. Fuel inside the tank looked clean enough, no sediment, etc. Fuel switch was LEAKING... ***?! drip drip drip just in the on position or in reserve. Gave it a good 30+ kicks... and nothing. Didn't even flirt with wanting to start. All the jets must be totally clogged.

Moral of the story: Use Sta-bil!... and ask better questions before driving 30 minutes to go look at a bike...

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