Between reading on this board and in Clymer/Honda service manuals, I'm only coming up with more questions. I'm definitely having fun with the bike in the garage, so it'll be that much more fun when (if) I get it running.
Do I understand correctly that the recommended oil for the fork is Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF)? Clymer says 10W is fine too, but this is the first time I hear of using DEXRON for the fork. What's so special about DEXRON oil?
I took off the right crankcase cover today to investigate kickstarter return spring problem, hoping it somehow popped off. No, it actually snapped off where it had a piece entering into the shaft. I haven't found that piece of metal, though. Also, the kick shaft cam, which I believe operates the decompression cable, is also broken. Bummer, because I was hoping that only return spring was broken, which is a cheaper part. I am somewhat concerned about the missing chunks of metal, although I'm guessing someone had already opened the case up and removed them earlier. The bolts were not torqued very hard and half of the gasket was missing. Hardly a coincidence, right?
I cannot remove the fuel filter from inside the gas tank. I believe it is probably gummed up and thinking about using the thin tube that came with carb cleaner spray can to blow through the gunk. I really did try pulling it out with needle-nose pliers, but it seems like that rips out pieces which I'm pulling, rather than the whole fuel filter. That bottom part appears to be made of fiberglass, or otherwise very fibery plastic. Also, there is no gasket to speak of between the tank and the petcock That really does not look much like what the manual shows.
Last question for now is about decompressors. I originally understood that decompression is accomplished by opening one of the exhaust valves during kickstarting. Now, I am coming to a conclusion that manual decompressor is applied on the right exhaust valve, but the automatic (kickstarter) decompressor actually opens the left intake valve. Does that mean the manual and automatic decompressors are not there for redundancy, but rather are used in different situations? I'm really confused at this point, although I'm thinking that the engine has not been starting in part due to the lack of kickstart decompressor.