I posted on craigslist the day it was stolen and got no reply. Also, I did some wide sesarching on craigslist, and found what I thought to be my bike for sale (it was a crappy cell phone picture or something). I met with the seller, and it was indeed not my bike. Sad as I was, I bought the old machine from him - it looked like it had seen at least a couple years just sitting someplace, outdoors? I had pedalled an analog bike down to meet him, and was faced with the challenge of walking between two bikes - does anyone know if there is some sort of simple towing bar that would allow a rider to tow an unused bicycle? It would be really handy for bringing a bike to meet someone coming in on the train for example.
Anyway, I worked all night through last night so I could have a few hours today to experiment with my new purchase. The aluminum and just about all the exposed metal had oxidized pretty badly - cables stuck and one broken, tires... I couldn't believe they held enough air to make my walk home!
Once I got the essentials free and functioning, I inspected the gaskets, and noticed the exhaust gasket had blown out on the bottom. I happened to have bought two gaskets from Kragen (the guy behind the parts counter let me go behind the counter and peruse the gaskets) the last time my old bike had blown its exhaust gasket. The ones from Kragen (part number at home - will post if I can find it) have a metal layer with a man-made cloth-like thin layer on the top and bottom. I think he said they were EGR gaskets for a Hyundai? Anyway, with only the slightest modifacation to the holes, and saturated with High Temp gasket seal, they last several months. So I put one in the 'new' bike.
By the way, this bike says American in a cursive decal on the side - never heard of it, haven't done any researching - it's a heavy, clunky mountain bike with crappy mid-eighties(?) hardware, that was all rusty. Turns out I have a penchant for rubbing motored bikes down until they're spotless! What good luck for the old American.
While cleaning, I noticed that both the front and rear motormount brackets were broken! Both of them! One side was intact, and loose on each of the brackets... I began to understand the abandonment.
It's amazing what a rag, some hardware, and a can of WD-40 can do for an afternoon. After draining the newly polished stock black half gallon tank, I removed the spark plug, sprayed a good blast of WD-40 in the hole, pulled the choke all the way up, and started pushing the bike slowly to see if the piston was frozen - not the case, free as a bird! I pourd a couple of cups of gas in the tank - no fast leaks - and took her to the road. After pedalling slowly up and down the block with the choke on, I saw fuel in the original, dried out clear (yellow) line, so I dropped the choke to half mast, pedalled up to about 10 mph, and the instant I popped the cluth, it started.
It threw the chain in the first block , and I saw that the tensioner had moved out of alignment. It looked as though this had happened to the previous owner at least a few times. I had tightened the tensioner brackets, and even added a second brand new M6 nut to each one, but it wasn't enough. The tensioner system is the weakest link I think. I pulled two links out of the chain, screwed the tensioner to the frame, and I just got back from a mile-long, pedal-free ride that I though I might not have so soon.
I wonder what's happening to my bike right now. Maybe they've finally run the fresh half gallon of gas out of it, and they've refueled without mixing, or maybe even worse things...
The picture of my old bike that I want to post is my desktop pattern - I'm looking at it right now. Only, I can't seem to find the file no matter how I search... might have to post tomorrow... along with pics of new bike!