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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I just joined & I'm totally new to the scene. My brother has an old '02 CBR 1100xx that he's left sitting for years so I've decided to tackle it as a project and get it running. Full disclosure, I've never worked on or even ridden a motorcycle before. I'm not looking to start with the biggest bike out there, but it's available & if I can do some much needed basics (empty the fuel tank, change the oil/coolant/brake fluid, check & likely replace spark plugs, new air filter & battery, etc) I'd like to at least get it running and then go from there.

I do a good deal of work on my cars so I'm hoping to absorb some info on motorcycles along the way. Hopefully I don't need to ask stupid questions but I appreciate the info I've already been looking at quite a bit.
 

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Do yourself a big favor, get the shop manual. Study it, make sure you understand the procedure and if you don't, ask here. If you can't explain the issue, take a few pics and we'll figure it out for you.

Welcome aboard. Oh, and for a first bike, such as this, hang on to your fuckin socks when you open her up on the roads. She's a death-trap to the inexperienced and unforgiving at times.
 

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Sure, we'll help you along the way. Find a smaller bike and learn on it while you're fixing up the 1100XX. Get some experience and when this is running you can sell the smaller bike. Or... make sure you keep it under 6,000 rpm. Sport bikes turn harder in the corners until you figure them out. Not like a standard bike or cruiser. Proceed with caution and you'll be ok...

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Well, it can't have been sitting more than 19 years, so there's still hope, eh?

"I've never worked on or even ridden a motorcycle before."

Everyone loves a challenge. Yeah....


See if the tank will open. Don't break the key. Get the tank emptied and assess the fuel and tank. If it's not clear or if it's lumpy you're screwed.

Charge a new battery and install it. Turn the key on. You should hear the fuel pump whine. If it doesn't, cycle the kill switch several times. Each time you snap the kill switch on, the pump should run a few seconds. If it doesn't, raise the tank by placing the bike on the centerstand, taking the two rear 14mm bolts out of the tank, unsnapping the left and right side panels from the tank, lifting the rear of the tank and placing a short piece of 2x6/equivalent under the tank to support it. You'll probably need to unsnap the retainer for the tank sending unit wiring from the left side of the bike. From there you can reach the fuel pump connector from the left of the bike. Disconnect and check for 12 volts at that two wire connector when the ignition is first turned on, or cycle the kill switch. If it doesn't have voltage, go to fuses. But while you are there, jumper 12 volt from the battery to the fuel pump to see if it runs. If it does, figure out why it doesn't run with the connector in place by tracing wire back and looking at the schematics for the fuse and connections to the right handlebar switch.

If the fuel pump doesn't work, plan on replacing or cleaning injectors as you travel the fuel/air/fire continuum.

No maintenance items should be replaced before it is running unless there is physical damage, or the bike was left because it stopped running. If it was running when parked, there should be no need for new plugs, antifreeze, brake fluids, air filter until proven otherwise. One caveat would be if there is TOO much oil in the bike, the fuel pressure regulator is leaking and that issue should be addressed first.

Don't know where you are in NY, I'm in PA 40 miles west of Binghamton, NY. I have lots of parts and even more advice that's free because no one will pay for it.
 

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This is your first bike, so I don't feel condescending about these remarks.

Nothing on the bike comes apart by yanking on it. It's a well engineered device. If it's not coming apart, you're missing a catch or a fastener. Don't break it.

My remark about the key was not in jest. Stock keys are soft, and the locks get stiff when not used.

Wherever you are in NY, there's a harbor freight nearby. If you don't already have them, get a cheap multimeter and alligator clip jumper wires from the electrical aisle, and a set of fuel line clamps from the automotive aisle, usually up toward the top left on a large blister pack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I appreciate the tips. I don't take much offense to remarks that may seem condescending when they are very obviously solid base advice. If someone told me they never drove a car but wanted to take a Ferrari to a track day with TCS disabled I would give them a similar response. Like I said the only reason I'm doing this is more as a keep busy project...after so long the tires are definitely no good but I wouldn't be surprised if obviously dry rotted once I fully inflate them & clean them off so I'm not anticipating going for a ride any time too soon.

Got started yesterday (downloaded a copy of the repair manual. I cranked the motor a bit by hand and she seems to turn just fine. I've got most of the inner/outer front fairings off just to make access & vision easier since I'm unfamiliar with the location of many things. As far as pulling blindly, one of them bolts holding the left lower fairing was seized so that was removed with a combo of drill, Dremel, screwdriver, & hammer. I pulled the the fuel tank back & propped it up. There's not much old fuel, but still a bit in there. I did have to disconnect one additional hose compared to what the manual says (pretty sure its an EVAP related hose) but it's taped & labeled.

Air filter looks decent, not sparkling clean but not impressively dirty either...and best of all no dead critters in it. At this point I got interrupted so today I'm gonna get down to the spark plugs and take a look. As was said these should be fine since the bike was running when it was parked only a decade ago. Once I confirm these are good I'd like to move on to the issue of the fuel tank/pump. My brother....the kinda guy that has this bike & a Kawasaki sitting for years...doesn't know where the keys are. I did some digging and found the ignition key, but the fuel door key hasn't turned up yet. I thought removing the 3 allen bolts holding it down would allow it to come right out but it seems a bit stuck...not sure if I have to wiggle it or twist it off.

After checking out the fuel tank & pump I'll pull my car battery & hook it up. Then it's time to crank the engine by hand to get parts oiled somewhat before trying to start it. If it does start I'll kill the engine fairly quickly & change the oil. Oh, and of course I gotta take a closer look at the chain, likely needs a holy water style treatment of WD-40 and a nylon brush to get some rust off for initial startup.

After that I'll move on to the coolant & brake lines. I def agree with the plan to make sure it runs before putting money into it (my only exception would be if the plugs are trashed since it easily cranks by hand).

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The ignition key is the fuel door key. There are three allen bolts that hold the fuel door in place, the OEM cap has others that are just for decoration. The OEM cap cannot be removed by taking the bolts out, the locking lugs are still deployed inside the filler neck. You have to turn the lock cylinder to release the locking lugs. If you can't get it to turn (this is my remark about "soft" keys), then tap it, lube it, and keep trying. The alternative is breaking the lock, not the easiest task, and it must be done carefully or you'll drop metal pieces into the tank.

A couple mentions for those looking to get a dead birdie running, and I realize you are doing things you plan to do anyway, and are just feeling the bike out. But for others, there's no need to remove any body panels to get to the fuel system or spark plugs, just unbolt the tank, put a pad over the battery, and tip it up and back, loosening or unfastening those hosey or wirey things restraining it. Tire cracks are in the overmolded rubber, not the carcass. If they hold air, they're not going to explode. Focus on the engine.
 

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Sounds like you have the right attitude! If it was stored on the centerstand then the tires probably won't delaminate. Bought a bike a year ago that sat on the side stand for 3 years and ran it on a few 30 mile days and then the rubber flaked off due to it sitting with the weight on the tires. The tires were only 3 yrs old with 2000 miles on them.
Lubricate the locks with some graphite spray. As said above... you don't want to break that key! Don't forget about the seat lock. You might think about going to Speedbleeders.com and get some as it makes the bleeding process very easy when you are alone. Get one for the clutch too. I also have the Russell bleeding bag so no worries about spilling either.
With the little bit you've mentioned it sounds like you have the aptitude for owning a 20 year old bike and slowly making it your own with little additions here and there. Enjoy the process!

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Welcome to the forum, from another newbie to the 'Bird.

As you've already discovered, there's plenty of information here and some nice people to answer questions (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I appreciate the support. My MR2 has this bike beat by a year in terms of age so I've been through the headache of catching up on past due maintenance and then going from there. I have to say I'm so surprised by the lack of rust since the bike has been left out in the elements and untouched since 2007.

Spark plugs look good, oil & filter changed with Shell Rotella T 15W-40. Now as for this fuel door...is the ignition key supposed to go all the way into it or just part way? I ask because the key definitely does not seem to want to go fully in as it does with the ignition. So far I've been continuing to soak the key hole down as I'm doing other work and gently testing it but no success yet.

Unfortunately the bike wasn't left on the center stand...come to think of it my next order of business after I finish reinstalling the plugs, coils, and air box will be to try to center stand the bike. That'll let me freely crank the bike by hand and get things oiled up; however until I figure out the fuel door so that I can address draining and placing fresh gas I'll be at a bit of an impasse. If absolutely necessary I'll drill the fuel door out then thoroughly clean the inside of the tank (really hoping it doesn't come to that).

I still have to address the rusty chain a bit...17 yrs in the elements has taken a bit of a toll but again, it'll be fully addressed after a successful startup...along with the brake fluid, coolant, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things right now as well. I don't have a great answer for bleeding the clutch, but I made a little $5 one man speed bleeder from a Gatorade bottle & vinyl tubing that works wonders on my cars so at least I've got one answer prepared ahead of time

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The key goes all the way in.

You're better off trying to destroy the lock rather than drilling it. You'll get chunks of aluminum in the tank instead of drill shavings.
 

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Not necessary to drill out fuel door lock. Take the tank off the bike, turn it over and remove the fuel pump/filter assembly. Huge hole. You may have access to the release tangs on the lock. Not absolutely sure about that but worth a look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Still drowning the fuel tank lock in WD-40...no breakthrough there yet (a little bit more of the key goes in now). I wanted to high center the bike but there's no chance of that right now. I think its a combination of completely flat tires & the bike not going into neutral as the clutch feels like a flag in the breeze when pulled. The combination of not having a real speed bleeder & the lack of info on beeding the clutch is hurting my soul right now. It seems to bleed just like hydraulic bicycle brakes (yea, it had to be said) but I wish the Honda manual had actual info on bleedingbecause I'm sure there's more to it that I'm missing. I got a bunch of air out & small amount of dirty fluid, however the fluid level in the master cylinder (the resources by the left handlebar) isn't moving at all.

I tried bleeding at the banjo bolt right next to it but no luck there. Gonna have to do some more searching on this.

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Tap that lock to help rattle the pins and get lubricant in there. Push down on the fuel cap to take pressure off the tangs and decrease the resistance to movement.

I use a hand held vacuum pump to bleed the clutch. I don't have much luck any other way.
 

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Is there gunk on the bottom of the clutch reservoir that could be clogging the line? Gunk happens!

Bleeding is as easy as squeeze the clutch crack the bleeder until fluid stops coming out. Close bleeder... repeat. Or a mity vac type pump and suck it through.

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Not necessary to drill out fuel door lock. Take the tank off the bike, turn it over and remove the fuel pump/filter assembly. Huge hole. You may have access to the release tangs on the lock. Not absolutely sure about that but worth a look.
You could do this also just to swill out the old residual fuel and pour in a modicum of fresh to be able to see if she'll run once you are ready to try if the cap is still refusing to cooperate at that stage. Good luck on getting her purring again.

Something i say to all new bikers when they get their first bike…. you will at some stay drop her no matter how strong or confident in your balance you are. So buy a tatty learner bike not a concourse exhibit.

In your case you don't want to be dropping a bird as your learning moment in time. So I wholly agree with the advice of get a learner run around while you get the bird ready to fly. Selling it afterwards means you'd recover most of the investment (assuming you haven't written it off in learning incidents… in which case better it than the bird). Warning, you do not ride a bird like a learner bike… you have the right mindset (Ferrari analogy) so it's not impossible just less well advised. Remember… wear all the gear all the time… your bidywork is far more valuable than the bike's and way more expensive and slow to repair! You may wish to consider leaving the bodywork off the bird (and fit cheapo alternate mirrors) in early test rides plus fit sliders/ crash bungs. That'll help keep the original bodywork in good nick until you are ready for a full dress rehearsal.

Other point would be picking up a light leaner bike post dropping it is a doddle. FYI you don't "pick up" a big bike. You "roll" her back upright (if you can envisage the difference).

I echo the advice re push down on the cap to help release the tangs once you do get the key in properly. I suggest cutting a few spares before you break this original.

Have fun. Keep us posted.

Rgds Mallow1
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Love the idea of spare keys...I was thinking the same.

Day 3 of this project (gotta love some time off). I've narrowed down my clutch bleeding issue to the master cylinder. When I completely removed the top banjo bolt & line there is essentially no fluid coming out of the MC when the clutch is pulled. Its jut weird bc the fluid wave was still transmitting down to the bleeder valve so I'm not sure what to make of that. Either way I'll have to remove the master cylinder now and take a closer look at it. Could be anything from gunk to a worn out component.

Fuel tank will be the last thing I tackle...both because of the stuck lock (still dousing it down) but also bc I have no desire to start the bike without a functioning clutch & untested brakes.

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Love the idea of spare keys...I was thinking the same.

Day 3 of this project (gotta love some time off). I've narrowed down my clutch bleeding issue to the master cylinder. When I completely removed the top banjo bolt & line there is essentially no fluid coming out of the MC when the clutch is pulled. Its jut weird bc the fluid wave was still transmitting down to the bleeder valve so I'm not sure what to make of that. Either way I'll have to remove the master cylinder now and take a closer look at it. Could be anything from gunk to a worn out component.
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Sounds like the MC Piston seal has gone. Time for a rebuild kit
 
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