Sitting for 2 Years

Q: I’ve just got back to Texas from eight years in the marine corps. My 01 XL1200C Sportster has been sitting for TWO YEARS. What do I need to look for (besides the obvious service, any rubber hoses, flat spots on tires…) before I start riding again. 19500 miles.

My 2 cents:
Hi Chris,
Welcome back. After two years, you should do the full service like you said. Check the gas tank for rust, drain tank, if not rusted out add new fuel, air cleaner, ’01 still carb right? Might want to take off carb and clean if carb. Tires might be iffy after that long sitting might be a good and safe replacement. All fluids including fork fluid. Give it a great service and should be good to go.

From the Guys:
Chris, thank you for your service to our country. This is a good time for your Sportster’s 20k service. With a thorough service, there should always be a detailed check list. Charge your battery (hopefully your battery did not expire while you were gone) – Check your battery cable connections – Replace all fluids, including brake fluid and fork oil – Lube & adjust all cables – Clean (or replace)air cleaner element – Replace spark plugs – Check tires for wear and for “checking”, or dry rot; replace if needed – Check tire pressure – Check brake pads and service calipers – Check brake rotors – Check all lights, including indicator lights, and switches – Check spoke tension – Check condition of drive belt – check belt tension – Inspect rear drive pulley – Inspect wheel bearings and anti seize axles – Check neck adjustment – Inspect brake lines, oil lines, fuel lines and all cables – If you suspect that your fuel is bad, it will need to be drained from the tank & carb. Go around your bike with a few wrenches. Check any fasteners that you can, for tightness. The best way to give your bike a closer visual inspection is to give it a good detailing when you have finished your service. I am sure that there is something that I may have left out. I tried to list the most important service procedures that pertain to safety. The Fix My Hog Sportster DVD covers everything you need to complete these tasks and beyond. The video will save you a lot of cash
over the years. Especially when you can complete your own 10 or 20k service.
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6 Responses to “Sitting for 2 Years”
  1. Darryl Teets
    Darryl Teets

    After sitting for 12 years finally pulled tarp off my 81 XLH, what a mess. Only 9k miles, and now ready to tackle getting it back on the road. Where to begin? Start from front to back?

  2. Duncan Helton
    Duncan Helton

    I just purchased a 2009 Electra Glide Ultra Classic, runs great. But, my neighbor called my attention to the lights on the tour pack. It seems that when I hit the brakes instead of illuminating brighter the left light goes out. I’m not real experienced on electrical systems so does anyone have any ideas why this could be happening? I would appreciate any help I can get. Thanks riders!