Well, I wasn’t able to ride at all, but at least I got some work done on the Bandit.
I took the front wheel off and installed the new speedometer cable I bought off eBay; naturally, the bike wouldn’t start later, so I haven’t tested said cable yet. It can’t be worse than the speedo cable that I took off the bike, though, which had no actual inner cable at all — just the rubber outer sheath. You can imagine how well that worked.
I also gave Sir Bandit a fresh set of front brake pads, as I had them lying around, and really, what else was I going to do today? They were a bit of a pain to get on — one pad is held in by tension, and kept falling out — but they seem to work pretty well. Lots of yummy bite. They’re EBCs with a fairly high metal content; if I can ever get the *&!$ bike out of my garage and up into the foothills, I think they’ll be perfect.
I mentioned that the bike wouldn’t start after doing the speedo cable — that’s a bit misleading; I didn’t try starting it beforehand, and I doubt it would have started then either. I checked the carbs’ drain bolts, and they all dripped gas, so I removed the tank and pulled each plug to check for spark. The first one was a bit fouled, so I cleaned it off; it had a decent spark after a good wipedown. The second plug was similarly fouled, but it decided to have a bit of fun with me…when I held it up against the engine block to check for spark, it gave me quite a jolt and actually started the bike for a second. Whew! Tingly fingers! I was hoping that the fouling was keeping the bike from starting originally, but even after cleaning off all four plugs, I couldn’t get anything but a WUBBAWUBBA.
I spend more time just trying to get that damn bike to start than I do working on anything interesting on it. Rarr. I swear to god, the next time it starts reliably (or, more likely, whenever I can borrow a trailer or pickup truck), it’s going into the shop to have the carbs overhauled. I’d really rather get the Bandit to a reliable base point from which I can work on tweaks and mods and suspension. Since I don’t have a lot of free time to play with the bike, I’m starting to feel like I spens an hour on just getting it to run for every 10 minutes that I spend painting or on any kind of non-carburetor tweaking. I’ve had the carbs out five times now; I can disassemble/reassemble them in my sleep. It’s just not interesting anymore, and I lack the experience/equipment needed to actually diagnose the damn problem with them.