Sunday, April 17, 2011



Hi Dr Phil: I have a Honda XL350 '73/'74 in good condition. I was wondering if you could help me: I am planning not to ride it for two or three years. Can you please tell me what stroke the motor should be left on? Should I drain the tank? Will it go rusty? Should I drain the carby? Any other advice would be much appreciated.
-- Graham Camm, via

Thanks for your message, Graham. First of all, mix up some two-stroke fuel in a drum at 20:1 or 25:1. Fill the bike’s tank with this mix and also flush the carb with this mix and then turn the fuel tap off and drain the fuel from the carb and leave it in this state. The other thing to do with the carb is to fill it with light oil, such as sewing machine oil. Remove the spark plug and pour in a tablespoon of engine oil, then with the spark plug still out, slowly turn the engine over with the kick lever. Now replace the spark plug and turn the engine over by HAND with the kick lever and leave it when you’re on the compression stroke -- this way all the valves (both inlet and exhaust) will be closed and the combustion chamber will be sealed with some oil left inside. Also plug the muffler hole with a bung or cloth. It may also be an idea to remove the air filter element as foam filters can disintegrate over time and turn to a nasty powder that can later block the carby jets, so cover the air filter cage with a clean cloth soaked in heavy oil -- just note that some of this may drip out over time, so leave a cloth or old newspaper under the bike. Another good idea is to leave the bike elevated on a workstand with the wheels up OFF the ground, as this saves suspension springs and components. Lastly spray all metal components with a WD40 type spray.
-- Dr Phil,

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