So, a couple years back I bought a 1981 Yamaha XS850. I got it for next to nothing - older crappy bikes aren't exactly valuable - and it's had it's share of problems, but nothing really major. My cousin is a mechanic and has helped me fix all the issues that have arisen thus far.
The one thign I hate is, I don't have garage, so it usually sits out in the elements over the winter, and it takes a lot of effort to get it running again come the springtime. This year I was busier than most, so when spring rolled around, I never touched the thing. It sat outside from last October until last night. Completely untouched. Exposed to snow, rain, heat and cold. 10 months. For any vehicle, ten months is a long time to sit unmoved.
Well, I'm moving this week, so I had to get the bike out of there. So my plan was to just suck it up and push it to my cousin's house, about a quarter mile away, so it could be in his garage, and maybe some day we could try and get it running. He says "sounds good, but let me come down with a new battery, maybe we can get it running enough to just ride to my house."
So he throws in a new battery... and after a little turning... the thing starts up. And runs. WELL. Like, REALLY well. It starts rougher than this on some cold mornings when it HASN'T been sitting for a year. After warming up, the thing is idling better than it ever has. So I drive it down to his house, and it rides great. We decide, screw it, let's go for broke, and we took a ride up to the Salem Beerworks (maybe a 25 mile ride up the coast). Made it all the way up there and back, including highway on the way back, with ZERO problems.
I cannot quite put into words how amazing this is. This bike has problems EVERY year when it comes out of hibernation. And I didn't do ANYTHING to winterize it - we're talking year old gasoline in the tank. No stabilizer or anything. It sat, outside, uncovered, through an entire winter, and a rainy spell we had.
I'm absolutely flabbergasted. And annoyed with myself that I didn't try this experiment back in May.
At least I'll get a fall riding season out of it.