Editor’s note: If you’re having trouble with that old Suzuki, BSA or BMW, Keith Fellenstein is your guy. From motorcycle tuning tips to detailed motorcycle engine repair, he can draw from a wealth of experience to help guide you to success. Send your questions to: Keith’s Garage, Motorcycle Classics, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609, or send an e-mail with “Keith’s Garage as the subject.
Q: My 1969 BSA Victor, bought decades ago and never ridden much (other, better bikes at hand) has been stuck for quite some while. The bike was well stored, the tank is clean, and it ran well when I lost interest in it (it was never an easy starter). How do you think I should proceed in getting the engine turning again? I’m pretty sure I ran some penetrating oil into the combustion chamber many years ago.
— Howard/via email
A: The inexpensive penetrating solvent of choice is a 50/50 mix of ATF and acetone. I’d first pull the left case cover off, and using an appropriate socket and gentle pressure, see if you can’t get the engine to rotate a little. If that doesn’t work, then pour in enough of the penetrating solvent mix to cover the piston top and let it sit and soak down for a couple of days. Repeat these two steps until you achieve success. You can also try using some mild heat from a heat gun (not a torch!) applied to the cylinder, which might speed the process along, too.