86 Aspencade refresh

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Stubbornly Optimistic!
Supporting Member
Oct 6, 2015
Reaction score
Holiday, FL
My Bike Models
2022 Harley Sportster 883 (daily), 1986 GL 1200A "Wing Zero"
After some time whining, a wonderful lurking member (thanks, Allen!) approached me with the offer to buy his beautiful 1986 Aspencade.

It's in great condition overall, but Covid forced him to park it for nearly two years. As we all know, any time you park a carbureted bike without advanced preparation, the carbs gum up and other issues begin to crop up aggressively.

That being said, the refresh list so far is as follows:
  • Rebuild carbs (check boots and other connections)
  • New tires (the ones on it were made in 2000, per the date code)
  • Brake flush and rebuild (no idea when it was last done, but you should do it every two years in Florida)
  • Fork rebuild (not leaking yet, but why risk it?)
  • Other stuff?
This will be the documentation of my slow rebuild.

The first issue:

When getting the bike to idle, I discovered that the carbs on the right side of the bike just puke gas everywhere, so a full rebuild is on the menu.

Oh, and the battery is a bit tired.

Here we go!
Ok! I've found what I believe to be the leak!
Now, what's supposed to be connected here, or is it an overflow? It's between the two right-hand carburetors.

I asked around, and found it might be a sticking float causing the leak through the overflow pipe.
Looks like I need a full rebuild, unless I can get it unstuck. . .
I asked around, and found it might be a sticking float causing the leak through the overflow pipe.
Looks like I need a full rebuild, unless I can get it unstuck. . .
If the rubber tips of float needles have been allowed to dry out during long term storage, they will cause a leak like this until they have swollen up a bit with fresh gas in carbs for 48 hrs or so.
After more testing, and asking several of the mechanics at my job (motorcycle dealer), it was determined that it was most likely a stuck float. So today I accomplished the removal of the carburetor assembly. I watched a YouTube video, read my repair manual, and took my time. I'll be taking the carb assembly into work later this week, and one of my mechanics offered to help me rebuild it. He's the best in the shop at carbs, so I really know they'll be in good hands.
Wish me luck!


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SIGNIFICANT UPDATE! After a lot of beating my head against the bike, because I'm terminally stupid and don't think ahead when I'm fiddling with settings, the carbs are now synced and it RUNS!!!! Took it on a short test ride for a proof-of-concept drive, and everything did what it was supposed to. I'm very pleased.
More updates shortly!

She's in the air!
I finally fought the wheels off, and took them into work for the new tires to be mounted!

The registration is finally complete, so as soon as the new tires are on, I can begin riding!

Tire one done!
I finally got grease to put everything back together, so the front wheel should be done today.

Unfortunately, as previously stated, I am an idiot, so I ordered the wrong rear tire size. I had to return it at work and reorder the correct size, so it'll be another few days before it comes in and can be mounted.

On the upside, this has been a great opportunity to clean the rims thoroughly.

I hope to do a fork refresh sometime in the near future, however I'm unsure if rebuilding the air suspension is more difficult than regular forks. More research is needed. . .
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