Just a quick tip. This is a neat trick if you have an oil leak that you are having trouble locating. First clean your motorcycle engine. Then spray the area of the engine that you suspect contains the leak with foot powder. Next step go for a ride. When you get back the oil trail should be simple to trace.
One of the most popular upgrades to an older motorcycle is the suspension. Many owners add stiffer fork spring and/or cartridge emulators. These upgrades are easy to do and truly improve the handling of the bike.
How ever they may change the amount of oil that should be used in the fork. Following the directions that come with the emulators it may tell you to fill each fork tube to 8 inches (this will vary with your model of bike) of oil. Ok most of us are used to filling fork tubes with a set number of ounces or CCs of oil. What the heck does 8 inches mean. It would be a safe guess to think it means 8 inches of oil in the fork tube, hmmm you would be wrong. The inch measurement referers to the distance from the top of the fork tube to the surface of the oil.
The video below will show you how to make a cheap tool that makes getting the correct measurement easy.
It is important to remember the measurement will be unique to your make and model of motorcycle.
This is done without springs and with the fork leg collapsed.
Can you get into motorcycling if you don't have ten to twenty thousand dollars to spend?
The answer is a resounding Yes. If you are willing to ride a bike that's slightly out of style it is not hard to get on the road for under $1500.00 and I'm not talking about junkers but older bikes that for one reason or the other the owner has quit riding. There are thousands of motorcycles sitting in garages, sheds and barns waiting for the chance to hit the road again.
Some need as little as a battery charge, fresh oil and gas and your off. Many will need a little work some more than others. but the nice thing about older motorcycles is that they don't require a phd to work on them.
Ebay and Craig's list have made finding them easier than ever. Smart sellers link a short youtube video walk-around that allows you to see the bike in greater detail, hear it start and run. So even if the bike isn't just around the corner you have a better idea of it's condition before you take a drive to see it.
Replacement parts for older bikes can be an issue so I recommend once you find a bike that you are interested in, check to see if new parts are still being made, then check E bay to see if there are a lot of used parts listed.
I would also make sure that a Clymer's or Haynes repair guide is available.
Now go to google and search for an owners group for that model of motorcycle. Many of the most popular will have huge groups. These groups have a wealth of information and help. I think an internet owners group is a must. It's a good idea just to hang out on the forum and read the post. You may discover common problems with that model of bike to look out for. You may even find out that the problem that is causing an owner to sell a garage queen cheap is really an easy fix. In short do your research.
If this is your first bike, there is something to be said for learning to make low speed u turns on an 600.00 used bike instead of your brand new high dollar dream bike.
So there's a little food for thought.