Congrats on the smokin' deal you got!
I'd go through the motor first, adjust the valves and check the compression release, check the cam chain & tensioner, refresh the soft parts in the carb, etc. Then I'd tear it down for bearing repackings & seal replacements where necessary. Check the Kingpins & tie rod ends before taking it apart. Every moving part may need your attention... its just a matter of how much time you want to put into it.
Welcome to the forums!
I am going to take all the plastics off, and work my way through the bike back to front or vice versa.... even down to taking out the spark arrestor and cleaning it. I've rebuilt a lot of 2 stroke engines, but haven't tinkered all that much with 4 strokes. So I may need a little guidance on this thing.
A few things I have noticed thus far (I've only briefly skimmed the manual for this thing, so some of my answers may be in there):
Tail lights work, but do not show you are braking. So they are illuminated full time. Could be a stuck switch? Dunno.
There is a hose coming up off of the case just behind the jug..... It's not connected to anything. I'm thinking it may be a crankcase pressure relief. It doesn't attach to anything. Should it? It seems to be putting off pressure constantly. I'm thinking maybe it shouldn't? Dunno? I've rebuilt numerous FL250's and they have the same pressure relief in the same place.... (going off of memory)..... it seems like it was attached to the filter box.... either way, I don't remember ever having constant pressure from them.
The compression release doesn't show any noticeable difference when up or down. I think up is supposed to be the release and down is normal. I have a 1980 Yamaha XT 500 with a compression release. You can DEFINITELY tell when the release is in use and when it is not. I could not tell a difference with this bike when using the pull-start and trying the release in either position.
Sounds like it has an exhaust leak... I'll have to look a little closer and see what's up with that.
Brakes a very weak.... I'm guessing the pads have never been changed, or haven't been changed in a long time.
Turning the key to the off position doesn't kill the bike. You have to use the thumb kill switch to kill it.
Back over-wheel plastics are cracked... would like to find a new set. Prolly have to settle for used if I can find them on Ebay.
I did seem like there was just a smidge of slip in the transmission, but b52bombardier1's remark about what oil to use and not use may account for that.
Skimming through the manual, I didn't see any oil filter listed, just an oil screen. So I'll definitely CAREFULLY be taking that out and cleaning it.
So yeah, I'll definitely be taking my time, reading the manual thoroughly, and take things apart, clean them, lube them, etc etc. Lord only knows the last time this thing was properly serviced.
No doubt it has some bugs to work out, but for $150, I can deal with it. I'm pretty mechanically inclined, and with the help of youtube, the manual, and people such as on this board, no doubt I'll be able to muddle through. :wink:
I actually just bought a brand new Rancher. But for the price, I thought this would be a fun little project for the price.
And thanks for the welcome!!