As mentioned on Facebook, I took it for a test ride and the bike stalled on me about 1.5 miles from the house and would not restart.
I pushed the bike under a shade tree after a few minutes of trying to get it started. After a little while a man walked up and introduced himself. I started telling him what I was up when I turned away. He interrupted saying he was deaf. Interesting. He spoke and read lips near perfectly.
"I'm a Suzuki mechanic and I bet your crank case is over full." We had picked up the bike from the seller but and checked the sight glass but the idea the crank could be overfull is something I would never have considered. "I see it all the time." he said, "they 'change' the oil by adding 4 quarts without draining the old out. My van is just up there, why don't you push the bike over and we'll pull some out with my pump."
I did as the man suggested and we proceeded to pull over 1.5 qts of fluid out of the crank before it became visible in the sight glass. The bike started up almost immediately there after. This is something I did not know, that an overfull crank case would prevent the bike from running. Apparently it builds up too much pressure and fluid gets by the rings fouling the plugs.
We ran the bike for a moment. He put his fingers on the handle bar to "hear" the motor. "Running a bit rough. There's a stumble. It's been sitting for a long time, no?" he asked. "The carbs are probably dirty. With as clean as the bike is we can probably get away with just pulling the bowls and cleaning the jets. If you've got time why don't you follow me and we'll take care of it."
Absolutely. So off we went. He was between jobs so we ended up working outside his storage unit which was filled with tools. Within minutes the tank was off and the carb rail was out. (I'm going to have to buy a bunch of tools. Clearly, I don't have enough.) It was at this moment we noticed the gas tank was leaking from the petcock. We took that apart to find the seals had all hardended. No matter what we did, without new rubber, we could not get the petcock to stop leaking.
It was at this moment a thought dawned on me. I had tried to smell the oil in the crankcase to see if it smelled of gasoline and there was just the slightest smell. I pulled open the milk jug we had pulled the oil into. I remember thinking it looked a bit thin. The smell of gasoline was overwhelming.
The crankcase was not overfilled with oil, gasoline had leaked down into it. Damn. I had heard of this happening but have never actually seen it first hand. Obviously, we pulled the oil out of the motor immediately.
Some time later, he had the carbs disassembled, cleaned and reassembled. I know very little about carbs having only owned fuel injected bikes for the last 21 years so he explained each step of the process showing me how to do it. Fantastic.
We put new oil in the engine and he loaned me a little clamp to clamp the fuel line once I park the bike. Riding it back home that evening, the bike was MUCH improved but not perfect. Greg, the mechanic, sent me a few texts mentioning some thoughts on what else needs to be done.
It's just crazy the nice people you'll meet on a motorcycle.