Barn find motorbikes are undoubtedly cool, but they’re even more amazing when they can actually start with minimal fiddling necessary. You need spark and compression, of course—as well as fuel and air. The longer a bike sits unridden, the greater the chance that the fuel system (particularly if it’s carbureted) will be clogged up. A flat battery is a relatively easy fix, but some problems require deeper investigation to diagnose and repair.
For those reasons and more, barn find “will they start?” videos are almost always fun to see. Just because a bike looks great on the outside doesn’t mean that it will start—and just because it looks terrible on the outside doesn’t mean that it won’t start, you know?
Specialised Motorcycle Transport, a company with a name that’s extremely descriptive of its services, is based in Sheffield in the UK. It maintains a YouTube channel featuring scads of motorcycle content, including the odd shipment of barn find bikes that they’ve brought to Sheffield to sell on to enthusiasts who want to fix them up.
In this video, the crew are continuing to unpack a crate filled with Japanese classic motorbikes—barn finds, all, although we don’t have specific details about the collection. What we do know is that they’re sorting them into two general groupings: Runners and non-runners. For their purposes, it doesn’t have to run for a long time, necessarily—it just has to show that it’s capable of firing up with minimal effort.
This is the third video from this shipment, and it includes a range of interesting bikes to see, if you’re into vintage Japanese bikes. While we’ll tell you what’s in the box, we won’t spoil the surprise for you about which ones run and which ones don’t.
In this round, you’ll see the following bikes:
- Yamaha AT250
- Honda CB350T
- Kawasaki KE175
- Suzuki TS100
- Suzuki TS250
- Suzuki TS400
- Yamaha DT250
- Suzuki GSX-R 750 (slabside)
As they go over these bikes and try to get them started, you’ll see various things that previous owners apparently did at one time or another—including one bike with a sock used as an air filter. At the end, you’ll also see most of a 1958 Ariel Square Four with amazing patina. While it’s not part of the Japanese vintage bike collection, it apparently came from Florida (as evidenced by the license plate) and is only missing a tank that will allegedly be included in the next shipment. Will the tank be as rust-free as the rest of the bike? We’ll have to see in a future video.