Depending on both your personal inclinations and skill sets, finding a cool older bike that’s been abandoned can be bittersweet. On the one hand, you’re more likely to get a good deal on it because someone clearly hasn’t cared for it in years. On the other, if you’re an enthusiast, you hate to see any vehicle you have affection for in such a state.  

Still, if you’re like YouTuber Stone Automotive, you’ll set your mind to the task at hand and try to tackle the issues systematically. In this video, he’s gotten his hands on a 2002 Aprilia RSV Mille. As the story goes, it’s been sitting outside in a back garden somewhere in England since at least 2016.  

While the paint looks less awful than you might expect with that kind of background, there’s plenty of life in the RSV yet—and that’s before SA tries to start it. As the camera starts to get a closeup overview, there are plenty of spiderwebs, dirt, and leaf detritus. Uniquely, there even appears to be some moss growing in a crevice on the bike. (I’d almost be tempted to see about getting a Petri vanity plate if it was me, but it isn’t.) 

Once he’s gotten it home and given it a clean outside, it’s time to see if the RSV will start. Since the battery has been sitting in the bike for at least eight years, he grabs one out of his GSX-R 650 just to see if he can get it to fire up. It doesn’t work, but it’s clear that the bike wants to start—and it seems likely to be a fueling issue. 

The bike seems to have been stored with fuel in the tank, so it’s not a huge surprise that it’s having fueling problems. Fuel can go off in any number of ways if it sits unused for long enough, and eight years is a long time. The RSV is fuel injected, but just because it isn’t carbureted doesn’t mean that the injectors can’t be clogged.  

As it turns out, the fuel hasn’t gone gelly, but it has started to separate and apparently smells just as awful as you’d expect. The injection system involves gaskets, so SA is trying his best to not have to take the injectors apart, because then he’s clearly going to have to obtain replacement gaskets in order to reassemble it once he’s cleaned them out.  

He tries running new fuel through the system once he’s drained as much of the old stuff out as he can, but that still doesn’t get it to fire up. A carefully controlled blast of carburetor cleaner gets it to briefly fire, so it seems likely that the injectors are clogged.  

By the end of the video, he’s made the decision to take the injectors apart and get his hands on some custom gaskets, because the only way to get the appropriate OEM ones now is by buying an eye-wateringly expensive gasket kit, since they aren’t sold by themselves in 2023. Ah, the joys of vintage bikes. 

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