I have a laundry list of minor quirks about the 1985 VT500C that I recently purchased. I have ordered the 83-85 official shop manual (the newer printing from Helms) for the bike, but I still ask the more experienced forum members whether my thinking needs to be corrected and if the issues below are indicative of any larger problems. I will try to provide notional solutions where I can, so I am not just dumping problems in the forum's lap.
1. Shifter: Going from neutral to first with the clutch pulled all the way in, the bike jumps forward a slight bit. Additionally, the bike fails to shift from second down to neutral and first on rare occasions, and once it did not leave neutral until I fiddled up and down with the shifter for a bit. Possible solution - I should inspect the shifting rod/lever and see if everything is tight. If the problem is internal, perhaps it is related to the oil? Also, the Ka-chunk when I shift gears seems to be quite loud, but I have no point of reference on whether this is normal since this is my first bike.
2. Slow oil leak: I have a slow oil leak. I don't know how long this has been going on, but I've owned the bike less than a month. I am led to believe that it is coming from a large hex bolt on the bottom of the crankcase, but it may only appear that way since it is one of the lowest points on the crankcase. Possible solution: I should replace all the washers next time I change the oil. Does anyone know what all the crankcase bottom/oil leak related washers are? I am having a hard time identifying them from the low res drawings on the cycle part sites.
3. Coolant change: I should change the coolant. I would like to do this before my manual comes in, but I don't know where the radiator cap is. Is it that cap which I have to remove a small plastic panel on the right side of the bike in front of the gas tank to access?
4. Tricky to start sometimes: The motorcycle takes some cranking to start. It's still cranking healthy since I shoved a lithium battery into it, but sometimes it takes a good deal of cranking to get it to start turning over. Possible solution: I think I need to clean the carbs. Doing that once riding season is over.
Any help is appreciated on these issues. I am sure I will come up with more as I get to know this bike.
Coolant, the radiator cap should be under that right front cover, follow the procedure in the manual to remove the air, I do recommend honda coolant, hp from the bike dealer, or type 2 from a honda car dealer, any non-silicate etholene glyco base coolant will do though.
There is an aluminum crush washer on the drain plug for the oil, You should replace that when you do the oil.
is the oil coming from up higher than that or is it being blown up?
sounds like the clutch is dragging. is it a hydrolic clutch?, it may need to be bled, or the clutch master and slave rebuilt/resealed. if its a cable hows the free play excessive? make sure your linkage is in good condition, lubed and nothing loose.
even I occasionally have trouble with it getting stuck in a gear and have to release the clutch to realign the gears, usually when I come to a stop without down shifting through all the gears, then try to down shift and DAMB!
incorrect oil viscosity I suppose can also cause some hard shifting or clutch drag.
are you using the choke to start it, does the choke have little or no affect, do you give it throttle, could be to little or to much fuel.
have you tried it with choke on and choke off?