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For several months now, I’ve been asking Hornet Boy to get Blinky, my R6 out of the shed for me. I haven’t ridden it since September last year!

I can’t get it out myself as it means bumping it up over the lip of the shed and then down a few steps – way too much for my puny legs

So today, I’m home from work and I mention to HB that I will be working in our Reading office tomorrow.

“How are you getting there?”

Er, car, ‘cos I can’t get there on the (currently still functioning) DT.

“Why don’t you take the R6?”

Because it’s still in the shed and it won’t be roadworthy by tomorrow morning and to be honest I don’t even know I will still be able to ride it.

“I’ll get it out the shed now, and we can have a look.”

A bit of rearranging of garden furniture and home-brew beer kegs and 10 minutes later, one very dusty looking bike is on the patio.

I had heard a bit of a wet ‘prrrrrp’ sound as HB tried to turn it over. Even though it had been on a trickle charger, I think the connection had fallen off ‘cos the battery was as dead as road kill.

Now, two months ago, Blinky had come out of the shed as we had had to move a load of stuff in and she had started fine and had run for a few minutes. However, I was beginning to worry ‘cos I didn’t put any stabiliser in the petrol or turn it off before storing it. I didn’t know how long it would be in storage for.

It didn’t help that my Dad had been telling me that petrol goes off within weeks and turns to varnish-like goo and if that happened, it’s game over, you have to clean it all out. I sincerely hoped that that would not be the case for my R6, that it would have been spared this due to some weird, freak-of-nature time chrysalis in which my petrol will have remained as fresh as the day it had been pumped…10 months ago… and it hasn’t been sitting in temperatures over 30°C.

So, back on with the trickle charger and let’s see what happens.


I crawl in from work taking two and a half hours to do 35 miles and look expectantly at HB.

“Nope, can’t get the bike to start. I flattened the battery trying.”

With a familiar sinking feeling in my stomach, I turn to the power of Google to see if there is anything we can do.

All indications are that at the least the plugs will need to come out and the cylinders will need cleaning. This is too big a job for me to contemplate as we don’t have the right tools for a start.

Recovery to Russell Motors?

Back on the trickle charger – at least it can have a charged battery.


No change.


It’s a beautiful bike-riding day but it’s the last of the good weather as thunderstorms are forecast for later that day. A bit more investigation on the inter-web and an interesting little fact appears; someone is asking the same question as me, however their bike has only been stored for a month and this time one person has responded to say that the battery probably just doesn’t have enough oomph to turn it over, so try jumping it off the car.


I collar HB and tell him of this possible new development.

“Let’s try it one more time before we dig out the jump leads.”

Cough. Cough. Backfire. Splutter. Cough. Backfire.


And as the thunderheads rolled in over our heads, like a scene from Mary Shelley’s book, the R6 barked in to life.

“Keep it running, I’ll take it out for a blast for you.” HB legged it into the house for his bike kit.

He took the R6 out for fresh fuel and a blast down the A3 to literally blow the cobwebs off (yes, we pumped the tyres up and oiled the chain first).

Roaring back up our road 45 minutes later he handed her back to me, “Your turn now.”

And I was back out on Blinky before the heavens opened, racing off for the first time in ten months.

Hello speed, hello instant acceleration, hello top end howl and hello shit-eating grin… I’ve missed you…

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3 thoughts on “Six & the City

  1. . Great to read you’re back on the R6 again. I had a similar issue after leaving my Speed Triple for a couple of months. Resorted to the jump leads but have since read that it’s not a good idea as cars tend to have too much voltage or something and can damage the battery. Re: fuel going off. I’ve been told that filling the tank to the brim gets rid of the air that can react with the petrol. No idea if it actually works though.

  2. So long as it is a 12 volt car jumping a 12 volt bike no problem.
    I have also successfully jump started a car from my lemon111.
    Fuel doesn’t really go off that quickly but it is best to empty carbs fully if laying up a bike for more than a month.

  3. Put a volt meter across the beartty terminals. Not running should read 12vwith the volt meter hooked up hit the starter if voltage drops much below 11v replace the bearttywith bike running, rev it to over 2000 rpms should read around 13.8 14 vIf it does the charging system is working.Battery could have been low from sitting and charged up after riding awhile. If the beartty is much more than a year old..and the charging system is working replace it anyway and use a beartty tender when not riding

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