Having finished with the lighting rewiring and relay box I remounted the gas tank which had been sitting clean and bone-dry inside our house since July. Went to the corner store and put half a gallon of gas in my big plastic gas can, brought it home and put it in the tank. Also put a few ounces of Marvel Mystery Oil in with the gas to lubricate things during the startup; the bike had not been started in over 6 and a half months---
I had the trickle charger on the battery for a few days prior as well as having a small
(70-watt 'air dryer' type) heater going underneath the crankcase to keep the freshly-changed oil "warmer" for easier starting. It does get chilly up here at night, figured it can't hurt...
Turned the choke on, ignition on and hit the starter button---bike sputtered to life about four very-long seconds later. That gas had to go through the new fuel filter and into the pump and injectors before the engine started up so I guess that's not really bad at all. I wanted to squirt some oil into the cylinders beforehand but as I started to remove the spark plugs I realized I had nothing with which to squirt oil with---but I decided to start it anyway. I figured it was better to start it up sooner than wait any longer.
I ran the engine for several minutes, warming it well and got the oil sloshing around inside again. Sure was music to my ears to hear my whiner come back to life!
Decided to yank all the engine covers off the bike for refinishing (instead of trying to repaint them still on the bike). Guess we could call this the beginning of Stage Two of the renovation that I began last June.
(Haven't finished the first stage yet but that should be wrapped up soon---just waiting on the rest of the body parts to be repainted by my guy in town as mentioned previously).
Before I started unbolting the 5 engine covers I reassembled the rear end of the bike: installed the license plate holder/mudflap, reattached my wireless brake sensor wire to the inside of the tail light (transmits a signal to a row of red LEDs affixed to the back of my helmet whenever I hit the brakes; nifty device I picked up at a cycle shop on the mainland) and then remounted the rear rack, passenger grab bars and ABS brain or ECU (forget which is which) into the rear cowl which I had also installed.
Sorry, no picture of this yet but it all went together nicely. I'll take a picture when the light is better or I've made more progress with the other body parts.
Then I decided to fire up the bike again and get the oil flowing through the engine one more time before I took the covers off. This time it started up immediately upon hitting the starter button. Bravo!
Ran it up for a few minutes at a fast idle then revved it up a couple of times before switching it off. Let it cool down and then got out my torque wrench and socket bits.
Spent the next couple of hours carefully removing the various covers and draining the coolant in the process. No problems but had to refer to some photos on another forum/blog a couple of times to make sure I was on the right track.
Here are a several photos I took during/after the task:
(Marked the timing sensor well so I can put it back correctly when the time comes)