OK, so I got my motor running, but I'm not quite heading out on the highway...
I've been tinkering with the motorcycle in fifteen minute increments every other day or so, and tonight I experienced significant breakthrough...it actually started!
The choke cable, which experts everywhere assure me is important, is snapped. I figured whatever that cable was connected to probably needed to move. (I will wait while you allow the genius of that to soak in...) so I followed it down to the carburetors.
Note: For the non-mechanically inclined, carburetors mix gas and air and put it into the engine. They are temperamental, finicky and fairly obsolete. I do not believe you can even buy a car with a carburetor anymore, because fuel injection technology has replaced carburetors. On a motorcycle, the carburetor can easily get out of whack (sorry for the technical terms) and not work. It should be mentioned that my motorcycle has not one...not two or even three, but four of these obsolete pieces of equipment.
At the end of the cable, I found a little lever that I presumed to be the choke. I discovered that if I held that choke open with one hand, hit the started with another hand, and held the throttle 3/16ths open with my third hand, the bike would start. At first, it ran for a few seconds. The second time, for thirty seconds. By the third start it would pretty much idle, although twisting the throttle caused it to die.
I was surprised at how quite the engine was at idle. The Honda engine sounds like a gas powered sewing machine. After a fourth start and a few minutes of idling, I was able to ease the tach up into the 2000 range rpm...then finally, 3500 rpm.
Oh my goodness.
Somewhere around 2500 rpm, my gas powered sewing machine sound gives way to this throaty roar that sounds absolutely glorious. I wouldn't exactly call it 'loud', but you might if you didn't want to hear it so bad like I do. I can't imagine what it sounds like at 6000 rpm.
So there I sat...hand in the carbs, reving up my motorcycle as it sat on the center stand. I couldn't take it for a ride for a couple of reasons....the clutch lever is still not connected. The seat is off. The gas tank tilts at a jaunty angle to allow me to reach the choke. Even if I did bolt it all together, I'd have to ride hunched over with my hand nestled between carbs 2 and 3 and the engine block, which by the third blast to the 3000 rpm range is getting REALLY FREAKING HOT!!!! OUCH!
Ok. Enough for one day. At least I got my motor running....