called bike shop last night -- they had the battery I needed. Showed up when they opened (9am) to get the battery.
motorcycle batteries don't come filled and charged. I'd known this somewhere in the back of my head, and was even convinced that was true of all batteries for a while. was shown it wasn't true of car batteries, and didn't think about it past that.
They offer to fill and charge it for free... it'll be three hours.
So I wait three hours, having nowhere to go and no way to get there.
They say they didn't put it on the charger until 10, so it'll be another hour.
So I wait another hour (get lunch at macdonald's).
it's ready. I walk for an hour to BART, go into the city, walk to work... tinker with gerald a little and CAN'T FIND MY BAG OF PARTS!?
so I install the battery and get major sparks in a really nasty way. okay, I definitely have more power. I'm a little afraid I'll blow something up. Kickstarting still doesn't get it to start (it's a big fucking bike... I think I'm getting better at kickstarting, though...) Kick instead of push... yeah... duh?
go upstairs, look for bag of parts, ask coworkers via icq if they've seen it... give up... head downstairs... on way downstairs find bag of parts. get downstairs... hook up new kill switch and old starter button all properly and it... it... turns over... turns over... starts!
and there's gas leaking out of one of the tubes... suck. suck suck SUCK!
but I tool around through the old parts and get the turn signal much happier in feel by swapping various pieces of this for that and that for this... left turn signal still doesn't WORK per se... but the switch is easy enough I can fake it, now. be a good workout for my thumb.
I think I managed to put the gashose on the knob properly (or well enough)... moved the bike, turned it over a couple times, no noticable leak (it had been a decent trickle before...)
I swear I did more damage to this bike trying to figure out what was wrong than was actually wrong with it to begin. everything's back to the way it was pre-theft, though (well, other than the theft modifications).
well, one last thing.
it's backfiring like nobody's business. hoping that's just something that'll clear itself out. going to TRY to get it up and out of the garage (big ramp) and keep it going until it does clear... but I'm not sure it will. might need new spark plugs? what else?