Before that, I cleared off the top of the old ice box. An assortment of very old bottles filled with mystery liquids--several of them turned out to be either alcoholic beverages, or soft drinks which had fermented. I poured them out on the grass and tossed the bottles.
Two big glass gallon jugs--started to pour one out until I realized it wasn't liquor but some kind of oil. Stopped pouring, got a cat litter bucket, and emptied it in there instead before tossing the jug. Did the same for the other one.
That stuff stinks, but it's clearly very old used motor oil. Thirty years in this garage, on top of an indeterminate time stored elsewhere--it'll get recycled tomorrow or the next day.
All that useless crap dealt with, I turned my attention to the motorcycle's rear wheel, but by the time I'd finished that task I was feeling hypoglycemic, so I went inside and ate leftover pizza. It's not like I can ride the bike, anyway; I can put the rear wheel on tomorrow without causing any trouble for myself.
The bearings that came out of the wheel are...okay. The worst one spun very easily--and made a little noise--and has detectable play in it. I tried cleaning some of the grease out of it and now it's not spinning as easily, but the play is still there; and in a bearing like this one there shouldn't be any play, at least not detectable by feel. The center race will move in and out by at least 1/64", possibly as much as 1/32", which is way too much for a wheel bearing.
The noise it made was closer to "dry bearing" noise than "there are all kinds of metal flakes in the races" noise. Now that the grease has been moved around a little bit it's dead quiet, but as I said it's still feeling a touch loose and it still spins pretty easily. It's not a bad bearing; it's just not a good bearing. And these things are cheap enough that if you feel like it needs to be replaced, you should replace it. I mean, I don't have $50 in the set (excluding the superfluous set of bearings which will only fit the front wheel) and now I know I don't have to worry about my wheel bearings for quite a while.
Before I reassemble the bike, though, I want to get some 80-grit sandpaper and hit the brake drum with it. The inner surface of the brake drum feels like glass; it's glazed, probably because at some point the rear brake was dragging. I don't think that happened after I took ownership of the thing; the brake shoes look just fine and show no sign of overheating. Strange that I didn't notice the glazing the last time I had it apart, when I replaced the brake shoes--but then again I was preoccupied with other things at the time.
So I'll get some 80-grit and we'll give that the old college try. Worst case, I take it to a shop and have them turn the glaze off.
Then reassemble, get the chain tensioned properly and get the rear brake adjusted. Once that's done, it's just a matter of getting a new stator. Replace the stator, check for charging. Assuming that fixes it, the final step is to go through a complete maintenance cycle: adjust the clutch and front brake, and change the oil, and-and-and.
Looking forward to that.