Anyway, I hied myself out to the garage. Took me five minutes to put bullet terminals on the new fuse holder, exchange the 20A fuse for a 15A one, and put it on the bike. Turned on the ignition switch, and the neutral light came on. Tried the starter: rattle. Yep, that battery is shot, all right. Time for a new one.
But, I should be good to go otherwise, so I'll put that side panel on. Not sure where to get a battery yet but as I said previously it's going to be a good maintenance-free battery rather than the cheapest possible lead-acid battery.
I might actually get to ride my motorcycle this summer. Wouldn't that be amazing?
So, thought I could just order up a battery based on the model number of the current one. HA! Such an optimist! I needed to go back to the garage to take the current battery out and measure it.
All descriptions of the batteries which said they would fit would not. Maximum height is a shade under 5.625" (5 5/8") because at that height it's touching the bottom of the air box. I saw batteries much taller than that which were claimed to be an "exact fit". Nope!
Found one on Amazon that looked likely--and it's a sealed, maintenance-free battery for not a lot more than the open-cell lead-acid battery it replaces!--but all its dimensions were too big. Read the questions and answers, though, and a guy with a GS450 said it fit fine, so that might be the dimensions of the shipping carton. Answers to other questions confirmed that it's a bit smaller than the OE battery, a Yuasa YB10-A2. If not, I send it back.
...all this just to test that the carbs are clean. I don't want to get it street-legal until it's been confirmed to work right. So get the battery, put it in, put in gas (with carb cleaner!) and kick her over. Here's hoping.
Of course I could do the Mustie1 thing and use a battery pack for that phase. Hmm, that bears thinking about....