I made some more progress on the bike tonight.
My new gaskets and seals arrived today:
While the engine ran great last spring when I tested it, I decided to dismatle it, and replace all the gaskets. That should save some leaking, and make working on the bike a bit more pleasant. Besides, it's bitter cold outside, I won't realistically be able to ride until spring anyway, and I can do the engine work inside, where it's warm!
I brought the engine inside tonight. I started out by pulling off the shifter and the kickstart lever. I wanted to see some quick progress, as that was a good motivator for me last week. So I took the kickstart lever and new rubber down to the kitchen, and threw on a pot of water to boil. I pulled the boiling water off the stove, and tossed in the new rubber sleeve. I cut the old one off, then threw the lever into the hot water as well. I just left it in long enough to get it warm. I knew from experience that you want the rubber very hot, but the metal can be difficult to handle if it's too hot. I pulled the warm lever out of the water, and rubbed it with dish soap, then forced the rubber sleeve over the knob, and slid it into place. The result looks good, and reminds me how this whole engine will look after some elbow grease.
The starter did not work last spring, and I never bothered to investigate much, as it started easily with the kickstarter. I decided to tackle the starter problem first, so off it came. It was immediately apparent why the starter did not work: it is (literally) gutless. The guts of the starter motor have been removed. Now I'm debating whether to bother replacing it, or simply make up a blanking plate, and then use the kicker. Since I'm hoping my wife will ride this bike with me, I will probably find another starter motor.
Here's where the blanking plate would live, if I decide to ditch the starter: