Honda Shadow: Problem at startup.
I have a 96 Honda Shadow VLX 600, and I am having a problem when I start the bike up. Maybe someone can help.
Let me say at the start that I am a new rider, and I have never worked on engines, so my knowledge base is a bit limited. Here is what is happening.
When I got the bike, all was fine. As part of the start up process, I would open the choke to let the engine warm up, and it started like a charm. That is after I replaced the battery. After about three weeks of this, I was riding and I lost power going up a hill in third gear. I pulled off the road, fiddled with some things, choke in, choke out, turn off the starter, turn on the starter, and it started up again. Off I went. I got about 100 ft, and again it conked out.
I coasted into a gas station, and some motorcycle guys were there. It turns out I had been running with the choke in too much, and I had bogged down the spark plugs. I became much more mindful of putting the choke back in.
A few days ago (and two months later) I could not get the bike to start. I pulled the spark plugs and they seemed kind of dirty, so I replaced them. Started like a charm. I went out for a ride, and all seemed well.
The next day, I started out for an appointment. I opened the choke, and after about five minutes, I closed the choke, and started riding. About ten minutes later, I started to lose power. Again I pulled off the road, fiddled, and got it started. I turned around and jumped into my car.
Thinking that the past mishap with the choke had created some other gunk in various lines, I bought some fuel cleaner, and added it to the half full tank. I then filled up, and went on a rise to flush the system. It went fine. Two days later I went to start it up, and after having the choke open for about five minutes, it conked out. It then had a hard time starting.
So the question is: What is going on? On a related note, how long should it take to warm up the bike? Is five minutes enough, or should I leave the choke open for more time. I am concerned about my initial mis-step, so maybe I am over compensating. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.