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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Bike won't Run without Choke?

I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with my Virago 250cc. It will only run if you have the choke on. If you let it off the choke the engine switches off. I originally thought that maybe the carbs were dirty. I ran some Seafoam through the fuel system, but it didn't seem to help. You can rev the bike in neural a little bit, but it will switch-off if you put to much throttle on. Does anyone know what's wrong with the bike? Is it something I can fix?
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 12:00 PM
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Your carbs are dirty. Seafoam will not clean out a heavily varnished carb., you must disassemble the carb and clean with compressed air and carb cleaner.

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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 01:20 AM
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I have a similiar issue let me know how you fix it!
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 04:33 PM
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If it only runs with the choke on you are probably getting too much air or not enough fuel. Try pulling the carbs of and using carb cleaner or you might have to disassemble and let the parts soak in a solvent.
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 11:30 AM
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just to echo the others. clean the jets on the carb
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 11:33 AM
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Vacuum leak between carb and cyl. head.

Eric
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 07:23 PM
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After years in a dealership seeing bikes with the same problem come in for carb tear downs, some almost every year, because people let the gas dry out in the carbs and the resultant goo sticks in the jets and passage ways, I'm on board with the total carb tear down.

The fact is you should take out all the jets, screws, slides, and stuff, but you can leave the basic rack of carbs together. Take them to a bike shop that has a carb washer that will slosh them around like a washing machine. That will work into the passage ways that you couldn't do at home with a can of spray. If it costs say $25, it's worth it.

After you get done they will need synchronized.

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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-20-2010, 02:19 PM
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Yeah sync the carbs for sure, but only if you have more than one carb. Im not sure, but I think the virago only has one.
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-20-2010, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YOYO View Post
Yeah sync the carbs for sure, but only if you have more than one carb. Im not sure, but I think the virago only has one.
True, not much to sync.

http://www.bikez.com/motorcycles/yam...o_250_2007.php

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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 01:25 PM
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Yup, Half to agree...probably varnish. But like 67fire said, check for vacuum leaks between carb. and cyl head. It is important to have a good seal.
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 10:16 AM
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The additives in gas are just killing carbs. Nowadays, you really have to use a fuel stabilizer at all times. Sta-Bil is what I use. No noticeable impact to performance, doesn't cost much, but no more gooped up carbs.
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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-05-2010, 08:08 PM
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Fuel delivery issue, had the same problem. Carb clean and kits and it cleared up.
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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 12:10 AM
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carbs are a pain in the neck...dealing with similar issues with my 81 cb750f.....good luck
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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67fire View Post
Vacuum leak between carb and cyl. head.

Eric

this is a good idea with my problem...maybe i can hope it is that easy
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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 04:51 PM
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ive been banging my head against the wll for two days trying and cleanng carbs on a gs 550.im gonna have to total strip down and leave soak for 48 hours i recon.cheers guys
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post #16 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-13-2010, 07:24 PM
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It took me about eight hours of "lazy" shop time to tear out four carbs on a Suzuki Bandit, clean them and put them back. Its a bit of a task, but she runs like a champ!
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post #17 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-13-2010, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worzel View Post
ive been banging my head against the wll for two days trying and cleanng carbs on a gs 550.im gonna have to total strip down and leave soak for 48 hours i recon.cheers guys
I like Mike's trick of running thick fishing line down all of the orifices.

Eric
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post #18 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 08:39 PM
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I've read all the advice given.. buut,.. ima share whats going on with my bike.. i'm a new rider, and only know about spark plugs and batteries so far.. i recently purchased a 1969 ds6-b, now when i first started riding it before having to replace the battery, i, being a newbie, someway or another thought the choke up (towards me) was off and pushing it down was on.. bike seem to start and idle fine with the choke down (me thinking that meant it was open) and then would ride with the choke up (thinking that meant it was off) .. after replacing the battery and spark plugs.. and figuring out that the choke was the opposite of what i thought... the bike won't idle without the choke open or up, and dies immediately when closed.. letting the engine really warm up and everything, same issue.. i'm weary riding it with the choke up(because a lot of people have said its a bad thing to do), but it was the previous owner that had told me if the left carburetor wasn't firing to just lift the choke and ride with it open for a bit.. well, she only idles and runs with the choke fully open.. which is odd considering when i was doing the opposite, she fired right up with the choke fully closed and idled.. but could this have made the issue worse?.. because i would be riding it with the choke fully open after that.. ?

anyways, i have noticed that the carburetor is tarnished a little bit on the outside, which i gather is a fuel leak??.. so, it must be tarnished on the inside aswell.. he had had the bike sitting for some time before putting it up for sale, but rode beautifully for a minute (hahah)..

lastly, since the choke is open when riding, does that cause the rpms to go crazy high, ranging from 7000-8000 in first gear, going about 20mph? is it related to the choke and carburetor?

i hadn't cleaned the carbs or done anything because the previous owner also told me that i didnt need to get the carbs flushed or anything, and to just ride her and the more frequent the riding the left carburetor would clear up.. but now the choke issue.. has me wondering..

obviously, ima lady.. hahaha.. and don't know **** about ****.

any suggestions as to what to do.. that i could do on my own.. i can turn a wrench, etc.. and i have clymers service/repair handbook.. so.. simple step by side, possibly aided with pictures, hahaa, guide me through this.
please
and yes, i may need someone to hold my hand aswell.

thanks guys!! and sorry this was long.
oh and the choke light comes on (does that mean that it needs to be choked or that the choke is on?.. does it for both)
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post #19 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67fire View Post
I like Mike's trick of running thick fishing line down all of the orifices.

Eric
Are you sure you don't just like getting a chance to say "orifices"? LOL
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post #20 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tRex View Post
thanks guys!! and sorry this was long.

oh and the choke light comes on (does that mean that it needs to be choked or that the choke is on?.. does it for both)
Long is good.....except that you left out maybe the most important piece of information: That it's a 2-stroke; kind of a different animal, mixing oil with the gas and all that......or filling the oil tank along with filling the gas.

Also it is usually better to start your own thread instead of hopping on at the end of one that somebody else has started.

A choke is active when it is closed;that is, it is on when it is closed. Normally you would keep it on (closed) until the engine warms up and then turn it off (open).

If it really won't run without the choke being closed/on then it's not getting enough fuel and the carbs probably need cleaning. I would normally recommend putting some carb cleaner in with the gas......but not sure if that would be a good idea with a 2-stroke or not.

A "choke light" ?? Don't think I've ever seen that. My guess is that it's just a reminder that you have the choke ON.

I fear that you will have a LOT of trouble finding anyone knowledgeable on that little beast. Good luck.

Last edited by Easy Rider 2; 08-04-2010 at 10:09 PM.
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post #21 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 11:20 PM
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Oh, my bad on not mentioning that it's a two stroke, and i thought i wasn't able to post a new thread until i've made 15 posts elsewhere, just joined.
I'll start with a good carb cleanin.
Thanks and sorry for jumpin onto someone elses thread.
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post #22 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-07-2010, 10:48 AM
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Also keep in mind to all that have carb issues. The gas now has 10% or more ethenol. If you goggle you will read on the harm it can and will do. After you corect your issue start using staybil for ethonal or comparible. Walmart sell a brand. Here at the shop I am getting bikes and ATV with your issues and it is due to that.
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post #23 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-07-2010, 07:24 PM
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On a slightly related note, I've had carb trouble in the past and it helps a lot to make sure the spark plugs are cleaned. Using too much choke, frequent starts, and short run times will prevent the plugs from getting up to self-cleaning temperature, fouling them up. It will help reduce the number of variables effecting the engine if you make sure they are clean. Inspection only takes a little while and is well worth the effort.
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post #24 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-08-2010, 11:12 AM
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This is very true

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On a slightly related note, I've had carb trouble in the past and it helps a lot to make sure the spark plugs are cleaned. Using too much choke, frequent starts, and short run times will prevent the plugs from getting up to self-cleaning temperature, fouling them up. It will help reduce the number of variables effecting the engine if you make sure they are clean. Inspection only takes a little while and is well worth the effort.
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post #25 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-08-2010, 01:08 PM
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Saw this on a regular basis with bikes in the spring an all. Bike fires and runs on choke, can even be ridden, but will shut off if down at idle and the choke is taken off. We used to have some fair weather riders who would show up almost every year to have carbs cleaned. The gas would dry out leaving residue that would turn to gum when the new gas came in the carb when they went to run the bike in the spring, it would plug up pilot jets very easily. Main jets were usually big enough it wouldn't affect them.

If the bike ran fine before and this either happened suddenly or after the bike sat for a long time it is relatively simple - the pilot jet or the pilot circuit (idle circuit) is plugged. Pull the pilot jet out, hold it up to the light and see if it is open. They are so small they can plug very easily with varnish or dirt. If it is open you need to wash the carbs out in a carb cleaner machine to slosh the cleaner into all the circuits.

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post #26 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-08-2010, 04:32 PM
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Idle jets clogged I my bet

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post #27 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 03:04 PM
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completely clean the carb and the jets. i used pure lemon juice and put the carb in it and put it in the oven cleaned it great.
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post #28 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 04:42 PM
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Never heard it done that way but what ever works.

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completely clean the carb and the jets. i used pure lemon juice and put the carb in it and put it in the oven cleaned it great.
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post #29 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 06:32 PM
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I've read somewhere that lemon juice is NOT recommended, because it could damage the metal the carb body is made up of, however I don't remember where, and I can not say for a fact that this is true.

However I have always soaked the carbs in gasoline, and that got them clean atleast, and no problems afterwards
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post #30 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 07:02 PM
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However I have always soaked the carbs in gasoline, and that got them clean atleast, and no problems afterwards
Many of the internal parts are soaking in gasoline all the time. Often that is not good enough.
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post #31 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 07:07 PM
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Yeah, I know that, forgot to mention that I soak the carb in gasoline for about an hour, then pick everthing apart and cleaning with compressed air, usally does the trick for me.
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post #32 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 12:28 PM
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On the Virago (a single carb) there is no need to remove the carb to service the pj and mj. Drop the petcock ( two screws) so it is semi out of the way. Remove the float bowl. Both jets are easily accessible. The main being almost in the middle with a hex fitting and the pj to the left of that with a slot(screwdriver) fitting. One note on cap nut covering the needle (slide needle not float needle) it is actually a cupped or capped nut with VERY thin walls. It is easy to twist it apart with a wrench. I now put it back finger tight and snug with needle nose pliers. That little cap costs almost $15 from the dealership OUCH. This nut is just to the left of the pin towers for the float.

Since you didn't mention any flooding and the bike will run with the choke your pilot jet is probably the only thing needing cleaned.

This isn't an operation you need to pay $50 an hour for.

Side bar if you are in there anyway. Replace all the phillips head screws with allen heads and remember you just increased your torque ability with the allen heads so don't stripping the threads out of the throttle body or you get to learn about helicoils.

my 1/2 cent take it for what it's worth.

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post #33 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
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This isn't an operation you need to pay $50 an hour for.
Some people do need to.
Some find that out only after they have screwed something up and made matters worse.
One needs to be honest about your own mechanical abilities.
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post #34 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 05:47 PM
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yep you are so right it depends on the person.

Also 67fire Thanks for getting me in hot water with the wife
How you say.
That racy avatar of yours came up while I was reading your post the wife came in and accused me of looking at porn.
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post #35 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 07:49 PM
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clean carbs
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post #36 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-15-2010, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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I had a mechanic friend help me take apart the bike and carb. We didn't soak the carb, just sprayed it with cleaner and compressed air. The bike ran well for a little while with the Choke OFF, but then after a few days the problem came back. We also took off the Air Intake. Then we sprayed some Carb Cleaner in the Air Intake Hole on the frame. From that he didn't think it was a Vacuum Leak.

I took apart the bike and took off the Carb again, because people told me I should soak it in Carb Cleaner. I haven't done it yet, but will.
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post #37 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-15-2010, 10:45 PM
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those slow speed ports, are a bear to get cleaned it took me 3 times to get mine opened correctly.

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post #38 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-16-2010, 09:30 AM
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If you emerse it in carb cleaner you will need to remove the ALL the rubber bits.
I'm going to assume there are seals on the throttle shaft.

In order to check for vacuum leaks you have to have the whole system in place.
Spray around the joints. You are checking the integrity of the joints to make sure they don't let air pass. Just spraying it into the intake track doesn't do anything but replace the gas with carb cleaner as fuel.

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post #39 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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I'm having trouble getting the floats off. There is a Pin you need to push out, but I'm just not seeing how it fits together.
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post #40 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-13-2010, 12:49 AM
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The hinge is on the right. If I remember correctly the pin needs to come out to the right. The left it hits the needle jet cap screw.
The tang in the front is what the float needle sits on. There is a small retaining wire that slips over the tang.
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File Type: jpg virago 250 float.jpg (69.9 KB, 42 views)

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