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Old 01-30-2011, 10:01 PM   #1
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Default What happens when your engine cuts off at high speed?

I've always wondered what exactly happens when your engine cuts off at high speed. For example, when you run out of gas. How severe is the deceleration? Am I going over the handlebars if I am completely caught off guard (can't imagine how I wouldn't be.. anyways..)?

I would also guess it matters what gear you're in when this happens. At final gear it's probably not as severe as if you were in first gear. Or more generally, whether you're going fast or at parking lot speeds?

I'd appreciate anyone who's actually had this happen chime in. Thanks
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:14 PM   #2
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my vtx would chug when the gas was running out and believe me you felt it,,but then i just turn on the reserve. now i have fuel injection and have not tried to test that yet and not sure i want to,,though with the mean streak not sure when id be out of gas,,it has a light,,and that works funny too. it comes on barely,then goes off,,then on again then off then flickers,,then it's not lit all the way,,then it's bright and i know i need to get gas at that point. but it will fade on at about 2 gallons ,,kinda weird if ya ask me.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:25 PM   #3
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At high speed? You will notice the lack of power, might come and go at first then just slow quickly when the engine quits. (at least on mine being carbureted)
If I'm at the right angle/slope it simply just dies and I need to reach down and flip to reserve, then keep it turning until the gas gets to it. It has only actually totally died once while riding, and I only lost 5mph before it restarted.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:43 PM   #4
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Ride at high speed, and without disengaging the clutch, quickly close the throttle. What you experience is pretty much what would happen in the situation you referenced. The bike will not slow down violently enough to throw you over. You will essentially experience 100% engine braking.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurch77 View Post
Ride at high speed, and without disengaging the clutch, quickly close the throttle. What you experience is pretty much what would happen in the situation you referenced. The bike will not slow down violently enough to throw you over. You will essentially experience 100% engine braking.
+1
Happened afew times to me too but as long as you can get to your fuel tap, it shouldn't be a problem!
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurch77 View Post
Ride at high speed, and without disengaging the clutch, quickly close the throttle. What you experience is pretty much what would happen in the situation you referenced. The bike will not slow down violently enough to throw you over. You will essentially experience 100% engine braking.
That should tell you all you need to know about decel on your bike.


I've had to hit reserve several times on mine, Once doing 90+ passing a semi.
If you do have a reserve valve just practice reaching for it several times as you ride so if you need to you can get to it quickly.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:59 AM   #7
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Your bike will start to bog down and become "jumpy" before you completely run out of gas. It is pretty noticable.
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MntShadow View Post
If you do have a reserve valve just practice reaching for it several times as you ride so if you need to you can get to it quickly.
+10
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
Your bike will start to bog down and become "jumpy" before you completely run out of gas. It is pretty noticable.
Yes this has happend to me on several of my bikes before I got one with a propper gas gauge. It will cut in and out for a bit before it dies completly. Then it gets real quiet. Also +11 on knowing where the reserve switch is and knowing how to use it, before it is needed.
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:50 PM   #10
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My bike has no reserve switch so I just plan on reaching for the clutch if ever in that situation.

The only time I've been there before was my first time on my old ZX-7R and the idiot that sold it to me had tuned the valve off and forgot to tell me about it before I pulled out (didn't even know you could do that before then!)
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:30 PM   #11
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I'm thinking that, since engine braking is so much stronger in the lower gears, that if you've got it wrapped up leaned way over in a tight turn and the engine suddenly quits, it's just as if you had slammed the throttle closed, and it's high-side time, right?
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:24 PM   #12
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if you run out of fuel mid turn the bike will just lose power and roll to a stop. it wont throw you off lol.

try riding it and hit the kill switch to see what it's like..... then hit it back on as you pass some geriatrics!
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anyone had a 2 stroke seize on them at high speed?
notice a bit of a fade then suddenly rararararrrrrr back wheel locks up, clutch it quick and try to coast to safety, pee on the engine and hope it frees off lol!
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:04 PM   #13
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When I run out of gas, which is often because of my erratic speedo (Can never tell quite how far I've really gone since fuel up and it doesn't help there's no resettable odo) I generally lose one cylinder of the two. I can usually keep it running on one, long enough to slow down and reach over the tank (Why did they put the cutoff on the right side?) and flip the lever to reserve. Then I have to slow for a bit while the carb float bowls refill. In less than a minute the bike startts acting normally and I can get back on my way at regular speed.

Cheers,

Mike
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:29 PM   #14
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i wait till it slows down a bit then jump off,,wooo hooo,,lol
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skim1420 View Post
I've always wondered what exactly happens when your engine cuts off at high speed. For example, when you run out of gas. How severe is the deceleration? Am I going over the handlebars if I am completely caught off guard (can't imagine how I wouldn't be.. anyways..)?

I would also guess it matters what gear you're in when this happens. At final gear it's probably not as severe as if you were in first gear. Or more generally, whether you're going fast or at parking lot speeds?

I'd appreciate anyone who's actually had this happen chime in. Thanks
Depends on what's happening...

If you're on a two stroke that just stuck a piston as you slide the back wheel down the road before you pull in the clutch if the bike slews sideways place your head between your legs and kiss your you-know-what good bye, you're in deep doo... can you say "hard highside"? Otherwise you just swear a lot as you coast clutch in until you stop off the side of the road.

But if the bike simply runs out of gas or the ignition craps out it will just decelerate at a rate that is dependent on what you're doing. Cruising is no big deal, you'll just slow as if you just closed the throttle. If reving hard you may want to pull in the clutch and coast down over the hard decel. Either way you aren't going over the bars.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:21 PM   #16
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You'll get a fair warning, it'll pop and sputter.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:44 PM   #17
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I was just outside of Columbus Ohio when my bike cut out...luckily I was in the right hand lane and near an exit. My bf was behind me...there was no warning..I just pulled the clutch in ...and coasted to the side of the road. That time I ran out of gas.

Another time I was in the passing lane, doing about 70mph, maybe a little faster, and the engine just cut off...no warning nothing, some dude was right on my azz...luckily the car I was passing, passed me , I signaled to get over to the right hand lane, and pulled off the side of the road, again just pulling in the clutch.. have no clue what happened...I think that was when I had the issue with putting bad gas into the tank and still trying to clear it out...

Neither time did my bike decelerate that much that it would have caused a problem, but your biggest worry is no power, people around you, and a quick exit....I just pulled in the clutch and used hand signals..
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurch77 View Post
Ride at high speed, and without disengaging the clutch, quickly close the throttle. What you experience is pretty much what would happen in the situation you referenced. The bike will not slow down violently enough to throw you over. You will essentially experience 100% engine braking.
This is exactly how it feels. I know because I once hit the engine kill switch by accident while on the highway. I just pulled in the clutch, turned the kill switch back to the "on" position, started the bike, then rev-matched it and kept going. Went from about 70 to 50 in that amount of time.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:50 PM   #19
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Wow see thats why I ride a Harley (and you should to with as much riding as you seem to do) and have never experienced that in over 35 years of riding HD's. Running out of fuel a few times for not paying attention and of course the victim of the proverbial bad gas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Raven View Post
I was just outside of Columbus Ohio when my bike cut out...luckily I was in the right hand lane and near an exit. My bf was behind me...there was no warning..I just pulled the clutch in ...and coasted to the side of the road. That time I ran out of gas.

Another time I was in the passing lane, doing about 70mph, maybe a little faster, and the engine just cut off...no warning nothing, some dude was right on my azz...luckily the car I was passing, passed me , I signaled to get over to the right hand lane, and pulled off the side of the road, again just pulling in the clutch.. have no clue what happened...I think that was when I had the issue with putting bad gas into the tank and still trying to clear it out...

Neither time did my bike decelerate that much that it would have caused a problem, but your biggest worry is no power, people around you, and a quick exit....I just pulled in the clutch and used hand signals..

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Old 02-02-2011, 10:19 AM   #20
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The 1500 Goldwing has an angle sensor so if you dump the bike it will kill the engine. My sister has one and asked me to take it for a ride to see if I could figure out what was happening. Go into a turn and lean the bike over and the engine would die. We didn’t know about the angle sensor, it took a while to figure out what was happening. But that is a fun experience to start into a tight turn and have the engine die.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:23 AM   #21
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@ Blaine - Was that a bad sensor or in the wrong position?
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:27 AM   #22
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Quote:
Blaine - Was that a bad sensor or in the wrong position?
It was a faulty sensor, found out Honda had a recall on it, they replaced it for free.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:54 AM   #23
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start into a tight turn and have the engine die.
That would just SUCK!
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:46 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skim1420 View Post
I've always wondered what exactly happens when your engine cuts off at high speed. For example, when you run out of gas. How severe is the deceleration? Am I going over the handlebars if I am completely caught off guard (can't imagine how I wouldn't be.. anyways..)?

I would also guess it matters what gear you're in when this happens. At final gear it's probably not as severe as if you were in first gear. Or more generally, whether you're going fast or at parking lot speeds?

I'd appreciate anyone who's actually had this happen chime in. Thanks
The reason I joined this forum (today!) was because I was riding my scooter and all of a sudden I lost all ignition. The scoot slowed much like it would have if I'd shut down the gas. The 'unexpected' deceleration was more dramtic than the actuall deceleration.

Now. Anybody know why my scooter suddenly and instantly lost spark? My headlight won't come on but all other electric works... tail light, turn signals, brake light, gauges, etc.

Could it be that when I used a 50 amp boost charge to start it up, I burnt the coil?

Anyone?
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:21 PM   #25
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If you're going in a straight line, you'll get the "pop and sputter" routine. If you're laying hard into a curve, you'll get experience in an exercise called "high-siding" which is usually followed by a sensation called "road rash!"
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