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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, all!

Absolute beginner here. I have been riding for about six months but know nothing about maintenance. I left my bike sitting for about two months and now it will not start. It does turn over, just won't start.

So I've read that most of the time it's either fuel is bad, which I hope in this case it's not since it hasn't sat THAT long and I rode it every day before that for at least five months.

I've read that I can attempt to use starter fluid which is going to be my first step to see if that gets it running at all or if it will at least start it before it then stops (carb cleanup at that point possibly).

Or that it could be spark plugs.

I'd like to start with the starter fluid. However, since I'm a completely new... I'm not even sure where to use it on this bike! I thought Ii would just need to take the air filter off to get to the intake buuuut either I'm being dense or that is not the case on this bike.

Can anyone help with pictures or directions as to where the intake is so that I can spray the starter fluid in it?

Thanks so much in advance!
Kyle
 

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Fuel shouldn't go that bad in two months. How fast does it turn over? If its not too fast it may be that the battery has lost some charge and the voltage is not high enough to trigger the ignition when its also turning the motor over.

You could try a couple of things:

- charge the battery and try again.
- try bump starting it: ignition on, second gear engaged, clutch in, push the bike to get some speed and drop the clutch. Get ready to pull the clutch again if it fires up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would guess that it is turning over fast enough though I am unsure what constitutes as fast or slow. I will give that a shot when I have some time over this weekend though for sure as that was not something I had heard to try.

Thank you for the suggestion.
Kyle
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Do you have a multi-meter and do you know how to use it? If you do read the voltage at the battery with no load and then read it with the ignition on. If the initial reading is lower than 12.5v get a tricle charger made for motorcycles and charge the battery back up the 12.6-7 volts. If you can't get it to read that replace it.

Once you have a good battery read across the terminals again with the ignition on. I shouldn't drop more than a few tenths and then settle. If all of these scenarios are met, try starting it again. Good luck.
 

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Geeeze Kyle,

Did you get to borrow a multi-meter? What was the voltage? Were the lights bright? How did the starter sound when it was
cranking over the engine? You should be able to tell if it was just making it, like lucky the starter was turning at all OR whipping
the engine over. It seems to me that when a starter has enough current from a well charged battery, it sounds like vavavavavava
boomba boomba boomba. Where as weak battery the starter would sound more like Rirrr-Rirrr-Rirrr-Rirr-Rirr-Rirrr

What happened when you tried a new battery? Was the bike covered? Any chance wind an rain blew in on it and got into the air
cleaner? Somehow that happened when I washed up my Sporty, started, then ran like **** The shop said "There was a lot of water
in the gas, as if someone stuck a garden hose into the tank." Pull a plug and see what kind of spark you have. If it uses a
breaker points/condenser maybe the condenser went bad. pitted points will tell you that.

I am not a wrencher but been around bikes for a while and I try to get to know as much about them and all that makes'em
run, like carbs or electronic fuel injection, how the battery charging system works, what happens if you have loose intake
manifolds/and/or gaskets, does the bike have fuses or self-resetting circuit breakers. What I am saying is it is a good idea
to know as much about your ride as possible. It is through riding you find these things out. A dirty air cleaner can rob you
of 20 miles per hour easily. I could not get over 85 on my Sporty though tires were up to proper pressure, plugs were gapt
right, then I remembered I hadn't cleaned the air cleaner in a while. I went home and did that, when I rolled on the throttle,
later that day, I was doing over a hundred. Sometime too small a fuel filter will cause the bike to run crummy at higher speeds
if it has been in use for a while. Sometimes an ignition coil just goes weak and the bike runs good at low speeds but when you
roll on her throttle, she starts crapping out. That is cuz the coil is arcing over inside it and you get less voltage or not enough
to fire the spark plug. Biking is great but there is a lot more to it than riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I bought the bike on Craigslist so it was just easier to buy a brand new battery to ensure that it should have the voltage needed especailly seeing as a new battery was only $20. The lights are bright and the sound seems to be good to me, really sounds like it's cranking and not having any trouble on that end.

The bike was covered the entire time it was sitting however, it is Florida so it's humid and moisture definitely could be a factor, but not outright rain.

Kyle
 

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Biker
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Hi, all!

Absolute beginner here. I have been riding for about six months but know nothing about maintenance. I left my bike sitting for about two months and now it will not start. It does turn over, just won't start.

So I've read that most of the time it's either fuel is bad, which I hope in this case it's not since it hasn't sat THAT long and I rode it every day before that for at least five months.

I've read that I can attempt to use starter fluid which is going to be my first step to see if that gets it running at all or if it will at least start it before it then stops (carb cleanup at that point possibly).

Or that it could be spark plugs.

I'd like to start with the starter fluid. However, since I'm a completely new... I'm not even sure where to use it on this bike! I thought Ii would just need to take the air filter off to get to the intake buuuut either I'm being dense or that is not the case on this bike.

Can anyone help with pictures or directions as to where the intake is so that I can spray the starter fluid in it?

Thanks so much in advance!

Damn nice looking bike 4 sure just got a look at it, I am going to say," It looks like air cleaner box is on right side,
close to bottom of gas tank between the cylinders, probably has a back plate and a front opening. Get familiar with her.
If you checked and bike has good spark at plugs, clean the air filter, gotta be clean to ensure good running anyway.
kyle, u will do yourself a BIG favor to keep a maintenance log on this fine looking bike, when oil and other fluids were
changed out, air cleaner serviced. . . check spark plugs as you probably know, the plugs have to be in contact with a good
ground for them to spark, make sure bike is out of gear. Then hold plug against engine or get a length of wire to wrap
around plug threads, other end fastened to a good ground on the bike. You should get a good spark at the plugs.
Since you did ride for 5 months, there should be not much trouble getting the bike to run again.

If after you find a good spark at the plugs and air cleaner has been serviced and bike still does not run, get rid of the
gas you have and put in fresh gas, although two month gas should be fine. I keep my two Emergency generators
filled with gas and a few ounces of SeaFoam per gallon, never any troubles starting them. If Previous owner had an
inline fuel filter whose filter looks dodgy, change it. I get mine at Napa or Advanced auto . It is a clear style whose
element can be seen and should be installed such that line to carb or EFI is on point of arrow molded into filter.
 

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On some bikes, and in some locations, the gas can go flat in four weeks. And the bike will not run. Trying to start it can foul the plugs. But I would put new plugs in anyway. And I would buy a volt meter, so you are not guessing. 12.25 volts will toot the horn, turn on the headlight and crank the engine. But at 12.25 volts the battery is half flat.
Before I would even think of using starting fluid, I would drain the gas from the carbs, if it has carbs. I might even drain the gas tank and install fresh gas.

Damage can be caused by using starting fluid. Best IMO is to try the simple, non damaging things, that will also help you learn more.

UK
 

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Do you have spark at the plugs?, Don't assume, pull the plugs and see what kind of spark you have.

If you have a lead acid battery with cell caps, get a hydrometer and check the specific gravity in each
cell, if there is a difference of 25 points, then you have a bad cell and battery is bad.

Hello Unkle Krusty, is that really true? gas can go bad in a month? never had that happen but I do
put Seafoam in generator tanks and they start right up every 6 weeks or so.
 

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Do you have spark at the plugs?, Don't assume, pull the plugs and see what kind of spark you have.

If you have a lead acid battery with cell caps, get a hydrometer and check the specific gravity in each
cell, if there is a difference of 25 points, then you have a bad cell and battery is bad.

Hello Unkle Krusty, is that really true? gas can go bad in a month? never had that happen but I do
put Seafoam in generator tanks and they start right up every 6 weeks or so.
When I was in Penticton BC and selling Honda motorcycles, the new Honda XL185 bikes would not start after sitting outside for around 4 weeks, maybe six. They had a drain plug on the carb, so I would unscrew that, and watch the orange fuel pour out. When it started to run clear, I would screw in the plug and they would fire. Slum has noticed the same issue with some of his Hondas. We think it is due to how the carbs are vented.
These new bikes would also not fire on the spark plug that they came with. My theory was they put some kind of preserving mix inside the tank, that upset the plug. These were new bikes that had not been sold, so under my care.

As an aside. Some of the tires on my race bikes would change color to a purple blue. Many of us ran the same tires at the track. Mine were the only ones that did this. So it is why I suggest location may have something to do with it.

With the race bikes we would only use the same fuel on back to back weekends. Otherwise it went in the truck. The mixed stuff too.
My friends in LA at CR Axtell, had a 750 Norton engine connected to the dyno. They knew how much power it cranked out in any given atmospheric pressure, or humidity.
They would run different brands of fuel, to determine which one was producing the most power. Folks in the know, would use that brand for the weekends race. They would also have info on gas as it went flat. As another aside, nytro makes seven times the bang.

I am going back in time. Modern fuel may have some kind of anti going flat formula. But IMO it still goes flat, especially when vented.

UK
 

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This is what makes forums so great, members having different experiences over time can give so much
great info. I never heard of oxygenated fuel but figured gas could get old and not have the 'Zazzzzzzzz'
it would when the tank was filled. Interesting how the plugs that came with the bikes would not 'Fire'.
 

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We are in what's called a "non attainment area".

Because of the Houston ship channel, refineries and chemical plants all over the area our air is said to be substandard. (Too much pollution).
So of course the way to fix it is by making us use sorry gasoline and giving us lower speed limits.
Makes perfect sense... :plain:
 

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This is what makes forums so great, members having different experiences over time can give so much
great info. I never heard of oxygenated fuel but figured gas could get old and not have the 'Zazzzzzzzz'
it would when the tank was filled. Interesting how the plugs that came with the bikes would not 'Fire'.
Sometimes when I have a lot to say about something, I go to Google and look it up. " Does gas go bad " lead me to all kinds of info. The good news for me, is that they agreed with what I said. They also used fancy words like oxygenated, plus others. Also, they said that ethanol produces 33% less bang than regular gas. My math says if your bike makes 100 hp on gas, it will make 97 on a 10% ethanol blend. That moves Bluzu from 108 at the rear wheel to 111 or 112. He was running on US gas when we put him on the dyno, in the Seattle area.

It was only the XL185 bikes that had the problems. All the others ran on the original plugs. I kept all the street bikes inside. The XL185 sold well, so I always had a few in stock, so some had to sit outside. They also leaked oil where the clutch push rod entered the engine. The pushing lever put a sideways force on the push rod, which distorted the seal.

UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks everyone! I definitely had planned on checking spark plugs as well and will do that next.

I had heard about fuel going bad but most reports said it took longer than it was sitting, but I also see some people in some areas might have that problem sooner.

KYle
 
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