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Old 12-14-2011, 03:28 PM   #16
because I can
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: San Francisco Bay area
Oddometer: 9,116
I remember when the sticking weights bulletin first came out and I have had my eyes open for it every since. In all the airheads I have worked on I have never found them sticking in a bean can. I have since heard so many people on the net talking about it. I have still never seen it except for maybe once but I fixed too many things at once to know for sure. I have seen a couple completely F'ed up for water crossings but I don't count them. I have fixed tons of fast idling or other engine troubles always blamed on sticking bean can weights but it has always been something else. Namely carb adjustments. I have seen regular points advances cause more trouble in my experience but not by much. I think part of the problem is a couple of guru's "definitive" sticking weights diagnosis methods that are in fact not definitive at all. For these reasons I think it is highly unlikely.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:41 PM   #17
Beemerholics Anonymous
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Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Jackson's Bottom Oregon
Oddometer: 8,282
I'll agree with that. If it runs fine once started, the problem isn't the advance!

The most likely areas to check are the choke and coil/plug leads/connections to the coil. But the plugs not being damp really points at the enricheners.

If the throttle is opened at all when cranking, the vacuum needed by the chokes will be drained off. So leave the throttle closed until the engine actually starts.
Wanted: Dead, smashed, crashed or trashed gauges
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:18 PM   #18
Mike Ryder
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Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Peachland B.C. Canada
Oddometer: 1,025
Be carful with starting fluid [ether] as it is FREAKIN flamable. A small spark is all it takes to light up. I know fires are fun but.....
If you can, use unlit propane in the same manner.
Yes I am quite serious.

Mike Ryder screwed with this post 12-15-2011 at 05:25 PM
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:58 AM   #19
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Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Silver Spring, Md
Oddometer: 10,235
Originally Posted by Westbrook View Post
Can you elaborate on the method for finding vacuum leaks with starting fluid?
I don't think anybody answered you yet? Now that you have been warned that using starting fluid, especially in the method I'm going to describe is dangerous, we can proceed. This method belongs properly in the large category "Shade Tree Mechanics". A forum that doesn't even exist but which I am a leading member of, go figure.

Spray starting fluid around the air tubes and intakes of a running engine. If the idle noticeably changes, usually up, then you have found an air leak. This can be done with other sprays like WD-40 or carb cleaner but like implied they may not cause idle to go up. Starter fluid will make the idle go up.

PS; I think England Kev has the neatest bikes.
Never memorize something you can look up.
---Albert Einstein

Pay your debt, piratejohn.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:09 AM   #20
Formerly SaddleSoar
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: east of Dallas
Oddometer: 1,010
England-Kev, what was the final diagnosis that fixed the problem...
Giving the horses and the wife a break from riding...
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Old 12-24-2011, 04:50 AM   #21
England-Kev OP
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Joined: Feb 2007
Location: England. Somewhere on the Canal.
Oddometer: 3,752
I've not been through it all yet. work has got in the way!

But I have been riding it the last couple of days, and it has started up after a few turns, but is still not right.

After Christmas I shall go through all the above suggestions one at a time, and see if I can find the problem.

Merry Christmas to all those that do, and Seasons greetings, to all those that don't.

Peace be with you all.
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:36 PM   #22
Onward through the fog...
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Cairns, Oz
Oddometer: 1,399
Originally Posted by England-Kev View Post

If I don't ride it for a while, it will not start,...
Can you define "a while"?

Seems like all modern petrol goes crap very quickly when left sitting in unused vehicles.

Back in the early 80s I left my old Harley Sportster in my Dad's garage while I went overseas.
Came back in the early 90s, put a battery in it, gave it two priming kicks, switched ont he ignition, and it started first live kick. Running purely on the decade-old gas in the tank. True story.

Now, that same bike (fully restored these days) is a bitch to start if it has been sitting unused for a month or more.

They just don't make petrol like they used to back when it contained good old-fashioned lead and and all that good stuff.
'77 Harley Ironhead 6,000 miles across Oz

Reryder (AKA Hopper)
1977 Harley Sportster
81 BMWR100RS
99 SV650
Ancient Harley 45, Snortster (Sporty engine in a Norton), Norton Atlas, Honda 350/4, Ariel HS scrambler
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Old 12-25-2011, 01:29 AM   #23
England-Kev OP
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Location: England. Somewhere on the Canal.
Oddometer: 3,752
I had'nt used it for two or three weeks. It really was such an easy starter, that is why it is odd. When I do get it started, it then becomes instant again. so it is related to the initial fire up.

The only thing I have changed recently is the plug leads, I got a new set from Rick at Motorrad. I shall go through everything over new years.
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:29 AM   #24
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Joined: Mar 2011
Location: UK
Oddometer: 171
I find my '92 R80RT doesn't start as easily as it normally does if left any longer than two weeks,

When I use it more regularly, it starts instantly - first press of the button every time, but once it's been standing about two weeks, it needs to turn over much longer before firing.

My brother said his six year old Harley is the same, so I'm guessing it must be the fuel going off pretty quickly because once the bike is started, it runs faultlessly.

There's plenty of evidence of poor shelf life and other issues relating to petrol/ethanol on the 'net.

I found this after a quick search:

* Manufacturers that prohibit use of E10 fuel or issue warnings include:
Ducati - Prohibits use of E10 fuel- Quote, "Additives to fuel or lubricants are not allowed.".

Harley Davidson - E10 warnings/precautions only - Quote, "You may find that some [ethanol] gasoline blends affect the starting, driveability, or fuel efficiency of your motorcycle. If you experience one or more of these problems, it is recommended you operate your motorcycle on straight unleaded gasoline.".

Suzuki - E10 warnings/precautions only - Quote, "If you are not satisfied with the driveability or fuel economy with your motorcycle when you are using an oxygenated fuel, you should switch back to regular unleaded gasoline."
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:20 PM   #25
Johnny Lung
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Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Moselle
Oddometer: 141
Have you tried putting proper fuel in it instead of E10 shit?
E10 is hygroscopic and as its a bit moist in the UK

In France they tell you not to use it in ANYTHING prior to 2008. Mostly rubber parts deterioration related I think.

Are you a Hollow Chocolate Bunny of the Apocalypse?
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:50 PM   #26
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: CA central coast
Oddometer: 14
I'm surprised no one has mentioned checking the start relay connections.
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