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Started fine, died on freeway...

Old 12-10-2006, 10:09 AM
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Unhappy Started fine, died on freeway...

I pulled my bike out last night after having not ridden it in a few (3-4) weeks. It started fine on the choke. It seemed to be idling fine. As I got going down the first major street it started feeling a little funny. I couldn't tell what it was at first. It felt a little bit like if you leave the choke on too long. I made sure the choke was all the way off and still felt the surging a little.

I opened it up to get on the freeway and it nearly wheelied on me in second (with my wife on the back too). We cruised onto the freeway and all seemed fine until the surging got worse and worse and worse until the bike died!

We coasted through an interchange onto a different freeway when somebody else on a bike stopped to see if they could help. He took my wife home to get a truck. I was left with the bike and tried coasting a ways.

I tried a few more times to start the bike and finally got it to fire with the choke on. I opened it up to nearly 100mph and got almost to the first available exit ~2 miles away when it died again and I was coasting. I couldn't fire it back up from there. I had to wait on the side of an off-ramp to my wife to get back with the truck.

What could have caused such a condition? The tank was drained and carbs cleaned since a few months ago when I did have some bad gas develop in there over the summer. The tank was full the last time we rode and we have only done ~30 miles on that tank so far. The gas doesn't even smell bad. Why would it surge, sputter and die like that, but come back to life with the choke on?

I'm going to clean out the carbs and probably change the fuel again. If there's anything else I can/should check I'm all ears.
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Old 12-10-2006, 01:01 PM
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Going by your avatar, is yours the carbo-chicken bike with a CF tank? If so, does that tank have a different or alternative venting system? Sounds like a vacuum lock problem: bike runs fine then starves for fuel, wait a bit and it runs again.
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Old 12-10-2006, 01:20 PM
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Yup, probably fuel starvation. The first thing I would try is riding with the gas cap cracked. If you problem persits its not a vent issue. Next look into the vacuum line to the petcock. Its common for someone to hook it up to the vent rather than the somewhat hidden vacuum nipple. Good luck.
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:10 PM
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The vent system is pretty much the same. It looks like that was the problem though. The vent line has a y-fitting in it, but one of the open ends was pinched and the other was full of junk. I'm not sure how that stuff would get in there. I hope it's not in the tank!
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:10 PM
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And yep, that would be the carbochicken with the CF tank. Fun bike!
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Old 12-10-2006, 08:02 PM
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It sounds an awful lot like a situation that I had happen (twice): a torn diaphragm in the fuel petcock.
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