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Author Topic: Bike stored for almost a year inside, won't start  (Read 1329 times)

randombikerdude

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Bike stored for almost a year inside, won't start
« on: February 10, 2013, 09:53:36 PM »
Hello,

 I have an Electra 2009, I had to leave my state for a job for almost a year. I kept my bike in my kitchen while I was gone, prior to leaving I drained the gas and removed the battery. I didn't fog, although I lived in Arizona and rust is not much of a problem. I can't get it to start, it cycles and sounds like it wanted to start but nothing. I've charged the battery and replaced the gas, i haven't changed the spark plug but i can't imagine it would be bad (it looks fine). Any suggestions? I havent tried KS because I've never been good at that!

Chuck D

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Re: Bike stored for almost a year inside, won't start
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2013, 10:11:03 PM »
When you say that you drained the gas, did you drain the  float bowl of the carburetor or just the gas tank. If you left gas standing in the carb that would probably be a problem after a year. It will have evaporated leaving the jets blocked by varnish and unable to flow any fuel.
It's a good place to start.
Chuck.
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randombikerdude

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Re: Bike stored for almost a year inside, won't start
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2013, 10:46:41 PM »
Hello,

 I only drained the gas tank, whats the process to get that cleaned out?

Arizoni

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Re: Bike stored for almost a year inside, won't start
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2013, 11:20:23 PM »
The first place I would start is to remove the fuel line from the tank tap and then turn it on.  If fuel flows out, that part is working.  If it doesn't, that's one of the reasons the bike won't start.

I'm not sure about the kind of carburetor you have but most of them have a float bowl on the bottom that is attached with screws.
After removing the screws and any drain hoses connected to the bottom of the carb lower the bowl.

With the bowl removed, turn on the gas tap.  Fuel should flow out of the float valve.
If it doesn't, jostle the float a bit and see if that can break loose the needle valve that the float pushes against. 
If fuel starts to come out when the tank tap is turned on, turn the tap off, reassemble the bowl onto the carb and try starting it again.
If your lucky it will start.

If it starts, go to a auto supply and buy a bottle of Chevron Techron.
It's sized for the 10-15 US gal tanks on a car so pour about 1/3 of it into the fuel tank.
Start the engine and ride the bike a few miles even if it is running pretty crappy.  This will get the Techron down into the passages in the carb so it can begin dissolving the varnish that has built up during the last year.

If it doesn't start, the jets are probably plugged.
This requires removing the carb. and removing the jets that are located in the float chamber and the needle valve that's located outside the carb body.  After the jets are removed you can buy some dedicated carb cleaner and soak the carb in it.
Beware:  Some of the carb cleaners can dissolve your carb as well as the deposits.  Read the instructions carefully.

Hopefully, someone who is more familiar with the exact carb your bike has will join in and give some more detailed instructions on cleaning the jets and resetting the needle valve on your carb.

If your careful in all of this, the old gaskets should be reusable.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 11:22:43 PM by Arizoni »
Jim
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nymonzajr

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Re: Bike stored for almost a year inside, won't start
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 10:41:15 PM »
If your bike has a CDI ignition, don't waste your time reading this.  I don't remember if the electra and avl are points or not.

Did you check to see if you have spark?  If not I bet that your points need to be cleaned up.  Get a white business card, or some thick paper, and run it between the contacts until the paper comes out clean.

If you need intructions to check for spark--
unhook spark plug wire from plug.
remove plug
rehook the wire to the plug
hold the plug against some of the cooling fins on the clyinder.  Be sure to wrap a rag around the plug and hold it by the rag, DO NOT touch any part of the bare plug or you will get knocked on your butt if it is working.
Turn the ingition on
Kick the motor over (or use electric start) and see if you have spark at the plug.

DanB

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Re: Bike stored for almost a year inside, won't start
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 03:20:51 AM »
The Electra has an electronic ignition; no points. Start with the easy stuff from Arizoni and work your way down the list. Sounds like a gummed up carbie
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boggy

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Re: Bike stored for almost a year inside, won't start
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 05:08:36 PM »
I think I've written the same thing on every "won't start" thread.  Change the plug.  It's cheap. It's fast. It's easy.  If it's that... you saved yourself a boat-load of time.  If not... you have an extra spark plug.  I've wasted days by not doing this.

Then handful of time I've had starting issues have mostly been fouled sparks.
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wolf

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Re: Bike stored for almost a year inside, won't start
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2013, 10:35:30 PM »
Hi mate I agree with boggy change your plug, two minute job. Let us know how you get on.

Tiny Tim

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Re: Bike stored for almost a year inside, won't start
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2013, 11:01:44 AM »
I had just the same with my Electa. Tried fresh gas, new plug, fully charged battery, even Easy Start spray.

Nothing.

It turned out that I had lost compression and the tappets needed a little adjustment.
I know you don't like the kick start but, with the ignition off, if you like, try the kick start and see what the compression's like. You should be able to stand on it almost.

Just remember the basics. If you have fuel/air, spark and compression, it will want to go. Timing's not an issue on the Electra.

It now starts as almost as soon as I turn the key in the garage door!
REgards

Tiny Tim

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randombikerdude

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Re: Bike stored for almost a year inside, won't start
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2013, 05:22:36 PM »
Woohoo! Minor success, after replacing spark, new gas, and charging the battery for 3 days I finally got it started after some work.. It runs, but doesn't sound great and when you throttle it putters and seems to loose power and shuts off. I was able to get it up to 2nd gear/around 15mph but anymore throttle and it dies.. it seems the more gas, the less power.. any ideas?

boggy

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Re: Bike stored for almost a year inside, won't start
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2013, 06:54:54 PM »
It sound like one of 3 things: The fuel lines, the carb or the breather hoses.

1. Arizoni already mentioned the first two.  It's really quick to make sure the hose coming from the tank is clean. There is also a small filter on the bottom of the fuel petcock. Very easy to unscrew and clean.

2. Draining the float on the carb would be fast to check to and depending on your carb you should be able to wiggle the float through the drain hole to see if it's sticking.  A deeper issue with your carb would be the jets being gummed up from sitting. Entirely possible and it would be nice to clean those out. Not as scary a job as it seems.  Let us know what carb you have.

3. The symptoms you describe also sound like when the breather hoses are obstructed. There are 3 (I believe) hoses coming from the engine that all lead into a catch-can which sits behind the battery.  A drain hose comes out of that.  Check these for obstructions.  The clean thing to check first is simply to make sure they are not pinched.  If not, then maybe they are gummed up and you'll have to get a little dirty.  If they are obstruced, they will give you the symptoms you described.

Good luck.
Boggy
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randombikerdude

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Re: Bike stored for almost a year inside, won't start
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2013, 06:00:48 AM »
Boggy

Awesome! I'll try those things, I think the fuel line is clean I checked it out. how do I find out the carb I have?

tooseevee

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Re: Bike stored for almost a year inside, won't start
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2013, 12:58:11 PM »
Boggy

Awesome! I'll try those things, I think the fuel line is clean I checked it out. how do I find out the carb I have?

            I'll bet it's a Mikuni (Micarb) BS-29 CV. Can you post a picture?

             If not, I'll post a picture of mine for you to compare to yours.
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DanB

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Re: Bike stored for almost a year inside, won't start
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2013, 01:01:40 AM »
This is the cv carb, bs-29, on my Electra. Does this look the same?
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randombikerdude

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Re: Bike stored for almost a year inside, won't start
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2013, 04:47:48 AM »
Yep, that looks like it, except it's not red on the top.. but everything else checks out. So where is this float?