Gas Smell on highway - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum

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Old 11-10-2012, 12:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Gas Smell on highway

1997 1100 Shadow ACE 35,600mi

Took the new to me bike for a ride on the interstate today.
50 miles each way. On the way out I mostly observed the 70 mph speed limit. Got up to 75 a few times to pass a truck. Everything seemed fine.

On the way back I decided to see what it do.
Runs ok up to 85, after that more throttle makes it bogs down, and I get a strong gas smell. Tried it repeatedly. When I gave it full (or close to full) throttle it gives a strong gas smell, and flagging response. Ease off a little and it seems fine, smell gone. Did get it to 90 once, but not easily.

Since getting the bike a week and a half ago I have run 3 tanks of gas
(2 were 91 octane - no ethanol).
Bike starts, and idles fine (needs a little choke on cold mornings).
The only things I've done so far are: Sea Foam 2x, and checked the
air filter-(Honda paper)-very clean, and Oil (correct lvl and looks clean).

Been looking through the forum for this symptom tonight and I don't see it.
I've always ridden 500cc bikes, never really worked on them, just rode em.
Might be time for me to learn. Any input is appreciated.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Something seems a little off there, Although the Spirit is geared different I too wanted to see what it would do on a vacant highway, Got close to 110 and I gave up before the bike wanted to stop going LOL BUT on a cruiser that is way faster than it's designed to do but it would do it. Bogging at 90 doesn't sound right, Might have the wrong jets for the setup, Are the pipes stock, If so maybe they were rejetted and the stock pipes were put back on when sold so they could get the extra money from selling whatever pipes they had on it. But it sounds like it's flooding it a bit at hight throttle.

Dauntae
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dauntae View Post
on a cruiser that is way faster than it's designed to do but it would do it. Dauntae
Just looked at the specs, top speed 99. Ha ha..I just assumed it would be faster, my Virago xv535 will do that much
(but doesn't look, or feel as good) 90 is plenty.
I got it for the looks and comfort, so no problem there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dauntae View Post
Are the pipes stock

Dauntae
Yep, stock pipes, don't think they've been changed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dauntae View Post
But it sounds like it's flooding it a bit at hight throttle.

Dauntae
That concerns me. So is it a carb synch, or other type carb issue?
Is gas actually leaking out somewhere (don't see any) or just the smell ? Have not noticed it at slower speeds...yet....Getting 35mpg so far.

Plus, I'll eventually get tired of smelling this way. Better just keep riding it (slower) while the weather holds out, and try to come up with more clues.

Nice looking Spirit.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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35 seams a bit low (unless you're going 90 constantly). I'd look into Dauntee's theory. Pull the plugs and put up pics or descriptions.
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes 35 is a little low, I get a little better riding 2 up and I'm not always to easy on the throttle, great looking ACE by the way, always loved those that tone paint on the Ace.as for the top speed, your bike is capable of 100 and better but like mine, not exactly designed for that kind of speed lol there was a thread a while back with people posting there personal top speeds and the 1100's most made it over, might be high in the rpm but can do it, the spirit is geared taller than the rest so it does like highway speed a little better but not by much.

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I laugh in the face of danger, then I hide until it goes away


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Last edited by Dauntae; 11-10-2012 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah I agree...35mpg sucks...I have an 86 vt1100 with almost 59000 miles and I usually get around 48-50 MPG...and i can get to 90mph no problem...I'd do as suggested above...pull the plugs see if they're black it sounds like its running rich at high speed...good luck

current ride: 86 vt1100c previous rides: 93 vt1100c, 91 vulcan 750, cb400f super sport, kx250, xr500, yz 490, xr100
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have a 1992 VT1100 and I was riding it on a motorway at about seventy when I came up behind a car which pulled over to let me pass, the motorway speed limit is 70, I overtook the car and found myself behind another car which also pulled over, the road was clear, the weather nice and I glanced down at the speedo to find I was doing 115mph, as I didn't want a ticket I pulled over a lane and dropped the speed to seventy, just as I rounded the next curve I saw a couple of cops with a camera and a speed gun trying to catch people speeding..

So I think it depends on the year of the bike but if you can only get 85 and you are smelling gas I think you might be due a carb overhaul and a gas filter change..

John.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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RockyG,

Your bike can do 105 MPH (maybe not with the windshield and saddlebags) or get 40+ MPG. Not both at the same time. Not much better MPG with those Dunlop tires. Your MPG is low but not ridiculously so. Check out this thread to learn more. (Lots of good stuff buried in there.)

Since you're running into troubles at 85 MPH, you know you've got an issue or two. My guess? You've got several off-spec conditions that work together to rob you of power when you get high enough RPMs. The bike is new to you so, do you know when
- the spark plugs were last changed?
- oil and filter?
- air filter? (Don't care how it looks, care how it performs.)
- fuel filter?
- final drive oil?
- air/fuel mixture was last checked and/or adjusted?
- carbs synched?
The total mileage on that bike says every one of those items* should have been done either in the last 3,600 miles or the next 4,400 miles. Coolant should be replaced next year.

While you're attending to any that have been missed (I'd definitely concentrate on spark plugs, air/fuel mixture and carb synch. I'd change the air filter, too -- but I live 100 ft from a dirt road and have to use it to ride anywhere.), check and/or replace the brake fluid. Lube all the control cables, including the speedometer cable. Check the brake pads.

You've got stock exhaust pipes. I would not expect that the carb jets have been changed. There is not yet any reason to tear apart the carbs to check. Your shocks are stock, too. Probably your fork springs. You can dramatically improve ride and handling by changing both -- although new fork springs might make the front end sometimes feel a little squirrely with those tires.



-------------------
* Except the fuel filter -- it's not on the maintenance schedule. Should be.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I had this issue on my bike last week and I finally troubleshot it down to the petcock valve. The valve on my bike has a vacuum line that opens a diaphragm valve that allows the fuel to flow to the carburetor. Yours may not have this set-up. There is also an O-ring on the petcock to tank connection that may be dried up and leaking.

I found my leak when I stopped the bike and smelled fuel. My riding buddy also smelled fuel when we went riding together whenever I was behind him. The fuel dripped onto the hot engine and evaporated it rather quickly and left no trace. Run your hand around the petcock as the engine is running and verify it.

I hope you solve your problem soon. I hated smelling fuel and it freaked me out whenever I would ride and smell it. I've had occasions with people flicking their cigarettes out the window in my direction.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I payed more attention today. The problem is happening at lower speeds, whenever i throttle hard. If I try to take off too fast it will bog down, stink, and it stalled a few times. The smell is getting old too...

I stopped by the local bike shop, and talked to the owner. He took quite awhile explaining how the carburetors work. From what I told him he said he is very sure the jets in the carbs are gummed up. He told me they could completely disassemble and clean them, and synch them for about $250. He said I would not be sorry, the bike would run and feel alot better and my mileage would improve. I would have to leave it for 2 maybe 3 days.

I am not up to tackling this myself so I am thinking I should bring it up there. Also, I sold my old bike yesterday for $200. more than I thought I would get, so it's just about paid for. They are closed until Tuesday so let me know if that sounds reasonable. Thanks.
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