Bike will not start - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Bike will not start

Hi All,

I seem to be having a problem with my 2003 Shadow Spirit 1100. I didnt ride it much during the past year, so it pretty much sat for a few months without being started. Although, i had drained the fuel from the tank and sprayed fogging oil into the cylinders to keep them in good condition.

I recently added fresh fuel and put in a new air filter and new plugs. However, the bike just cranks and will not start. I have sprayed starting fluid into the air intake and it starts and runs for a few seconds until the starter fluid is burned off, then it stalls and will not start again.

I am leaning towards my jets being blocked, probably from the ethenol fuel that we have here.

Any suggestions?

If it is blocked jets, i am guessing i will have to remove the carbs in order to clean them?

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 12:50 PM
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Is the petcock turned to on?
Have you done a fuel pump test?

FWIW, fogging the cylinders for a few months of storage is a total waste of time. Unless you store your scooter in a tropical rain forest, fogging only comes into play for "years" of storage.

GoldWing. Nothing else needs be said...
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 12:55 PM
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OK, this sounds too dumb to mention, but I solved my similar starting issue when I fully charged the battery. It sounded like I was getting full cranking amps, but evidently was not. I left the charger on all night and ever since then, the bike starts within 2 seconds of hitting the starter switch. Now I keep it on the trickle charger when parked; while it's cold out, anyway.

I hope it's that simple for you.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 04:35 PM
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If the bike has been standing for a year then it certainly won't do any harm to remove and fully charge the battery, remove the caps before charging and make sure the electrolyte is at the correct level..A cheap digital multimeter will help ( I should get a commision for advertising these) after charging fit the battery and connect the meter across the battery while turning over the engine..11v dc would be nice, if the voltage drops to 1 to 5v dc the battery is no good..

If the bike still won't start then maybe you should consider either draining the carbs in situ and allowing them to fill with fresh fuel and then trying to start the bike..or stripping the carbs and cleaning them..You could also try removing and cleaning the spark plugs which are probably coated with soot from the attempted start..If you haven't removed the carbs before use a digital camera to take photos from every angle before you remove anything, this way you will be able to reassemble it exactly as you dismantled it.

I suggest that you do not separate the carbs from each other while cleaning so that you don't have to rebalance them.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Petcock is open, but I have not checked the fuel pump
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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The battery has a full charge and the plugs are brand new.
I always fog down the engine/cylinders when i store the bike for the winter. I actually, do it to all combustion engines, IE: lawn tractor, power washer, etc. Just a habit i got into when winterizing my boat.

I will try draining the carbs of fuel and adding fresh.
I am leaning more to either the carb or jets are gummed up from the ethenol gas sitting in the carbs for 3+ months. I was hoping to find a way to clean out the carbs without removing them. But it looks like there is no way around that,
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 12:54 PM
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If when you drain the carbs, the gas is not clear and clean, repeat the process. Usually, you can get the fuel pump to pulse by clicking the kill switch on/off a few times - at least enough to refill the carbs. Also, after a couple drain/refill cycles, let fresh gas sit in the carbs overnight - that can dissolve some gunk. Then do the drain/refill a few more times. What you want to see is clean, clear gas come out of the carbs before even trying to start it up...

Black Beast = '71 CB750
Lazarus = '86 VT1100C rescued from a salvage yard.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 01:45 PM
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It's time to pull the carbs and give them a good cleaning. You can fiddle with the fuel all you want and you'll still have gummed up carbs in the end.
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