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2001 Valkyrie I/S
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I guess it is possible, would that mean the petcock is actually shot? Everything was pretty much complete garbage in the fuel system, but i figured cleaning the petcock screen would be alright. Is it possible the petcock is allowing too much fuel to the carb? What would cause TOO much gas to get into the float?
No, the petcock will not let too much fuel through, your bike is a gravity feed no fuel pump. If your float is out of adjustment or your float valve is sticking you'll get too much fuel in your carb.
 

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'83 VT750C
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It’s only a low pressure system. So when the bowl fills, the float rises, and pushes the valve shut that lets more fuel in. If the float sticks open, nothing stops more fuel from coming in, which eventually floods the jets. It was so bad on mine early in testing, that gas would start filling up the carburetor intake with the throttle closed.
 

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Well, I lied, I'm back

If fuel drained from the bowl of your single carb and the bike runs off starter fluid, you have ruled out the gravity fuel supple system which includes tank, petcock, and fuel lines.

Fuel has reached the carb. but bike won't run. Could be too rich or too lean.

Rich
If the float inside the float bowl is not floating, or float valve assembled wrong or missing parts, mix will be far too rich. Bike might fire or sputter but refuse to run. Removed sparkplug will be wet with fuel. Exhaust will smell of raw fuel.
Also missing or mis-assembled jets or needles can cause rich condition.

Diagnose rich condition by adding air. If bike runs better when:
- you turn off choke
- you remove air filter
- you slightly loosen carb mount, introducing air leak between carb and engine.
This suggests a rich mixture.

Lean
If the float is set incorrectly, or carb was not cleaned properly, or assembled wrong, or missing parts, lean condition can result. Bike might misfire or fire occasionally. Bike might backfire.

Diagnose lean condition by adding fuel or remove air. If bike runs better when:
- You turn on choke and
- You partially block off air intake and
- You squirt a little raw gas into the intake
This suggests a lean mixture.

Wrong assembly of carb is now the most likely culprit in my opinion, since bike ran poorly before service, now runs not at all.

I draw your attention back to what member dskum said in post #32
With running like crap and an after fire and running with air filter off makes me want you to review this thread:

This model carb has a Needle Jet which goes missing unless very careful when pulling it apart.
Did you take off the carburetor and tank and take them to the shop, or did you deliver the bike to the shop whole?

Meanwhile, I spent a little time with my shadow 1100 this weekend and got it running decently off gravity feed from my improvised quart fuel tank. Needs some choke for the first couple minutes, responds well to throttle. Rear cylinder is backfiring and overheating pipe. Front cylinder is better, but still running hotter than I'd like. The carbs have 178 main jet F&R and 42 pilots, as I recall, and the bike has a fairly unrestricted aftermarket exhaust.

The '96 VT1100C2 Ace ran poorly when purchased last fall, would idle, but die when the throttle was cracked, then roar to life randomly with throttle opened. Rear cylinder wasn't firing at idle when first started. Very difficult ride home running like that, but seller was within walking distance of my house, so I waited till late afternoon when traffic died down and did it. I suspected clogged pilot jet(s). I dis-assembled and ultrasonic cleaned the carbs, and de-rusted and phosphate converted the tank. Making progress.

I am going to buy and try some larger jets, and check the float valve height again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Well, I lied, I'm back

If fuel drained from the bowl of your single carb and the bike runs off starter fluid, you have ruled out the gravity fuel supple system which includes tank, petcock, and fuel lines.

Fuel has reached the carb. but bike won't run. Could be too rich or too lean.

Rich
If the float inside the float bowl is not floating, or float valve assembled wrong or missing parts, mix will be far too rich. Bike might fire or sputter but refuse to run. Removed sparkplug will be wet with fuel. Exhaust will smell of raw fuel.
Also missing or mis-assembled jets or needles can cause rich condition.

Diagnose rich condition by adding air. If bike runs better when:
- you turn off choke
- you remove air filter
- you slightly loosen carb mount, introducing air leak between carb and engine.
This suggests a rich mixture.

Lean
If the float is set incorrectly, or carb was not cleaned properly, or assembled wrong, or missing parts, lean condition can result. Bike might misfire or fire occasionally. Bike might backfire.

Diagnose lean condition by adding fuel or remove air. If bike runs better when:
- You turn on choke and
- You partially block off air intake and
- You squirt a little raw gas into the intake
This suggests a lean mixture.

Wrong assembly of carb is now the most likely culprit in my opinion, since bike ran poorly before service, now runs not at all.

I draw your attention back to what member dskum said in post #32


Did you take off the carburetor and tank and take them to the shop, or did you deliver the bike to the shop whole?

Meanwhile, I spent a little time with my shadow 1100 this weekend and got it running decently off gravity feed from my improvised quart fuel tank. Needs some choke for the first couple minutes, responds well to throttle. Rear cylinder is backfiring and overheating pipe. Front cylinder is better, but still running hotter than I'd like. The carbs have 178 main jet F&R and 42 pilots, as I recall, and the bike has a fairly unrestricted aftermarket exhaust.

The '96 VT1100C2 Ace ran poorly when purchased last fall, would idle, but die when the throttle was cracked, then roar to life randomly with throttle opened. Rear cylinder wasn't firing at idle when first started. Very difficult ride home running like that, but seller was within walking distance of my house, so I waited till late afternoon when traffic died down and did it. I suspected clogged pilot jet(s). I dis-assembled and ultrasonic cleaned the carbs, and de-rusted and phosphate converted the tank. Making progress.

I am going to buy and try some larger jets, and check the float valve height again.

I took the carb off and dropped it off and then reinstalled it myself, hopefully I just put something in the wrong place... im gonna take the carb off again this week. THANK YOU
 

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I took the carb off and dropped it off and then reinstalled it myself.
The problem with doing it the way you did, is that the shop has no way of checking their work. If all they have is the carb, and they left a piece of its innards on the workbench, nobody has the chance to notice or figure out the mystery, until weeks later.

If the shop has the bike in their possession, running poorly, they will be forced to try again if they make it worse. Of course this way costs more, but responsibility is clear cut.

A lot of us avoid these issues by taking the entire job onto ourselves. Motorcycles are fun and easy to work on, compared to cars. Hondas aren't my favorite to work on, the engineers really pack stuff in, and sometimes require special tools, or make access very difficult. On the plus side, they are usually reliable, provided you ride them and don't park them for months on end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
The problem with doing it the way you did, is that the shop has no way of checking their work. If all they have is the carb, and they left a piece of its innards on the workbench, nobody has the chance to notice or figure out the mystery, until weeks later.

If the shop has the bike in their possession, running poorly, they will be forced to try again if they make it worse. Of course this way costs more, but responsibility is clear cut.

A lot of us avoid these issues by taking the entire job onto ourselves. Motorcycles are fun and easy to work on, compared to cars. Hondas aren't my favorite to work on, the engineers really pack stuff in, and sometimes require special tools, or make access very difficult. On the plus side, they are usually reliable, provided you ride them and don't park them for months on end.
I appreciate all the answers, this is my first bike and I'm no mechanic, but I did plan on learning how to do most maintenance, etc. myself ~ This bike was running and driving, but driving like ****, until I bought it, once I got it home it wouldn't start. I think we flooded it on the higway by leaving peacock open. That's why I got the whole fuel system rebuilt basically, still almost nothing. Unlike the saying my guess is as good as yours, mine isn't nearly as good as half of the people on this website so I am eternally grateful, I simply won't give up so I guess we'll see what happens. Maybe I'll learn how to build a carburator
 

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I appreciate all the answers, this is my first bike and I'm no mechanic, but I did plan on learning how to do most maintenance, etc. myself ~ . Maybe I'll learn how to build a carburator
If there was one mechanic job that I would suggest learning nowadays, it would be carburetor cleaning. 10% ethanol gas can turn good running machines into garage obstructions in a matter of months. An individual who is willing to learn the simple skill can buy low and sell high. Lots of folks already know this trick and are sending their kids to college on it.

The other trick to know is how to reset electronics. I've made quite a few $$ by charging a service call minimum for shutting off a circuit breaker, then turning it on again. People know this works on their computer, but don't think of doing it when their water heater stops working. This isn't what's wrong with your VLX.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
I have undying gratitude for this website and its users, I would like to let you all know she ran for about 20 minutes today, starts her first try every time now.
The shop gave it back to me with the float bowl hose attached to the port for the line to radiator and I think the radiator hose was hooked up to float draining port, not sure, but ultimately I disconnected them and once the COOLANT came out of my carb, my friend who I paid 50$ made sure my idle screw, choke were perfect and now she revs to all hell sounding real purdy.
It did die at idle after about 20 minutes, but that was without air filter on so I'm hoping that's the only issue, hopefully after a tank of gas ran through her she'll be alright. When I got her she basically had gas that looked like apple sauce and motor oil and plugs that look like they are black as the darkside of the moon, now the throttle is responding quite nicely, my friend ultimately figured it out, but it wouldn't be in that position if I wasn't guided by all you guys on this site to test each possible answer until there was no choice left, but to know the carb was ****ed up, maybe a video of her running when I can, THANK YOU!
 
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