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Discussion Starter #1
Ok here's the deal. I've had my 2006 Honda Shadow Sabre for a little over a year. I've put 12K miles on it in that time, so it has 22K miles total. My problems started about 5K miles ago. What happens is that I will be riding along and the engine starts sputtering and then it just dies. The bike will also not start back up. Just to clear up the obvious, the oil and temp lights haven't come on and yes there is always plenty of gas.

Now, each time this has happened, my solution has been to put in a small amount of oil. After that the bike will startup. I have to let it run a minute or it will die when you give it throttle. But, then I ride home as quickly as possible lol. The first time it happened, I had a quart of oil in my saddlebag leftover from the last time I changed it. The bike had gas, the cooling system seemed to be functioning, and no other obvious signs of trouble. So I figured what the ****. When you are broke down on the side of the street or shoulder of a highway your options are quite limited and im farrrr from being a motorcycle mechanic.

This scenario has happened probably 5 or six times over the last 9 or 10 months. I have changed the oil and filter 3 times over the last 6K miles. Each time I get around 2K miles before this starts happening again. The last time I took it back to the dealer I bought it from and told them about it. Guess what? They checked everything out and couldn't get it to die. Said everything seemed fine. But, they changed the oil and flushed out the coolant. Once again a little over 2K miles later the same thing is happening.

I don't know what the **** to do. Changing the oil every 2K miles seems like a temporary fix for a permanent problem. I love this bike and would ride it anywhere. But, I can't plan many long trips seeing as it's not reliable anymore. I had no problems with it at first. Changed the oil every 3K miles and everything was great. Now, it's always a matter of time before I get stuck somewhere. Please tell me someone has an idea of what could be wrong. I would appreciate any kind of suggestions or advice.

Thanks,
frustrated sabre owner
 

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OK, some questions. How long after starting to ride does this happen?

You say it has happened several times, when it does, is it the same amount of time riding as previous times or does it just happen randomly?

You say it won't restart. So does it crank, but won't start, or won't crank at all?

What about ambient temperature, has that been the same each time it happens?

You def have an odd situation, so try to be as aware as you can under which these conditions occur under to try and help pin point the fix.
 

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Is it blowing anything out the exhaust if you have looked? Are the pipes dry and does anything but water come out of the weep after a cold start? Have you changed the fuel filter? Is the crank pressurized when you open it? Does old oil reek of fuel? Looked at plugs? Yadda, yadda.

Adding to Big Bs questions, also advise on your riding: freeway at 55+, putzing in town, etc. Does it sputter after leaning into a turn? Analyze every minute aspect (what is the same, what's different and what changed?) to help guide you to the solution.
 

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newbie here weighing in, how does your oil smell? seems like every time it gets changed you get some sort of temporary relief.
(suggesting it could be a carb issue, flooding your crankcase with gas)
doubt im right, but worth looking into, takes about 2 seconds to get a whiff of a dipstick.
 

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Unless the oil is low, stop adding oil. and certainly stop changing the oil so often. I can just about guarantee that the oil has nothing to do with it running or not. The only way for the oil to have anything to do with it, is if the oil is so low that the engine is getting too hot to run....and that would mean it would have to be almost OUT of oil.

It sounds like a fuel problem, but could also be electrical.

Fuel causes include clogged gas tank vent, plugged fuel filter, plugged gas tank screen, failing fuel pump/fuel pump relay. Electrical could be anything from weak coils to a bad connection somewhere.

Start with the easy stuff first. Check the tank vent and change the fuel filter. I strongly suspect a failing fuel pump and/or relay will turn out to be your problem.

Good luck.

edit,
ride it and when it dies, open the carb bowl drain screws. If no gas comes out you know you have a fuel delivery problem
 

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Mine did something similar and it ended up being a fuel line that was collapsing inside. Just a thought...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the responses. BigB's questions, it has happened just riding around town and going 75mph on the highway. It's happened after a few minutes and up to say 45 minutes of riding. It seems pretty random. I've even been riding for a while and stopped for a smoke and then a few minutes of riding and it happens. When it dies and I try to restart it it will crank but that's it. I never hold the button down longer than 5 seconds. It's happened in cold weather probably around 60 degrees and recently it was almost 100 degrees out the last time it happened

Nothing is coming out of the exhaust that i've ever seen. I didn't know a there was a fuel filter and wouldn't know how to change it myself probably. I haven't seen it leak anything. No idea if the crank is pressurized. Haven't noticed the oil smelling like fuel. Plugs are in good shape.

Thanks for all the suggestions on what might be causing it. I've got the repair manual and several friends who are much better with a wrench than i am. Not sure how difficult it is to change the fuel filter or check the fuel pump. It's just incredibly frustrating when you take it to a reputable shop and they say everything is fine.
 

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Thanks for the responses. BigB's questions, it has happened just riding around town and going 75mph on the highway. It's happened after a few minutes and up to say 45 minutes of riding. It seems pretty random. I've even been riding for a while and stopped for a smoke and then a few minutes of riding and it happens. When it dies and I try to restart it it will crank but that's it. I never hold the button down longer than 5 seconds. It's happened in cold weather probably around 60 degrees and recently it was almost 100 degrees out the last time it happened

Nothing is coming out of the exhaust that i've ever seen. I didn't know a there was a fuel filter and wouldn't know how to change it myself probably. I haven't seen it leak anything. No idea if the crank is pressurized. Haven't noticed the oil smelling like fuel. Plugs are in good shape.

Thanks for all the suggestions on what might be causing it. I've got the repair manual and several friends who are much better with a wrench than i am. Not sure how difficult it is to change the fuel filter or check the fuel pump. It's just incredibly frustrating when you take it to a reputable shop and they say everything is fine.
OK, so it cranks and won't start, how long does it have to sit before it will start back up? There are some very good suggestions in here. Next you need to see if it's losing spark or fuel when this issue occurs.
 

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I would be looking at the fuel pump and the fuel pump relay, mine did the same thing for a couple of years, fill up with gas, take off and boom, quit running, off and on sporadically, let it sit 5 to 10 min. and **** thing would start up and run for months no problem, thought it was vapor locked...nope, then the petcock...nope screen was clean, took awhile to figure out the fuel pump was operating intermittenly, changed it and the fuel pump relay and new gas fileter and no problems since then, my problem started around 30,000 miles..................
 

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Next time it happens pop the gas cap off. If you get swoosh or sucking sound then your gas tank isn't venting properly. Did you do any work on the Sabre before this started happening?
 
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