Honda Shadow Forums banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This seems to be the only place I can post since I just joined the forum. I'm having a little problem with my bike and I don't want to spend a fortune playing the guessing game. Here's a rundown:

Rode the bike to town (about 35 miles away) to get inspected and tagged, everything was good. Did a little more putting around and headed home. About 100 miles on the trip meter and the bike started acting like it was running out of gas, switched to reserve and coasted into the gas station. Filled her up, switched back to ON and hit the start button--turned over but wouldn't start. Finally after about 20 minutes we were able to get it started and got it home. Did a little putting around (25 miles or so at lower speeds 45 mph at the most) and she seemed to be ok. Hubby took her out on the highway and couldn't get over 55 no matter how much he tried. Brought it home, took the seat and tank off, breaking the petcock lever in the process. SO, got a new petcock and lever, a new fuel filter, cleaned out the tank and crossed our fingers and put everything back together. I'm not an experienced rider by any means, so the hubby took her out for a test drive--same problem, can't get over 55. Going to get new plugs today because when we pulled the old ones, they were 1) gapped to at least double what they were supposed to be, 2) appeared to be fouled out. Any other suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,045 Posts
What kinda bike. I'm betting it's the charging system. My wife's 02 750 Spirit did that a couple years back. It was the 3 yellow wire connections under the seat for the charging system. They had bad connections and then they get hot and melt. I would start there.

edit, I misread one of your comments. What I said above could be an issue but it sounds like you're on the right track.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Guess that would be important information huh! Sorry! It's a 1997 Shadow VLX 600CD. I'll check that out--we just put everything back together last night so I know I remember how to get the seat off! Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
Definitely needing new plugs! The other thing that comes to mind is has the bike sat up, un-ridden, for a long period of time prior to your getting it? Carbs may be a little gunked up. After you install the new plugs try adding some Seafoam brand fuel system/carb cleaner through several tanks of gas. I'm not a big fan of miracle "mechanics in a can" type additives, but Seafoam does seem to work for a lot of people. Welcome, good luck, and let us know when you get the problem solved...!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,780 Posts
It really helps to know more about the bike and to describe "how" it's being restricted.

Will it rev higher if you are at it's limit and pull in the clutch?
Have you felt the pipes to see if both cylinders are firing (assuming it's a twin)?

Perhaps a clogged fuel filter?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Guy we bought the bike from got it from his parents and he said he'd only really ridden it on the weekends, just around his neighborhood. Hubby drove it home about 45 miles the day we bought it, almost all highway, up to 70 mph and never had any trouble. This all seems to lead back to switching to the reserve fuel supply. We were really hoping that draining and flushing the tank would solve the problem. I've read more than once about the Seafoam, and have used it in my cars before with good results. I'll grab a can while I'm out getting the new plugs, then try to figure out how much to use for the bike...
Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Inferno, I don't really know the answer to your question, but I'll pass it on to the hubby and maybe he'll know. It is a Shadow VLX600CD, and as unfamiliar with bikes as I am, I think it is a twin (two cylinders, right?) We just replaced the fuel filter, as well as the petcock assembly.
 

·
Registered
2005 Honda VTX 1300R
Joined
·
1,079 Posts
Might also check the charge on the battery. You might have run it down too far to get fully charged without putting it on a charger when it took 20 minutes to get started.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
I'm guessing there was sediment in the bottom of the fuel tank, that is now lodged either in the fuel lines or in the carbs themselves. I'd start with replacing the fuel lines, as that's the cheapest and easiest. If no improvement, then have a shop clean out and then re-sync the carbs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,780 Posts
I'm guessing there was sediment in the bottom of the fuel tank, that is now lodged either in the fuel lines or in the carbs themselves. I'd start with replacing the fuel lines, as that's the cheapest and easiest. If no improvement, then have a shop clean out and then re-sync the carbs.
Ah, this reminds me of the "other" problem my bike had when I got it. It had a hole in the fuel line that was too small to leak gas but allowed air to get in. The fuel pump sucked air and it would die.

Yes, check the fuel lines. They are cheap enough to replace.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,382 Posts
I would change the plugs like you stated and then see how it goes. Plugs gapped too wide would have a tendency to foul because they aren't firing hot enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,377 Posts
Since it started at around the same time you switched to running on res. I would eliminate the fuel system before looking anywhere else. Have you try'd a Seafoam treatment yet? If the problem is just some sediment that might clear it out. If not you may need to clean carbs on the bench.
Check sprak and electrical system also. Lower Voltage or a weak battery can cause ALL kind of runability issues. You can be sure it a fuel or ignition problem have a perfect 12 volt. But if the battery is weak, the spark will be weak. And with our system it's hard to determine weak spark from good spark, since normal spark is on the weakish side, anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,311 Posts
yep i would try the seafoam - since u said it all started when u switched , broke, then changed the valve -
maybe when u cleaned out the tank u loosend up some debris and didnt get it all out ! and it clogged up somewheres..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Spark plugs all replaced, went ahead and gave her an oil change too, Seafoam mixed in and still not good. @elfnyc: the petcock lever got broken off during my husbands not so graceful removal of the tank, but yes both the petcock and the lever have been replaced. Guess we'll check the fuel lines next...if I don't find anything there I'll get my first experience with the shop. Too bad my trusted car mechanic doesn't do motorcycles :-(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Might also check the charge on the battery. You might have run it down too far to get fully charged without putting it on a charger when it took 20 minutes to get started.
Endy, it was turning over fine, just acted like it was starved for gas. Haven't tested the battery but we've got a tester/charger so I'll hook it up. I'm willing to try just about anything within reason to get her on the road again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
since you are new to this bike i just want to ask if you know there are 4 sparkplugs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
since you are new to this bike i just want to ask if you know there are 4 sparkplugs.
Actually at first I did not, but we managed to find a third one and knew to look for a fourth. All four replaced with the NGK plugs recommended in the Owners Manual we were lucky enough to get with the bike. Thanks for the comment though, because had we not found the oddball third one we'd have never thought to look for a fourth!
 

·
Registered
2005 Honda VTX 1300R
Joined
·
1,079 Posts
Endy, it was turning over fine, just acted like it was starved for gas. Haven't tested the battery but we've got a tester/charger so I'll hook it up. I'm willing to try just about anything within reason to get her on the road again!
I just threw that into the mix because I know that other people have had problems with their bikes not running right and it turned out to be the battery even though their bikes might have turned over fine.

Also, have you replaced the fuel filter?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,795 Posts
The pick-up line for the reserve is much lower in the tank and will be subject to the debris the main line is not. As the issue began after making the switch this is most likely the culprit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
Does the inside of tank indicate rust may have partially plugged filter/carb/pump?
Does the VLX have fuel pump?
What does the air filter look like?
Why were/would the plugs be gaped double their "setting"?
What is battery voltage at idle and 5K rpm's?
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top