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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I have a 2002 Shadow VT1100 and am having some acceleration and throttle responsiveness issues that just started this season. When starting off in first gear and starting to accelerate the bike loses power/hesitates temporarily like it's not getting fuel for about a second. The power comes back and then off again cycling every second or so during low rpm. Only happens during acceleration. When I open up the throttle it hesitates then all of the sudden the engine responds.

It seems to be worse in the lower gears (1 & 2) and lessens in the higher gears.

The warmer the bike, the less issue, but even when warm and run a while it still exhibits this problem.

Bike is garaged but not run most of the winter. Once a month during the winter I start and run the bike about 30min. Gas tank was full with fuel stabilizer. At the end of each run I turn off the fuel and let it burn the gas in the line till it shuts off.

The previous owner removed the baffles and installed a jetkit. I have had the bike for three years and this is the first time it's exhibited this problem.

Things I've done to troubleshoot:

- Changed the plugs
- Changed the oil
- Used a full tank of premium gas and Lucas fuel additive. When I did this the problem went away until about half the tank emptied then it started exhibiting this problem again.

My first inclination is that the carbs are dirty. I'll have to take it up to the shop for that. Obviously if this isn't the issue I don't want to spend $100+ for a carb clean. Any ideas?
Thanks.
 

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Tubby said:
My first inclination is that the carbs are dirty. I'll have to take it up to the shop for that. Obviously if this isn't the issue I don't want to spend $100+ for a carb clean. Any ideas?
Thanks.
First, it is not necessary and not even desirable to run the carbs dry after every run......except maybe the last one before winter storage. Having the bowl (almost) empty all the time may eventually dry out gaskets and/or seals. Turn off the bike; turn off the fuel. No need to run it dry.

My standard recommendations before carb. dis-assembly:
1) Drain as much fuel as possible out of bowls and tank. Sometimes "gunk" gets into the bottom and is hard to get out any other way.

2) Then put in fresh gas with the proper amount of Berrymans B12 Chemtool. It is probably the best "on the engine" cleaner on the market.
Might want to do 1/2 tank of gas and the recommended amount of B12 for a whole tank. Run for a while and then fill the tank up.

If no improvement after ~2 tanks, then it's off to the shop.

P.S. Premium gas gains you NOTHING if the bike doesn't really require it.
It is not better, does NOT have extra "cleaners" and sometimes has been sitting in the underground tanks a LOT longer than regular.

Good luck!
 

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Yup, here comes the great fuel debate, so I'll get my popcorn out and watch the fireworks, but I (and the science behind gasoline and octane ratings) agree with what Easy Rider is saying.

A lot of the sport bikes and air-cooled bikes require higher octane fuel because of the higher combustion chamber temperature, higher compression, and advanced ignition timing.

Your Shadow's engine is a liquid-cooled, low-revving, low compression engine. Higher octane fuel does not burn cleaner, contains no special cleaning agents and will not (repeat NOT!) give you more power unless you change something in your engine (compression, timing, etc) to take advantage of it. Running anything other than plain 87 octane is only a waste of money.

--Justin
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Easy Rider 2 said:
Tubby said:
My first inclination is that the carbs are dirty. I'll have to take it up to the shop for that. Obviously if this isn't the issue I don't want to spend $100+ for a carb clean. Any ideas?
Thanks.
First, it is not necessary and not even desirable to run the carbs dry after every run......except maybe the last one before winter storage. Having the bowl (almost) empty all the time may eventually dry out gaskets and/or seals. Turn off the bike; turn off the fuel. No need to run it dry.

My standard recommendations before carb. dis-assembly:
1) Drain as much fuel as possible out of bowls and tank. Sometimes "gunk" gets into the bottom and is hard to get out any other way.

2) Then put in fresh gas with the proper amount of Berrymans B12 Chemtool. It is probably the best "on the engine" cleaner on the market.
Might want to do 1/2 tank of gas and the recommended amount of B12 for a whole tank. Run for a while and then fill the tank up.

If no improvement after ~2 tanks, then it's off to the shop.

P.S. Premium gas gains you NOTHING if the bike doesn't really require it.
It is not better, does NOT have extra "cleaners" and sometimes has been sitting in the underground tanks a LOT longer than regular.

Good luck!
I take it there is a drain bolt on the carbs. I'll have to look that up. Would they be accessible without removing anything major? What's the best way to drain the tank? Disconnect the gas tube and drain or just run it dry?

Assuming this is carb gunk and after I get it cleaned out, what is the best way to avoid this in the future?

Good info. Thanks. I appreciate your input.
 

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I hope you have a "Carburetor screwdriver." I don't know if that's the official term, but that's what I call a screw driver with a small tip and a 12" shaft. You'll need a driver like that, in straight blade.

At the bottom of the carb (each one) you'll find a small nipple that sticks out, and above that is a screw. You can put a piuece of hose on that nipple and turn the screw out about 3 turns. That's the drain. Use the hose to direct the draining fuel into a suitable container and then re-tighten (gently until it seats) the drain screw.

That ought to do it!

--Justin
 

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Tubby said:
What's the best way to drain the tank? Disconnect the gas tube and drain or just run it dry?

Assuming this is carb gunk and after I get it cleaned out, what is the best way to avoid this in the future?

Good info. Thanks. I appreciate your input.
Draining the tank can be tricky as most (all?) of the Shadows don't have a PRIME setting on the petcock; if you have that, it's easy to disconnect a hose and drain it dry.

Absent a prime setting, you probably need to put it on RES and suck on the vacume hose going to the petcock......or take the tank off and/or remove the petcock assy. Hopefully someone else has a better idea; maybe a little siphon pump through the filler cap ???

You do NOT want to RUN it dry because that might suck MORE "stuff" down into the carbs and make matters worse.

I guess if draining the tank looks to be too much of a hassle, I might give it a healthy dose of B12 and ride on RES for half a tank or so, draining the float bowls both before and after.
 

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Easy Rider 2 said:
Draining the tank can be tricky as most (all?) of the Shadows don't have a PRIME setting on the petcock; if you have that, it's easy to disconnect a hose and drain it dry.
Actually, I think the 1100 is gravity fed and not vacuum fed on the petcock.
 

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CosmicCowboy said:
Easy Rider 2 said:
Draining the tank can be tricky as most (all?) of the Shadows don't have a PRIME setting on the petcock; if you have that, it's easy to disconnect a hose and drain it dry.
Actually, I think the 1100 is gravity fed and not vacuum fed on the petcock.
Yup. And easy to drain. Turn the petcock off, disconnect the lower hose, connect another hose going into a container, turn the petcock to RES and remove the gas cap. The only tool needed is pliers for the hose clamp.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Update #1

Worked with my buddy who is an aircraft mechanic and we did the following:

- Drained the carbs. There was some dirt particles in the fuel. Nothing huge or extremely plentiful but they were there.

- Did not drain the tank but put the petcock on RES.

- Removed and inspected the fuel filter. Of course it's hard to tell if it's good or bad but it was not caked with grime and we were able to blow through it. Again not saying it's ok but just wanted to see it's visible condition.

- Put in B12 and ran it for about 30 miles on RES until it started to storm.

What I noticed:

After doing the above and just running it for the first time it was about 40% better but it still hesitated some especially in first gear. While out riding on RES I started to run dry and stopped and filled up the gas tank. I put in more B12. I still think I should replace the fuel filter as if particles were found in the bottom of the carb then that's probably an indicator of a bad or failing filter. Yes?

So from here what would you do? Now that I know you can easily drain the tank would you do that or not? Run a couple of tanks with B12 and change the fuel filter? I just got back so I'm going to drain the carbs again.

Know where to get a fuel filter cheaper than the Honda dealer?

Thanks for your help.
 

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Re: Update #1

Tubby said:
So from here what would you do? Now that I know you can easily drain the tank would you do that or not? Run a couple of tanks with B12 and change the fuel filter? I just got back so I'm going to drain the carbs again.
Yes to all of the above.
I think he needs some re-inforcing votes: somebody, anybody...........????
 

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fuel filters

Yes, replace the filter, take the old one with you to NAPA or Autozone or whatever and they will match it up for you. It only has to be a similar size and have the same size inlet and outlet. all fuel filters are basically the same except for size.
keep us updated on if it runs better . Mac
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Update

Well I've done all that was posted here. I've drained the tank, carbs, and changed the fuel filter. I"m currently running the first tank of gas with B12. After doing all of this the surging got a little better but still hangs in first gear when trying to accelerate. I plan on running a couple of tanks through with B12 and see if that helps.

Any other ideas?

Thanks
 

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Re: Update

Tubby said:
I plan on running a couple of tanks through with B12 and see if that helps.
How much B12 are you using?
IIRC, the recommendation is 2 oz per gallon.

You aren't putting the WHOLE can in like it was a car, are you ?? (Had to ask; you never know!!) :wink:

When the first tank is 1/2 gone, put in another dose equal to what is recommended for a FULL tank; now you have roughly 2X the recommended concentration of B12. Run it for 20 miles or so and then fill up the tank. Let it sit overnight.

After you run most of that full tank out.....if it isn't back to normal, you are probably looking at a manual carb cleaning.......or there is another problem of some kind.
 

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How old is the battery?

I don't beleive that running the bike at idle will charge the batttery?

Dave
 

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I had carb problems for almost 2 seasons . The engine would cut out while riding, die when idling for warm up it was very frustrating. I pulled the carbs and cleaned them still no change. I pulled them again and rejetted ,little better but still dying while riding. I pulled them again and installed bigger jets still no change. This year when I went for 1st ride of season it died on me I turned around shoved it in the garage. I had planned on pulling the carbs AGAIN to clean them but for some reason I guess for kicks and giggles I filled up the tank and poured at least a 1/2 can of berrymans in the tank. I then rode it a few miles to get the cleaner into the carbs. After that I let it sit for about 2 weeks(only cause I couldnt find time to ride and bad weather). Long story short I havnt had 1 problem since then. I can finally enjoy my ride without worries of it dying in the middle of the freeway. I guess im saying throw some cleaner in it and let it set for awhile and let it work on the crud in there. I tried everything and yes I threw some seafoam in before I did any of the manual carb cleaning and rejetting and I did let it set in there for a couple of days it did help but did not fix it. I just bought Berrymans cause it happened to be at the store I was at at the time Seafoam might have fixed it too if I let it set for 2 weeks lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Re: Update

Easy Rider 2 said:
Tubby said:
I plan on running a couple of tanks through with B12 and see if that helps.
How much B12 are you using?
IIRC, the recommendation is 2 oz per gallon.

You aren't putting the WHOLE can in like it was a car, are you ?? (Had to ask; you never know!!) :wink:

When the first tank is 1/2 gone, put in another dose equal to what is recommended for a FULL tank; now you have roughly 2X the recommended concentration of B12. Run it for 20 miles or so and then fill up the tank. Let it sit overnight.

After you run most of that full tank out.....if it isn't back to normal, you are probably looking at a manual carb cleaning.......or there is another problem of some kind.
Yes of course I am running the recommended dose. Maybe just a hair more. :wink:

I'lll do all of that. Thanks.
 
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