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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 07 Spirit and she's got pretty low miles (20k) on her. I commute on her regularly. Went out of town for Thanksgiving for about 10 days and came back and she won't start.

She's always run solid. When I came back it was a nice 60 degree day. I rolled out of the garage and she wouldn't fire up initially so I pulled out the choke which was odd considering the temperature. She started up and ran poorly in idle for about 3-4 minutes and then konked out when I tried to gently roll the throttle a little. I restarted her and she ran for about 30 seconds and then died. She hasn't started since. That was last weekend. Haven't been able to tinker with her much due to work stuff.

Here is what I know. Spark plugs have less than 2k miles on them. Gas is good. I have roughly 1/4 of a tank to 1/2 a tank. I do use sea foam every few tanks. The fact that she did start and run for a few minutes rules out the starter and a blocked up fuel line.

What am I overlooking here? I feel like this is going to be one of those simple easy fixes which probably means I'm going to have to have my carbs rebuilt or something drastic. I appreciate any input. I'll check in on this post as much as I can today. I'll probably try to get her in to the shop this weekend if I don't make any progress. I like to work on my bikes but at this point I'd rather have her functional so I can be back on 2 wheels to and from work. Thanks in advance!
 

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Is the motor turning over, does the headlight come on with the key turned to the on position, does the light go out when you push the starter button, do you have the kill switch turned to on?

Out of town for 10days, I'd have left the gas tank full as a means to avoid moisture buildup. When I was "daily" commuting the only time I left the tank partially full would be "one night". Avoids rust getting a start on the insides of the tank.
 

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Won't start? Do you mean instead, won't crank? Though related these are different glitches. If *won't start* your battery probably went south on you. If *won't crank* try bridging the two copper posts on the starter relay, naturally transmission in neutral.
 

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Start by charging the battery or at least checking your voltage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is the motor turning over, does the headlight come on with the key turned to the on position, does the light go out when you push the starter button, do you have the kill switch turned to on?
Motor turns over. I will double check the head light when I get home. I replaced the battery less than a year ago so that shouldn't be the problem. Kill switch is not engaged. I tried moving the fuel petcock from on to reserve with no luck. I also sat on the bike and shook the bike for about a minute to try to work out any air bubbles that might be causing problems.
 

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I`m curious, Did you switch to Reserve and see IF you might just be at that level???
I know, you say 1/4 - 1/2 tank of gas...

I read = fuel related, but this is a Laptop diagnosis ;)

Good Luck on this & Merry Christmas
Ann & Dennis
 

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After you pulled the choke out and it started briefly and quit, did you push the choke back in when you tried to restart? Did you crank on the throttle when you were trying to start it? If you did, don't touch the throttle when you are trying to start the bike.
 

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check the battery voltage anyway, should be above 12 volts, 13, or 14.
dont assume thats not the problem, checking the battery is easier than rebuilding the carb, so you might as well just do it and tick it off the list for sure.

that being said, my next step would be to pull off the air filter try to start it, and if that doesnt work blow some starting fluid into the carbs with the air filter off.
if it runs, you have a fuel delivery issue. (check the inline fuel filter before the carbs) you dont need to "get the carbs rebuilt" to fix glogged up carbs. once you do a bit of research its not that hard.
pull off the carbs(drain first), pull the fuel bowls, take off the float, and remove the pin that the float moves, when you pull the sleeve that the pin moves in, youll find theres a tiny filter inside there that might be clogged, it filters gas before it enters the carb. be careful if you clean this filter with an air gun, youll blow it clean across the garage.
next pull each jet out, and ream the inside. the difference between a working, and clogged fuel jet can be a millimeter or less. pull apart a wire, and use one of the copper strands to clean inside the jet.

if the starter fluid trick doent work check your spark plugs. pull them out one by one, leave the wire connected, hold them with insulated pliers, and ground them against a bare spot on the frame in a garage, or out of direct sunlight.
hit the starter, look for an arc. you wont see this arc in daylight, its not that bright.

and thats it.
fire only needs air, spark, and fuel. its gotta be one of these three.
 

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Yeah, what with all the cranking of the starter you`ve been doing, it might not be a bad idea to put this on a charger and start with a fully charged battery...

Merry Christmas
Ann & Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I`m curious, Did you switch to Reserve and see IF you might just be at that level???
I know, you say 1/4 - 1/2 tank of gas...
I did switch to reserve. The reason I guestimated my gas at that level is because I can physically see gas when I take the cap off. I don't even need to rock the bike to get it to slosh. I will check the battery tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
After you pulled the choke out and it started briefly and quit, did you push the choke back in when you tried to restart? Did you crank on the throttle when you were trying to start it? If you did, don't touch the throttle when you are trying to start the bike.
Correct. After I pulled the choke out and it ran for about 3-4 minutes, I tried pushing the choke back in and it sputtered out. I restarted with the choke pulled and tried to rev the throttle a little to get a healthier sounding idle but that just killed the engine. After that, I did try to crank the throttle while hitting the start button to get her to spring back to life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Has some little beastie made a nest in your air filter?

John.
Bike is garage kept so this shouldn't be the case. Though I have a friend who has a VTX and lives out in the country and some ants decided to move in to this bike. They had a rude awakening when he fired the bike up. Granted he did too because he didn't realize they were there initially.
 

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Correct. After I pulled the choke out and it ran for about 3-4 minutes, I tried pushing the choke back in and it sputtered out. I restarted with the choke pulled and tried to rev the throttle a little to get a healthier sounding idle but that just killed the engine. After that, I did try to crank the throttle while hitting the start button to get her to spring back to life.
You don't want to crank the throttle in that case. You'll flood the motor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
check the battery voltage anyway, should be above 12 volts, 13, or 14.
dont assume thats not the problem, checking the battery is easier than rebuilding the carb, so you might as well just do it and tick it off the list for sure.

that being said, my next step would be to pull off the air filter try to start it, and if that doesnt work blow some starting fluid into the carbs with the air filter off.
if it runs, you have a fuel delivery issue. (check the inline fuel filter before the carbs) you dont need to "get the carbs rebuilt" to fix glogged up carbs. once you do a bit of research its not that hard.
pull off the carbs(drain first), pull the fuel bowls, take off the float, and remove the pin that the float moves, when you pull the sleeve that the pin moves in, youll find theres a tiny filter inside there that might be clogged, it filters gas before it enters the carb. be careful if you clean this filter with an air gun, youll blow it clean across the garage.
next pull each jet out, and ream the inside. the difference between a working, and clogged fuel jet can be a millimeter or less. pull apart a wire, and use one of the copper strands to clean inside the jet.

if the starter fluid trick doent work check your spark plugs. pull them out one by one, leave the wire connected, hold them with insulated pliers, and ground them against a bare spot on the frame in a garage, or out of direct sunlight.
hit the starter, look for an arc. you wont see this arc in daylight, its not that bright.

and thats it.
fire only needs air, spark, and fuel. its gotta be one of these three.

When I probe the battery terminals, will that be accurate? From my understanding, even if a battery is bad it can still register at 12+ volts but when you hit the start button and the battery is under load, that's where it fails. Should I probe twice then? While nothing is going on and then probe while trying to start the bike?

Rebuilding the carbs is hopefully a bit of a drastic issue in this case. I agree with what you're saying. It should only be one of those three things. I haven't checked the air filter at all since I've had the bike. Only had it for about 10k miles/last November.

Thanks for the great advice.
 

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Whilst you got the airfilter open you might try an experiment with Ether...
What does spraying starting fluid into the air intake cause?
Will it run while spraying ether??
This Might help?

LLLL bring it over, I got the lift empty...
No charge for this ;)
 
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