V-Strom quit and won't start.

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Jamie Z, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    That's my experience too. I'm not a fan of ethanol, but I think a lot of people blame ethanol for things that it doesn't cause.

    I've had bikes sit for several months, once in the heat of summer, the other time through winter. No fuel additive. Pulled out the bike after storage, fired right up. Ran fine.

    Same with a '72 Pontiac I had. Put it away twice for about four or five months each time. Never used any additive. Car started right up both times. Didn't gum up the carb, nothing like that.

    Not sure what happened in this case. Clearly something was wrong with the gas in my bike. I don't know if water seeped in, or it was condensation building up or what. But it's fixed, and today I filled it up with fresh gas and it continues to run fine.

    Jamie
    #41
  2. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

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    I've currently got 4 bikes and that has not been my experience. My '74 CB350 and BMW get ridden the least, but my Transalp (when I had it), KLR (when I had it) Vstrom, and KTM all do their share of sitting (winter sucks). None of them has/had trouble starting or running after sitting. None of them have dirty filters, none of them have fuel tanks full of water. They all live in an un-heated un-cooled garage, and I don't use stabilizers or anything. Temps here in the winter are often in the 20's, and in the summer we get our odd 100+ days.

    The worst I ever had was being out of the country for 13 months. When I went to start the BMW it ran poorly for the first tank of gas, then all was fine. My KLR started right up with a new battery like it has just been run the day before. I did fog the cylinders and put stabilizer in the fuel before leaving the country though.

    I think ethanol gets blamed for lots more than it's share of problems. My opinion is that fuel breaks down faster on a motorcycle that's sitting outside. The carbs get baked in the day, then cool off at night and baked in the day again. That causes the fuel to evaporate and leave deposits behind. It's always been the case, long before ethanol. When I was a boat mechanic in the 90's we'd get all sorts of gummed up carbs on boats that had been used only a few months prior. They all sat outside, and they all lived under black cowls (guess what motors we worked on). Heated up in the day, cooled off at night.

    Anyhow, that's my opinion based on my experience.
    #42
  3. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    Yeah ok, but what percentage(s) of ethanol do you get in your fuel in the States?
    #43
  4. Superstar

    Superstar Been here awhile

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    Up to 10% in Texas.
    #44
  5. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Long timer

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    water often gets into gas while it is in the underground tanks waiting to be sold. The tanks get old and develop leaks, and rain/ground water gets in.

    I try to buy my gas at stations that I know have newer tanks. I try to avoid stations I know have older tanks, or where others who buy their gas there have discovered water in their tanks.

    It's also a very bad idea to buy gas at the same time the underground tanks are being refilled from the truck. This stirs up whatever crap floated to the bottom of the tank, and makes it easier for the crap to get to you.

    If I have to buy gas at some remote old station out in the country, I prefer a place that has the tank above ground. At least that way I can see it.
    #45
  6. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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    #46
  7. ALinUTAH

    ALinUTAH Been here awhile

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    A buddy of mine rode his R1150RT to Sturgis last summer. Somewhere along the way, he stopped for gas and made it half a block from the gas station when his bike sputtered and died. While he fiddled with it, and eventually called his mechanic back home for advice, several other vehicles suffered the same problem as they exited the same gas station. Turned out that the truck driver who delivered fuel the day before had left the cover off the tank and it rained all night, filling the underground tank with water. Apparently the pump draws from the bottom and he had unknowingly filled his tank with straight water! Nasty parking lot runoff water at that. The gas station paid to have his bike trucked the rest of the way to Sturgis where he got it fixed. It was a bummer. -al
    #47
  8. simmersonwheels

    simmersonwheels Asleep at Switch

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    The problem is that the "good remaining fuel" is likely 5-10% ethanol, and has therefore absorbed water in the alcohol portion of the fuel. Now any additional water in the fuel will cause phase seperation, where the water saturated alcohol drops out of the fuel leaving a milky shitty layer at the bottom of the tank. Believe me, I've drained tons of this crap from boat fuel tanks, usually involving a fuel system rebuild. The remaing "fuel" has significantly dropped its octane level, which isn't too good for the motor. Drain everything and start fresh, whenever possible.
    Just my 2 cents...

    Ethanol, making farmers money, humanity hungry and drivers walk.
    #48
  9. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

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    Did you check the drain hole yet?

    If the rubber drain tube is still attached to the tank (this usually gets tossed about the second or third time the tank gets removed), make sure it's not pinched or clogged.

    If the water drain under the cap is plugged, you'll have the same problem next time it rains...
    #49
  10. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    How long have you had the Honda, and how many miles have you put on it in that time?

    #50
  11. theloop

    theloop Been here awhile

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    I bought it used with 2k on it, in four summers of riding it now has 24k on it. I dont use it for commuting to work, just weekend rides, No poker runs, just rides out in the country, or to go visit friends.
    #51
  12. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    At 5 to 6 thousand a year, it'll take over 10 years to wear out a Wee. Then just replace the fuel filter and put another 100 on it.

    My dad bought one new, and now has over 70k miles on it. It needed a new pump & filter a while back, but other than that, it just runs. At 70k miles, it will burn a quart of oil every 5,000 miles. Other than the pump, which gave lots of warning, the biggest problem he's had has been a flat tire. I can't wait to retire (some day) and ride as much as he does.
    #52
  13. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    I never did address this.

    The hole itself appeared to be fine. The rubber hose was a little kinked, but I'm not sure it was completely blocked. I never once remember opening the fuel filler and seeing water. It's always been dry.

    I carefully routed the drain hose so it shouldn't be kinked this time, though an new hose wouldn't hurt as the old one was getting noticeably brittle.

    Jamie
    #53