Kentucky Kid, and cutting out at high speeds....
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Thread: Kentucky Kid, and cutting out at high speeds....

  1. #1
    Junior Member witttom's Avatar
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    Question Kentucky Kid, and cutting out at high speeds....

    So on Monday May 29th, my 16yr/old daughter on her TW200, my son (as my passenger) and I set out for a 2-day trip to Owensburo Kentucky to be a part of the Nicky Hayden memorial ride and grave side funeral services. We left before dawn and it was our intent to participate in this last ride, and then find a place to camp on the way home. Things didn't go quite as planned.



    About 60-miles into our travels, she because experiencing an issue with the TW cutting out at the faster speeds (60+). I first thought it was a fuel delivery problem. Maybe the cap not venting, maybe a clogged petcock, maybe... who knows. We tried several things. After a fill up, we THOUGHT the problem went away, but it didn't really. We pushed on. Throughout the day, it got worse and her top speed was limited. First she was able to minimize it by keeping it under 55, but then... it was more like 50, 45... etc. It quickly became a real problem. I eventually convinced myself that this wasn't a fuel problem, but a ignition problem as the battery mysteriously went dead. The only way we could start it, was with the kicker. We continued to limp it along, miserably. Every few miles, it would stall. I would have to kickstart it (and it wasn't as easy as you'd expect). Sometimes it would be two miles down the road. Something it might be 10. What we thought was gonna take us 4.5-hours, ending up taking us about 7. We barely made it to Owensboro with enough time to partake in the Nick Hayden event.




    I made the decision in Owensboro that this bike was not suitable for the ride home. Just too difficult. So, we called in for a rescue. We continued to limp it along in an effort to make the distance our rescue vehicle had to make, shorter. She managed to squeeze out about 300-miles on a very ill bike. We were all exhausted.



    After getting the bike home, I tinkered with it for a few days, and found that the battery was absolute toast. It would hold mid-12V to 13-volts, but one crank of the starter button, and it was give up. Charging voltage seemed to be fine. It would run at lower speeds without any problems. I was convinced that it was the battery giving us fits. So I ordered a new one. While I was at it, I ordered a new Regulator/Rectifier too, because.... well... they're cheap.

    New battery installed a couple days ago. The bike seemed happier than ever. Started very easy. Ran fine, but didn't really have a chance to actually take it out and try it though. I finally got around to it this evening. It was running great. I was loving it. I got it out on a long flat rural stretch, and I stretched it's legs, reaching upper-60's. But only briefly. It began cutting out again. I sputtered to the side of the road. It took me a couple minutes to get it to start up again (a couple minutes to cool off?). I figured maybe it really was a R/R. Perhaps getting too hot? I limped it back home. Immediately replaced the R/R with the new one, and took it out again. ....and it did it again.



    Got it back home, scratching my head, and I just can't seem to get it. I'm now thinking that maybe I have a fuel delivery problem again. But I pull the fuel line and watch it empty into a gas tank, both in the "ON" position and on RESERVE. Both positions flow fuel really well. That can't be it.

    I can't seem to reproduce this problem in my garage. Even holding the revs up for a long time, trying to simulate a high-speed 65mph+ run. I don't get it. Do I need to hook a voltage meter up to it and watch what happens when I push those upper speeds out on the road? That's not exactly easy to see (or rig up).

    Looking for some suggestions. I'm at a bit of a loss. This trip has fairly discouraging for my daughter, and don't want her to lose interest in this bike. She is travelling this week for academics. I'm hoping to have this all resolved before she gets home.
    Tom Witt ~ Southwest Ohio
    93 Yamaha TW200 (Daughter's Bike)
    06 Triumph Tiger 955i · 00 Triumph Adventurer 900 · 99 Triumph Trophy 1200 · 98 MZ Baghira 660 · 86 Honda CH250 Elite · 81 Suzuki GS750 Cafe (Project)

  2. #2
    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    Float level correct? Air filter clean? If you have a gas filter on it, how old is it? Is the seal beneath the seat on top of the airbox good?
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    Senior Member RockyTFS's Avatar
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    This sounds an awful lot to me like a fuel filter impaction problem. If true, there is a bunch of crap in the tank that takes a while to adhere to the petcock filters and slowly choke off the fuel flow. Once stopped, it falls back down to the bottom.
    The easy test for this is to pull the tank, remove the petcock and very thoroughly flush the tank and clean the two petcock filters. There are some types of crap that are virtually invisible in the gas or on the filter. You need to use a toothbrush, solvent, and air pressure to very carefully clean all those components, as well as a magnifying lens.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member SportsterDoc's Avatar
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    My first thought is the CDI system.
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    Senior Member lbxr's Avatar
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    The battery and charging system is not related to the engine ignition system, they are separate systems....a complete charging/battery fail should have no effect on how the engine runs. The only exception I can think of is to make sure everything is properly grounded....

  7. #6
    Senior Member stagewex's Avatar
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    I think it's electrical since you said the battery was drained in the first place. Not sure how fuel or lack of fuel could affect that? But clean the tank and filter anyway to completely eliminate that as a potential problem.
    Checking the grounding is a good suggestion. Usually something stupid & simple that can ruin your day. You'll find it.
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  8. #7
    Senior Member socalnative's Avatar
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    If this TW isn't ridden more than once a month then I think you have at least two different problems. 1. the battery died. 2. a fuel or carb issue.

    The battery will fix the starting and make the charging system work fine but you will still have the fuel starvation, dirty carb/jets, maybe air filter element or vapor lock which could be because fuel delivery is borderline and add to that the higher temps from running fast and you have a vapor lock-fuel starvation issue.

    I do like the suggestions to go over the simplest and easiest things first though.
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  9. #8
    Junior Member witttom's Avatar
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    I ordered a new petcock and a new coil, because they are both cheap to acquire. I get a little drip from the petcock occasionally. PO told me that she felt it needed to be replaced. I've not investigated it (maybe it's just the seal), but with these problems, I just went ahead and ordered one.

    I was going to attempt to place a clear fuel filter inline, so that I could SEE what was actually happening, but after tinkering with it and realizing that I just don't have the real estate, I decided to skip it. I drained the tank. The fuel flows FAST. No restrictions either in the ON position or RESERVE. Full flow, completely to bone dry. No debris inside the tank. I've not pulled the petcock yet, as I was waiting for the new one to get here (and it's not here yet).

    My replacement coil arrived today. I swapped it in. Put the tank back on, fill it up, took the TW down the street. It only takes me a minute to get out of my subdivision, and I can then get it up to speed quick (65MPHish). I hold it there for about a half-mile or so, then sputter sputter... it starts cutting out again. Coil not the fix. It sputters, stalls, and I coast to the side of the road. It then starts back up rather easily. Runs perfectly fine, get it back up to mid-60, and it cuts out. I limp it home.

    I WANT to see if the voltage is dropping out for whatever reason when this is happening, so I wire up a cheapie volt meter.



    At idle, it hovers in the low-12's. Once the revs comes up (and I'm moving), it's up past 13. I try my land speed record again. At 65MPH it is showing a consistent 13.38V (according to the meter). It stays there until it starts cutting out, then the meter is showing a fluctuation ranging from high 13's (sometimes briefly touch 14V) and low-13's. Not a wild fluctuation. Normal? I dunno. Is that a SIGN of the problem, or a RESULT of the problem? I can't tell.

    I think at this point, my next step is to check the float level. I probably won't do that until the new petcock arrives and I pull the tank (again).
    Tom Witt ~ Southwest Ohio
    93 Yamaha TW200 (Daughter's Bike)
    06 Triumph Tiger 955i · 00 Triumph Adventurer 900 · 99 Triumph Trophy 1200 · 98 MZ Baghira 660 · 86 Honda CH250 Elite · 81 Suzuki GS750 Cafe (Project)

  10. #9
    Member chuckgarrett's Avatar
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    I'll go with fueling being the issue. I've seen engines run strong all day long with no load then when a load is applied it runs out of fuel. It doesn't take much restriction to do so. Does the engine come back or stay good at low speed?

  11. #10
    Junior Member witttom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckgarrett View Post
    I'll go with fueling being the issue. I've seen engines run strong all day long with no load then when a load is applied it runs out of fuel. It doesn't take much restriction to do so. Does the engine come back or stay good at low speed?
    With the way that it is right now... I can reproduce the problem rather quick (within a couple minutes), just by taking it down the road at WOT. It cuts out, sputters, and if I back off the throttle real quick and drop my speed off (as if I have a choice), I can sorta kinda recover, but not really. I'll fight to keep it running, but it'll die. I'll let it sit for a 30-60 seconds or so, and it starts back up. If I ride it like a sensible person, it runs fine and 50-55mph is not a problem.

    These symptoms are different than what we encountered on our Kentucky Kid travel day though. It began cutting out at 60ish, and throughout the day... the problem got worse. It would occur and slower and slower speeds, to the point that even a 40mph cruise was difficult.
    Tom Witt ~ Southwest Ohio
    93 Yamaha TW200 (Daughter's Bike)
    06 Triumph Tiger 955i · 00 Triumph Adventurer 900 · 99 Triumph Trophy 1200 · 98 MZ Baghira 660 · 86 Honda CH250 Elite · 81 Suzuki GS750 Cafe (Project)

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