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2009 TW200
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was cruising around 55-60 today, having a lovely time, when suddenly, there was nothing. Lil just shut down. The first time it happened, she started right back up again. The second time, I could not get her to fire up for love or miney. I had just filled the tank, so I knew it wasn't that. I ended up getting a tow home from my husband. Where we are now...we have checked and appear to have spark. Looks like fuel is going where it should. When we turned it over, it sounded like it was spinning faster than our other TW. We are kind of at a loss where to go next, any ideas? Thanks!
 

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Check for loose wires or connections, loose batter ground, connectors at headstock that go under the front of the tank.
Can you trust the gas you got? Have had some bad fouled stuff that would not ignite.

Wish you well.
 

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Internal combustion gasoline engine needs three basic things to run.

1) Spark at the correct time
2) Fuel in the proper quality & quantity
3) Compression

Something is wrong with one of these when an engine won’t run.

The engine cranking faster than normal is concerning. That may indicate a problem with compression.

Engines with a broken timing chain crank faster due to low compression because the valves don’t move. And they sound different. Verify things are ok by removing a valve cover and watch to see the valve move while cranking. Hope all is well and you can go back troubleshooting #1 & 2. Problem found if not.
 

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Internal combustion gasoline engine needs three basic things to run.

1) Spark at the correct time
2) Fuel in the proper quality & quantity
3) Compression

Something is wrong with one of these when an engine won’t run.

The engine cranking faster than normal is concerning. That may indicate a problem with compression.

Engines with a broken timing chain crank faster due to low compression because the valves don’t move. And they sound different. Verify things are ok by removing a valve cover and watch to see the valve move while cranking. Hope all is well and you can go back troubleshooting #1 & 2. Problem found if not.

I don’t think this is the problem since the engine restarted after it quit the first time
 

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I've had this happen too. In my own case I believe there may be two different reasons it happened to me: Not positive though. Your cause may be different, however.

1) Bad gasoline.

I had't run my bike on reserve for awhile and I have a hunch some old gas "snot" had accumulated in the bottom of the tank. If you've seen it it sort of looks like snot, or whitish spittle. This accumulation would form below where the non reserve fuel tap setting would access it. When I ran the bike on the reserve setting it popped and farted as if either the carb was fouled - a jet partly plugged - or the gas running through it was really bad. Putting fresh fuel in eventually cleared the bad gas and I was OK again. depending on how much bad gas is in there could I think potentially stall you period until you manually clean out the fuel system manually. in my own case what I did when the engine was running was run it for awhile on the reserve setting to try get that old gas burned.

This is a rationalized guess mind you, as there may have been another gremlin at play here.

2) High temperatures boiling the gas in your carb.

In the last three years it's been very hot in the summers with some all time temp records being broken. Just yesterday it was brutal too, and when I stopped for a minute on the road for a break and shut the bike off, it wouldn't start after. It was as if it was out of gas. Suspecting an air lock, boiling gas or some such I spit on the engine case on the drive side where it covers the drive sprocket. I did it just to see how hot the engine was and my spit boiled immediately. Understand this was on a part of the engine that normally doesn't get that hot in typical running conditions. Incidentally I was riding on the pavement at road speeds so it wasn't a matter of heat buildup due to overly hard running, or slow running and heat buildup caused by lack of airflow onto the engine cylinder.

I think the case was so hot because the ambient temperature was very high yesterday. I think the engine was so hot that when no air was blowing onto it the heat convection traveled through to the carb and actually boiled the gas in the carb. I've had this on my pickup too - gas boiling in the fuel injection lines causing a stall.

Remember, our fuel today contains a good portion of alcohol which has a lower boiling point than gas had in the good old days. It will boil where the old gas of bygone days wouldn't have. Bubbles in your gas line or float bowl will at the minimum cause misfiring, or stall you altogether, since an engine doesn't run too well on bubbles of air in your fuel line.
So I sat and waited for a few minutes and then tried again, and after a pop or two away I went again.... If you've ever seen a motorcycle or car with a fibre spacer block installed underneath a fuel pump or carb it's put there by the mfr to try keep the gas in the pump or carb from boiling due to the heat convection from the engine.

Just my two bits here. Hope you figure out the gremlin.
Paddy
 

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Is your bike running now? About a week ago my TW just mysteriously died while going home. It wouldn't start right back up. I finally just shaked the bike left and right sitrring up the nearly full tank and it started right up. I haven't had an issue since. I think I had a bit of water in the tank. It's the only thing I can think of.
 

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Since you have spark and have fuel (not necessarily good flow), check the petcock screen.

Would it start if switched to reserve?

Next would be a compression check.
 
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In my own case I think there are a couple of things going on here which have individually caused either rough running or hard starting - non starting. Understand, the individual set of circumstances were different in the two cases I describe.

(1) petcock screen partially plugged with varnish or whatever, or bad fuel accumulating below the normal petcock open setting, only fed to the carb on the reserve setting.

(2) regular gasohol boiling when it gets really hot outside, combined with a hot engine. Remember, due to its alcohol content and different chemistry our unleaded regular gas these days has a lower boiling point than the old leaded product had.

When I put the rough running engine down to (1) an old accumulation of water or "snot" in the tank, I think that (water or snot) accumulates where it couldn't be accessed unless the petcock was switched to reserve. I find that staying on reserve for a few minutes with a full tank of fresh fuel seemed to clear the bad. I now run on reserve just because, to clear any potentially bad gas that wouldn't be accessed when the petcock was set on normal open setting. Since doing so my intermittent rough running gremlin has disappeared.

When my engine simply wouldn't start after being shut off I suspected (2) gas boiling in the carb. After I sat for an hour and the engine had time to cool off some, it fired right up and ran fine. This doesn't happen often, but has occurred on two or three occasions when ambient temp is extraordinarily high. I think when the bike is running and in motion on these really hot days the engine has enough cooling air blowing on it to keep the gas from boiling. When stopped with engine shut down, however, convection of heat from the engine's mass combined with the really high ambient temp may cause that fuel to boil in the carb.

I'm sure it's not an air lock caused by the tank not venting. In all cases I open the filler cap just to make sure, which doesn't make any difference in (1) or (2). I probably should take the petcock out and check the screen and blow out the tank with compressed air, but I never have gotten 'round to it.

Where does this water or bad gas "snot" that I describe come from? Condensation perhaps, or bad gas out of an old country pump somewhere that's been in the tank lurking below the normal running setting or behind a partially fouled screen on the petcock for a period of time.

Sorry for being so wordy guys. It's hard to just spit it out clearly in a few words. I'm certainly no pro on this but my sense brings me to these conclusions.

Paddy
 

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I was cruising around 55-60 today, having a lovely time, when suddenly, there was nothing. Lil just shut down. The first time it happened, she started right back up again. The second time, I could not get her to fire up for love or miney. I had just filled the tank, so I knew it wasn't that. I ended up getting a tow home from my husband. Where we are now...we have checked and appear to have spark. Looks like fuel is going where it should. When we turned it over, it sounded like it was spinning faster than our other TW. We are kind of at a loss where to go next, any ideas? Thanks!
Now would be a good time to pull apart every electrical connector you can find and clean the ends with a contact cleaner such as Deoxit5. Got an old Honda XR200R running perfectly after this maintenance procedure.

Don’t force them apart, look for a locking tab and use a small screwdriver as needed to release the tab
 

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Good preventative maintenance advice, but MadMac advised spark present and starter operates.
 
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