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Discussion Starter #1
First ride of my 2nd season of TW-ing was a bust. We fought with the '14 stalling every time it came to a stop -would either idle really fast or not at all. After 32 miles of riding, the '99 decided it would only run at idle and wouldn't take any throttle. We had to push it out of the woods and truck it home.

Both bikes stored with fuel treatment and run several times throughout the winter. I always treat the fuel, always swap/clean air filters after every ride. Ran all last season with no issues. So... WTF? I have to clean/rebuild both carburetors every spring?
 

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Perhaps draining the carbs and tanks and starting with fresh gas followed by putting each carb separately through a disassembly and ultrasonic cleaning could do wonders. It is a hassle, but good starting points.
 

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If you leave fuel in the carb over the winter (even with stabilizer), the fuel will partially evaporate and leave a residue behind that can easily clog the tiny holes in the pilot jet and emulsion tube.

jb
 

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Additional info for those that leave fuel in their bike during storage:

If you never drain and clean the float bowl, you are asking for carb problems.

Dirt particles build up in the float bowl (from unfiltered air vent opening).

Any of these particles can clog the pilot jet or emulsion tube openings:



jb
 

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My recipe for avoiding this is to use only non-ethanol gas, and I always shut off the petcock while the engine is running and let it run until all the fuel is used in the float bowl. I don't use any additives in my gas.
I'm not claiming this is a cure-all, but it seems to work for me.
 

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Even if you run the engine until it stops, there is still a bit of fuel left in the bottom of the bowl.

And there still may be dirt particles in the bowl ingested from the air vent.

jb
 

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2 TW's and both with fuel/carb related issues ought to tell the entire story. Most of us and particularly those who do mostly trail and off road riding fill out tanks from 5 gallon gas jugs. I don't care if you treat the fuel or not but if the fuel you use is ethanol and it is allowed to sit either in the tank and carb or in the 5 gallon jug it turns to junk in as little as 3 months. While vacationing in Maine in the northern Moosehead lake region the only place I found non ethanol fuel was in Greenville at the marina. None of the fuel treatments can remove ethanol from the gas and most actually are ethanol themselves. TW's hate ethanol and being designed back in the early 1980s and they never even knew what ethanol was.
Dump both tanks completely, fill both tanks with fresh fuel, preferably non E if you can get it and give each tank a double dose of SeaFoam. Run each bike for 15 minutes and then let them sit over night so the seafoam does it's wonders. This could clear up your issues if the issues are not too far along yet.

For over winter storage there are lots of "Schools of thought" on this subject. Full tank, empty tank, treated wet carb or completely drained carb and so many more opinions. Ask the mechanic at the boat marina for his recommendations. I use a fogging agent at the end of my season. Turn the petcock off and open and remove the air filter element. Run the engine until it starts to run out of fuel and spray the fogging agent directly into the carb. The bike will run and sputter and smoke a lot until it dies. This process coats the inside of the carb and the piston and cylinder with a liberal coat of protective oil. Close it all up and store the bike. If you leave the tank empty spay it with the fog stuff. If you leave the tank full to the brim then in the spring drain the fuel and put it in your car or truck and fill the tank with fresh fuel. It will smoke a bunch at first while the fogging agent is burning off but the carb should be clean and ready to run once the new fuel gets into it. The real mechanics found at Marinas and at small engine repair shops are the most knowledgeable on this subject and I have never found a single one that has anything good to say about ethanol other than they make lots of money cleaning the garbage out every spring.

GaryL
 

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I live where I can ride more days than life allows. I'm always surprised how much dirt/particles? there are in the fuel bowls when I have to take them off. I think they are left over from the gasoline that has evaporated.

Smaller motors have smaller carburetors and smaller passages which are easier to plug and slight build up has a greater effect on them.
On the TW if I haven't started it in a while and if it doesn't start just like it did before, don't even worry about how it runs, turn it off and check the pilot jet, main jet and jet nozzle, the part that the main jet screws into and has the small emulsion holes.
One of them is blocked and has always been my problem.

I have spares of all of those because I have several of them that I've spent time trying to clean without success.
Also I haven't been successful draining, using fuel stabilizers or using some other techniques when trying to store these carbs for more than 3 months.
 

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I live where I can ride more days than life allows. I'm always surprised how much dirt/particles? there are in the fuel bowls when I have to take them off. I think they are left over from the gasoline that has evaporated.

Smaller motors have smaller carburetors and smaller passages which are easier to plug and slight build up has a greater effect on them.
On the TW if I haven't started it in a while and if it doesn't start just like it did before, don't even worry about how it runs, turn it off and check the pilot jet, main jet and jet nozzle, the part that the main jet screws into and has the small emulsion holes.
One of them is blocked and has always been my problem.

I have spares of all of those because I have several of them that I've spent time trying to clean without success.
Also I haven't been successful draining, using fuel stabilizers or using some other techniques when trying to store these carbs for more than 3 months.
Those particles come from two distinct places, Either the inside of the metal tank or the bottom of your gas jug and those could come from the fuel at the pump when you fill the jug. In Line fuel filters solve a lot of these issues. I have a device with a camera lens on the end of a flexible cable and a screen in the hand held unit so I could do a colonoscopy of sorts inside the tank and view what it looks like inside. Every metal tank I have ever inspected has rust forming and usually rust lines from where ever the fuel level was left. There is always rust and crud down around the petcock which is the lowest section of the tank. Plastic tanks don't get the rust lines but they sure do get the dirt particles which leads me to believe they come from the gas pump or from the gas jug you keep the gas in.

GaryL
 

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The only common denominator here is “Ethanol”. In the UK we have 5% max (although that’s about to change apparently), so we have an immediate advantage over you guys – as such, this is perhaps an unfair comparison on “storage techniques”, but this is what works for me …

Fill the tank to the brim, run the carb dry, and stick a dose of Redex in the tank (it’s a carb/injector cleaner rather than any kind of fuel stabiliser). Other than that, just walk away for 8 months

When it comes to pulling them back out, first thing is “smell”. If the fuel smells “funky”, the chances are it is – drain and re-fill (and get that cap full of Redex back in there). You’ll know if something is “off” when you walk into the garage – no need to stick your nose into the tank. Only happened to me once (last year), so far this year it smells fine

If you need to pigtail your (lead acid) battery, chuck the thing away – I’ve had my TW200 for 4 years, and the TW225 for three with the batteries they came with, never had a problem using the button to start (even after keeping both bikes in an unheated garage for almost a year)

The next few things come under the heading of “preventative maintenance”. As said before, if the fuel smells funky, drop it before attempting to start – no point in running rotten fuel through the whole shebang. Same deal with the cap full of Redex carb cleaner - you’re still going to need it once you open that petcock, just to deal with that fuel glaze left behind by the evaporated fuel. 50c worth of Redex can cut through most things

I also have two new Lithium batteries that will go in this year, simply because I don’t trust the lead acid batteries to last more than five years (that were in there before I bought the bikes). If you don’t know the age, dump them before they fail, rather than struggle with them once they start to go bad

Same deal with the air filters – if you’re confident about the age and condition that’s fine – I’m not, both are unknown quantities. So that’s another tenner spent (for both bikes), rather than waiting for them to disintegrate through the carb leaving a trail of destruction behind. And while we’re on the subject of air filters, a filter is not a filter unless you have a seal, so a little grease around the fitting edges can prevent fine grit from getting through on the by-pass. Elementary when you think about – but how many of us do ?

I have every confidence that both bikes will start on the button, and any throttle stutter will clear (in around five minutes) as the carb cleaner gets through to its job. Total investment is around £150 over 4 years, and will last for (at least) the next four years. £150 (divided by 8 years =) less than 18 quid per year – 22 bucks, and I didn’t need to take off anything more than the seat, and one side panel

If you’re happy to wait until you have a problem, then good luck to you – but it can (and probably will) happen at the most inconvenient time possible. Is it your carb, your battery, your air mix ? – or even the stator, the CDI, your coil ? – a simple bit of preventative maintenance can eliminate the first three

For the sake of 22 bucks a year ?

I’ll take that ……
 

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The only common denominator here is “Ethanol”. In the UK we have 5% max (although that’s about to change apparently), so we have an immediate advantage over you guys – as such, this is perhaps an unfair comparison on “storage techniques”, but this is what works for me …

Fill the tank to the brim, run the carb dry, and stick a dose of Redex in the tank (it’s a carb/injector cleaner rather than any kind of fuel stabiliser). Other than that, just walk away for 8 months

When it comes to pulling them back out, first thing is “smell”. If the fuel smells “funky”, the chances are it is – drain and re-fill (and get that cap full of Redex back in there). You’ll know if something is “off” when you walk into the garage – no need to stick your nose into the tank. Only happened to me once (last year), so far this year it smells fine

If you need to pigtail your (lead acid) battery, chuck the thing away – I’ve had my TW200 for 4 years, and the TW225 for three with the batteries they came with, never had a problem using the button to start (even after keeping both bikes in an unheated garage for almost a year)

The next few things come under the heading of “preventative maintenance”. As said before, if the fuel smells funky, drop it before attempting to start – no point in running rotten fuel through the whole shebang. Same deal with the cap full of Redex carb cleaner - you’re still going to need it once you open that petcock, just to deal with that fuel glaze left behind by the evaporated fuel. 50c worth of Redex can cut through most things

I also have two new Lithium batteries that will go in this year, simply because I don’t trust the lead acid batteries to last more than five years (that were in there before I bought the bikes). If you don’t know the age, dump them before they fail, rather than struggle with them once they start to go bad

Same deal with the air filters – if you’re confident about the age and condition that’s fine – I’m not, both are unknown quantities. So that’s another tenner spent (for both bikes), rather than waiting for them to disintegrate through the carb leaving a trail of destruction behind. And while we’re on the subject of air filters, a filter is not a filter unless you have a seal, so a little grease around the fitting edges can prevent fine grit from getting through on the by-pass. Elementary when you think about – but how many of us do ?

I have every confidence that both bikes will start on the button, and any throttle stutter will clear (in around five minutes) as the carb cleaner gets through to its job. Total investment is around £150 over 4 years, and will last for (at least) the next four years. £150 (divided by 8 years =) less than 18 quid per year – 22 bucks, and I didn’t need to take off anything more than the seat, and one side panel

If you’re happy to wait until you have a problem, then good luck to you – but it can (and probably will) happen at the most inconvenient time possible. Is it your carb, your battery, your air mix ? – or even the stator, the CDI, your coil ? – a simple bit of preventative maintenance can eliminate the first three

For the sake of 22 bucks a year ?

I’ll take that ……
You must have really good batteries in your area. I was using the Yuasa, following their exact instructions and I never had one last more than 6 months where the starter still worked. I bought a cheap AGM battery which is technically a little weaker and I have been able to use the electric starter now for about 2 years, this battery is still going strong. I am glad I have a kick starter. After the 6 months of the lead acid failing I would just kick start it for a few years before buying another.
 

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Just dragged them into the light this afternoon – dumped both tanks (purely as a precaution), re-filled with a gallon of fresh fuel each (plus a capful of Redex) – turned on both petcocks and left them to soak for ten minutes, and gave both throttles a quick twist to get the stuff over the needle seats

At this point, both bikes still have the original lead acid batteries in, the 1998 TW200 for four years of my ownership (it’s history before then unknown) – the 2007 TW225 for three years, again, previous history unknown

The TW200 started on the button (third revolution of the engine), the TW225 needed four revolutions, again, on the button. Playing around with the choke and throttle, I did manage to briefly stall the 225, but again, there was ample cranking power to immediately re-start it. Once “off the choke”, both bikes have no throttle hesitation at all - both tanks on inspection are squeaky clean

Weather here today is 15C and sunny - and as I type this, both bikes are ticking over quietly on the driveway

Lead acid reliability these days seems to be a “hit or miss” affair. If you take (as an example), car batteries, which are guaranteed from between 3 and five years - I purchased two this year, one of which is fine, one of which has already failed. Reading various threads on here, it seems to be a crap shoot at the moment. No idea as to whether the fact that these two bikes are both Japanese imports makes any difference – (it is what it is)

It’s tough to “judge” what’s wrong with someone’s bike when you only have a keyboard to communicate by, and even in Moab this year, we had a couple of bikes that were playing up. Somethings you can anticipate, some you can’t – ‘twas ever thus

Anyway, this has been my personal experience of this “Summer start up”, and I got off lightly. Total cost was two gallons of gas. Next year should be equally as easy, with the new Lithium batteries and air filters in place – like I said – “think ahead”

I am far from perfect when it comes to “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” – and I fully accept that I really ought to take a look at the spark plugs on both bikes (having owned both bikes for nearly four years, and studiously ignored the plugs completely)

Maybe next year …….
 

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I have my own opinions about batteries in general. They are electrical devices and with electrics either they work or they don't and there is not much middle ground. Back in 2010 I bought 2 large marine deep cycle batteries for my boat both the same with 36 month warranties. In 2014 one battery refused to take a full charge and had to be replaced. The second battery is still working perfect today nine years later. There is no telling why one battery keeps right on going and another one develops a bad cell and craps out even though both were used exactly the same hooked with each other to make a 24 volt power bank.
When I replaced the lead acid one that went bad I bought a much pricier AGM battery made by VMax Charge Tank and I have been very happy with the AGM performance. The lithium ones do scare me a bit with all the fires they have started in various devices and what is worse is how expensive they are. I have not checked recently but the 100 AH lead acid batteries cost me $100 each, the AGM one has 110 AH and cost me $249 delivered. The last I checked for the lithium one in 100-110 AH size they were closer to $600 but they do weigh a lot less. I figure with my MC batteries if I get 3 years of reliable service out of a standard Yuasa Lead Acid battery I got my money's worth.

GaryL
 

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Lithium batteries have come a long way in the last few years. My understanding of them is that if you don’t discharge them at a rate that would offend your wallet, they are normally fine. Same deal with charging, over do it and they’ll react. I stick one in my face on a regular basis (I vape), but a basic understanding of the tech makes it fairly safe

By comparison, with lead acid (the word here being “acid”), I have lost count of the pairs of jeans I have “holed” in my youth. Then there’s the warnings about “explosive gasses” whilst charging – always a bonus

The primary reason I’ve avoided Lithiums to date, was the costs. £150 for a battery ? – you’re having a Giraffe, and I don’t care how “light and small” it is

In the last 12 months, that cost has now halved – leaving us with just one dilemma

Should I (stuck under this bike) say goodbye to a perfectly good pair of jeans – should I forgo the chance of a ciggy while waiting for help, in case of explosion – or should I say “If it catches fire, I’m out of here” - (necessity being the mother of invention)

Lithium has come a long way, with regards to safety and price – but it still holds its position in the Darwinian awards (as do the alternatives) ……
 

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Those particles come from two distinct places, ....
There are definitely dirt particles in the tank.

However, in order to get into the carb, they would need to pass through the screen on the petcock....

...then through an inline filter...

...then through the fine screen located on the carb valve seat.




IMO, few, if none of those particles could pass through all 3 of these filters:




More likely the particles are coming through the unfiltered air from the carb air vent.

jb
 

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There are definitely dirt particles in the tank.

However, in order to get into the carb, they would need to pass through the screen on the petcock....

...then through an inline filter...

...then through the fine screen located on the carb valve seat.




IMO, few, if none of those particles could pass through all 3 of these filters:




More likely the particles are coming through the unfiltered air from the carb air vent.

jb
Excellent assessment JB. Every carb I have ever rebuilt because of poor running conditions what I have found is that tiny screen on the top of the valve seat was clogged with a white gunk that was restricting fuel flow. The needle valve itself was often sticky with some form of crud so this was the very first place I always looked for carb issues. The white arrows you show pointing down to the O rings is also the direction of the fuel flow going into the float bowl. Those particles could certainly be sucked up into the main jet and/or the pilot jet and cause some issues but IMO it is not always necessary to replace the main or pilot jets as long as you can clean them so no crud or particles are blocking or restricting them.

GaryL
 

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Yes, always...even with new, clean, good, dependable gas & tank.
 
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