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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.
 

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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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My first thought is the CDI system.
 

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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....
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #8
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).
 

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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?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Apologies for the slow response. I've been super busy and haven't had a chance to give the TW the attention it needs until recently. My daughter is out of town travelling AGAIN and I desperately need to get this resolved and build confidence back in this bike again while she is away.

Managed to find some time this past Sunday. Removed the carb. Adjusted the float, even though it was right within spec. I set it a little higher, as I could see that I still had room in the bowl for 'extra' capacity based on evidence of where the is fuel normally at it's highest in the bowl.

Confident that I had not fixed the problem, I took it for another test ride. Sure enough, it had a fuel starvation problem. I was able to get FURTHER down the road, but the problem was still there. This told me that it was indeed running out of fuel though. Messed with it all afternoon. I finally conceded to swap out the petcock. I had a brand new one sitting here waiting to go on, but have been reluctant to install it because I've been fairly confident that it is NOT the problem. But running out of things to try, I figure why not.

While I'm watching the tank drain, super-fast... I can see that this simply can't be it (had previously tested the tank without the fuel cap on weeks ago). Good fuel flow fro the petcock, and the carb is pulling fuel into the engine and running well (when it has fuel). There is no way that the bike can be consuming fuel faster than what the petcock flows. Heck, if it did... I would be able to run the tank completely out of fuel within minutes just by holding the throttle wide open.

I decided to hook a fuel line up to the carb intake port and blow. Sure enough. Not much getting through. I can't believe this little tiny, and short passage, was my actual problem. But it was. Blasted it with carb cleaner. Little tiny black flakes came out, about the size of pepper. I removed the float and the float valve, and blasted it both ways with carb cleaner and my air compressor. Still not flowing quite as well as I would like, but it was far far better than what it was. I put it back together. Took it for a spin down my road. Problem solved. I took it for a longer test ride. WOT for several miles. Every once in a great while, I can manage a small hiccup at terminal velocity WOT, but it's hard to duplicate (who besides me rides at WOT for miles and miles?).

Yesterday morning, I set out with intent to ride to the other side of the state and back, but packed a lightweight bug-out bag with me in case I got too far and/or found a place to stay for the night. About two hours into my trip, I found myself rather cold. Wearing only mesh, I was a bit unprepared for the 65ºF day (in June??) and decided to turn around. I rode about 250-miles total. That's enough to show confidence I think. I think my daughter will be pleased. I know I am.

 

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Discussion Starter #13

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Symptoms sound familiar:

1) A small fuel filter inside the carb located above the float valve seat is often neglected. It has a fraction of the surface area of the petcock’s filters and gums up easily with old gasohol. Easily checked by opening drain fitting on bottom of carb and observing fuel flow into and out of float bowl via drain. If it does not drain well with the petcock and drain fitting open then this may be the direct source of the fuel starvation. Solution is cleaning, removal, or replacement of this filter; best accomplished with installing a new needle/seat/filter assembly. I recommend eliminating this secondary internal filter entirely and replacing it filter function with the external readily serviceable 90-degree inline 1/4” filters seen so commonly on TWs.

2) A minor blockage in either the carb’s or the tank’s vent can exhibit similar fuel starvation symptoms. Vents may be tested individually by loosening gas cap when symptoms occur. Carb vent tested by removing vent tube at carb when bike shows symptoms, then re-test at W.O.T.
 

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Glad you are sorting it out. I had high speed cutting out problems on two different days on two different bikes when we were in Moab. I would fill them up in the morning not always evenly. Turns out I was overfilling the tanks causing venting trouble. After riding for a while they would clear up as the gas went down. It wasn't a problem at lower speeds.If you read the manual it says not to fill above the collar inside the tank below the cap. I was putting more in because of the long rides.
 

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Repeatedly overfilling my California model gas tank apparently resulted in the evaporative emissions canister getting gas saturated. Activated charcoal inside seemed to break down and create a blockage also resulting in fuel starvation stall-outs as described above.
 

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A little late to be commenting lol but wanted to state that I had the exact same issues (down to the smallest detail) on a 400+ mile trip just last weekend.
Did some digging and looked it up on the forum and it turned out it was exactly what Fred said. I had been overfilling my tank due to the major lack of gas stations on my route (should've brought a bigger spare can) and fuel was getting into the lines for the vapor canister.
Being that the thing isn't required in this state the darn thing is coming off.
 

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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.
+1 This is cheap and easy to try and I have seen this issue.
 
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