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My '89 TW was running when I left it off for 1 1/2 week to get new battery. Left petcock on and now it won't start. I have:
+ leaned bike over and drained carb (blew through it to dry it out as well)
+ tested plug (it sparks when grounded), also checked gap and switched out with another plug just in case
+ changed oil (just in case there was gas in it somehow)
+ sprayed starting fluid lightly (and later more heavily) into plug socket
+ electric started it until new battery died - kick started it until my right leg wore out

What am I missing? I'm new to motorcycles but I thought all I needed was fire, fuel and air. I'm in the middle of cleaning out carb but that shouldn't have anything to do with it since a) it was running when I took the battery out and b) it got plenty of gas through when I left the petcock on. I've checked and not unplugged any wiring harnesses when changing battery. Thoughts? I'd love to get on this thing.
 

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does it make any little attempt to fire when you crank on it? my money is on the carb. when I find one that needs cleaning just draining it and such doesnt do it. I end up pulling them and removing every last part then ultra sonic cleaning. that usually gets it going.
 

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Use a new plug, not the old one, just because it is firing when you are looking at it outside of the cylinder doesn't mean that its firing under the compression of the engine. IF it was running fine and now its now and that's all you did was leave the fuel on, then I would try that first
 

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I'm with vanillagorilla1 on this one. I'm not a mechanic, but it sounds like carb since you did the "fuel left on" thing. However, I would think it would fire with the starting fluid trick. Maybe a wire grounding out when trying to start it? Are you on or off the bike when you try to start it? I always look at what I just did to see if I did something inadvertantly to cause the problem.
 
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Find a hill, place the bike in 2nd or 3rd and try roll starting it. Remember to have the gas on and if needed the choke.
Not knowing how warm it is where you are or if you have been turning the throttle the bike could be flooded.
 

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If the needle valve in the carb does not seat, you can get fuel filling the carb and come out the over flows. More of a mess than a real issue.
I turn mine off just in case. With my old xt225 if you did not turn the gas off for the last few minutes of running it was a bitch to start. I found that little hint on the xt forum and passed it on to a friend who was having issues starting his xt. A block away from home reach down, turn the fuel off and problem solved.
 

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If you have spark it should at least fire when some gas (not starting fluid) is put directly in the cylinder. I would work on that until it does. Then, clean the carb. I know, these carbs are touchy, but they usually at least fire and run bad if they just need cleaning.

It is possible there is no gas in the bowl. Trying opening the drain to see. But I still think it is a spark problem.
 

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If the needle valve in the carb does not seat, you can get fuel filling the carb and come out the over flows. More of a mess than a real issue.
I turn mine off just in case. With my old xt225 if you did not turn the gas off for the last few minutes of running it was a bitch to start. I found that little hint on the xt forum and passed it on to a friend who was having issues starting his xt. A block away from home reach down, turn the fuel off and problem solved.
to expand on that a little, it the float valve sticks it can also fill the cylinder with gas causing it to hydraulic lock which is really bad. That exact thing happened to a friend of mines old Kawasaki Concours 1000 when the vacuum valve failed, he had to put a piston and rod in it. it was a common problem on those bikes.....
 

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If the bike is in neutral it will start with kickstand down and no clutch lever.
 
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If the bike is in neutral it will start with kickstand down and no clutch lever.
OK. I don't know the bikes that well. But with him saying he used starting fluid, but no pop I'm guessing no spark or super super weak spark.
But then again, I think he wrote that he sprayed it in the spark plug hole which means there was most likely no ooomph left in the fluid by the time he re-installed the plug and turned it over. :D
 

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this right here has been a problem for my bike, sometimes it works normally sometimes it only starts with kickstand up and/or in neutral.
All the ones I had in the past gave me fits. I'd be riding on rough terrain and the stand would be bopping up and down and the engine would be cutting in and out! I bypassed it on all of them.
 

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I know you will get this Big buford. The guys on here are great help. Wish I were better at the wrenching thing.
 
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