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Acting like its out of gas   Technical-Bikes

Started Jul-28 by msellarole; 962 views.

From: msellarole


Ok back again with updates and more thoughts.

After your suggestions a few days ago I went about doing some basic checks of the fuel delivery system and the corresponding electrical circuit. First checked that there was good flow just coming out of the petcock (on normal and reserve). Then checked to make sure the fuel pump was actually pumping fuel. To do this I took the tank off, connected the hose that is normally connected to the petcock to a funnel filled with gas and also disconnected the fuel hose from where it enters the left carburetor. When I turned the key to ON, the fuel pump did indeed pump the fuel through. I thought it might be possible the fuel pump was making a noise but not actually pumping fuel, but this showed that the pump could actually move from the tank to the carbs. So from these tests I didnt find an obvious culprit, however..

Just a few days later I was coming back from a longer ride and had gone about 120 miles on the current tank when the problem happened again. I was going 60mph on the highway when bike shuddered once and then died quite quickly. Turning the petcock to reserve while it was dying did not help. This time however I was ready to do a few tests to help get some more information!

First I checked to see if the fuel pump would make its typical priming noise when I turned the key on- it did. When I would try to turn on the engine it would crank but not turn over. I then did a presence of fuel test by pulling off the fuel hose from the left carburetor- no gas came out of the line at all! With the hose still off the carburetor I turned the key to ON again to see if gas would pump out when the pumped primed- it did NOT although the pump still made its normal buzzing noise.

At that point I poured in a gallon of gas (Ive been carrying an extra can around for this situation), waited a minute or so and checked again to see if gas would get pumped out of the hose- it did not. At this point I wasnt sure what to do. Another 2 gallons or so was brought to me and I poured that in. After trying to start it for several minutes the engine turned on and I rode the 15 minutes home with my tail between my legs! When I got home I pulled the fuel line to the carbs one more time and did the pump test one more time and no surprise- fuel was pumped out successfully.

So, from all this it would seem that indeed my problem is a fuel delivery issue. The bike died like it has been doing, there was no fuel in the hose to the carbs, and in that moment the fuel pump was making the noise but not pumping. Adding a gallon of gas didnt seem to help. But adding 2 more gallons AND/OR waiting about 45 minutes did seem to do the trick and I was able to get home. The "pump test" back at home showed that the pump of course was back to functioning properly.

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From: crazeeharry


All I got is:

A. an intermittent fuel pump.

B. vapor lock in the fuel line. (Maybe at the fuel pump through cavitation.)


From: SebastianGER


Hi, if there is no fuel in the hose, it can only mean 1) the pump is not able to pull the fuel due to high resistance and there is underpressure in the tank/hose (most likely clogged tank vent) or 2) there is a leak somewhere and it is pulling air instead of gas into the hose.

Did you already check all the hoses for cracks or gas leaks?

Try removing the venting equipment from the gas tank or ride without the gas tank cap but cover it up with duct tape (leave a tiny hole).