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cugel 11-30-2011 10:44 PM

This one's a head-scratcher

I have a 1995 vt250 Honda Magna. Bike was running fine, idling in the driveway. Then it started to slow down, lose power, then stopped running. Now, it turns over but won't start - not even fire at all.
Here's the background:

Bike has spark, with new plugs (yes, I did pull them and checked them against the engine block - strong spark). Bike has gas, with a new fuel pet****. Fuel filter checked and cleaned. Carbs are squeaky clean. Air filter is clear. Battery has a fresh charge, spins fast. Gas tank, purged of old fuel and refilled with fresh gas (just to be sure). Everything upstream of the plugs is new: wires, regulator, ballast resistors, pick-up coil, ICU, etc.

Utterly mystified what could have happened. Any clues or suggestions for something to check that I might have missed?

Million thanks,


trenttheuncatchable 12-01-2011 08:13 AM

From what you're describing, it sounds like your engine isn't getting any fuel anymore. I would check the fuel lines and anything fuel-related between your tank and your engine. (You realized this is free advice, right? And you get what you pay for ... :)

MOKE1K 12-01-2011 09:44 AM

I agree that you should confirm that your getting fuel, check the drain screw on the carb and make sure your getting fuel. Also when it lost power did you lose lights as well? Finally how long has it been sitting prior? Let us know.

The Spaceman 12-01-2011 12:00 PM

If you have a strong spark, it almost has to be fuel. There is a possibility that somehow the timing has gone way out of whack, but that's unlikely.

Can you get to the intakes? A can of starter fluid would confirm if it's fuel for you. Spray it in while cranking; if it hits and tries to run, then you're not getting fuel.

BTW: Old bikes like this one are known to have corrosion in the tanks. The rust can flake off and clog a brand new fuel filter, lines, etc. very quickly.

cugel 12-01-2011 05:52 PM

Bike was running strong the day before, perfect idling and pulling all the way to redline.

I agree, there is some rust in the tank. It's been cleaned out with kerosene, and I also put in new fuel. There is an in-tank gas filter, clean. An inline filter, also clean. Carbs have been taken apart completely and cleaned. I opened up the drain plug, and there was fresh gas coming out of the bowl. So there's gas in there, just not firing.

But you're right, it seems to me too like it must be a gas problem. I simply can't find it. I live in China and they don't have such a thing as starter fluid - I wish they did. But I will try to find something to spray into the intake manifolds....

Thanks to everyone.

cugel 12-04-2011 06:43 PM

For those of you following closely at home (I can hear you coughing)...

I cleaned out the carbs - again - very completely. Finally got the bike to start sparking. When it did, all kinds of backfiring, and black soot shot out the pipes.

Almost certainly a bad tank of gas, which has now been purged and the bike runs like it should. I think I may have got some diesel mixed in. Around here in China, you don't fill your own tank. It's done by service workers, who - God bless 'em - may not be the most attentive of people. If you're not looking after your own stuff, don't expect anyone else to.

But it's all speculation at this point. I'm just happy to have the bike back.

The Spaceman 12-05-2011 06:01 AM

Just curious, how much does a gallon (or liter) of gas cost in China? Also, I've read that electric scooters are very popular there. Is that true? Any thoughts on E-Bikes from your side of the world?

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