Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A week ago went for a long distance ride totalling ~ 440 miles 2 ways. The bike was perfoming well and was able to travel at 74 -85 miles / hour all the way. The bike was consuming engine oil which requires topping up of about 100ml after the ride. No sign of smoke from the exhaust but just some signs of oil sipping out from the cam cover and the clutch shaft areas.

After reaching home from the ride, it was left on the centre stand for one whole week due to bad weather.

Last Saturday was thinking of going for a leisure morning ride but the bike just won't start. The starter turned but the engine won't run. Opened up the spark plug, both were red and oily. Cleaned the plugs and tested them, there were yellow/white sparks from both coils. Checked the valve clearance, all seemed to be normal. Found one of the spring (for holding the vacuum piston) of one carburetor sort of out of it's normal position and thought that was the problem, re-aligned the spring and put back onto bike, still unable to start the bike.:frown:

Now I am clueless , can anyone please shed some light on how to diagnose further ? Any help will be appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,512 Posts
A week ago went for a long distance ride totalling ~ 440 miles 2 ways. The bike was perfoming well and was able to travel at 74 -85 miles / hour all the way. The bike was consuming engine oil which requires topping up of about 100ml after the ride. No sign of smoke from the exhaust but just some signs of oil sipping out from the cam cover and the clutch shaft areas.

After reaching home from the ride, it was left on the centre stand for one whole week due to bad weather.

Last Saturday was thinking of going for a leisure morning ride but the bike just won't start. The starter turned but the engine won't run. Opened up the spark plug, both were red and oily. Cleaned the plugs and tested them, there were yellow/white sparks from both coils. Checked the valve clearance, all seemed to be normal. Found one of the spring (for holding the vacuum piston) of one carburetor sort of out of it's normal position and thought that was the problem, re-aligned the spring and put back onto bike, still unable to start the bike.:frown:

Now I am clueless , can anyone please shed some light on how to diagnose further ? Any help will be appreciated.
Start with the usual suspects. If you've ruled out spark I'd concentrate on the fuel.

Check/clean air filter, and make sure the bike is getting enough gas. Check fuel filter if you have one. Make sure fuel is able to leave the tank.

Did you disassemble the carbs? This should tell you if there's at least fuel getting that far.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yes, I did disassemble the carburetors and clened them with carb cleaner and there is fuel in the bowl. When cranking the starter turned, and at times the engine seems to be about to turn as well, but so far unable to get it started. :-(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,512 Posts
Using choke and blipping throttle too? (I hate to even have to ask this but there are so many people who seem to think a cold bike will just JOLT to life without choke)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Yes, that too. Tried starting with the choke on; then also with WOT. Both ways still no go. :frown:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,199 Posts
i would try buying new sparks and see what happens. i had a problem with my sparks fouling out due to oil on them i would clean them and they would spark and work for a bit then foul out again, and after 2 or 3 times of cleaning them, they stopped working all together. i put new sparks in and she fired up for a while with no problem until oil foulded them out again. just my 2 cent and if it fires up after a fresh set of plugs, then you know that was the problem if not then you got something else going on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,512 Posts
i would try buying new sparks and see what happens. i had a problem with my sparks fouling out due to oil on them i would clean them and they would spark and work for a bit then foul out again, and after 2 or 3 times of cleaning them, they stopped working all together. i put new sparks in and she fired up for a while with no problem until oil foulded them out again. just my 2 cent and if it fires up after a fresh set of plugs, then you know that was the problem if not then you got something else going on.
If you have a torch put the plug into a vice and burninate the engine side of the plug. You can sometimes burn off fouling and that might tell you if new plugs are needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Had tried spraying some WD 40 onto the plugs and then burn them on the stove. Still no improvement. Guess I shall get some new plugs and give it another go. Argh.... This is driving me crazy..
 

·
Navy Vet Search & Rescue
Joined
·
8,842 Posts
You have identified at least one problem already. You said the spark was yellow/white which is bad. You should have a strong blue spark. I would replace the plugs and if it still has the yellow or white spark you need to look at the coils, plug wires, and voltage to the coils.
 

·
The Cruising Gunsmith
Joined
·
1,459 Posts
Had tried spraying some WD 40 onto the plugs and then burn them on the stove. Still no improvement.
Must be some kind of ritual I never heard of.

To clean a spark plug, use acetone and a toothbrush. Then fold a pice of #280 sandpaper and use it to clean the top of the center electrode and the underside of the top electrode.

If your engine is coating the plugs with oil, it bakes on and forms a nice protective coating that prevents electrical sparks.... hence the not running thing.
 

·
Navy Vet Search & Rescue
Joined
·
8,842 Posts
To clean a spark plug, throw the darn thing in the trash and let the garbage man have it. Now trot on down to your local parts store and spend the trivial amount it cost for new plugs and install them. If you're not willing to spend that much on getting/keeping your bike running, then you better try to sell it fast.
 

·
The Cruising Gunsmith
Joined
·
1,459 Posts
To clean a spark plug, throw the darn thing in the trash and let the garbage man have it. Now trot on down to your local parts store and spend the trivial amount it cost for new plugs and install them. If you're not willing to spend that much on getting/keeping your bike running, then you better try to sell it fast.
I agree with that in general, but his is draining oil onto the plugs and fouling them. When mine was doing that it was fouling a set of plugs every other day (seriously). At that rate, it was worth it to clean them and carry a clean set in the boot with a wrench in case it failed to start.... at least until I could get it fixed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Got my new plugs but haven't got the chance to work on the bike yet.
If there is really engine oil in the plug well, what can be done to clean them up ?
 

·
Navy Vet Search & Rescue
Joined
·
8,842 Posts
I agree with that in general, but his is draining oil onto the plugs and fouling them. When mine was doing that it was fouling a set of plugs every other day (seriously). At that rate, it was worth it to clean them and carry a clean set in the boot with a wrench in case it failed to start.... at least until I could get it fixed.
Yea, been there done that up to a point. I didn't replace/clean them every other day but I did carry a spare set with my tools so I could replace one, should it foul out during a ride. I usually had to change one or more out every week or 2. I enjoy riding my bike a lot but if I had to clean and replace plugs every other day I'd park it until I could fix it I think. That would be way more aggravation than I could personally stand. :D

Got my new plugs but haven't got the chance to work on the bike yet.
If there is really engine oil in the plug well, what can be done to clean them up ?
If you aren't seeing any exhaust smoke and you only replaced .1 qt of oil I would be looking for something else possibly as the cause of the fouling. Mine burns more than that and I've had the same set of plugs (no cleaning) all summer. I'm also replacing the rings this winter. If you have oil in the plug well, that is a good indication that a valve cover gasket is leaking. I've never heard/seen a "red" plug, so that is confusing to me. If the business end of the plug is oily then the valve seals or rings are the most likely source of the problem.

I'm going to be out of town for the next week or so, but look forward to seeing what you guys figure out on this one. :biggrin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,728 Posts
To clean a spark plug, throw the darn thing in the trash and let the garbage man have it. Now trot on down to your local parts store and spend the trivial amount it cost for new plugs and install them. If you're not willing to spend that much on getting/keeping your bike running, then you better try to sell it fast.

+1.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,512 Posts
To clean a spark plug, throw the darn thing in the trash and let the garbage man have it. Now trot on down to your local parts store and spend the trivial amount it cost for new plugs and install them. If you're not willing to spend that much on getting/keeping your bike running, then you better try to sell it fast.
I totally agree. I've just been in the situation where a) I was midnight wrenching, b) the local parts store was sold out or c) the local parts store was a 40 minute drive away. ;) A friend has an old Honda 300 ATV that fouls its plug religiously so he keeps a torch beside the bike.

I used to have red dust on my vulcan's ceramic bits but I assumed that was just clay dust that was finding itself statically attracted to the plug. It was simply a dust that wiped off. Never heard of it on the engine side of the plug.

Slowz, what color is the spark? It should be noticibly blue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Jimmy,

The sparks were fat and blue.

Latest update, problem fixed :biggrin: .

My starting problem basically is either fuel, compression or spark(or the lack of it ) related. So with the new plugs and the healthy sparks, one factor was eliminated. Whats left was fuel delivery and compression.

Not quite sure what actually fixed the problem but over the weekend, reworked on the valve clearance again even though they were still within the limit. Set them to the looser end of the limit and also reworked on the carb. Thightened all carb hoses and also the part where the carb connected to the air box.

I do not have a compression gauge but turning the flywheel manually have proven to be quite an effort which showed there was sufficient compression.

After doing all that, started cranking the bike again and after several cranks, it finally fired. But immediately went dead again. Several try later got it running but the idle was rough. Performed a carb synch using a homemade carb synch tool and all was well.

Went for a ride in the next morning, initially there was a bit of hessitation when trying to bring the rpm above 5k, but after pushing through the part, it was smooth all the way, and the 5k bogging problem never recurred after that.

Thanks Jimmy, and all who have contributed their ideas and tips.
You guys are the best and always helpful.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top