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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I got home today after being away for a month. Before I left I filled my tank, put stabil in it, and ran around the block a few times to work it in. My biggest worry was that the battery would die...

But that power is fine, however....the darn engine will not stay running without 3/4 choke even after treating it with seafoam(never saw the white smoke coming out the exhaust though, pretty sure I was supposed to). I even tried riding it for a bit just in my neighborhood to see if I could ween it off the choke, no good, stalled at every stop sign. Its a 2009 ninja 250 with only 200 miles on it :(

Anyone know why my baby is breaking down so early? I checked the oil and what not too, its all good. OH YEAH, and the fuel gauge doesn't work anymore even though the tank is obviously full, what the foo.

Few more clues, the throttle is extremely sluggish, idles normal at 3/4 choke but dies at anything less, exhaust sputtering every now and then and revs increase for a split second, I'm assuming my carbs are buggered but the darn seafoam had no effect. Maybe more is needed? Only put seafoam in the fuel, anywhere else maybe?
 

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I have a bike that was running like that, but it had not been running for a long time before the wiring was patched up. I'll leave it to the experts, hope you don't mind my comment. My Honda Lead did have a problem as it comes new with heavier oil that has to be changed out first service, no probably not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When the bikes off I see plenty of oil in the gauge, when its idling it all goes away. Dunno if that helps, but at least I know the oil is getting in.
 

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that's normal for the oil to drop when it's running, not an expert but think that I would drain the gas and put in new. Check the fuel filter and tap on the side of the carbs while its running to see if a float is sticking. That few miles says that it set with gas in it for some time in the past.
 

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Moisture might be possible problem. Letting it warm up for a bit before riding might help.
 

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Pilot jets are clogged. Seafoam will disolve small amounts of varnish buildup but it needs to flow over the varnish in order to do this. If the jet is completely blocked then there is no flow through them. I think you are going to have to pull the carbs and clean the pilot jets and passageways manually. The reason it runs with the choke on is because the choke circuit is completly different than the path the fuel flows when it comes through the pilot jets.
 

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When I took my 500 out after 3 months of winter storage it took about 15-20 minutes before it would stay running without choke. After that it would start up and run fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Battled with it for 20ish minutes again and got it to idle at norm with half choke, think I will have to call it a night because I have no clue if I am causing more damage to it letting it try to clear itself if it really is all gummed up. Calling the dealership in the morning, they are pretty shady and I'm sure its gonna cost me something ridiculous, cleaning a carb myself sounds like making things worse. I can't believe this happened in less than one month of sitting in a garage.

Anyone know the causes of a fuel gauge not rising? It's sitting below Empty with a full tank, this bike is still an infant and is already breaking down :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Whats the sending unit, I've got the fairings off so I can go check. Is that for the fuel gauge? The fuel gauge really worries me, I can't find any info on what makes them just stop working for no reason on a brand new bike.

Also the exhaust started to turn white a bit from the seafoam but still will only run at half choke.
 

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Warning V2k Onboard
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OH YEAH, and the fuel gauge doesn't work anymore even though the tank is obviously full, what the foo.
Have you actually checked the fuel, a tankfull can disappear over a month, you may be trying to run it on just the junk in the bottom.
 

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The sending unit is the device inside the tank that sends the signal to the gauge that you see in the instrument panel. It has wire that run out the bottom of the tank and connect to the main wiring harness. There is normally a connector not far from where the wires exit the tank.
 

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Also the exhaust started to turn white a bit from the seafoam but still will only run at half choke.
You are probably on the right track. I had an old VX800 that took some time to clear the carbs from sitting too long. the more you ride it, the better it should get for you.

Don't over-rev it, just run it and give it time to work. it won't be a quick change, but it should start coming in better with some time/running, like an hour or so. If you can, just go ride some, even on half choke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, yeah I had been wondering if riding it with half choke was going to be bad or not, I'll go do that. Just after I put the fairings back on @[email protected]

Edit: This sure isn't good for the ego, it stalls at every stop 8)

Also, should I take the choke off when I get going and only put it back on when I have to stop?
 

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itching to ride
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If it will run without the choke then run it that way. Mine was going dead when I would stop because of an air leak so I would rev it a bit as I stopped. I had to keep an eye on the tach to make sure it would not go dead. A clogged pilot jet passage acts like that and when you get going it will smooth out. About the only thing you can do besides yanking the carb and cleaning it is to keep the revs up.

If it was mine I would pull the fuel line and drain the carb bowl. Then fill it with straight seafoam and run it. Maybe do this a couple times. It will most likely sputter and smoke white like crazy but it will not hurt it. If that does not help then it is time to yank the carb.
 

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Stupid question but, since it's a carb'd bike, can't you just increase the idle with a screw or something and quit messing around with the choke? Normally a carb bike will run fine that way and you just tweak the idle screw as the bike runs better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Fuel gauge started working again randomly, perhaps the battery had died just enough to not run it or something and the riding around charged it back up.

After a couple of hours of riding and some pretty embarrassing middle of the road stalls due to power vanishing when I open the throttle nothing has changed, but I'm working on running the tank empty and putting new gas in it to see if that helps anything.
 

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I've had better luck with Chemtool B-12 than Seafoam for cleaning varnish. A shock treatment, 2oz/gal, usually works great for keeping my boat carbs clean after it sits for long periods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
After two days of riding it finally cleared up and will idle without the choke, phew. However the fuel gauge is working, but its obviously not anywhere near accurate, at 81 miles it was saying my tank was less than half. I'll deal and just bring it up at the first maintenance which is coming up anyways if it doesn't work after my next fill up.
 

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its obviously not anywhere near accurate,
Sounds like every motorcycle gauge I have had for over 20 years.

Be prepared to hear the same from any service person. My buds 08 GSXR doesn't have the problem: they just gave him a low fuel light w/ no gauge, thought that was a smart move.
 
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