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newrider1985

Joined:

Jun 12

Posts: 16

newrider1985 says:

Am I slowly running my bike into the ground?

Hi all, as usual I have been follow the forum for a while but am only now getting around to saying hi because I need some help so for this I apologise...

I have been experiencing intermittent problems with my Yamaha Virago XV250S for about the last 6 weeks now. The first thing to go was the battery. After a particularly cold weekend the bike refused to start on the Monday morning and the battery died. Once the AA had arrived the very helpful man had a little look over the bike and pointed out that the chain was way to loose. He showed me what I needed to do to adjust this and after he replaced the battery he went on his way. The following weekend I had a go at adjusting the chain, which I could only get either too tight or too loose. I made small adjustments over the next few weekends to enable me to continue to commute into work without it coming off and killing me. Anyway, over the past two weeks the bike has been intermittently losing power! In low to mid-range revs it would feel almost like something was blocked? The engine sounded relatively normal but none of the power was getting to the back wheel.

So I took it into my local garage who quoted me £150 to replace the chain and sprockets. I managed to source my own chain and sprockets from wemoto which reduced the bill to £50 labour plus parts supplied by me (£68). I also explained the power loss issue I was experiencing and they suggested a full service at an additional £150. I don’t think the bike needs a full service as oil etc. looks fine. When they were fitting the new chain they checked the spark plugs for me which were knackered so they replaced them, checked over the rest of the bike which they said was all fine and sent me on my way.

For 15 miles or so the bike felt better than ever. Nice and smooth thanks to the new chain and sprocket and power delivered nicely. However after 15 miles or so the power loss returned, albeit not as badly as before. I was nearly at my place of work so once in the car park; I left the bike running for a few minutes whilst I starred at it intently. After the bike settled it started to idle pretty slowly. Whilst holding the bike vertically I could hear and feel the bike (presumably from the spark plugs?) sort of popping as if they were sparking but not holding. I revved the bike a little and it returned to normal.

So my question is, am I slowly running the bike into the ground? it is my first and i have owned it since passing my test in July of this year. it is a V reg (1999) 250 with just under 16,000 on the clock, 3,000 of which are mine. I do about 30 miles a day commuting into central London.

Any helpful suggestions or comments welcome! Sorry about the essay and if this is in the wrong place.

 

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  • Posted 2 years ago (04 December 2012 11:40)

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smidget

Joined:

Nov 07

Posts: 2418

smidget says:

Hi Newrider1985

Lets start with have you in the 3000 miles you have put on the bike had it serviced?

If not when was it last serviced?

Do you have a history of its service shcedule?

If so what service was done last time was it a minor or major service?

Answer these questions first and we can then start the process of elimination toward your possible problem.

 

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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newrider1985

Joined:

Jun 12

Posts: 16

newrider1985 says:

Hi Smidget

The bike came with a fair amount of history. Service schedule (stamps) followed by first owner up to around 6,000 miles. Then second owner took over and kept all receipts which run on a near annual schedule for: Oil, Spark Plugs, filters. Most recent reciept date's are May 2012. I purchased the bike in July 2012 and am the third owner. I have not done anything with it in the 3,000 miles I have had it. It also had a new exhaust fitted about 2 years ago.

Thanks 

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smidget

Joined:

Nov 07

Posts: 2418

smidget says:

nr1985

I would think that you are overdue a scheduled service from the information you have supplied.

You will have to have the service done so that all parameters of the engine are set to optimum, all filters are changed / cleaned.

You will also need to check if the new exhaust, if non standard, has to have any engine adjustments to the fueling.

Once this has been done correctly you could well find that your problem has been eradicated.

The items which are dealt with during a service will have to be done as part of the fault finding process, so it is more economical to have the service done first.

I would suggest a major service be carried out so that the tappets are checked and reset if need be, if the tappets are tight and left you stand to possibly burn out valves or at worst hole a piston.

Hope this explains what and why needs to be done and in what order. 

Let us know how things go.  

 

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newrider1985

Joined:

Jun 12

Posts: 16

newrider1985 says:

Thanks for your help

Many thanks for your help, that makes sense. The garage was pushing me to have it serviced but I wasn’t, until now, convinced it needed one.

I would say the bike is about 70% better with the new plugs. With it being Christmas I don’t have the cash to pay for the service this month. If I put the service off for about 3 weeks until I get paid do you think I will cause any lasting damage? Unfortunately commuting in by train isn’t an option at the moment as every week I don’t use the bike it will cost me £55. The exhaust was fitted by a garage so I dont think (hopefully) it is contributing to it's problems.

Secondly, my local garage has 3 service options:

1) Bronze £150

2) Silver £200

3) Gold £300

Are these the prices I should expect to pay? Not sure exactly what you get for these prices but I'm assuming the lower price will be a minor service and the higher price would be a major?...

Ultimately I would like to learn how to deal with all of these issues myself but this has come at the worst possible time of year. No spare time, No spare cash and the weather is awful.

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smidget

Joined:

Nov 07

Posts: 2418

smidget says:

Service

I would say that in general there are only two service catagories on motorcycles, those being minor (bronze) and (gold) major, I'm not sure about what would be done during a 'silver'.

You need the Gold (major) service which includes all engine parameters setting to datum.

Have you another motorcycle mechanic close by that could give you a quote for a major service?

Without knowing what the actual problem is I cannot give you an answer as to what or may not occur in the mean time. I can only suggest that the less you run it the better things will be.

To start servicing the bike yourself I would suggest you get hold of a Haynes manual and set about reading and learning to understand how all the components interact with each other. then re-read it with the bike in front of you.

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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newrider1985

Joined:

Jun 12

Posts: 16

newrider1985 says:

Service

Yeah I understand its an awkward question without knowing what is causing the problem. Hopefully on the ride home it wont give me to much grief and it will be ok for at most another couple of weeks. I will update this post when/if I have more info.

Thanks for your help, it is appreciated!

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smidget

Joined:

Nov 07

Posts: 2418

smidget says:

update

would be good and your welcome.

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hawk750

Joined:

Apr 09

Posts: 1913

hawk750 says:

What part

of the south east are you?

Give Russ or Bob a ring at

Frank Dunstall
1, Goodwood Parade 
BECKENHAM BR3 3QZ 
Tel: 020 8650 0814 
Click the link > Best bike shop in Kent

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babyrocket

Joined:

Aug 11

Posts: 3732

babyrocket says:

cheapest options first

just check the air filter is in a good clean condition and nothing like an old rag/pair of gloves etc is blocking the intake, an air filter is quite easy to source and fit and you dont need a degree in physics to change it yourself, if the spark plugs upped it by 70% im pretty sure the air filter would be my next port of call.

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BaldE35

Joined:

Oct 06

Posts: 1516

BaldE35 says:

70%Better

Yep, think your right BB Rocket take the most economical way out of the situation. Newrider1985 I'd suggest you invest in a Haynes manual for your bike and just start with all the bits that could directly affect the smooth running of your bike.

  • So air filter is it in good condition if not wash it out with and get it very dry. If it's even partly blocked or the hose to the carb/injector is split damaged blocked could cause an issue.
  • Check to fuel filter (should find it near the tap) ensure it's not full of crap it's only little so again even a little bit will cause an problem.
  • 'after 15 miles or so power loss returned' So could it be the bike comming off choke and the the main jet being a little shitty?
  • New plugs will help you solve the issue take each one out carefully and look at the colour measure it against the Haynes chart too oily? to white?

Sorry without knowing your bike I can't think of any more obvious place to start. Just take it easy and follow the manual and you should solve the problem without running into £00's of cost AND the big benifit is you get to know your bike.

Have fun

 

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