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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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newrider1985

Joined:

Jun 12

Posts: 16

newrider1985 says:

Smidget

Hi Smidget,

 

Bike was written off cat d. I retained the salvaged bike, had bent front forks, which i sourced from ebay, then had my local garage fit them and put the bike through an MOT as required by my insurers to keep the policy going. I also had them fit new bearings. It was a fairly slow speed impact fortunately. Damaged my right calf and right shoulder from impact and keeping the bike upright. It was written off as the insurers engineer said repairers would cost £850. Probably because they cant source parts from ebay like we can.

 

The bike is now in the same condition as it was before the crash, which includes the crappy running.

 

I read on another forum that an additive can be added to the tank that might clean the carbs? Can any of you guys recommend one?

 

I think my action plan is:

Oil, plug and filter change - This weekend

Carb cleaner (additive) - This weekend if i can find one

Rectifier change - Weekend after it arrives

 

If no better after the above:

Check exhaust - Probably be a garage job

Check coil - Again, probably a garage job

Remove and clean carbs - by me if I can work out how to do it.

 

 

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smidget

Joined:

Nov 07

Posts: 2424

smidget says:

newbiker85

I use Redex fuel system cleaner which i get from Eurocar parts, you may find it in Halfords, I believe STP do a version of this as well.

Have just re-read your initial post I am getting the feeling (can't be positive without hearing the bike) that you have a weak mixture problem.

If you do remove the carbs check the diaphragms carefully as a pin hole will have an adverse effect on the running. 

Just follow the manual stage by stage, make sure you understand what is being said before you attempt to carry out each action.

Use a bench/table with a cloth over it and layout each component in order as you remove it and do one carb at a time, that way should you get confused you still have the other as a reference.

What exhaust is fitted?

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newrider1985

Joined:

Jun 12

Posts: 16

newrider1985 says:

Update

Well, I didnt actually spend much time on the bike this weekend. First thing I did was pop some redex into the fuel tank, whilst letting it tick over I was looking for the carb to increase the idle speed, as per redex instructions, when I spotted this...

Attached images:

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newrider1985

Joined:

Jun 12

Posts: 16

newrider1985 says:

Inlet hose

Sorry for the poor picture quality. What it is trying to show is the ruined inlet hose. It has deeper creases than Gordon Ramsays face.

Didnt think there was much point in continuing with a service etc until this is repaired. Luckely I managed to find a replacement on ebay.

Do you guys think this could be the source of my problems? Or is it just something else I have to fix anyway?

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750FLYER

Joined:

Nov 04

Posts: 3833

750FLYER says:

You say

you've replaced the plugs but what about the plug leads??

If you ride all year round and in all weather these will suffer and not transmit well... Might be worth a look.

FLYER



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smidget

Joined:

Nov 07

Posts: 2424

smidget says:

nr85

Any hose which carries a pressure or vacuum which is showing any signs of age or wear and tear should be replaced, just for piece of mind.

As Flyer750 has brought the leads into the equation at this point your best way of checking if the HT leads are a part of the problem is to either get the bike into a dark garage/shed, start it and look to see if you can see any 'tracking' .

The same checks are used on the plug caps.

Tracking: Where sparks can be seen 'dancing' on the outside of the HT lead. Indicates the lead insulation has / is breaking down and robbing the spark plug from full efficiency thus a reduction of engine performance is witnessed. 

I have a tendancy to change my leads and caps every three years due to the fact that motorcycle leads and caps are open to the environmental ravages as well as the heat/ cold cycling they have to endure. (car engines are not so vulnerable).

Just remember be methodical.

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newrider1985

Joined:

Jun 12

Posts: 16

newrider1985 says:

Spark Leads

Thanks guys, that sounds like some solid advice there, I will definatly try the 'dark shed' test and see what happens.

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newrider1985

Joined:

Jun 12

Posts: 16

newrider1985 says:

Ignition Coil

Called the AA out last night, the guy that came along (although not a biker) tested the spark plug leads with some flashing lights that fit on the end. He showed me how neither were as bright as he would have thought, and that in particular the left side was only about half as bright as the right side. He also said that the backfire if also probably linked to a problem with the ignition i.e. coils.

Just waiting for my garage to call me back with a quote.

Is this a repair any of you guys would attempt yourself?

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babyrocket

Joined:

Aug 11

Posts: 3732

babyrocket says:

coils

very very easy job to do, should take no more than half an hour, just follow the lead from the spark plug to where it is fixed, usually two 10mm nuts on a plate, undo the two nuts and off comes the coil.

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babyrocket

Joined:

Aug 11

Posts: 3732

babyrocket says:

might be better taking the fuel tank off before you start much easier to follow the plug lead route.

and i have evert faith in your ability to get it sorted.

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