Just purchased a 1996 Royal Star. - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Just purchased a 1996 Royal Star.

My last cruiser bike was a Yamaha Raider. Loved the power of that bike and the fork angle but wanted something a little more comfortable. The 1300cc v4 design in this bike is great! I can rev it more than my raider, seems the gears are almost longer too. I don't miss the raider surprisingly.

Ok, now on to the question...

Bike is having a hard time idling and it seems to be due to cracked intake boots. The boots themselves have grommets or caps on the vacuum ports. Is this normal? Are they there to just test for leaks? This is my first carb'd bike. I have owned a lot of carb'd snowmobiles though.

Looking to replace all 4 boots and figured I would start with The Bay. Looks like I can get a set of 4 for $33 shipped... Any reason I shouldn't go with one of those sets?

Bike has vance and hines pipes, mustang seats, leather bags all around, blue in color.
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Last edited by Raider_Rider; 04-30-2019 at 03:52 PM.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 05:16 PM
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I have a 2000 named Ursa (she's a bear!)

the vacuum ports are there for balancing the carbs with vacuum gauges.

if the covers are cracked and leaking (or missing) you need to replace them. Should be able to find a package of something close at Advance Auto or similar parts store.

Before you run out and buy new intake boots and pull your carbs all off, use an un-lit propane torch while the bike is idling, and see if pointing the propane at the boots changes the idle speed. If there is a vacuum leak it will usually idle faster. Hold the torch with the bottle pointing up, so you get just the gas coming out, dont hold it tilted over or upside down so your get a stream of liquid propane coming out, that is too much. you can also run the test with WD40 or other volatile fluids, but it tends to make a mess.

On most Vstar bikes those rubber looking intake boots can look all cracked on the outside, and everyone sees that and freaks out. But it rare for the cracks to go all the way thru. Unless you test for vaccum leaks and are sure its the boots, dont jump on it because of the way it looks.

By far the most common problem with carbs bikes is a previous owner stopped riding one day and left the bike parked with 10% ethanol fuel in the tank, and after just a few months it breaks down and starts clogging things up. If the bike will run at all you can try putting a carb cleaner in the fuel, run the bike a hundred miles or more, and if the fuel is running thru the ports and jets at all, it might clean them out, and that is all you need. A bottle of Seafoam is $8 at walmart, and its enough for 16 gallons of gas.

The other thing: dont pay much attention to how the bike idles when you first start it - it takes several miles to warm up.

BTW, these V4s with the 4 independant exhausts sound like they are puttering when they are idling, that is normal. If its running well when you get on it, it might just be you need to get use to the sound of the engine... and maybe adjust the idle speed a bit.

Good deal on your new royal star - there are a lot of them out there, and they tend to be insanely reliable. I got mine last fall, and hardly ever see anyone here posting problems or issues, most people that have one just ride and ride and ride.

EDIT to add: here is recent thread talking about the boots, with a photo of one sliced down the middle:

https://www.starbikeforums.com/forum...me-99-rsv.html
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Last edited by KCW; 04-30-2019 at 05:23 PM.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I can't get it to idle period. It wants to start up, I crack the throttle and I can keep the bike running. But when I let off the throttle the bike wants to die. I can only get the bike to run if I have the choke all the way out. If I push the choke in and keep my hand on throttle its fine, but if I let off the throttle the bike will stall out.

I can get the bike to run for a bit using the choke but it too will eventually stall out on its own. I imagine I need to adjust the fuel/air screw. Not sure what the screw is technically called. Usually an "air" screw if on the airbox side and usually fuel screw if on opposite side. Either way, the screw is used to richen/lean out the airfuel at idle. I will start there I guess. After seeing the side cutout of that boot your right, highly doubt its cracked all the way though.


The bike has been sitting for months, I will try the additive as you suggested.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 06:28 PM
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KCW is correct, check for vacuum leaks before tearing apart. Another good way I check for vacuum leaks without making a mess is to spray brake cleaner around the area. It drys almost instantly and idle will increase if you have a vacuum leak. Since it's a new to you bike I'll second the suggestion of Seafoam. Keep us informed.

2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
Loose nut "me" behind the bars
2006 Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic

https://sites.google.com/site/vstar1100kb/home
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raider_Rider View Post
Thanks. I can't get it to idle period. It wants to start up, I crack the throttle and I can keep the bike running. But when I let off the throttle the bike wants to die. I can only get the bike to run if I have the choke all the way out. If I push the choke in and keep my hand on throttle its fine, but if I let off the throttle the bike will stall out.

I can get the bike to run for a bit using the choke but it too will eventually stall out on its own. I imagine I need to adjust the fuel/air screw. Not sure what the screw is technically called. Usually an "air" screw if on the airbox side and usually fuel screw if on opposite side. Either way, the screw is used to richen/lean out the airfuel at idle. I will start there I guess. After seeing the side cutout of that boot your right, highly doubt its cracked all the way though.


The bike has been sitting for months, I will try the additive as you suggested.
Sounds like pilot jets are clogged. Heavy dose of seafoam and ride around neighborhood if possible to have the seafoam work. It will take a while but strongly suggest before adjusting anything. Adjusting with clogged jets usually compounds the issue.
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2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
Loose nut "me" behind the bars
2006 Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic

https://sites.google.com/site/vstar1100kb/home
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 06:50 PM
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try the carb cleaner or another method to soak your carbs, and if the bike will run on the road but just idles rough, get on the road and take a 50 to 100 mile ride, and when you have the chance, like going up a hill in 4th gear, get on it hard and open up all the jets so the gas mixed with carb cleaner is blasting thru and cleaning any gunk out

do this before you start trying to adjust the PM screws or the idle speed, or to balance the carbs. I would also pull the plugs and replace them, there are 4, and they are about $2 each. It will give you a good indication if the bike has been running rich or lean... I would normally suggest replacing the air filter, but if your bike has a stock air filter its kinda of pain to replace it. I was able to change mine out without removing the air box off the carbs (like you are suppose to), by taking just the top off and kinda forcing it thru the top of the frame, but I was risking breaking the plastic.

I didnt know it at the time but the original owner of my RS put an aftermarket chrome trim kit all over the bike, and some of it was blocking access to the sides of the carbs, making it harder to get the air filter box off the bike. I have that crap mostly off the bike now, still have a few more pieces of 'flair' to remove... but if your air cleaner has not been changed recently (likely because it is hard to get to) then that will make the bike run rough too.

You normally should not need to adjust the PM screws, or the idle speed, or balance the carbs unless you are cleaning the carbs manually, or changing the jets to match a new exhaust or intake pods.

The problem with E10 gas breaking down is very very common, esp with carb'd bikes, esp in the northern states where bikes get parked for 6 months or more, and some people do not use a fuel stabilizer when they park the bike, then we get a flood of new owners every spring wondering why their bike isnt running right now, because it ran fine last September when they parked it for the winter.

Gunk in the carbs really is the most likely cause of a newly acquired bike not running well.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 07:01 PM
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If you want to see what Im talking about with the chrome trim/flair kit, the photo in my garage page...
<= over there
in front of the red garage door - click on the thumbnail in the garage page to see the full size photo

I took that just after I got the bike: see the triangle covers over the brake calipers, the basket over the brake light, the Venetian blind looking saucers over the beautiful chrome dome clutch and crank shaft covers? You can see the covers over the sides of the carbs just under the gas tank, there were covers over the engine mount bolts, the axle bolts... I would never add stuff to a motorbike that has no functional purpose, so all that is mostly off.

The original owner also put one of those LED engine and underframe lighting kits on the bike, and left a genuine rats nest of wires in the battery compartment - all gone now. I also took the 'eye lids' off all the lights and turn signals.

When the last of its removed I will post new photos of Ursa in my garage page.

Last edited by KCW; 04-30-2019 at 07:03 PM.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, yeah I normally put seafoam in my bikes every fall just to prevent the buildup issue. Ethanol based fuel is here a lot longer than most states due to the colder months... I drove it 10 miles home the other day and it idled fine, so hopefully the seafoam does the trick. I was cleaning up the bike and noticed the cracked boots and the bike didn't want to idle so I just made an assumption... The bike was from an estate sale, I paid very little for it and just assumed there might be some things wrong with it at that price point.

I went ahead and added roughly 2oz of seafoam to the tank. Wife takes off in a few hours, I will ride the bike for a while and see if it cures the issue.




Those mirrors are no longer on the bike. I found the original ones in a box that came with the bike and put them back on because I couldn't see out of the "deluxe" mirrors and hated the way they looked. I also need to install the saddle bags.
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Last edited by Raider_Rider; 04-30-2019 at 07:25 PM.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Ran the tank of gas empty that had the seafoam in it. Bike runs a tad better, but still needs some work. When I was getting into it on 3rd, 4th and 5th gear I could hear the engine rev higher but the speedo wasn't going up at times... I would then let off the throttle and hammer it again and it would pull. Almost like it was running lean sometimes.

Pulled the front driver side and passenger side plugs.

Driver side is the furthest away and the passenger side is the closest plug.


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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Adjusted the screw by the choke maybe a half turn counter clock wise and now the bike is able to idle just fine.
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