While I really don't know how to read spark plugs, I believe that these indicate that my bike is running lean?
This is a 2009 V Star 650 with a little over 5k miles on it. I bought the bike used last fall when it had just over 4k miles. Since I have owned it, the exhaust tends to pop on deceleration, it is a little difficult to start with full choke on (I just have to hold the starter for a few seconds before it finally turns over, but runs well after that) and has had some bluing on the front pipe...
I do believe the bluing has gotten worse since I've been riding it. It starts out as a very dark blue and turns to a gold color. Sort of.
The pipes are stock. The air filter was pretty dirty when I got around to inspecting it, so I replaced it with a K&N filter. The popping and bluing existed before replacing the air filter.
Per the suggestions on the questions I asked here:
I took the tank off and snugged up all of the air intake bits around the carburetor and also ran a can of SeaFoam through the gas tank (not the entire can at once). I did not replace the fuel filter, as I didn't think it would be necessary at only 5k miles.
The previous owner didn't treat his fuel for ethanol and I suspect left it stored much of the winters he had it (from 2009 to 2014). He did tell me that the bluing on the pipes only started the last year or two he had it.
Could it be the fuel filter?
Does the PMS screw need adjusting? I do tend to drive like an old man (I'm not an old man tho) and cruise a lot in a high gear with the throttle not open that much.
Could the jets be partially clogged considering it was stored without fuel treatment often?
Could it be something else?
How do you suggest I approach this and in what order?