2002 Vstar sputtering and backfiring - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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2002 Vstar sputtering and backfiring

Was riding to work and the engine started acting up. Thought I may have been out of gas, but when I switched to my aux tank, the same thing. I was able to ride 10 miles to home, but sputtering and popping all the way. Did notice the front of the engine was oily and dirty, but until this happened I had no troubles with it. Idles fine. When I rev it up the sputtering starts. I changed plugs and tightened battery post. No help. It's a 2002 with 35K miles. Any thoughts. (please don't say get a new bike)
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman View Post
Was riding to work and the engine started acting up. Thought I may have been out of gas, but when I switched to my aux tank, the same thing. I was able to ride 10 miles to home, but sputtering and popping all the way. Did notice the front of the engine was oily and dirty, but until this happened I had no troubles with it. Idles fine. When I rev it up the sputtering starts. I changed plugs and tightened battery post. No help. It's a 2002 with 35K miles. Any thoughts. (please don't say get a new bike)
I doubt you need to get a new bike...

Did this start all-of-a-sudden? That's what it sounds like from your description. Was the front of the engine dirty/oily before, or is that new?

I have two thoughts to check:

1) The "all of a sudden" factor makes me suspect your fuel system, and particularly the filter perhaps? Maybe some crud from the tank got in there and/or one of the lines, and is starving the engine for fuel?

2) OTOH, the front of engine oily/dirty - if that's a new development too - makes me suspect your front exhaust valve/cover. To me, #1 reason for oily/dirty front of engine developing quickly would be that cover leaking/getting loose... Though I'm not sure a loose valve cover alone would cause the sputtering unless you'd also got the valve clearances outta whack and/or crud got in there...?

Just my 2c...

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 02:47 PM
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When is the last time the carbs were cleaned on the bike? A number of things could cause this issue but I doubt replacing the bike will be needed Something is restricting fuel by the sounds of it, or your air or fuel filter is disgusting and completely clogged. You'll need to check the filters, check the plugs for signs of running too rich or lean, and then start running through the fuel system. Does it idle smoothly or is it sputtering constantly even when idle and in neutral? Might also want to run some seafoam fuel treatment. Also, is the oily front new and all of a sudden or was it already all dirty? You can have road grime on the front, but there should be oil all over it.

As CJ says, the "All of a sudden" aspect is suspect, need more details on the oil on the front aspect.

Good luck!
Dan

Last edited by DanR; 05-21-2015 at 02:49 PM.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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yes, the sputter started all of a sudden 10 miles into my 12 mile ride to work. I had notice a small oil leak a while ago, but i could never tell from where. The oil would collect on the frame and a couple of drops would fall off the frame after a ride.
The fuel filter sounds like an easy and inexpensive first step, and I'll take a look at that. But the strange thing is it seems to idle fine. Thanks again!
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 03:04 PM
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When I'm troubleshooting my bike, I always take the "cheapest/easiest fix first" approach... i.e. start with the fuel filter before you start ripping the works apart.

Having said that, I'll ditto the recommendation to run a seafoam-spiked tank through her.

KC

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman View Post
yes, the sputter started all of a sudden 10 miles into my 12 mile ride to work. I had notice a small oil leak a while ago, but i could never tell from where. The oil would collect on the frame and a couple of drops would fall off the frame after a ride.
The fuel filter sounds like an easy and inexpensive first step, and I'll take a look at that. But the strange thing is it seems to idle fine. Thanks again!
Well the bike requires much less fuel and air when idling, so it's a restriction problem. You should definitely figure out where that oil leak is coming from and as you said, start with the fuel and air filters and go from there and run the seafoam. As Casey says, start with the cheap easy stuff and go from there...

By the way, for anyone else suffering from this problem and recent cleaned and recharged their K&N filter, severely oversaturating the filter with the oil can cause these same symptoms.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Do I have to take off the gas tank to change the fuel filter?
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 06:56 PM
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Do I have to take off the gas tank to change the fuel filter?
what V Star do you have?

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 07:08 PM
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Well the bike requires much less fuel and air when idling, so it's a restriction problem..
Not necessarily. The idle circuit and needle circuits on Mikuni carbs are separate. It could easily be a popped needle or other internal carb issue. I'm not sure what V Star we are even talking about here...so its hard to be very exact with any recommendations.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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