SETX newbie. 16yr old Barn Find - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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SETX newbie. 16yr old Barn Find

Hello from South East Texas.
I am new to the forum, and new to bikes as well.
Recently I was asked by a co-worker if I could get a bike running. I have zero experience with bikes, but I figured; Air/Fuel/Fire, how hard can it be?
What I found was an all original 2003 650 V-Star Classic with 338 miles that had been sitting for 16 years.
I did get it running after about 2 hours, although it takes about 15 starts and stalls before it will just sit and idle. The choke has zero effect, so there is an issue there I'm sure.
But, it is a pretty bike, and the person asked me if I wanted to buy it for approximately half of the book value. Sold! I rode it home that night. It almost took me longer to figure how to shift (gear pattern I guess you would say) than it did to get it running.
Top speed in top gear with WOT is 56mph. 45mph in 4th gear going up a bridge. I'm pretty sure this bike can go a little bit faster than that, so it looks like I have some tuning to do. When I got it home, I noticed that one exhaust sounded louder than the other. I can place my hand over the top exhaust pipe with almost no change in engine speed, and the bottom exhaust has enough pressure that I can't get close to it.
I look forward to learning from the group, both on how to fix these beautiful machines up, and how to make them look even better than they do.
Thank you for reading, and please feel free to offer any tips/tricks/advice on how to get this baby purring.
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 07:50 AM
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Welcome to the forum from East Tennessee Ernie.
What a great looking starting point. We’re fortunate to have the best members anywhere.
Just post all of questions in the Vstar section and I promise you’ll get answers. Nice intro and you included a pic, you’re off to a good start!


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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Welcome to the forum from East Tennessee Ernie.
What a great looking starting point. We’re fortunate to have the best members anywhere.
Just post all of questions in the Vstar section and I promise you’ll get answers. Nice intro and you included a pic, you’re off to a good start!


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Thank you Keith. I tried posting in the V-Star forum, but it says I do not have permission. Maybe it will work itself out soon. I am originally from North East Tn, in the Tri-Cities area. Tiny town called Blountville. Thank you again for the welcome.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:23 AM
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 12:37 PM
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check out the garage photo
<= over there of my VS650 - we have the same bike and paint

that "raspberrry red" glows in the sun from 100 yards away.

it sounds like it ran home on only one cylinder - your bike will do 100mph in 5th gear

One of your carbs is either completely plugged with dry gas goop, or the float bowl is stuck in the up position and no fuel is flowing thru

the simple approach is to get some carb cleaner thru the fuel line into the float bowls, and if they will fill up let it soak overnight, then see if it runs better on new gas. Im assuming you drained out whatever was in the tank?

Check your spark plugs to make sure they did not rust away to nothing from sitting for so long

and pull the air cleaner off to make sure there is not a bees nest in your air intake box

If worse comes to it, and the carb cleaner cannot get your jets to open up, you will have to take the carbs off, or maybe just the one on the cylinder that is not firing, and clean the jets with thin steel wire.

to tell if both cylinder are firing tap your finger where the exhaust pipe goes into the head. If it feels warm/hot then its firing, if its cold nothing is burning on the compression stroke

its harder to tell putting your hand over the exhaust pipe, because both cylinders blow air out on the exhaust stroke, but the one that is firing will blow out more air, and it will be warm to somewhat hot.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KCW View Post
check out the garage photo
<= over there of my VS650 - we have the same bike and paint

that "raspberrry red" glows in the sun from 100 yards away.

it sounds like it ran home on only one cylinder - your bike will do 100mph in 5th gear

One of your carbs is either completely plugged with dry gas goop, or the float bowl is stuck in the up position and no fuel is flowing thru

the simple approach is to get some carb cleaner thru the fuel line into the float bowls, and if they will fill up let it soak overnight, then see if it runs better on new gas. Im assuming you drained out whatever was in the tank?

Check your spark plugs to make sure they did not rust away to nothing from sitting for so long

and pull the air cleaner off to make sure there is not a bees nest in your air intake box

If worse comes to it, and the carb cleaner cannot get your jets to open up, you will have to take the carbs off, or maybe just the one on the cylinder that is not firing, and clean the jets with thin steel wire.

to tell if both cylinder are firing tap your finger where the exhaust pipe goes into the head. If it feels warm/hot then its firing, if its cold nothing is burning on the compression stroke

its harder to tell putting your hand over the exhaust pipe, because both cylinders blow air out on the exhaust stroke, but the one that is firing will blow out more air, and it will be warm to somewhat hot.
Beautiful bike! Thanks for the tips as well.
Here is a list of what I did to get it running. Please feel free to point out any mistakes I made, but don't be cruel. Remember; I have ZERO experience with any bikes of any kind. None.
I pulled the plugs out, soaked them in carb cleaner for a minute, wire brushed them, gapped them, and reinstalled. They looked brand new.
Pulled the air filter out and visually inspected it. Not a speck of dirt on it.
I wanted to pull the tank off, but couldn't figure out how. I found the two tank bolts, pulled the three screws from the speedometer bezel, but I couldn't get the bezel to lift high enough to get under it to disconnect electrical and speedo. It only came up maybe a half inch.
I wanted to pull the carb covers off to take a peak at them, but there were stripped screws that I didn't have the tools to deal with in the co-workers driveway, and I couldn't fully access the carbs to remove them without the tank being off.
I drained the fuel tank, with the lever both at "ON" and then at "RES", and put about a half gallon of fuel in it.
Put a brand new battery on it, and started cranking. Soon the driveway was covered in fuel. Traced it to a vent or overflow tube behind the air cleaner box. Pulled the box off.
Figured the floats were stuck, but I had no way to get the carbs off, so I had to improvise. I am a former Marine; Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.
I drained the fresh fuel out of the tank, cranked it until the fuel stopped coming out of the tube, then sprayed a half a can of carb cleaner in the tank. I cranked it until the carb cleaner started coming out of the tube. I let it sit for about 30 minutes, then wrapped a hammer in a towel and lightly rapped on the carb covers about a dozen times each. Cranked, rapped, cranked, rapped. When I stopped getting carb cleaner out of the tube, I poured half a can of Seafoam in the tank, and cranked until it came out of the exhaust. I let it sit for 30 minutes, then added a half gallon of fresh gas.
After a minute of crank and rest, it fired up. I let it idle for about 5 minutes, then shut it down and let it sit for 30 minutes. Topped off the tank, fired it up, stalled it 10 times trying to take off, then rode a motorcycle for the first time in my life around the small neighborhood. Mostly in first gear because I had no idea how to get to another one. When I got it back to the driveway I felt the pipes, and the top pipe was slightly warm, the bottom pipe hot enough to burn me if I was silly enough to let it.
I made the deal, rode it 35 miles home, parked it, and now I am on here trying to learn everything you guys can teach me.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 03:11 PM
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wow... ok... first things 1st

I misread the thread and thought you were 16.... the bike is 16 yrs old

you did the right things to get the floats unstuck with the carb cleaner and sea foam

if you got half a can of seafoam in a full tank, and some of it blew thru, that should come out about right now: 1 ounce per gallon, 4 gallon tank, 1/4 of 16 ounce bottle

with all the gas flowing out of the carb overflow tubes, you might have gotten some gas in the oil. dont lose any sleep over it, but if the floats are no longer stuck this is a good time to drain that old oil out. It breaks down way before 16 years, but if any of that overflow tube gas dribbled into the cylinders it will seriously dilute the oil down to 2W4, instead of 20W40. At a minimum goto walmart and get 3 quarts of 20W40 of their blue bottle generic car oil, with no additives (in the auto oil section). Look for the SAE lollypop symbol and make sure the bottom half of the circle is blank , no mileage or lubrication enhancements added, because they will make your clutch slip (the clutch is in the oil).

If you are not sure about this go over an isle and get their 20W40 "motorcycle" 4 cycle oil. its about $1 more per quart, but you will be sure its the right type of oil for a motorcycle wet clutch. you do not need synthetic oil at this point. you only need 3 quarts.

If you can get an oil filter too and change that out, thats good, but at least get that old oil, possibly diluted with gas, out of the bike.

But now the more important thing: since you have never rode a motorcycle before, there are two things you MUST know before you get on the bike again.

1. Motorcycles steer backwards. Its called countersteering. When you are pushing the bike around (duck walking it) or taking a corner at 3mph you turn the handlebars in the direction of the turn, like a bicycle on training wheels. BUT when you are riding and get up over 10 to 15mph, when you want the bike to lean and turn to the right you PUSH the right grip forward, the bike leans to the right, and it turns right. When you stop pushing on it, the bike will stand back up by itself and go straight.

its called counter steering because its the opposite of a car - if you are going along at 50 mph and want to to exit the highway and turn the handlebars like you would turn a steering wheel, the bike will go the OTHER way. No matter how much you shift your body weight to one side or the other, when you push the right grip the bike leans right and turns right. You dont have to figure out why, or understand the physics behind it (its a long explanation) just try it while you are riding straight : push right grip a little, bike creeps to the right in your lane. push left grip a little, bike creeps to the left.

If it helps your brain a little, think of it as pushing the right grip down (away from your head) to push the right side of the bike down and lean to the right to turn right.

Obviously this is the most important thing to learn and not forget. A lot of young guys get on a motorcycle and think they can ride because they can ride a bicycle, and the first curve or exit they come to at any speed at all, the bike goes the other way, across the center line, or into a ditch, and they have no idea what happened...if they survive.

2. A motorcycle is self balancing, because of the big heavy spinning wheels. If you lock up the brakes and stop the wheels from spinning, the bike falls over. If you lock up the front brake the front wheel slides under the handlebar and you fly over it. SO... never hit the front brakes hard enough to make the front tire skid, you will drop the bike instantly. you have more leeway with the rear brake, if you lock it up the bike wont drop, but the back wheel might slide out sideways and start to come around. If you lock up the back brake do NOT release it till the bike stops. you have to skid it out and steer in the direction of the skid. If you release the rear brake when its skidding, the bike will snap straight so fast it will throw you off.

You did good riding the bike home that far with no riding experience. Good thing it would not go faster than 55mph, you might not have made it home.

Let us know where you live in south east Texas. Im sure someone on the forum would be happy to meet up with you when you have the bike running and give you some riding instructions to get you thru your first 100 miles on the odo. If you can sign up for the MSF beginners riding course that is even better. Until then get your permit (not sure how you rode the bike home, did it have plates on it?) and practice riding slow at first, in a parking lot if possible, and work your way up.
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Last edited by KCW; 04-11-2019 at 03:26 PM.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 03:21 PM
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... so back to the carbs:

there are three fuel passages in the carbs, the idle "jets", the Pilot Main Screws (PMS), and the main jets

they work in a sequence - when the bike is idling all the gas is going thru the idle passage
when you open the throttle part way the Pilot Main passages start flowing gas
when you really get on the throttle, then gas is also going thru the main jets, along with the PMS and idle passages.

If you have some of these plugged, the bike will run at some throttle twists, but not others. If you had a license and riding experience, then I would say if you can get the bike to start, and both cylinders are firing, then take the bike out and ride it, and get on the throttle hard to flush the carbs thru and let that SeaFoam do its stuff. As long as gas is flowing thru the ports it will wash them out...

But since you are not an experienced rider that is not a good idea. It takes a while to be able to control the throttle and the speed of the bike. As you are going thru a curve or corner, the lean of the bike and the curve it is taking is a function of how much power you are giving it. In the middle of a curve if you give it less gas the bike will lean and turn harder into the turn. ie in a right curve the bike will head for the curb if you throttle down (or get on the brake). If you give it more throttle the bike will straighten out (cross the center line...)

if the bike is running rough, it will be hard to control, esp in curves and corners, and you will very likely drop the bike or hit the curb.

So... if you can find an experience rider to help you flush out the carbs by riding it, that is one option.

If you are all on your own, you may have to still pull the carbs and clean them, to get the bike running right, so you can learn to ride it.

For the gas tank remove, you have to take the speedometer cable off, and then there are connectors on the instrument cluster. there may be another screw under a stick on cover button that you missed.

You can find the official Yamaha Factory Service Manual for the Vstar 650 online in PDF format as a free download. Thats a good place to start, find the section on removing the tank, and the carbs if you want to go that route.
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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wow... ok... first things 1st

I misread the thread and thought you were 16.... the bike is 16 yrs old

you did the right things to get the floats unstuck with the carb cleaner and sea foam

if you got half a can of seafoam in a full tank, and some of it blew thru, that should come out about right now: 1 ounce per gallon, 4 gallon tank, 1/4 of 16 ounce bottle

with all the gas flowing out of the carb overflow tubes, you might have gotten some gas in the oil. dont lose any sleep over it, but if the floats are no longer stuck this is a good time to drain that old oil out. It breaks down way before 16 years, but if any of that overflow tube gas dribbled into the cylinders it will seriously dilute the oil down to 2W4, instead of 20W40. At a minimum goto walmart and get 3 quarts of 20W40 of their blue bottle generic car oil, with no additives (in the auto oil section). Look for the SAE lollypop symbol and make sure the bottom half of the circle is blank , no mileage or lubrication enhancements added, because they will make your clutch slip (the clutch is in the oil).

If you are not sure about this go over an isle and get their 20W40 "motorcycle" 4 cycle oil. its about $1 more per quart, but you will be sure its the right type of oil for a motorcycle wet clutch. you do not need synthetic oil at this point. you only need 3 quarts.

If you can get an oil filter too and change that out, thats good, but at least get that old oil, possibly diluted with gas, out of the bike.

But now the more important thing: since you have never rode a motorcycle before, there are two things you MUST know before you get on the bike again.

1. Motorcycles steer backwards. Its called countersteering. When you are pushing the bike around (duck walking it) or taking a corner at 3mph you turn the handlebars in the direction of the turn, like a bicycle on training wheels. BUT when you are riding and get up over 10 to 15mph, when you want the bike to lean and turn to the right you PUSH the right grip forward, the bike leans to the right, and it turns right. When you stop pushing on it, the bike will stand back up by itself and go straight.

its called counter steering because its the opposite of a car - if you are going along at 50 mph and want to to exit the highway and turn the handlebars like you would turn a steering wheel, the bike will go the OTHER way. No matter how much you shift your body weight to one side or the other, when you push the right grip the bike leans right and turns right. You dont have to figure out why, or understand the physics behind it (its a long explanation) just try it while you are riding straight : push right grip a little, bike creeps to the right in your lane. push left grip a little, bike creeps to the left.

If it helps your brain a little, think of it as pushing the right grip down (away from your head) to push the right side of the bike down and lean to the right to turn right.

Obviously this is the most important thing to learn and not forget. A lot of young guys get on a motorcycle and think they can ride because they can ride a bicycle, and the first curve or exit they come to at any speed at all, the bike goes the other way, across the center line, or into a ditch, and they have no idea what happened...if they survive.

2. A motorcycle is self balancing, because of the big heavy spinning wheels. If you lock up the brakes and stop the wheels from spinning, the bike falls over. If you lock up the front brake the front wheel slides under the handlebar and you fly over it. SO... never hit the front brakes hard enough to make the front tire skid, you will drop the bike instantly. you have more leeway with the rear brake, if you lock it up the bike wont drop, but the back wheel might slide out sideways and start to come around. If you lock up the back brake do NOT release it till the bike stops. you have to skid it out and steer in the direction of the skid. If you release the rear brake when its skidding, the bike will snap straight so fast it will throw you off.

You did good riding the bike home that far with no riding experience. Good thing it would not go faster than 55mph, you might not have made it home.

Let us know where you live in south east Texas. Im sure someone on the forum would be happy to meet up with you when you have the bike running and give you some riding instructions to get you thru your first 100 miles on the odo. If you can sign up for the MSF beginners riding course that is even better. Until then get your permit (not sure how you rode the bike home, did it have plates on it?) and practice riding slow at first, in a parking lot if possible, and work your way up.
Wow, that is a lot to learn! I have no license, license plates, insurance, etc... I just have a title and a bill of sale. I figured if I got pulled over the cops would cut me break because I had just bought it. I am in Port Arthur, Texas. The "Golden Triangle" area. Any locals I could meet would be great.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 06:28 PM
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Welcome from Houston, Texas. Sounds like a fun project you have going. Strong suggestion, take a motorcycle riding course. Any dealer can help you where the are in your area.

Here's link to free owners may:
https://www.yamahamotorsports.com/mo...owners-manuals

Link to free service manual :
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...=1555025136916

Here's a few interesting threads to check out when you get a chance.

https://www.starbikeforums.com/forum...ms-bike-month/

https://www.starbikeforums.com/forum...ighlight=Yammy

https://www.starbikeforums.com/forum...where-you.html

https://www.starbikeforums.com/forum...enced-you.html

https://www.starbikeforums.com/forum...ature-you.html

Ride often and safe.
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