Choke won't choke - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
  • 1 Post By Dessa
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Choke won't choke

My 2001 Vstar custom 650 has been sitting for 2 years. I had a lot of work to do on my house prior to moving across the country. I've since been settling in and would now like to ride. The problem is my choke wont choke therefore it wont start and run. My daughter had the same bike only newer and we had the same problem after hers had been sitting for a while. With hers I took the tank off and played with the choke cable as well as WD40'd the linkage and cable along with the throttle cable. It started.

Mine won't. I have removed the tank 3 times and checked to be sure cables and plungers are all moving freely. Still, I pull out the choke handle and *sometimes* it will start at a high idle like it's choking properly but it will kick down after 2 seconds followed by stalling because theres no working choke.

Before I moved, I stood beside it for 30 minutes starting it until it warmed up enough for the engine to stay running instead of starting and stalling. Once it stayed running I let it run for a full 20 mins but as soon as I dropped it into gear, it stalled. I would like to ride it but I am at an impasse and need advice. Has anyone had this problem? I can find all sorts of info on chokes that wont release but not any on chokes that wont choke. Thank you.

My next step will be to take it to a dealer as I have a little over 7,000 original miles on it. I am capable of fixing it if I have an idea of what is wrong.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 07:54 PM
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Can't help with your problem but Welcome from Sacramento, Ca.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 08:18 PM
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the bike has sat for two years

unless you specifically filled the tank with ethanol free gas, or used a good fuel stabilizer, then the common 10% ethanol fuel has broken down in the tank. Part of it becomes like little blobs of jello, and it will plug your jets, including the enricher ports of the choke

assuming the gas has broken down you first need to drain the tank and dispose of it

you should also change out the fuel filter

then fill the tank with fresh gas, and a carb cleaner like Seafoam as directed on the instruction

then pull the fuel line off the carbs, point it at a coffee can, and cycle the ignition power on and off a few times so the fresh gas will flow thru the fuel pump - then put the line back on the carbs

before you try to start it again you could cycle the ignition a few more times to fill the float bowls with fresh gas and Seafoam, and let it sit overnight.

While you are waiting pull the plugs out and see what they look like. If they do not look like new, and esp if they are carbon fouled then replace them with new ones

should point out, its not recommended to start the bike up and let it sit and idle - normally when you start the bike, check your lights and brakes, and then ride off. The mixture is very narrow for idling, but when you are riding the PMscrew main ports and the main jets engage, and you have a better control over the fuel mixture

after letting the float bowls soak overnight try starting it the next day. If you can get it to start up, push the choke in a bit and take it for a ride. Push the choke all the way in about a mile down the road.

Riding the bike with carb cleaner in the fuel will flush out all the parts of the carb. To clear out the main jets you need to crank the throttle pretty hard when you can, like going up a steep hill in 4th gear - the more gas flowing thru the jets, the more it will flush out the gunk.

If you get it running it could take a full tank of treated fuel to get it cleared out and back to normal.

One other side note, its possible to drain the battery down by cranking the engine to the point where the starter will spin a bit slower, but the battery voltage will be down below 10 to 11V and the electronic ignition will just drop out - you will get no spark and the bike will not start no matter what is going on with the carbs. If the battery is dropping while cranking you will need to put it on a charger.

So - if you are sure your battery is fully charged, and the bike still will not start after all this, then you will need to consider cleaning the carbs manually, or taking it to a shop to have them clean the carbs.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, if the bike sat for 2 years with no gas in the tank, the tank could be full of rust, sucked into the fuel filter, and possibly making a mess in the carbs.

Problem with rust is a carb cleaner cannot dissolve it.

Last edited by KCW; 06-20-2019 at 08:54 AM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 09:19 AM
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Hi Dessa!
Welcome from East Tennessee. Youíll get more responses in the Vstar section in our forum, and youíve gotten a great response from KCW one of our many resident mechanical wizards. Iím no mechanic by any means, yet Iím heading where he is on your issues. Please keep us updated and after you get it running smoothly, share some pics with us and ride safely!

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 06:34 PM
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Welcome from Houston, Texas. If choke is physically moving but not operating the Carb internally then looks like it's time to clean out the carbs. If you need further assistance post in the Vstar forum for best visible and responses. Here's a few interesting threads to check out when you get a chance.

Ride often and safe.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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I have always used ethanol free premium in all my vehicles (several of which call for it in the owner's manual). With that said, I am going to remove and clean the carb and see if that helps. Thank you!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 04:56 PM
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