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Just bought my bike one week ago and it backfires constantly and I have to keep it idoling on high or it dies whenever I come to a stop. The past owner had the bike and when he got it, it had custom pipes and a custom air filter already on it, and it ran good for a year and then he parked it for about 4 or 5 months and when he went to start it, it started backfiring and that's how I bought it already backfiring. what could I use to stop the backfiring? Can I put a mixture of something in with the gas to see if that works first? or should I start off by having the double carburetors cleaned? If the first two things I said don't work should I just have them rebuilt by a mechanic? Also if I start off by putting a mixture of something in the gas what type of mixture should that be? and where could I get it from? Please advise need help. Thank you.
 

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hey Jr, welcome to the forum

vstar 1100 is a great bike. It sounds like the typical over-the-winter storage problem that we see every spring. People park their bikes in the garage late in the fall and never know when that was their last ride before winter, and the bike never gets prepped for storage.

The most important thing to do with a motorcycle, esp if you are running 10% ethanol gas, which is common everywhere in the US, is to put a fuel stabilizer in the tank and then fill the tank up full. This will keep the ethanol from breaking down over the winter into something between goo and jello, and by filling the tank it also prevents the tank from rusting.

There are a couple things you can use for this, a product called Stabil, and one called SeaFoam. You can get both at Walmart.

If the bike has ethanol free gas its not so important if the bike will only be stored for a few months.

So lets assume that did not happen with your bike. First thing I would do is drain the tank, because once ethanol fuel has separated you cannot restore it to its former state - its too late for a fuel stabilizer now. What you do with that couple gallons of fuel is up to you and your creativity. I would not put it in one of my cars.

You might be able to clean out the carbs with SeaFoam - it is also designed to be a carb and injector cleaner. You put 1 ounce for each gallon of fuel, so in your case I think its 5 ounces of Seafoam and 5 gallons of gas. More is not better - dont pour the whole 16 ounce bottle in the tank, dont try to run pure seafoam through the carbs. The only people I have heard who had problems with Seafoam are people who did not follow the directions on the bottle.

Since the bike will start and run you have about a 50:50 chance the fuel cleaner will get pulled thru all the jets and will flush out the float bowl, and that might be all you need. Sometimes it clears right up in a 5 mile run - sometimes you have to run the whole tank thru till the bike it back to normal.

If the bike would not start or run at all, you would not get off so easy, because once the jets or float bowls are plugged solid with jello like fuel, there is no way to get the fuel additive flowing thru them. In that case you would have no choice but to pull the carbs off and clean them. Also if you run a whole tank with the 5 ounces of seaFoam, and it still backfires and wont idle correctly , then you have a couple of the smaller passages plugged and you will need to clean the carbs by pulling them.

Hope for the best: $10 on the fluids shelf at Walmart - let us know how it works.

If you search on Seafoam on this forum you will find many people that had the same problem, and SeaFoam was the cure.

BTW, the other thing you need to do to prepare a bike for storage, is to disconnect the battery lead on one side, and either put a battery tender on it to keep it charged over the winter, or check the voltage once a month, and if its below 12V hit it with a battery charger to bring it back up over 12.8V.
 

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Hi jr!
Welcome to the forum from East Tennessee. Love to see some pics of your bike. I can’t really add anything else to what KCW advises. He’s one of our mechanical magicians here, and I’ve used several of his suggestions and they’ve always worked. Keep us updated on your progress, Ok? Glad you joined us.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Welcome from Atlantic Canada. As Keith said, KCW always gives good advice and I've heard of Seafoam curing problems like yours. I can second KCW's winter storage advice, I add StaBil to my tank every fall and it fires right up in the spring. I've never had to pull my carbs. Good luck with yours and keep us posted so others with the same issues can see how it worked.
 

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3 minutes ago
2003 Yamaha V-Star 1100
Thanks for the advice, I purchased a stabilizer before I saw your comment and I ran the motor with just 2 ounces of stabilizer for about an hour and the backfiring stopped at least until I turned off the motor and it cooled down for about twenty minutes. Then when I restarted the motor the backfiring came back but not as bad although it did come back. I'm almost positive that I just need to run the rest of the gas that's in the tank and it will clean it out. I don't have the name of the stabilizer in front of me but I will post it in the morning once I get back into the garage. I will keep you updated on how it runs once I've got thru the whole tank of gas. Thank you for your post it was most helpful and has made it clearer for me to understand what needs to be done. Again thanks...
 

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just to be clear, you rode the bike for about an hour, or you let the bike sit and idle for about an hour?

If the bike is just sitting and idling, the main jets are not getting any flow, and are not being flushed out.

If that is the case, Get your motor running, Get out on the Highway

and when you slow down get on it WFO to speed up again, to get gas flowing thru the jets.

Motorcycles are not designed to sit and idle. In general if you are stopped for more than a minute, turn the engine off.
 

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Glad to see you're making progress. I'm curious to know what you're using. You called it a stabilizer, which is used to keep the gas from breaking down over time. Once your carbs are gummed up it's not going to help unless it's a cleaner and stabilizer, like Seafoam.
 

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got a PM from Jr, he has been riding the bike (not letting it idle in the driveway)

and about the fuel additive he is using:

Here is the name of the stabilizer that I used (Star Bright) (Star Tron) Enzyme Fuel Treatment - For All Gas Engines - Stabilizes Fuel - Improves Performance - Cleans Fuel System & More... It says too use 1 fl. oz. for every 3 gallons of gasoline.
sounds like its working to clean out his carbs - he said he will let us know how it goes after the full tank has been run thru.
 
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