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Discussion Starter #1
Hello new member here. Own a 2008 VStar 1300 with 6k miles. This past week I am having an issue with really bad bucking and rough riding when rolling on the throttle especially in first and second gear at low speeds. Also when I start to bike up it is running rough and sounds like it is about to lose power and stall out and then will kind of rev up again with the RPMs to a steadier idle and just repeat doing that even once it's warmed up. I can't pinpoint exactly when this happened but I'm wondering if I got a bad tank of gas somehow. I added some fuel cleaner into the tank and went out for a ride yesterday and it seems like it had improved especially once I got up to my speeds but when I got back into my neighborhood, all of the bucking and hesitating started over again. It feels awful. Any ideas would be really appreciated!
 

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I would start with new spark plugs. Plugs will deteriorate over time and are normal maintenance items. Have you resently done any modifications to you bike that you might have accidentally pulled something loose. Have you washed you bike lately? If water got into an electrical connector that might be the issue. Has the bike sat for very long? Ethenol fuel will deteriorate after 30 days and effect drivable, your fuel treatment is a good idea, but if fuel too old you should drain it out and start over with fresh fuel. Report back your findings. Noticed that this was your first post, if you post in the New Members section we can get to know you and your bike.
 
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Have you washed you bike lately? If water got into an electrical connector that might be the issue.
I had a 2001 Vulcan 750, that I didn't want to spend any money on. When I washed it, I had to wait a day for everything to dry before I could get it started.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would start with new spark plugs. Plugs will deteriorate over time and are normal maintenance items. Have you resently done any modifications to you bike that you might have accidentally pulled something loose. Have you washed you bike lately? If water got into an electrical connector that might be the issue. Has the bike sat for very long? Ethenol fuel will deteriorate after 30 days and effect drivable, your fuel treatment is a good idea, but if fuel too old you should drain it out and start over with fresh fuel. Report back your findings. Noticed that this was your first post, if you post in the New Members section we can get to know you and your bike.
Hey thanks so much for your response. I just changed out the spark plugs, they were dirty but not horrible. I also remove the air filter which was very dirty . Unfortunately being at the sunday, none of the bike shops in my area are open and none of the auto parts stores stock motorcycle air filters so I had to order one online. I ran the bike for about a minute without the air filter on it and it seems to show some improvement with the new spark plugs as far as idling better. Don't really want to test the bike out without the air filter on it but I'm hoping that it's a combination of the dirty air filter and spark plugs. It's just weird because it happened from one ride to the next, it wasn't a slow progression of rough riding. The bike hasn't gotten wet at all. It honestly seems to have happened after I filled up my last tank of gas last week. It started doing it after that . I feel like it is more of a fuel issue but I will know more when the new air filter comes and I can test drive it. I'll keep you posted!
 

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First, let me say I am not a mechanic, so I don't know what I'm talking about. Second, I've never ridden a 1300, so have no experience with them.

That being said, over the past couple of days, I've been reading a lot about that bike. What I gather from my reading, it seems as if those bike are notorious for having a "chugging" problem in 1st gear at low speeds (none that I recall, ever mentioned how or when the problem started). I came across a post that mentioned "Ivan's mod", so I googled it. He is a tuner in SC that has remapped the ECU. One of the things he claims is to eliminate the "chugging" problem. I have no idea if that is your problem or not; just more information to be aware of.

A thought for an experiment. Have you tried keeping the rpms up while slipping the clutch in first gear, to see what happens? I just got rid of a Road Glide Ultra. I ride 1/2 mile of dirt between my house and the pavement and don't want to go to fast. In first gear, on that bike, if the tach got down to 1500 the bike would buck a lot. I had to ride the friction zone to get the slower speed I needed while still having the bike manageable.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey thanks so much for your response. I just changed out the spark plugs, they were dirty but not horrible. I also remove the air filter which was very dirty . Unfortunately being at the sunday, none of the bike shops in my area are open and none of the auto parts stores stock motorcycle air filters so I had to order one online. I ran the bike for about a minute without the air filter on it and it seems to show some improvement with the new spark plugs as far as idling better. Don't really want to test the bike out without the air filter on it but I'm hoping that it's a combination of the dirty air filter and spark plugs. It's just weird because it happened from one ride to the next, it wasn't a slow progression of rough riding. The bike hasn't gotten wet at all. It honestly seems to have happened after I filled up my last tank of gas last week. It started doing it after that . I feel like it is more of a fuel issue but I will know more when the new air filter comes and I can test drive it. I'll keep you posted!
Ok I just took it out for a ride and it is 100% better with the new plugs. Still using the old air filter until the new one arrives. Keeping my fingers crossed that was the issue bc that was the easiest repair I could hope for! Still find it odd that the problem started from one ride to the next rather than a slow deterioration in performance. What octane do you recommend for this bike as the previous owner used 87 and I was told to stick with the same octane that the bike is used to. I would much rather put a higher grade in but don't want to damage the bike.
 

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Great that the plugs seemed to cure most of the issue. Let us know how much difference the air filter helps. Do you know when the fuel filter was changed last? As far as fuel, engine is designed to run 86, if your local fuel is 87, I would stay with that.

99580
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Not sure about the fuel filter. I'd love to do it myself if it's a fairly easy replacement. Thanks for all your help👊
 

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It's easy, here is video, fuel filter change is right before the 9 minute mark.

 

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Hello @Starman567 and welcome from Virginia. I am glad to hear your issue seems resolved now. I would continue the fuel treatment anyway for a few tanks of gas. Your bike has extremely low miles on it and a fuel system is hurt by such especially with the ethanol crap we are forced to use nowadays. Keep us informed on your bike and give us that intro if you don't mind. Be sure to include a picture of your bike, we are a visual lot here...
 
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2008 v star 1300 & 2008 v star 250
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Starman567 search for thread
VSTAR 1300 Fuel filter
There's only a screen in the sub tank. We don't have a pop off and replace filter.
 

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My 1300 kinda does the chug/surge at low speeds, and from what I’ve found out from others, as well as my own experience, is it’s usually after the bikes warmed up a little...
Also, I’ve read a few places saying that an ecm tune from Ivan pretty much eliminates that.

Just my 02¢
 
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2012 V-Star 1300A ~11K miles, 2016 Zero SR w/PowerTank Electric ~3.5K miles , Tesla M3D, my Sleigh
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Starman567. Welcome to Virginia... I live in Fredericksburg and ride both a 2012 Vstar 1300 and an Electric Zero SR. (Only been riding since May of this year.) If you have a Royal Farms Gas stations near by you can get gasoline WITHOUT ethanol in it if you want to try that. Classic Iron (where I bought my 1300) recommended I stay with Premium... I have aftermarket Cobra pipes and mine is fuel injected. it would often sound like rot and occationally backfire. I went to Regular Gas like the manual says and I think it sounded better, but then when my son (27) got a 2012 Vstar 950 (essentially the same bike with a smaller engine) it had cobra pipes and the cobra fuel injection controller and sounded and ran GREAT with reg or Premium gas. I bit the bullet and put the Cobra FI 2000 Black controller on my bike - WHAT A DIFFERENCE - it's quieter, less bogging down etc... I know - yours is carbureted and mine is Fuel injected but if someone else is reading maybe help them as well.
 

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Santa Bob, all the V Star 1300’s have fuel injection. Mines an 07. Just thought I’d let you know 👍
 

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Santa Bob, all the V Star 1300’s have fuel injection. Mines an 07. Just thought I’d let you know 👍
Cool, I didn't know that. Well Starman may want to get the FI controller then (I know the quality of fuel in our area is not very good. I can tell from tank to tank when I've got good fuel or not. The FI controller has really helped my ride!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Starman567. Welcome to Virginia... I live in Fredericksburg and ride both a 2012 Vstar 1300 and an Electric Zero SR. (Only been riding since May of this year.) If you have a Royal Farms Gas stations near by you can get gasoline WITHOUT ethanol in it if you want to try that. Classic Iron (where I bought my 1300) recommended I stay with Premium... I have aftermarket Cobra pipes and mine is fuel injected. it would often sound like rot and occationally backfire. I went to Regular Gas like the manual says and I think it sounded better, but then when my son (27) got a 2012 Vstar 950 (essentially the same bike with a smaller engine) it had cobra pipes and the cobra fuel injection controller and sounded and ran GREAT with reg or Premium gas. I bit the bullet and put the Cobra FI 2000 Black controller on my bike - WHAT A DIFFERENCE - it's quieter, less bogging down etc... I know - yours is carbureted and mine is Fuel injected but if someone else is reading maybe help them as well.
As far as I know mine is fuel injected also! I'm not a mechanic but I know the basics. Wouldn't I need to have a choke if it had a carburetor? I just fire it up and ride away. well I just took a three-hour ride with the bike and the issue is completely resolved. The spark plugs did the trick . I am interested in this fuel injection control you are talking about. Also, I only put regular gas in the bike since that's what the previous owner did and someone I know said to stick with the same gas that the bike is used to to prevent problems. Also, the manual says to only put regular in so I don't want to risk putting premium in the tank.
 
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