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Discussion Starter #1
Before I bought my V Star 650 Classic, I took the MSF basic riding course. I'm sure it was money well spent, having not been on a motorcycle for some 30 years. One point they harped on about was closing the fuel cock on shutting down. I find I forget about 50% of the time, but so far have seen no I'll effects from doing so.

So my question is, does it matter? Will fuel seep into the cylinders? Or is it just a good habit to get into?

Thanks for any guidance.

Rod
 

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It's a good idea to shut it off. If you're only going to be stopped for a few minutes, it doesn't really matter but if you are going to be parked for a while, shut it off. It's possible for a float valve in the carb to stick open and if the petcock is on, gas could flood out the cylinders. Or you could develop a minor fuel leak that could drain the tank if the petcock is on. With that said, the only time I ever shut off the petcock on my last bike was when pulling the gas tank or changing a fuel filter. I never did have any problems leaving it on all the time.
 

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Agreed that it's a good habit to get into, but also agree that the last bike I had with a carburetor, I never shut off the petcock and never had a problem in over 10 years of riding the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, this sounds like what I expected. I'll try to get into the habit of closing the petcock, but won't lose any sleep if I forgot.

Thanks for the helpful responses.
 

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I only shut the petcock off when I know I won't be riding for several days or more. The rest of the time I leave it on. I've also not had any problems in the last two years but ymmv of course...lol.
 

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The other side of that is remembering to shut off the petcock, then coming back to the bike hours later, and getting frustrated that the bike keeps dying while you are warming it up, only to blush deeply when you finally remember to turn the gas back on.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
When I've started it with the petcock closed, there's a metalic clicking sound (electric fuel pump?) that stops when I open the valve. But I have once had it begin to sputter a minute or two after taking off! It only took a second to realize what was wrong.
 

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I have a vstar 650, I NEVER turn the fuel cock off. NEVER had any issues but then again all v stars have a fuel pump so there is no need to turn off the fuel cock in the first place. Just my $0.02.


thanks,
Delkster
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I was pretty sure that clicking sound was a fuel pump. Thanks for confirming it. And I did wonder if having a fuel pump would negate the value of the stopcock. Many thanks for your reply.
 

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I just finished the MSF yesterday and because of this thread I asked specifically what will it hurt to leave it on. The way our instructor put it to us is that they teach turn it on and off not because its a safety factor or a necessary thing, but to make you know exactly where the valve is. If you open and close it every time you straddle the bike you will be able to place your hand to it instinctively when necessary. In other words, when your bike stumbles and runs out of fuel, you won't have to search for it while riding to flip it to reserve. Much safer to just be able to put a hand directly to it and flip it and continue. Also if you aren't in this habit and you do need reserve, what's going to happen next time the bike stumbles and you realize you never remembered to switch it off of reserve?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Summer. Since I put the question up, and the responses I got, I haven't bothered to close the valve. The MSF instructor's answer makes complete sense.

I felt the MSF course was more than worth the price of admission.

Safe riding.
 

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I agree as well in the value of the class.
Largely because of the previous answers in this thread I haven't given the valve a second thought cause I had no intention of closing it except for winter storage. I now close it every time I shut down and open it before I start up. It's piece of mind and it doesn't take 1/2 a second to do. Not saying anyone else here was or is wrong...I just now feel differently about it.

Another thing I thought about. If the valve hasn't moved in several years and you did suddenly need reserve, isn't there is a possibility it could be stuck. Maybe not a big concern but a possibility I guess.
 

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I never close mine. I do reach down while riding every now and then (like once every couple weeks and flip to reserve and back) The problem with shutting it off is parking over night, getting on your bike in the morning, leaving the garage.. Pulling into traffic and SPUTTER... That causes a quick pucker Id rather not experience!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
After the various responses, I haven't bothered shutting it. I check the position while riding on a regular basis, but haven't closed the valve.

Thanks everyone for the responses.
 

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I was taught the F.I.N.E. method of starting a bike during my course.
They drill into your head Fuel, Ignition, Neutral, Engine cut off switch.
That being said, I sometimes forget to shut the valve off after a ride, and rarely forget to turn it back on when starting
 
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