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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just like the title states, modify a petcock valve but Why?.

First of all let me go in details of what led to the discovery.

In Southern California summer has arrived a bit early. The last two weeks in the month of April we reached triple digits daytime temperatures. We had a nice break in the last few days , weather wise. Nice cool mornings in the 50s and daytime highs in the 80s. Now to the story..

One day I was riding home from work, when I left the office that afternoon it was 99 degrees. I arrived home, parked the bike in the garage and walked inside the house. An hour later I had to go back in the garage to pick up a box for the Wife. The minute I walked in, I got this strong gas smell. I have gotten used to the smell of gas from the fumes after riding, except this time was as if gas leaking. Went to check the bike and saw a single drop of what appeared to be gasoline on the floor next to bike in line with the gas petcock. I looked at the valve and noticed gas leaking next to the neck of the valve around the fuel hose leading to the fuel filter ( see pic below ). I thought the leak was coming from the hose, I remembered seeing it cracked. I clipped about 3/8 off the hose, replaced the clamp around it with a brand new one, the leak stopped. A few days later once again I noticed the same leak but only after riding the bike in temps past 97 degrees. Gasoline expands in the heat. I've been riding the bike since I got it last November in cold or cool weather never saw a gas leak.

When I saw the leak the second time coming from the same spot I thought the gasket between the valve and gas tank needed to be replaced. Partzilla sells the gasket alone or the petcock valve gasket included. I do not know what I was thinking that I decided to order the petcock valve and not just the gasket, so glad I did. In order to get my money's worth on shipping I added other OEM items to the order such as Air Filter, Oil Filter, Fuel Filter and a new fuel hose. A few days later shipment arrived and was time to work on the bike.
In order to minimize the effort of draining the tank I rode the bike until I reached 167 miles in the trip odometer since my last fill up, this is important guys, since I got the bike I have yet to hit RESERVE.

Removed the gas tank from the bike, drained the gas and removed the petcock valve. I couldn't believe what I saw ( see pictures below ).
Somebody removed the long tank filler for the normal - ON - position with the screen at the top from the valve. This whole time is as if I have been riding in the RES position, or worse. Since there is no screen corresponding to the ON position of the valve, fuel is going directly to the fuel filter and straight to the carburetors. I would have been better off riding in the RES position, the screen was still there to catch any tank debris or whatever.
Not to mention I could have been stranded anywhere on the road. A few times I jumped on a busy freeway low in gas ready to switch the valve to the RES position if the bike ran out of gas.

But why?. I'm still trying to understand the logistics behind it.

All is good now, I installed the new valve and now I know for sure I will hit the RES one of these days.

Sorry guys for the long post, I wanted to share this experience with this amazing group of guys who are part of this forum.

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94455
 

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Maybe it fell out and is rattling around in the bottom of the tank? They are pressed in.
Any signs the petcock has been removed before?
And if it was removed by the PO then why? Sorry more questions than answers.
 

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this is why its good to calculate your mpgs when you fill up,
and flip the bike to RES just before it should start to stumble
and then get gas ASAP

then you will always know how your bike is running
how many miles you can expect to go on the non-reserve part of the tank
and how far you can make it on the full tank if you cant find a gas station open....

just as a sanity check, if you were stopping for gas on MAIN at 170 miles, and the bike took 4.2 gallons in your 4.3 gallon tank, you would have known something was not right

riding a motorcycle is a lot like sailing - you really have to be aware, be smart, pay attention, or you get in trouble really quick
 

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I am curious if the "main" filter on the petcock came off & it radling around in the tank. Or if the previous owner took it off. Thinking... "I can get ever last drop fuel out of my tank."
If not either of those. I am as confused as you are.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

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When I got mine and pulled the petcock the longer tube fell off in my hand. Wasn't a problem as I was replacing it anyways.
I wonder if they work themselves loose.
 

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this is why its so wonderful to find a used motorcycle that has not been tinkered with or modified by the previous owner

not because you cant make it right, you can fix just about anything

its the hours you spend trying to figure out "WTH was he THINKING?!"
 

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Discussion Starter #9
KCW - you must have a crystal ball. I'm still thinking WTH was he thinking, Lol.

I love my 650, came with nice customizations. It's not that bike's fault the PO tinkered with..
 

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Well now I have to get a new petcock for my 650, mine doesn't have the RES screen. I have had the petcock off 1 time, the other day, the screw came loose and fell in from the gas cap and was stuck in the RES hole. So that means it doesn't have a screen.
 

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Removed the gas tank from the bike, drained the gas and removed the petcock valve. I couldn't believe what I saw ( see pictures below ).


View attachment 94453
OK So this petcock looks totally different that the one on my '05 1100 Silverado. Mine is a polished unit that looks very nice compared to that one. I've never had mine off but mine looks like this:

94459
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well now I have to get a new petcock for my 650, mine doesn't have the RES screen. I have had the petcock off 1 time, the other day, the screw came loose and fell in from the gas cap and was stuck in the RES hole. So that means it doesn't have a screen.
You can have the old one. It has a screen for to the RES position. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OK So this petcock looks totally different that the one on my '05 1100 Silverado. Mine is a polished unit that looks very nice compared to that one. I've never had mine off but mine looks like this:
I do not make that kind of money to own a Silverado, the same bike as the VStar with nicer options.
 

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OK So this petcock looks totally different that the one on my '05 1100 Silverado. Mine is a polished unit that looks very nice compared to that one. I've never had mine off but mine looks like this:

View attachment 94459

that is whats on my 2000 Royal Star

and it turns like its in BUTTER! I can flip it with my pinky finger while riding

the thing is I think the main tube is taller than stock, because I calculate the bike should stumble around 180 miles, and it starts missing as low as 168...172

I thought maybe part of the screen was dirty or blocked, and maybe I should pull it and clean it
but if the tube is just longer I just have to flip to RES sooner, and have almost a gallon (45 miles left) on reserve.

My Royal Star has a 214 mile max range (full tank).
 

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I don't have a 650, and the guys above beat me to it, but that doesn't look to me like the valve I expect on a V-Star. It isn't as nicely shaped, polished, or chrome. I don't see Yamaha cheaping out that much just because it is a smaller displacement bike. Maybe another 650 owner will chime in whether that looks right. I suspect previous owner replaced it with a cheap knockoff, and who knows if that would come with the correct standpipe?

Different bike model, but this is the OEM valve on my 1100. Not a Silverado either.
94466
 

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The other thing I noticed is that your old valve has paint that matches the tank. That could be factory, but that would surprise me. Paint isn't normally handled that way in a production environment. Notice mine isn't painted above.

Just food for thought. Not saying anything is for sure.
 

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The Stratoliner doesn't have a petcock, there is no way to shut the fuel off. You have a second tank under the seat that the fuel pump sits in and that is the reserve .
 

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Possibly the main tube was clogged and PO completed a road side fix, pulling out tube and never replaced it. I've seen petcocks so full of gunk fuel couldn't get through. Good that it's fixed and you weren't stranded on the open road.
 
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