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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I bought a used 2002 Yamaha V-Start 1100 Classic a year ago. Sadly it didn't make it home. Sadly nobody noticed a very old and frayed throttle cable and the throttle stuck in the middle of a corner and sent me flying over a median curb and into a sign.

Ever since I've been rebuilding her, with the majority of the work taking part last winter, and I'm just having trouble getting her back to 100%.

Now I have an oil leak coming from somewhere around the spark plug. It's dripping off the front of the cooling fins on the front cylinder. I've tightened down the spark plug (making sure not to overtighten it, of course). It drips on the exhaust as well, which causes smoke.

I thought maybe it was a blown head gasket, possibly caused by the very violent impact with the sign during the accident, but after getting it warm and riding it around, there's no exhaust smoke in the oil pan. When I changed the oil I did notice that the oil kind of smelled like gas, but I'm not familiar enough with two-stroke engines to know if that's normal or not.

Anyone have any idea what it could be?

All symptoms bike currently shows:
  • Drips oil
  • Throttle tends to hang when doing quick-revs, I'm assuming the float in the carb is sticking.
  • To me the idle doesn't seem right even when choked correctly, with one of the cylinders not firing every so often. Again, not familiar with two-stroke, so this may be normal, I'm not sure.

All work done so far:
  • Rebuilt carb (my first, probably did it wrong tbh)
  • Changed Oil & filter
  • Changed Spark Plugs
  • Replaced all cables except clutch cable to ensure same incident didn't happen again
  • Rebuilt and weather-proofed all wiring harnesses to fix decaying plastic issues
  • Replaced both front brake rotors
  • Rebuilt both front brake calipers
  • Replaced front brake pads
  • Flushed front brake system and used fresh brake fluid
  • Flushed rear brake system and replaced old brake fluid with fresh stuff
  • Replaced front wheel
  • Replaced front forks
  • Replaced triple-tree
  • Rebuilt rally lights and fixed some electrical issues with them
  • Removed air box and all air intake parts and cleaned them
  • Replaced air filter
  • Other odds and ends

Pictures of before/after repairs to help with diagnosis:



Fully Rebuilt:

This is where it's leaking from:

4,134 Posts
I agree with Deek, it is where you adjust the valves.
Also the V Star 1100 is a 4 stroke engine.What this means is: A 4 stroke ( 4 cycle) engine the piston will come to the top of the cylinder and under compression fire the gas , causing an explosion forcing the piston down, then the next time the piston comes to the top it pushes the exhaust out of the cylinder and this repeats over and over. On a 2 stroke ( 2cycle) engine the piston comes to the top and fires, then the explosion forces it down and as it rises again to the top the exhaust goes out a port on the side, gas is added and it fires again when it reaches the top.
So the difference is 2 stroke fires each time as it reaches the top and 4 stroke fire every other time it comes to the top.
As for the throttle sticking , insure that everything is moving smoothly, I would suspect the slide inside the carb is hanging up if everything on the outside is moving free. I doubt it is the float sticking or you would have gas coming out of the overflow tube

2000 Yamaha V Star 1100 Classic Canadian Edition
32 Posts
If it is the seals on the tappet covers don't buy the OEM seal, all you need is a size 230 Buna 70 Durometer O-ring which is a fraction of the price ($2.00 for the O-ring and $25.00 for the seal up here in Alberta).

Any industrial store should carry them, or if you have a friend who is a mechanic or millright they would probably have them.


2009 650 classic white
346 Posts
Glad you found the leak.
By the way, the oil should not smell like gas! The gas will dilute the oil and it won't lubricate properly.
Maybe check float level and shut off gas petcock when you're not riding it.
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