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'06 GS500F - a few issues

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by kolaemcee, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Hey guys,

    The GS500F's been running pretty rough lately, and I'd rather try to fix everything myself (or at least as much as possible) rather than get ripped off by the mechanics. (I used to own an FZR and it cost $400 to get 'carbs cleaned' which wasn't even the problem in the end)

    So before I start, sorry for any ridiculously dumb/noob questions but I'd rather ask dumb questions then cough up dough, and please appreciate that I want to do it myself!

    First, some background info... It's done 26000kms. I've owned it since August last year, but went overseas for 4 months and left it in the garage. Left it with a full tank of fuel so rust wouldn't get in there.

    Came back around Christmas. Now here's the potentially dumb part - I pretty much got back to daily riding without doing so much as recharging the battery. So before I even start, I'm guessing this could be a factor in some of the problems I'm having.

    Commute with it to work and uni, averaging around 60km a day often in heavy traffic (Victoria/Parramatta Rd peak hour anyone?)

    So firstly, the bike pretty much won't idle, even with choke. The only way is for me to hold the idle at 1500ish rpm at the lights. If I let the throttle go, it'll die. Maybe dirty buildup in carbs from the 4 month hibernation? Any other possibilities for this? The bike also feels extremely sluggish - it struggles to accelerate. A lot of the time I can't even beat cars lol (shameful!)

    Secondly... when I start from a stop, as I let the clutch out, instead of the revs coming back down to normal, they stay up at higher revs (as if i was still feathering the clutch) for a few seconds before coming down. Also, occasionally when I am in say 3rd/4th gear at midrange RPMs, adding just a tad more throttle will make the bike rev a lot higher than it should be doing. More occasionally gears will slip by themselves, like from 2nd to neutral and more rarely, from 5th-4th etc. I'm planning to do an oil change tomorrow (need to get something to catch the old oil) which I am hoping will somewhat address the clutch issues but someone mentinoed I may need new springs/fibres. Also, is it normal for the clutch lever to have a tiny bit of free play?

    Thirdly, a recent problem. The chain was extremely slack (touching the top of the centre stand lever) so I adjusted that myself. But since then, there's been a strange noise on rotation of the wheel (sorta like if the brake is touching the wheel on a bicycle). Could I have tightened the chain too much? I've left about an inch of slack. I've also checked for anything touching the wheel and can't find anything. Also for checking the straightness of the rear axle, I simply measured the distance from the nut to the end of the screw... is that accurate?

    And finally, this may not be a real issue but I only get about 200-220km before I hit reserve. I use 91 fuel, none of that 'OMG ONLY PREMIUM IN MY BIKE' crap, and I'm very conservative in my riding. It's just that I read about some people getting 300+kms out of their GS500 tanks.

    Anyway, thanks heaps in advance :) :) hoping I can get the bike running prime again!
  2. I have a GS500 and I can easily get over 300k's from a tank. I don't even consider using reserve until I hit 300k's and thats with 'spirited' riding.

    From the first symptoms, I thought you might have dropped a cylinder. But I don't think that matches up with the later symptoms. Do you get a spark from both plugs? Have you pulled the plugs to see what they look like?

    Can't really help with the other stuff unfortunately.
  3. I never went on reserve in the time I had an '09 GS500F and I surpassed 400km on quite a number of occasions before visiting a servo.

    For the rough running/rev dying scenario - have you tried simply changing the plugs? It could be a fairly cheap and easy fix to make to ensure the plugs aren't causing the problem.

    As for the chain adjustment/noise problem, I read somewhere (2Wheels I believe but I can't find the quote ATM) that in some cases simply measuring the amount of adjustment thread remaining (or relying on the swingarm markers) may leave the wheel askew. Some people go anal and use string-lines to make sure they get it right. In addition, you should check for the "tightest tension point" and do the adjustment to that point of the chain. The sound you're hearing may indeed be the brake pad touching the rotor at certain points. Put it up on the centre-stand and spin the rear wheel by hand, you'll soon work out if this is the case.
  4. Sounds like the chain is too tight. You should NOT adjust it on the centerstand, as the suspension is fully extended. When the weight comes back on it, the chain will be tighter. You also need to rotate the wheel a couple of times and find the tight spot (Unless its very new, there will be one) and adjust it there.
    I'd change the plugs and clean the carbs, very likely some sh*t in there after that time. If it hasn't had a valve adjustment in living memory that would be worth doing, although its not related to the lack of use.
    For lots of how-to threads to check out, and a very helpful community try http://gstwins.com/gsboard/
  5. Hey guys,

    Thanks a lot for the responses and sorry for the slightly late reply, I've had a crazy week with work and uni.

    spenze and Blaise - never really thought about the spark plugs to be honest, but it makes sense. I'll change them when I get a chance, I know it's been quite a while either way so a change won't hurt.

    But could crappy spark plugs be the cause of such poor fuel mileage?

    the mole, thanks a lot for raising the centrestand point, it makes a lot of sense. I did have a feeling that perhaps I had done it up too tight... the bike feels like it's holding back at midrange revs, and maybe this is because of stress on the chain.

    Definitely gonna clean out the carbs, I agree that there's probably a heap of junk in there. Though carbies are a whole level up for me, so I might have to consign myself to dropping the bike off at a mechanic for that... maybe also to check the jets and valves. I think I'm also due for a new rear tyre... so I guess they can check out the chain too.

    Any recommendations on a decent mechanic who won't rip me off?

    Also, turned the idle screw up a notch so the thing actually idles. The first couple of times I fired it up though, there was a MASSIVE backfire! Scared the crap out of me. Hopefully not a real issue though.
  6. First problem definitely reads like gummy carbies. Try running a tank of e10 through it. If that doesn't work then it's carbie clean time.

    The clutch shouldn't be slipping at 26Mm. the oil change is a good thing to do, but make sure you use bike oil or fully synthetic. Have you used standard car oil in the past?

    Also adjust your clutch. There should of free play in the lever, but it should be fully disengaged when pulled.

    After an extended lay over you may have stiff points in your chain, but more likely it's just too tight. Riding like that will wreck bearings and/or suspension.
  7. Have you gone through the tank of fuel you left in it? Old fuel will often not run as well as fresh stuff, and only gets worse as it gets older.

    Spark plugs would certainly cause poor running and backfiring. Take them out and clean with methylated spirits and a rag, taking special care to clean the point between the electrodes. Some will recommend using sandpaper, which you can do, but make sure its 400grit or more (up to 600 or 800grit) or you may change the gap too much and this, again, may cause problems.

    Cheers - boingk
  8. You could try just draining the carbs and with a bit of luck that might clear things up, also as boingk said, its worth changing the fuel if its been sitting that long. Put the old stuff in the car (with a bit of fresh) or the lawnmower, or you could pour it over a cat....OK lets not go there.
    You drain the carbs by undoing the drain screw in the bottom, the screws face horizontally outwards at the base of each carb. At the bottom of the carb is a small spigot, you can put a plastic hose over this and lead it into a jar to collect the fuel and see what was in there. Once the carbs are drained, let some more fuel flow through by setting the petcock to 'prime'. All this is best done after you have drained the old fuel out and replaced it with fresh.
    Good luck!