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Bike dies while riding, can't start

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by bjornzzz, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. #1 bjornzzz, Jun 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
    Hi all, been riding all day and on the ride back, I found that the bike was not accelerating. It gradually slowed down and then just died. I was low on fuel at that time so I thought it could be due to that, but when I filled it up it still wouldn't start. At first all lights came on (including indicator) and the starter still ticked, but the bike still wouldn't start. So I kept going at it and as I went on, the started now doesn't tick, and the lights are very dim, indicator doesn't turn on and no horns.

    Is this the sign of a dead battery? And could a battery die while I was riding the bike?
  2. Same thing happened to my mate... check the spark plug - it's most likely fouled.. recharge the battery, change the spark plug (don't forget to set the gap!) and see how you go.
  3. I would agree with MadAzz300 to charge the battery up. I would also check that the battery is being charged when the engine is running and that you don't have a charge circuit problem.
    1. Charge the battery with an external charger.
    2. Get a multimeter that you can measure volts with.
    3. Measure the resting voltage of your battery, should be 12+
    4. Lower than that could be a sign of a dead battery.
    5. Start the bike and while revving the engine measure the volts across the battery. It should be 14 - 14.5 volts.
    6. If it is lower than that you possibly have a dead regulator or stator windings.
    7. Higher than that you have a dead regulator.
  4. What type of motorbike do you have? Fuel injected or carburetted?

    If you kept trying to unsuccessfully start it, you would eventually flatten the battery. So that is not necessarily the cause of your 'can't start' problem.
  5. How long were you on the starter trying to kick it over before it stopped turning over?
    I'm thinking regulator, especially if the battery couldn't spin the engine for long when the bike stopped.

  6. I’ve got a Suzuki bandit 250.

    I think I was going at it for about 20-30 minutes, being stuck on the side of the road and was desperate before I gave up. Taking it to the workshop tomorrow and I’ll see how it goes.
  7. Well let us know what they find, you may have just flattened the battery trying to start it and the underlying problem is fuel or ignition.
  8. Hey mate. Is your bike carbed and does it have a vacuum fuel tap? If so, and you did actually run out of fuel, you'll probably need to swing over to the "prime" position (or whatever it is labeled as on your ride) to get fuel flow through to the carbs. Otherwise, non running engine means no vacuum, which means no fuel. Hope you get it sorted.
  9. It's definitely not the battery, I went back to the bike today (parked it at a shopping mall overnight) and the lights and everything came back, but the bike wouldn't start. So I wheeled it 1.5km to the workshop uphill. Fun times. Only time I'm gonna say it, thank God it's winter.

    I'm not very mechanically savvy, but I'm quite sure the Suzuki Bandit GSF250V is carbed. When you say prime position, do you mean the choke?
  10. OK, rule out the charging problem. Battery still had plenty of charge when it stopped.
  11. I'm not very mechanically savvy, but I'm quite sure the Suzuki Bandit GSF250V is carbed. When you say prime position, do you mean the choke?[/quote]

    All carburated bikes have a fuel tap of some sort. Earlier ones had on/off and reserve positions. Off and Reserve would allow fuel to flow, regardless of whether or not the engine was running, relying solely on the needle and seat in the bowls to stop the fuel flow when the engine was off. Later models were vacuum operated ie they only allowed fuel to flow to the carbies when there was vacuum being produced by the running engine. When the engine was off, no fuel would flow. But, if the carburetor was completely drained of fuel, such as if your tank ran out, then you needed a method of allowing the carby bowl to be refilled after topping the tank up. This is the prime position. Turn the fuel tap to Prime, wait 5 minutes or so for the bowl(s) to refill, turn the tap back to run, and then (hopefully) start your bike.
  12. So just gave the workshop a call, lo and behold they managed to get the bike started. Will give them a call later/tomorrow to see if they found anything. Hurrypants I think that might *hopefully* be it.
  13. Happy days!
  14. Indeed :)

    What's weird though, is that the guy said that he pretty much managed to start the bike on first go. And when I tried to start it yesterday it just wouldn't start. He's gonna have a better look today though just to make sure that everything's fine. Fingers crossed
    • Like Like x 1
  15. So, how'd you go? Problem solved?
  16. Still have no idea what exactly went wrong with it. The mechanic said the battery was fine, stator was fine, sparks were fine. Still couldn't figure out why it wouldn't start. And in regards to the priming thing, I looked and it doesn't have a "prime" position, so the normal reserve and on. So i'm absolutely lost, but at the same time glad nothing major (if any) was wrong.
  17. I've heard of this type of symptom due to a pinched fuel breather hose.

    The bike will start okay - then when riding the breather hose does not allow the tank to vent.
    This causes a vacuum to be drawn and fuel starvation occurs......

    Possible here?
  18. That, or dirty, deteriorated fuel lines.

    I had a fault where bits of frayed rubber and crud formed a flap inside the fuel line which blocked the hose when fuel flowed too fast.
  19. Bjornzzz, if it happens again, open the fuel filler (to equalise pressure) and if it starts soon after, you'll know Bitsar has probably nailed it.
    One other possibility is fuel pump playing up after sucking air.