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bike won't start after it was left in the rain

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by dtroy, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. My bike was outside during the storm on Fri as I was at work.
    At the end of the day it started fine, but died on me 200m from work.

    I managed to start it a couple of times since, but it didn't run for more than 30 seconds.

    This is my first bike and I've got no idea what's wrong with it.
    What can it be ?

    *I'd appreciate any help. thanks!
  2. Have you checked the fuel? Not just that there is some sloshing around, but can you see it? Is it up near the top?

    2 out of 3 complaints of this type end up being the bike out of fuel...


    Trevor G
  3. yeah, there's fuel in the tank
  4. Drain the fuel from the bowls in the carbs into a clean glass or jar, to see if any water could be mixed with your fuel.

    You could also check your sparkplug boots fo water to make sure they're not earthing out.

    Good luck.. hopefully it's just something simple
  5. As above check for water in the fuel and for any water around the plugs. Might also be worth checking for water in the airbox/airfilter.
  6. its a two-stroke isnt it? i dont know how the oiling system on the aprilias works, but id check that out

  7. Sorry for my ignorance...
    Do I need to take the carb out and apart to do this ?
  8. I'd say you've just got water around your plug. Pull the plug cap and spray some wd40 about.
  9. Done that, and made sure there's a spark. Still no good
  11. sorry, double post.
  12. Actually it uses a Dellorto PHBH carb, which looks like this.


    There is a 14 or 17mm nut on the bottom of the float bowl. Loosen it a turn or two until all the fuel/water runs out. Not sure how water could get into your fuel system just from a storm.

    You really need to drain the carb into a container of some sort to evaluate the quality of fuel. If the tap is turned off, the fuel should stop running out after about 5 secs. If the fuel tap is turned on the fuel should continue to run out at a constant rate - if it just dribbles you are either:

    1) out of fuel or

    2) have a blockage in the tank, the tap, the filter in the tap or tank, or a kinked hose.

    I still don't think water in the fuel is the problem if it will run for 30 secs, but I could be wrong. :)

    Only one way to find out...

    All the best

    Trevor G
  13. If I am not mistaken the word you want is french and is spelled "voila" and pronounced "wa-la", sort of...


    Walla Walla is a town on southern NSW in which, coincidently, I spent my childhood.

    I know you just wanted me to say that...


    Trevor G
  14. And Wally is a bloke I worked with.
  15. Still no good

    Guys, thanks for all your help.
    I've followed everyone's advice and:
    - There's NO water in the air filter
    - There WAS fuel in the carb
    - There was NO water in the carb.
    - There IS fuel in the tank
    - The spark plug is OK, no water around it, and there is a spark.

    I've got no idea what to do with it. I don't want to have it towed again, and taken to some mechanic who'd rip me off. I am not afraid to get my hands dirty, I just wished I knew what to look for.

    So, if there's someone out there with any ideas, They would be greatly appreciated!

  16. Re: Still no good

    Well, just try a new spark plug. Amazing how often the things will fire in fresh air, but under compression pressure they will no longer spark.

    A new spark plug is the 2 stroke rider's best friend, so they tell me. I've even had to do it to 4 strokes.

    Is the spark plug dry at the electrodes?

    If you have been trying to start it with choke it should be a little wet by now. If it isn't it still suggests that you might have a fueling/carb issue, such as either a blocked pilot or starter jet.

    Hope you get it sorted

    Trevor G

    PS Will it still run for 20 seconds? That is almost certainly a spark plug, unless you have a low fuel in carb situation. Did you watch to see how much fuel ran out when you opened the tap, with the carb bowl nut removed?
  17. Re: Still no good

    You're a legend mate!
    When I first got the bike it had a BR9EG spark plug and it ran fine.
    When I've changed the spark plug I've put BR10EG in instead, because that's what the manual says. I had to put 4 of these in till I got one that worked properly (I got stuck in the middle of the road with a few of these). But with the previous plugs, when I've checked them there was no spark. The one I had now had one.
    Who would have figured that there can be a spark in fresh air, but not under compression pressure...

    Thanks a lot mate. I guess I'll stick with the one spark plug that always worked.
  18. Re: Still no good

    The number (9 versus 10) indicates the heat range. A 9 plug is "hotter" than a 10 plug. This means that it will work better in conditions (slow stuff around town) that would otherwise foul the 10 range plug , which should be used for sustained high speed work, such as freeway commuting or touring. The 10 might even be desirable if you have a lot of 80kmh work as well.

    Using a 9 under higher speed conditions will see it run too hot and possibly cause a hole to be melted in the piston crown (= major engine stuff-up). Ask me more if this does not make sense - it can be very important.


    Trevor G
  19. Thank Trevor! It does make sense.
    I ride mostly in the city, so I guess the 9EG makes more sense in there.
    But what are you supposed to do? change the spark plug when you go on long rides ??

    The manual (even the workshop manual) does not mention the 9EG as an alternative to the 10.

    What makes the new spark plugs stop functioning after a short period of time ? (the work when they are %100 new, and they have the habit of stop working in the middle of the road.)
    I wonder if the same thing will happen with a brand new 9EG (I'll have to put in a new spark plug at some point ...)

    BTW, today I finally took her home from work, and she seem to run way better( as if I've got more power!) after I've adjusted the idle mixture/air screw. But, it seems it's heating faster.
  20. Maybe keep the 10 in and work it a little harder around town.

    Plugs foul when they are too cold or the bike is not run hard enough.

    The centre ceramic insulator (the white stuff) is designed to burn off oil and fuel deposits, which would otherwise short it out and stop the spark from exiting via the gap at the end. The longer the ceramic insulator the hotter the plug will run. Unfortunately if you run the bike hard on the highway with a hot plug it stays so hot that you no longer need the spark - the fuel mixture fires off the hot insulator!

    That is not the right way - ignition won't occur at the right time and you end up with a hole actually burnt thru the aluminium crown of the piston thru the wrongly igniting mixture.

    Well, I hate to tell you but it's all in the mind. The idle mixture screw affects the bike at idle only, nowhere else. That's why it's called, wait for it, the "idle mixture screw". ;-) Bikes seem to go better when they are washed as well! Oh, and a good spark plug also makes a difference.


    Trevor G