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Calling all Firestorm riders

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by kyp, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Hi guys,

    Just purchased a Firestorm(2006 plate) with only 25k on the clock. The bike doesn't seem to be ridden hard. The major service done a year ago(not sure on what mileage). But I have 2 points of concern.

    1. Clunky(very clunky) noise when changing from 1st to 2nd gear. I've been told it is a Honda's feature but also that I mismatch engine and ground speed when change, hence the question what RPM/Speed do I have to change to get it smooth. The change from 2 to 3rd and onward is almost seamless. Could this be something else like 1-2 gearsets are on the way to die.

    2. The second one is a bit tricky. I was rolling towards the traffic lights, changing gears down all the way from 4th, and suddenly when almost came to a stop the engine died. After 30 sec started it and went back home.

    That was my first ride on it since I bought it 2 days ago. So don't really have any statistics. But if you have faced anything similar with Firestorms and rectified your experience will be much appreciated.
  2. I would get a minor service and oil change done.

    Maybe new spark plugs etc.
  3. That is coming first on my short-list.
  4. Hi there mate, just wondering if you do your own services or not?

    Yes, you will experience a cut-out on a bike that hasn't been ridden for a while. Sometimes it can happen on sudden downshifts if the idle circuit becomes too lean or is blocked. I would load up with BP Ultimate 98 Octane and that'll help clean your fuel system out.

    On clunkiness, yes the 1st to 2nd shift is somewhat clunky. The prodigous torque coupled with highrevving nature of these bikes can make it a bit difficult to really snick that particular gear home. One thing I have found is using Delo 400 oil has helped changes a lot, way smoother. Its available from Caltex service centers - marketed as a mixed fleet or diesel oil. I've done several thousand kay on mine so far and love it, would recommend to anyone. Do the filter as well if you do an oil change.

    Basically I'd just run on 98 octane, change oil & filter and see how she goes. Sounds exactly like my VTR to be honest.

    Cheers - boingk
  5. Both are kind of known VTR things. Some boxes were better than others, but the clunk is generally there to some degree. IIRC, mildly blipping the throttle a couple of times with the clutch in in neutral either helped lessen the first clunk into 1st, or doing it in 1st (at a standstill) lessened 1st to 2nd. Something like one or both of those anyway - easy enough to try it. It was always more pronounced the first time after starting and especially with a cold motor (the clutch used drag a bit).

    In hot weather there used to be the occasional spit back through a carb at idle that would sometimes stall it, but it didn't happen so much after a while, so premium fuel might help. I might have nudged the idle up a couple of hundred rpm, for that matter. Also, I think getting the carb jetting fettled helps with that.

    It might have been fixed before your model year, but there was also a known carb (might have been the front one) bogging issue with hard sustained braking, though I never really had it on the road.

    Mine liked Caltex Premium (95 might be fine, but give 98 a go anyway and see if there's a difference), but didn't really like Shell Optimax. I'd been using leaded fuel in mine until it was taken off the market, and throttle response dulled a bit on regular unleaded, but I found that the premium helped regain some.

    Also, because it's not a super-trick low friction bore coating and such, I put in the half bottle recommended dose of Nulon E30 80 000km engine treatment with an oil change (well after the run-in) and it smoothed things out noticably over the next 500-1000 km. No side effects either - it's OK for wet clutches.

    Oil was Pennzoil after the first couple of dealer services until my mechanic stopped getting it. It seemed to be one of those bikes that liked some fuels and oils a fair bit better than others, so it pays to try some out. My VTR was one the first shipment that came into the country in late '97, so how much any of the above might apply is anyone's guess, but changes over the years were relatively minor.
  6. Thanks guys, that's a lot of useful info. 98 was the first I did when picked up. I'mm going to do oil/filter today, not sure if I can get the oils mentioned. I have a letfover of Motul 5100 about 2L, need 2 more I believe.
  7. 98 might take another tank to work / show effect
  8. Yeh I got a '98 VTR and the first to second shift is shocking, sometimes you feel it almost fighting against the spinning gears like its a synchro issue (not sure if bikes even have them, but that's what if say the prob is if it were a conventional manual car).

    I once tried shifting from 1-2 on the back wheel, the thing fell straight back out of gear, came down hard and smashed my nuts. Now I only do it going 2-3.

    I've never had it stall like that, have you checked that your idle speed is high enough?
  9. it looks like 1200rpm or so when warmed up. But you know that tacho has 500 as a step so it is really hard to see how high it is. so 1200 is a rough guess. Will try to play with throttle stop screw a bit after the oil change.
  10. Id honestly do the fuel for a tank or two along with the oil.

    Delo 400 can be bought from any Caltex fuel service station. Usually about $45 for 5L or so.

    Cheers - boingk
  11. Checked everything that could be checked w/o stripping the bike. Set RPM to 1400-1500. oil changed, but no effect. I actually did shift very smoothly once going around the block, but vaguely remember the pattern, I think it was very low speed such as rpm. Dunno if it will make any sense on the road.
  12. Firestorms are known to clunk on the first-second shift. I wouldn't worry about it, and also check your idle as 1500rpm is terribly high for anything but a very high revving four or a big single. Mine is 1100rpm once warm and seems to be about spot on.

    My smooth shifting seems to be the quickest clutch-assisted shifts I can muster at moderate rpm, if thats of any help.

    Cheers - boingk
  13. You're right. At higher RPM quick shift helps.
    I have faced another problem yesterday. Went for a ride, pulled over, stopped the engine, when tried to start it back again the dashboard just died, no lights nothing. I have checked fuses and they all ok. Then I push started the bike(a bit of a challenge I'd say) and managed to get home with completely dead dashboard(no speedo, tacho, lights...just nothing) The battery completely drained. Still scratching my head why??? It could be me just cranking it to often w/o going for a ride...or r/r is the biggest question now??? I suppose alternator is ok as it allowed me to get home with dead battery. What do you think guys?
  14. Sounds a bit like a spontaneous implosion of the battery. It happened to a car battery of mine once - fine one minute, then after stopping at a corner shop it was DOA.

    Worth checking first by putting on a charger though, on the off chance it's some other odd gremlin like a short somewhere.
  15. Lead acid batteries can get cracks in the plates and connections between cells.
    Working OK, then hit a bump or something and crack opens, suddenly no good.
    Jump start it, ride/drive around a bit and crack closes and it's OK again for a few days. Had it happen to a car battery.
  16. Thank you all guys. The old battery is not holding any charge now. Bought the new one, see how it goes.
  17. Hey there mate these bikes are notorious for blowing regulator/rectifiers. You have the classic symptoms of it - dead dash followed by the ignition packing up and engine stopping. Happened to me 2km from my dads place at the bottom of a hill!

    The stock honda unit is under the righthand side of the tail, easy to get to via two bolts once the seat is off. They cost $250 for an OEM unit... which will also possibly blow. I bought one of these for about $15 from Hong Kong:


    Its exactly the same as the stock unit, but has a great big heatsink on it. The stock one apparently runs hot and thats what eventually kills it. I have been running that one for around 3,000km now without worries at all.

    To confirm you have a deat reg/rec, take the seat off and start her up and test battery voltage at 5,000rpm. Battery voltage should go from 12.5 sitting with bike and ignition off, to around 14v at 5,000rpm. If its anything less than 13.5v or doesn't change at all then your reg rec dies. Judging from your dead dash and drained battery I'd say its dead though.

    Cheers - boingk
  18. thanks mate. just did a check with multimeter. when idling it shows 14.4V, 5000rpm - 13.5V, I spose the r/r should be ok.
  19. Sounds alright to me. Perhaps the battery is just stuffed, not uncommon if it hasnt been ridden for a while.

    - boingk
  20. That probably is.
    Another question here. Is the firestorm supposed to start first go you pressed the starter button? Mine cranks then dies, choke - dies, crank + choke after it starts the only way to starts it, and if you late to open the choke it'll die in a couple sec. The throttle openning when starting doesn't seem to make any difference(I'd say it's even worse).