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VTR 250- Water in fuel or air filter issue????

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by Darren96, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. Hi all,

    Just wondering if any mechanically minded people out there can help me with an issues I recently had with my VTR 250 (2003 model).
    Here's the short story:

    Left for work in the morning on my bike and it was drizzling run, I was stuck in traffic about 2 minutes later and after sitting there for a few minutes my bike started to idle rough and as I began to move, lost power especially down low. I've experienced water in my fuel before and this felt just like that which is why I suspected water in the fuel.. somehow.

    Here's the facts:

    - Thought it could have been dirty fuel and/or water in the fuel when I filled up however the bike had done 80km the day before on the new tank of fuel with no issues what so ever
    - The bike ran perfectly for the few minutes that morning until I was sitting in the traffic when it started to go down hill.
    - I checked that the drain hose around my fuel cap was draining properly (just in case this was filling up and overflowing into my tank) hwoever this was definately clear.
    - I pulled out the air filter on the advice of my brother who thought that maybe my air filter was getting wet which would explain that when the rain stopped, the bike's performance did tend to improve.
    - when I left work that afternoon, the bike was still running a little dodgey but this only lasted for 10 minutes or so and then ran perfectly
    - I haven't had any issues since that day (but also haven't rode in the rain)

    The feeling of the bike when it had this problem was that i would go to accelerate and nothing would happen (extremely low power) and then all of a sudden it would have power then lose it then get it back etc.

    Any help with this would be great as I'm a bit hesitant to ride in the rain again until I get figure out what happened.

    Cheers guys!
  2. YOu could also have collected water around one of the spark plugs, especially the front one. Make sure the plug well can drain freely and is clear of debris like bug corpses.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  3. If the fuel was contaminated, it could have taken a while for water to separate out and settle at the bottom of the tank overnight. Then taken a few minutes to get from fuel pump to engine the next morning.
    You may have cleared any contaminant by now but if it occurs again, drop 50-100mL of metho into the tank and see if this helps. It should disperse any water into the fuel.
    I agree with Dark Angel that the cause could be external, around the plug leads etc.
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  4. Water in a plug recess is my first thought too when it starts running like that in the rain. Your fuel cap should prevent water from getting into the tank. I do find that petrol quality does get bad from petrol stations after rainy periods.

    Also, you described it as geeting better and then worse. Does it clear up as the revs rise and then get stuck again at low revs?

    If so, that is an indicator of a float needle not seated properly.
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  5. Yeah, I was heading towards an electrical issue too. A waterproofed connection is starting to get moist and shorting. Water will certainly clog an air filter an can be remedied as you did. You seem to have rules out fuel, so I'd be looking at electrics.
    Check your plugs as described, failing that, place bike upright with stands or on kick stand with a block under it. Have it as vertical as possible. Warm the bike, this will soften any loose rubber bits and with a garden hose running at about 30% squirt :sneaky: Run it over the bike an. See if you can get it to splutter. Can always just give it a wash if nothing happens. Be mindful that splutter may occur as it took time to reach into an area you have gone past. So you may need to do again once dry or just check all connections and their waterproofing.
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  6. Thanks for all the replies guys, washing the bike while it's running is a great idea! Thanks a lot Cool Jesus. I'll give that a go over the weekend and see if I can get it to splutter but yea I'll try and replicate the other day and leave the water 'raining' on my bike for a fair while and see if it happens.

    Also, iblast, if I kept the revs high, the problem did seem to disappear and was defiantely the worst when taking off from the lights (basically no power what so ever).

    I did pour a couple of capfuls of metho into the fuel when I got home and haven't had the issue since however the bike was running perfectly before that for at least 30 mins so this didn't fil me with confidence that water in the fuel was the problem.
  7. This is an indicator the float needle isn't seating. usually a bit of dirt on the seat. you can get lucky and revving it can clean it off and make using some in tank carbie/injector cleaner. Otherwise you have to pull the carbies and clean the bowls and seat.

    try the hose down first because it's less daunting than pulling and cleaning the carbies if you've never done it before.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Air filters tend to fail slowly, its only when you replace them your like WOW,
    Id also peer at all the hoses with a torch if the issue continues, on more then one occasion I've had the exact same and its been a vacuum hose or pinched fuel hose.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. So as it turns out, I wrote this post while I was at work today, rode home and got stuck in a pretty heavy sun shower and same issue happened again. Got it home and quickly had a look at the plugs and could see the spark arcing out of the front spark plug lead. Pulled the lead off and theres about 3 seperate decent size cracks in it and one major one near the 'rim' area where the spark was coming out. Siliconed it up for now (temp fix) and will be buying another set of leads for it. Anyone have any idea where I can buy these? Not having much luck with the google searching. Might need to go to a wrecker even?

    Thanks a lot for all your help guys, I wouldn't have thought to check the spark plugs (not very mechanically minded).
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  10. IMG_0407.JPG Here's a photo of the spark arcing (in case anyone was curious)
  11. #13 oldcorollas, Sep 8, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
    size description of plug end here at NGK (RHS X-type = 102deg angle boot)
    2輪車用パワーケーブル|NGKスパークプラグ プラグスタジオ

    length for all listed there is 55cm, which i'm assuming you can cut to length

    as for the X3R.. explanation below..

    X1B パワーケーブル(ブルー/ブルー) 1102[NGK]|バイクブロス - カスタム・改造部品通販

    適合:ホンダ / VTR
    適合付帯条件: 1998年1月-2007年(ホンダ・VTR 250、MC33)
    so should be ok
  12. Thanks guys, Looks like the rear spark plug lead is a straight angle and the front a 120 or 102 degree angle which means I'll need to buy different types. Thanks again
  13. One last thing, The spark plugs are looking pretty bit so might swap them out while I'm there. I'd like to get the best spark plugs I can get for my bike and was wondering what type I should get? Irridium? Platinum etc? Don't really understand what those types can do. Also not sure where to look for spark plug type/size for my bike? cheers
  14. The standard nickel plugs are perfectly fine, especially because no disassembly is required to get the plugs out to change them.

    CR8EH-9 if riding around town
    CR9EH-9 if wringing its neck

    0.9mm gap, if you get the -9 plugs they will be pregapped. If there is no number, it just means they haven't been gapped to any particular size.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. #18 oldcorollas, Sep 8, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
    Honda does list two different part numbers..

    Spark Plug Types - Product Information - NGK Spark Plugs Australia

    basically, platinum last longer than iridium, which last longer than standard.
    as well, the platinum/iridium centre electrode is thinner, so there is better access for the spark to the air/fuel mixture.

    does it make a difference on an underpowered engine? probably nothing noticeable.

    i'd suggest standard V-groove plugs. much cheaper, and no need for 60-100,000 life in your bike
    manual says CR8EH-9
    (edit, doesn't seem to be a CR8EHY plug.. oh well.)

    ed2: no number means 0.7-0.8 for motorcycle plugs, 0.8-0.9mm for car plugs..
    Part Numbering System - Product Information - NGK Spark Plugs Australia

    iridium is CR8EHIX-9
    here is $5 vs $22 for standard vs iridium Norside - Spark Plugs
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. The only advantage for your bike for having Iridium plugs is that they will probably last the life of the bike. The only performance "gain" will be that they don't keep wearing out so the bike won't ever run bad because of the plugs, but it won't run noticeably better than with brand new regular plugs either. Platinum is the same, but probably more expensive.
  17. Thanks again everyone, that helps heaps, will just go with the standard spark plugs. Thought the other might prove to look after the bike a little better etc but seeing as its just a longevity thing, wont bother. Cheers!