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2 Months ago I bought a 2006 VTX130C with 25,000 miles, stock with the exception of Vance and Hines pipes (so I was told from previous owner) I use it as a commuter during the week and joy rides on the weekend and I have enjoyed it very much. I occasionally have an issue with the start button and took advice to open it and clean the contacts and it works well.
Friday after Thanksgiving I got on the bike to go to my in-laws house, The temp was 34 degrees, choked and started the bike and let it run for about 60-90 seconds while I put on helment and gloves. The bike ran well until I turned around and went home about 3 hours later, It spits and sputters as I accelerate so I stopped and picked up a bottle of sea foam, went to the gas station and put 1/2 the bottle (about 8 oz.) in the tank and topped if off with 93 octane fuel which I have been running since I bought the bike. Needless to say, it's not getting better and it does seem to run a little better and will accelerate to some degree with the choke knob partially pulled. I pulled the plugs and they look good, the previous owner had a 25K service performed just before I bought the bike.
Any help with where to look next?
Thanks.....
 

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First off, and I'm not saying that this is your problem by any means, but your bike does NOT need 93 octane! In fact it hates 93 octane! Yes, I know air cooled Harley owners will tell you that the bike needs 93 octane, and theirs probably do, but your bike is a low compression water cooled engine and 93 octane will just carbon it up and cost you extra money when you gas up! Secondly, If you have to run with the choke pulled, it sounds like you are running lean. Most of the time you should not need the choke to start the bike even in cold weather much less to run it (except possibly if you have ice forming in the carb jets (that's why airplanes have carb heaters) but I live in California and we don't know what ice is, first hand! I am sure that in the near future there will be several of our carb experts on here to tell you what the problem is and I bow to their expertise, but this should get you started in the right direction. Jim
 

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Probably a simple carb drain from the screw on the bowl.

Try to capture the sample - it may have a slug of water in it - that treatment won't deal with.
Glass container to see sample.

Have a can of Brake Cleaner handy - with spray tube attached - and drain still open - blast through ports
within the carb body throat to rid any crud maybe left behind in the bowl.
Same can be done with carb cleaner -

Doing this simple process can pull off worthy results.
Let some of the tank to also pass through the carb drain -

This may take faking out the fuel valve to flow with a little vacuum.

Screw out the idle adjust needle -
Count the turns first - bottoming it first - then shoot cleaner through this port -
careful not to loose any o-ring / washer sitting in the hole.

If after test ride - still issues -
get back with update for the next steps. For servicing low speed jet.

Good Luck
 

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~ High-Finesse Hooligan ~
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…Friday after Thanksgiving I got on the bike to go to my in-laws house, The temp was 34 degrees, choked and started the bike and let it run for about 60-90 seconds while I put on helment and gloves. The bike ran well until I turned around and went home about 3 hours later, It spits and sputters as I accelerate so I stopped and picked up a bottle of sea foam, went to the gas station and put 1/2 the bottle (about 8 oz.) in the tank and topped if off with 93 octane fuel which I have been running since I bought the bike. Needless to say, it's not getting better and it does seem to run a little better and will accelerate to some degree with the choke knob partially pulled. I pulled the plugs and they look good, the previous owner had a 25K service performed just before I bought the bike.
Any help with where to look next?
Thanks.....
+1 What SPARKY5151 said – 93 octane is not better than the lower grades for these bikes – use 87 or 89 octane gas for this low compression engine (it detonates more readily)

+1 What Philscbx said – but, I recommend reading carefully and following the ‘idle drop procedure’ (see below) in the service manual if you are going to get into the carb – it will help you to get your air:fuel (A/F) ratio set correctly with the ‘pilot screw’ adjustment, as well as the proper idle speed with the ‘throttle stop screw knob’

As for riding in such cold weather, besides problems if there is any water in the fuel system, I would warm my bike up for a good 5-7 minutes to reach operating temp for proper oil viscosity (‘pumpability’) before riding.

‘laser :patriot:

 

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~ High-Finesse Hooligan ~
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...Needless to say, it's not getting better and it does seem to run a little better and will accelerate to some degree with the choke knob partially pulled. I pulled the plugs and they look good...
Also... I would not use the choke - it is an 'enrichener' and it WILL foul your plugs with use, complicating your issues...
 

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The guitar, not the fish!
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Unless you have a turbo or supercharger bolted to that stock engine, stop using 93 octane...Low compression engines don't need 93 octane, and despite what some folks think, higher octane fuels do NOT give you more power whatsoever...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the suggestions and the detailed info is appreciated. It will be next week before I will have days off to work on it. I'll update as soon as I find out more... and yes... I did think higher octane = more power so thanks for that tip too.
 

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+ to all suggestions above. The first thing that came to my mind was a gummed up pilot jet, since you said it only ran well with some choke. Not saying this is your problem, and it could be a little water since it came on so so suddenly, but if the bike ever sat with stale fuel in the carb, then it can form gummy deposits. Your pilot jet (says 55 on it if stock) has a short tube with very small holes, called an emulsion tube. Plug those up and the carb will have a harder time atomizing the fuel. Ever sipped a drink through a straw with a little hole in the side of it? Same idea going on there. That "choke" knob is the fastest way to foul spark plugs.
 

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First thing that came to my mind (and I'm really surprised it wasn't mentioned yet) is the battery posts. Make sure they're tight -- a screwdriver won't do it. You need a 10mm socket or wrench.

The other suggestions are all great, but check the simple thing first. When I had an issue with mine, it presented with every one of the symptoms you've mentioned, including startup issues. Coupla turns of the wrench and I was good to go. Very common problem. In fact, I'd venture a guess that more than a few of the VTX's that end up for sale are from owners who've had this problem and sold it hoping it wouldn't show up when buyers came to look.
 

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First thing that came to my mind (and I'm really surprised it wasn't mentioned yet) is the battery posts. Make sure they're tight -- a screwdriver won't do it. You need a 10mm socket or wrench.

The other suggestions are all great, but check the simple thing first. When I had an issue with mine, it presented with every one of the symptoms you've mentioned, including startup issues. Coupla turns of the wrench and I was good to go. Very common problem. In fact, I'd venture a guess that more than a few of the VTX's that end up for sale are from owners who've had this problem and sold it hoping it wouldn't show up when buyers came to look.
Not saying that this couldn't be the problem, after all being an electrician I learned a long time ago to never say never, but remember, he cleaned the start switch and it starts OK now, and the 1800 is fuel injected and low voltage and spikeness can cause electronic circuits to act flakey! However, this is a 1300, good old fashioned solid state, if it's got any juice it will work until it won't, technology. Just my $.02 worth. Jim
 

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Not saying that this couldn't be the problem, after all being an electrician I learned a long time ago to never say never, but remember, he cleaned the start switch and it starts OK now, and the 1800 is fuel injected and low voltage and spikeness can cause electronic circuits to act flakey! However, this is a 1300, good old fashioned solid state, if it's got any juice it will work until it won't, technology. Just my $.02 worth. Jim
Ah, good point on 1300 v 1800. Still worth tightening them. I was thinking that perhaps the starter cleaning was just coincidental -- as my "starter" issues were intermittent. It wouldn't start one day in a parking lot... I jumped on it, did the duck run, and popped the clutch, and it started right up. Seemed like I might have had a starter issue, but the fact is, I probably just jarred it enough that I made a better connection... But yeah, the fuel injection vs carb... Yup...
 

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I would have probably paid good CASH MONEY to have seen that!!!!!! :stirpot:
Ha, should have seen me when I left the key in the ignition for 4 hours and came out to a dead-as-a-doornail battery. Ran that thing up and down the parking lot a half dozen times before a guy from next door came out and helped push it... We tried and tried but eventually had to jump it.
 

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Ha, should have seen me when I left the key in the ignition for 4 hours and came out to a dead-as-a-doornail battery. Ran that thing up and down the parking lot a half dozen times before a guy from next door came out and helped push it... We tried and tried but eventually had to jump it.
Yep! Time was if you had a magneto you could just push it on a dead battery and it would start but now days all the integrated circuits want a stable, constant power source before they will operate and you can't get that by pushing!
 

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Loose cables on a 1300 will also cause crazy driveablilty issues as well...Even though it has a carb versus FI, there's still an ECM under the seat to trigger ignition spark/timing...And that ECM has a couple wires that have been know to break and will also make the bike run funky or not at all...
 

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UPDATE ... better late than never.... The bike runs like a champ and I couldn't help but to get out and ride.... What a great feeling to jump on your bike and go just to be going.... Anyway... here is what happened.... After talking with a friend of mine that is very knowledgeable about carbs, he assured me that if I took it apart and couldn't get it back together then I could bring it to him and he would re-assemble for me... Not necessary though... I reviewed a very good breakdown at http://www.vtxoa.com/forums/showthread.php?216890-Carb-Cleaning-101 set up my work area and proceeded.... bottom line... trash in the main jet, I found the in-line filter that is at the carb where the fuel line comes in to be not fully seated which allowed this larger piece of trash to get to the jet.... Did I mention how good it feels to get on a bike and ride? Yeah... Thanks for all your help and advice... oh by the way..... I no longer spend extra money for a fuel that probably hurts the efficiency of my bike more than it helps... I was one that believed that more (octane) was better.... now I know better.
 

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...bottom line... trash in the main jet, I found the in-line filter that is at the carb where the fuel line comes in to be not fully seated which allowed this larger piece of trash to get to the jet.... Did I mention how good it feels to get on a bike and ride? Yeah...
Awesome that you discovered and fixed it yourself! Congrats, man!
 
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