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2011 Retro - Carb Boot/Performance Issue - Advice

Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:44 pm
by SemperFiUral
I have a 2011 Retro with 4500 km on it. Riding to work is turning into an educational experience with the hack. Last time I rode to work, flat pusher tire. This past Friday was beautiful so I decided to try my luck again and all was well on the inbound trip. Driving home at night, the acceleration in 1st and 2nd was terrible and bogging down but once I got up in 3 & 4 it smoothed out. Got it home and immediately notice carb boot on left hand side was off. Reconnected it and took it around the block and still running bad. Back in the garage with her and the boot had fallen off again. Spent Friday night and Saturday searching and reading on SS and found some other posts addressing similar issue(s) and took to fixing again on Saturday night and this morning. I haven't done much mechanically in years but kept the basics in mind (spark, fuel, air) and read a lot here. Here's the steps I took and she appears to be running fine again - wanted to see if there is anything else I need to do.

1. Removed and cleaned boot w/brake cleaner and wiped down carb, reinstalled and 'snugged' the clamp down (must've have overtightened first time but found in one of MartyL's post you can't overtighted).
2. Removed and inspected air filter - all good - no obstructions (plan to switch over to a K&N later on).
3. Realized the right hand side was not heating up and a few drops of fuel were coming out of the exhaust crossover pipe (got out the fire extingusher just in case... :( ).
4. Removed both spark plugs - left hand side was fine - right hand side was fouled.
5. Off to parts store for new plug (read here once the NPK is fouled you need to replace). Got a comparable Autolite but ordered a half dozen NPK's for future use.
6. Gapped new plug and installed. Still not heating up on right hand side and drops of fuel fuel still coming out of crossover pipe.
7. Removed righthand plug, put it back in the wire and made sure it had spark - all was good (blue spark). A good amount of fuel spewed out of spark plug hole onto side car when I first kicked it over :o .
8. Reinstalled plug.
9. Drained fuel out of right hand bowl by turning the drain screw - it didn't run dry so not sure if I did that right.
10. Cranked her back up and kept hands on the right and left covers - viola - both heated up at the same rate. Also went to the back of the rig and felt exhaust coming out of both sides at the same rate.
11. Took her for a test spin and the bogging down is gone, no more fuel drippin' - she seems to be feeling like her old self again.

Certainly open for advice/input on anything I should do to follow up on this.

Re: 2011 Retro - Carb Boot/Performance Issue - Advice

Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:09 pm
by Navy Chief
If you had that much fuel in the cylinder I would consider changing the oil, you could have a significant amount in the oil that leaked by the rings... Cheap insurance.

Re: 2011 Retro - Carb Boot/Performance Issue - Advice

Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:28 pm
by JohnBG
Sounds like you got it fixed.

Ride the bloody pi$$ out of it. :moto:

Re: 2011 Retro - Carb Boot/Performance Issue - Advice

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:43 pm
by JamesG
I have discovered through a similar learning experience that the carbs are sensitive to orientation. If you have them cocked at anything but 12 o'clock, the float valves can hang up which leads to flooding. "Modern" ethanol gasoline makes a very good lubricant for carbs to squirt out from rubber manifolds, inadvertent kicks tipping them further, etc.

Re: 2011 Retro - Carb Boot/Performance Issue - Advice

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:59 pm
by Albuquralque
Sounds like you had a carb bowl stuck or something stuck in the needle seat that kept the needle from stopping the fuel flow into the carb bowl. When this happens, you should also see gas coming out of the carb vent/overflow. This will cause the offending cylinder to foul out and run like crap. One way to fix this is to remove the fuel line going into the offending carb and blow into it to dislodge anything stuck in there.

Re: 2011 Retro - Carb Boot/Performance Issue - Advice

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:18 pm
by SemperFiUral
Thanks for the replies - changed the oil & filter and all looked fine. Took it out for a ride on Sunday and now there's a pinging/rattling noise on acceleration from up front somewhere. Once I'm at a steady speed, it goes away. Everything external looks tight - is it time to check valve tappet clearance?

Re: 2011 Retro - Carb Boot/Performance Issue - Advice

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:16 pm
by TerryG
SEMPERFISILVER wrote:Thanks for the replies - changed the oil & filter and all looked fine. Took it out for a ride on Sunday and now there's a pinging/rattling noise on acceleration from up front somewhere. Once I'm at a steady speed, it goes away. Everything external looks tight - is it time to check valve tappet clearance?
It's probably the reverse shift lever rattling. Pull it back while pushing down and lock it in the small knotch at the rear of the gate. That stops it from rattling, and should let you know for sure if that is what the rattle is. Gene 'Holopow' said to put 2 plumbing nylon washers on either side of the bolt where the shifter attaches to the long rod to the back.

Re: 2011 Retro - Carb Boot/Performance Issue - Advice

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:26 pm
by BigJames
SEMPERFISILVER wrote:Thanks for the replies - changed the oil & filter and all looked fine. Took it out for a ride on Sunday and now there's a pinging/rattling noise on acceleration from up front somewhere. Once I'm at a steady speed, it goes away. Everything external looks tight - is it time to check valve tappet clearance?
A little rattling? I had to put another rubber washer under my tank mounts at the rear to stop some really nasty sounding rattling, then found another, the tool box door! Then the front fender, then... Have 5400km on my Retro and have quit worrying about anything that doesn't sound like the bike is coming apart! :lol:

And I rode my Retro to work this am, 81 miles one way. Am I gonna drain the crap out of the carb bowels tonight, but your sweet a$$ I am...sounds like that may have been the root of the whole problem! Just curious, mine did not come with inline fuel filters, did yours?

Re: 2011 Retro - Carb Boot/Performance Issue - Advice

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:45 pm
by BigJames
SEMPERFISILVER wrote:Thanks for the replies - changed the oil & filter and all looked fine. Took it out for a ride on Sunday and now there's a pinging/rattling noise on acceleration from up front somewhere. Once I'm at a steady speed, it goes away. Everything external looks tight - is it time to check valve tappet clearance?
If you haven't adjusted them yet, it is time. Made a huge difference in my Retro after I adjusted them last weekend! Never really noticed a decrease in performance, but sure noticed the increase with the valves properly adjusted. Right, exhaust was a bit tight, intake a bit loose, on the left, intake tight, exhause loose... Now everything ticks as it should. Saying that, with the state of what we call gas now, may just be more crappy gas or you paid for 93 octane and got 87...

Re: 2011 Retro - Carb Boot/Performance Issue - Advice

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:31 pm
by SemperFiUral
Shifter is in good shape - no rattlin' there but I'll throw the washers on.
BigJames - no fuel filters on mine.
I'm going to dive in perform the valve tappet adjustment this weekend and see what happens - i have a buddy across the street from me that's a Cat' mechanic - he typically takes sympathy on me and watches over my shoulder when I'm trying to fix things and keeps me out of trouble.

Thanks all and I'll report back!

Re: 2011 Retro - Carb Boot/Performance Issue - Advice

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:55 pm
by BigJames
Just checked my shifter, nice and tight and I am of the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" school...leaving it be.
Read somewhere, may be the owners manual, that fuel filters were no longer needed. Guess gas got cleaner or something like that...
Easiest bike I've had to adjust the valves (besides my Harleys that have hydraulic lifters).
Same gap for intake and exhaust and closed is closed for both valves per side, unlike my Beemer that both valves are not completely closed at the same time...ever...
Good luck, will become old hat pretty quick!