If you own an older bike, you may experience some technical issues – however, you may be able to fix some problems yourself and save on a trip to the mechanic.
Here we show you how to fix some common older bike issues.
1 | False IdlesIf your bike isn’t idling properly, warm it up and see if adding choking (making the mix richer) or cracking the throttle slightly (making it leaner) makes a difference. For rich bikes, they idle high but lose power when given the first throttle because they can’t burn all the gas. Be sure to check that the choke cable works and then check the spark plug gap or fuel bowl levels. Lean running engines tend to hang up at high RPMs when the throttle is let go. Extremely lean motors can also stall out completely. If you find a loose or open vacuum hose, spray some carburetor cleaner or starter fluid where the carburetor connects to the engine and listen for a change in RPMs.
2 | Stuck Cables
The throttle and clutch are the two main cables that can cause issues on older bikes. You should never ride your bike if the throttle cable is causing problems because it’s dangerous. It’s known as the suicide throttle for a reason. For a quick fix of a stuck clutch cable, remove the cable from the bike, separate the wire from its sheath and apply a lubricant like WD-40.
3 | Running on Empty
If you feel like you are running on empty, check to make sure you didn’t hit the kill switch. Then check to make sure your battery is charged. If the battery isn’t the problem, there are a few steps you can follow. First, make sure there is gas in the tank and the petcock is set to on, reserve or prime. If the petcock is set properly, then you’ll want to check the fuel pump or filter. Lastly, give the gas tank a shake to push any gas stuck on the sides of the tank towards the rear and fuel petcock.
4 | No-Start
When you go to start your bike and it doesn’t actually start, first check to make sure the battery is charged. If your battery is good but nothing happens when you start up your bike, there are a few more things to check. First make sure the battery’s black ground cable is fully connected to both the battery and the grounding point on the engine. Then check to make sure the fuses are good. Also ensure that you check clutch switches, kickstand switches and the neutral light are in good working order. The failure of one of these could lead to the no-start situation.