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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A few weeks ago, I bought an '06 1300C with about 35k miles. If I could go back a few weeks and do it over again, I probably would not have bought this bike...for several reasons.

First and foremost, it's not running right. On the plus side, it does start. However, it needs the choke to run. I started it today to add some sea foam into the tank and get it into the system. It starts with the choke and pretty much needs the choke to run. I can close the choke to halfway and it still runs. But, if I close the choke, then the bike just shuts off. I was told not to run the bike too long with the choke because it will foul up the plugs, so I only ran it for a few minutes.

I could have sworn I noticed a small puff of black smoke when I started the bike or maybe it was when I turned the throttle. Either way, I think I did see that. From what I read, a puff of black smoke means it's running rich...but, doesn't that contradict what everyone says about these bikes in that they run lean?

What are my next steps? What would you do to get this bike running tip top? The bike does have the V & H Big Shots. I have no idea if they PO rejetted the bike after the pipes. I can assume he didn't. Either way, I'm guessing the pipes (as good as they sound) are not helping the way the bike is running. Is the next logical step to tear down the carb and do a rebuild on it? I am guessing a new 58 main jet might help (if that wasn't done already). What are your thoughts?

I might very well sell the bike, but I want to make sure it's running awesome before I sell it. I think I was pretty dumb in buying a bike that I literally saw run really cold blooded. That was my mistake and, as I said, one that I regret. Please help me fix this...Whether I keep or sell the bike, I need it to run great.
 

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Check vacuum hoses. They tend to crack/split on the interior wall.
If it sat for a long time jets/emulsion tubes may need cleaning.
I have a 05C and use the Choke aka Starter Enrichment when I crank cold.
Summer or winter it does not matter.
It will die if closed unless it is warm.
I give it the full pull, crank, run, push it in to where RPMs drop, put on helmet and gloves,
then take-off.
Generally when I shift to 3rd(summer) or 4th(winter) then I close the enricher.
This takes place in less than 1/2 mile. Works for me. Never fouled spark plugs.
I have straight pipes, never rejetted.
195 stock, probably would be better with 200.
 
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The VTX does not like sub-zero temperatures, it doesn't particularly like +20's and 30's but will do OK in those temps.
 

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I guess I would start off with where do you live? There is a possibility that someone local might be able to help you out. Second While I have a lot of faith in the power of SeaFoam, I prefer to think of it as a maintenance Item and not a repair tool.

I Find that the VTX 1300 is very much like an old Beatle in that they are really easy to work on but you have to be willing to work on them. You're going to need to pull that tank off and inspect the Vacuum lines. With the Seat and Tank off you should be able to inspect/replace all of them in short order. and while you have the tank off it would make sense to pull the carb off and take it apart and clean it. Take lots of pictures as you go so that you know how to put it back together and remember not to spray any rubber parts with carb cleaner or brake fluid because they will swell up on you and then need to be replaced. In fact, if you are going to crack into the carb it wouldn't hurt to order a seal kit from the dealer in advance I don't think they cost more than 20 bucks.

I've had my VTX Since 2006 but never really had to do much work on it until I let it sit for a few years. At least I had a really good experience with my bike before I had to start working on it to know that it would be worth it to get it fixed back up. If you like to tinker then this will be the perfect project for you and once you do get to ride the bike it will be that much more rewarding.
 
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I second what Hans said. If the bike sat and the corn syrup in the fuel solidified in the carb jets and passages, you need to open up the carb and clean out the gunk, paying close attention to the jets.
Lord knows I have to do this to multiple carbs I have at least twice a year. (I know, I am bad about predicting when I won't need certain equipment and draining the fuel - life gets in the way)
 

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Get rid of the old fuel in the tank. Add fresh fuel and add a half bottle of Techron Fuel System cleaner to the tank. This is recommended by Honda and many other vehicle manufacturers to clean out crap. This is the least you should do. What I would do, is take the carb off and get inside and clean all the varnish out of it. Then run the frsh fuel and Techron through it
 

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....................

What are my next steps? What would you do to get this bike running tip top? The bike does have the V & H Big Shots. I have no idea if they PO rejetted the bike after the pipes. I can assume he didn't. ...................
I had exactly the same problem when I bought my VT1100 years ago. My friend had installed some aftermarket pipes. I asked if the carb was rejetted and he said “Well, it was done at the Honda dealer so I assume they did whatever was supposed to be done.” Well, the bike ran like crap – low power, backfiring, hard to start, could feel the heat in my lower legs. Obviously NOT rejetted and running very lean. Bought an Innovative Motorsports LM-1 and tested it. A chemically correct air/fuel ratio is 14.6 to 1. Around 12.5-13.5 if you want power. 15 to 1 or so if you want more mileage. With the choke full on for starting it was running around 14.5, should be around 13. Riding down the road with no choke was running 17 to 20. Had to ride with ½ - 2/3 choke to get it around 15.

Yes, if you run with the choke on you can foul the plugs IF THE BIKE IS GETTING THE CORRECT A/F Ratio in the first place. The black puff of smoke is probably from gas building up in the cylinder since it is running so lean the spark plug is not firing the mixture and excess gas is building up.

If you want the bike to run awesome, install a 58 main jet. Then take it to one of the DynoJet Commander Tuning stations and have them do a dyno run to measure the actual A/F ratio. If it is off, install a different jet and do another dyno run. If it is still off, maybe some other carb needles and such. Then do another dyno run. Don’t forget to enrich the idle mixture otherwise it will still be hard to start and run like crap at low RPMs. With enough modifications to the carb and confirmation of what the bike is now doing with multiple actual instrumented dyno runs, instead of “it seems good now”, the bike will run awesome.

OR you can do what I did which is get up on eBay, spend $250 or so for a complete original Honda exhaust system (there are several there now). Swap off the V&H and sell that on eBay. The really cool part of my method is that not only are you guaranteed to have the bike start fine and run awesome, it will run awesome throughout the entire RPM and power range without having to make a single dyno run! How cool is that?!!!

Steve
 

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>> SteveF This is NOT correct>>>> If you want the bike to run awesome, install a 58 main jet.
Stock Main jet is 195 up to 2006 or so.
Stock low speed jet is #55

Low speed jet #58 is common for open air intakes.
 

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For the record, i just put the 58 in there because that is what someone else put. I dont have the slightest idea of exactly what mods are necessary as I (obviously) think making mods without doing instrumented measuring of the A/F ratio is just a bad idea.

Steve
 
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