Whew, salvaged day

Well, I wasn’t able to ride at all, but at least I got some work done on the Bandit.

I took the front wheel off and installed the new speedometer cable I bought off eBay; naturally, the bike wouldn’t start later, so I haven’t tested said cable yet. It can’t be worse than the speedo cable that I took off the bike, though, which had no actual inner cable at all — just the rubber outer sheath. You can imagine how well that worked.

I also gave Sir Bandit a fresh set of front brake pads, as I had them lying around, and really, what else was I going to do today? They were a bit of a pain to get on — one pad is held in by tension, and kept falling out — but they seem to work pretty well. Lots of yummy bite. They’re EBCs with a fairly high metal content; if I can ever get the *&!$ bike out of my garage and up into the foothills, I think they’ll be perfect.

I mentioned that the bike wouldn’t start after doing the speedo cable — that’s a bit misleading; I didn’t try starting it beforehand, and I doubt it would have started then either. I checked the carbs’ drain bolts, and they all dripped gas, so I removed the tank and pulled each plug to check for spark. The first one was a bit fouled, so I cleaned it off; it had a decent spark after a good wipedown. The second plug was similarly fouled, but it decided to have a bit of fun with me…when I held it up against the engine block to check for spark, it gave me quite a jolt and actually started the bike for a second. Whew! Tingly fingers! I was hoping that the fouling was keeping the bike from starting originally, but even after cleaning off all four plugs, I couldn’t get anything but a WUBBAWUBBA.

I spend more time just trying to get that damn bike to start than I do working on anything interesting on it. Rarr. I swear to god, the next time it starts reliably (or, more likely, whenever I can borrow a trailer or pickup truck), it’s going into the shop to have the carbs overhauled. I’d really rather get the Bandit to a reliable base point from which I can work on tweaks and mods and suspension. Since I don’t have a lot of free time to play with the bike, I’m starting to feel like I spens an hour on just getting it to run for every 10 minutes that I spend painting or on any kind of non-carburetor tweaking. I’ve had the carbs out five times now; I can disassemble/reassemble them in my sleep. It’s just not interesting anymore, and I lack the experience/equipment needed to actually diagnose the damn problem with them.

Whew, salvaged day

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3 Responses to Whew, salvaged day

  1. Curtis says:

    “It’s just not interesting anymore, and I lack the experience/equipment needed to actually diagnose the damn problem with them.”
    Those of us with occupations non-related to m/c work have the same prob. Other than buying the factory maintenance manual I usually have not a clue. Good luck and keep documenting your efforts (pics and comments). It is read and your insights are greatly appreciated. I have a soft spot in my heart for the Bandit.

  2. Michael says:

    Had this problem with a friend’s Bandit. Let it sit for more than a couple of days and it would refuse to start, just wubbawubbawubbawubba no matter what you did. Eventually it would start picking up and then run fine…this was usually right after the battery expired and a jumpstarter was required (meh.). Got a shop to look at it and it turned out to be the emulsion tubes (tubes the needles ride in) were clogged. Apparently there are very very small holes whice are nearly impossible to clean and replacement is the route to go once they become clogged. Bike ran flawlessly from that point on…just don’t let gas sit in the carbs for any extended period. YMMV of course.

  3. Greg Bracken says:

    Find “jet drill bits” they are VARY small and are powered by hand like a jewlers screwdriver. You can use these to clean out the tiny holes found in M/C carbs. And the I found that using a good automotive paper fuel filter ( one you can see into, white plastic) in line to the carbs works to keep that fine rust n crap out of the jets. Also draining the bowles with the drain screw often. Good Luck, Iknow what your going through.

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