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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After been stood a couple of weeks I find my GL500 Silverwing very difficult to start. It seems fuel is struggling to get through to the spark plugs, After changing the spring position on the vaccum tap a few weeks ago(this was to bypass the vacuum valve and allow free flow of fuel into the carbs) I was hoping I'd cured the problem but this morning after some cold weather I still find the GL500 Silverwing real bad to start, I undid the carb drain screws to find plenty of fuel getting through and into the carb bowls, but after 20 mins and a flat battery all I could get was a splutter from the right hand cylinder, while putting some charge into the battery I removed the plugs to find the left plug was totally dry and the right plug only slightly damp - I fitted a fresh pair of plugs and then once the battery charged up a bit it took a further 5 mins before the right pot fired and after a few seconds later both were running as though nothing was wrong!



It seems the fuel is struggling to get from the carb bowl to the spark plug but once running everything runs as it should - any ideas before I think about taking things apart
 

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Could be as simple as your Petcock's vacum valve not wanting to open until it's getting enough Suck ( engine running). Make sure those lines to the back of the cock are not reversed or leaking. The one in the middle should be connected to vac.



also, vac leaks can be detected with a spritz of carb cleaner or starting fluid while the bike is running. If it's leaking it will suck in whatever causing the bike to run differently.



I would also Recomend Ethanol free fuel in that the ethanol is a solvent, sending all the rust and crud from your tank into the petcock... Does the UK mandate "Corn Whisky" in Gasoline petrol? The crap Stuff we have over here is killing small two stroke and other non corn friendly motors.



HTH-
-



Jeff



Edit: I should have read your original post a bit more closely...
I still think it could be Vac related... Maybe the fuel cap ? I'm a idiot sometimes... sorry
 

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Second Try
If you disconnect the line from the tank and open the petcock fuel should flow freely. The only thing stopping it would either be an obstruction or bad tank cap breather. If you do remove the fuel line and nothing comes out, first remove the fuel Tank cap.... If that does not get it going then I would bet it's an obstruction in the petcock. My 82 uses a petcock with a strainer filter on the bottom and some models have a filter tube going up into the tank. ? I've seen these tubes and strainers get partially clogged with fuel residue that is like a gelatinous goo that could possibly be the source of the inconsistency?...



I hope this is better
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Second Try
If you disconnect the line from the tank and open the petcock fuel should flow freely. The only thing stopping it would either be an obstruction or bad tank cap breather. If you do remove the fuel line and nothing comes out, first remove the fuel Tank cap.... If that does not get it going then I would bet it's an obstruction in the petcock. My 82 uses a petcock with a strainer filter on the bottom and some models have a filter tube going up into the tank. ? I've seen these tubes and strainers get partially clogged with fuel residue that is like a gelatinous goo that could possibly be the source of the inconsistency?...



I hope this is better
Jeff


Thanks for your reply, I will investigate further when I get chance - I've noticed the carb intakes are longer on the GL than on my standard CX making the fuel have to travel further to the spark - the right side is slightly nearer which would account for it firing first - not sure what the answer to this is though, other than try and fit standard CX carbs with the shorter intakes or start it up every day
 

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I find that a spritz of starting fluid into the snozzle of the air cleaner gives a good quick start if the bike's been setting for more than 4-5 days. That also saves the battery, as they will generally fire on the 2nd or 3rd revolution.
 

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The length of the boots is not the problem, as there are thousands of GL500's that run and start fine with the same boots. If the clamps are loose or you have splits in them that is different. Are you twisting the throttle at all or giving it gas at startup? I wouldn't. Just pull the choke all the way out if it is cold. Then when it starts push the choke half way in till it is warm enough to run with no choke. Are your chokes actually working? I would try a new set of plugs too. Check your caps and wires too. If everything is set up correctly the GL500 should jump to life with a few revolutions no matter how cold it is or how long it has set. Is the starter spinning the motor up good? If not a starter rebuild/mod is in order. Is the plug in the end of the airbox drain? A missing plug can make for hard starting and a lean condition. Air filter clean? Idle/low speed circuits clean in the carbs? Idle mixture screws adjusted correctly?



The petcock operation could be suspect as well, I agree.



It could be one or more of a multitude of things. Start with the simple things first and before you know it the beast will awaken!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Managed to get a few hours in the shed today, removed and stripped the carbs down every thing looked how it should, the choke springs are working spot on, I then gave everything good clean and blew out with compressor, also found one of the HT leads was loose on the coil and once removed found quite a bit of grot where it fits so I've replaced the lead and secured in nice and tight



Once all was back together and the carb bowls filled with fuel it started up no problem and run like a dream



The test now is to see how well it starts after been stood a while
 

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Starter needs to spin the engine pretty well so as your battery ages the harder it becomes to start. I noticed this last year as sometimes it would sit for several weeks and was a lot harder to start than if I'd ridden it the day before. Smelling the exhuast it wasn't lack of petrol related, it just wasn't cranking fast enough.



I'll probably replace my battery when I'm back on the road, $30 isn't bad. I've never had a bike with no kick starter and I sure don't want to try and push this thing
 
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