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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings! Newbie here, both to this forum and Honda street bikes. Grew up with Honda; QA-50, Z-50, CT70, SL70, you get it. So my friend purchased this bike, a 1983 GL650i (Burgundy) from a gentleman in Canada for what the thought to be a fair/bargain price-it did not run. No problem-"my friend (yours truly) can fix anything." I joined the forum, diagnosed the problem(s) as a bad kill switch (rendered operable,) a bad starter relay/solenoid (replaced successfully.) A new battery and the starter ground mod/starter rebuild rendered the starter operable and fast. I took apart and cleaned the carbs, put in some new fuel and voila! It started and ran, though it did not want to idle. So today, I changed oil/filter, bled new brake fluid in and started it...It turned and tried to catch, but then I realized the fuel petcock was closed. I opened it and VOILA! it started and ran again but it did not want to idle. Which brings us current. I again tried to start the bike but, unlike previous attempts, where staying on the starter button caused the engine to slowly come to life (put-putout-putputput) on half choke with a bit of throttle, THIS TIME, when the engine started its put-putout, the starter pulled away and would not continue. Every time, now, when the engine finally starts to catch, the starter pulls away with a strange sound at disengagement, like spinning freely, and with a clatter as it stops and appears to re-engage for the next attempt. So I'm not sure if it is a starter (or maybe that starter-clutch thing I've seen referenced,) or a fuel delivery scenario-or both? Clearly, something isn't right because, after all, its a Honda and should start right away. Note that when I did have it running, if only for 5 minutes, once it got off-idle, it revved nicely, cleanly. I didn't go high into RPM range because I only just learned that the bike hadn't run in 10 years. (Think my friend figured this whole thing for a throw-down.) Bike has 40,000 miles. I'm not expecting miracles. I do have two carb rebuild kits that I ordered when the bike arrived as well as the extra kits for some air thing (big springs and round rubber gasket a little larger than a quarter. My plan was to get it running nicely before opening up another can of worms. Not sure if anyone has had a similar experience. We have spark for sure, and if I could convince the starter to stay on a little longer (as it did in the first two successful starts,) I could get it working again. I'm leaning toward a fuel delivery issue because my experience so far was similar when I had forgotten the fuel petcock. Once opened, however, the put-putput-putputput began and eventually overtook the starter and ran. I'm open to suggestions. As you can imagine, this is very frustrating-so close yet so far and it is sunny out today. Thanks for any help!
 

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The whir-clatter sound you are hearing is the Starter Clutch. If the problem is caused by deposits in the SC you might be able to loosen it up by adding some Marvel Mystery Oil in the oil (mix with regular in the ratio on the bottle) and running it for a couple of hundred miles, then changing the oil again. Maybe. BUT if it is because the springs in the SC have failed you could damage the boss that the SC grabs against by trying to start it that way.

At 40,000 miles it is probably getting close to needing a new camchain & guides (search the forum for looking at the auto-adjuster with a dental mirror). If that is needed it is the ideal time to rebuild the Starter Clutch because everything you need to take apart for the SC has to come apart for the camchain.

As for getting it to run, it sounds like a problem in the idle circuit of one or both carbs to me. If it sat that long there is a good chance that something is blocked and you will need access to an ultrasonic cleaner to get it clear. Unless you are intimately familiar with Keihin carbs (the fact that you described the air cutoff valve as "some air thing" suggests otherwise) you should consider Larry's carb book (search the forum).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the quick replies. I let it sit for awhile and it again stirred to life, giving me hope. Since I've done a couple of keihins on old Harley's, I can't imagine it is that much different. Since I've got the rebuild kits here already, and I've already cleaned the carbs very well, is there something I might need the ultrasonic for? Thankfully, the carbs weren't that bad. Last one I did was on a 67 pan/shovel that had been sitting for 20 years; kind of a low-bar
 

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A complete tear down using Larry's book, and an ultrasonic cleaner are the only ways to REALLY get them clean. One little thing that 650 guys will do if the starter clutch is getting weak is to off-run-off switch to off, get the engine spinning with the starter, then flip the switch to on. Takes some strain off, and that loud band won't happen.
 
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