Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Scarlet is sick & not running

On Saturday I took a run up the highway out to Costco to get chicken wings and a few other goodies.  On the way back Scarlet was lugging and not holding the revs and then would break through and come back up to speed & revs would be fine and then she would drop and lug again.  This was on the way home and it was a little unnerving being on the highway.  I babied her home and gave her to Motorcycle Man, who took her for a ride and confirmed everything I was experiencing.  Now the fun part begins, he took Scarlet apart and was cleaning contacts, petcocks, draining carbuerators, checking spark plugs and coils.  He had a hellacious time getting the seat off - at least we know no one will steal the seat very easily.  She is only running on 1 cylinder.  Motorcycle Man has been googling and researching all the forums of what it could possibly be.  It is looking more like the CDI or maybe not.  He went to Victoria Salvage and they had only 1 CDI in stock and let him try it and even with that one it still fires only 1 cylinder - so I am thinking it is something else.  Blown valve perhaps - I have to say I know nothing about engines, I just happily ride the bike and leave all the wrenching to Motorcycle Man.  I just want my baby back!  Motorcycle Man is loaning me his bike, but I drive it straight to work & then straight home, no tootles. I am a sad panda :(

So now we are in limbo and I have a bike that isn't running.  Any ideas? 


bobskoot said...


I can only give you moral support. I know nothing about engines and I would be a detriment to its repair, better to keep out of the way. Seeing that I know nothing then my opinion of a broken valve or camshaft timing might be something to look at. Is the plug getting a spark ? Are the plug wires broken internally ? Unlikely to be the CDI unless the 2nd cylinder is not firing either

Hope you get back and running FAST, as Saturday May 19th is just around the corner

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

Dar said...

I think you're on the right track, 2nd cylinder is firing. I don't think the plug is firing on that side. I will give hubs your comments. Crazy stuff always seems to come my way.

bobskoot said...


I also went on some shadow forums. Check the fuel lines to the carb, also the fuel filter. Could be a broken spark plug wire. Many seem to think it is a fuel problem, old hoses or clogged stopping the fuel from flowing

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

Pam said...

No ideas just (((hugs)))! Hope Scarlet recovers soon!

Shybiker said...

I'm not mechanically-knowledgeable enough to offer advice, so my only contribution is to suggest what I do -- own two motorcycles. Whenever one is down, the other steps up.

Dar said...

Pam - thanks for the hug.

Shy - I have a 50cc scooter and I guess I will be insuring that, it seems like such a step down and if its not fixable then it truly will be and I will be once again limited by cc's. Sorry I am seeming negative, but sometimes its hard to be positive.

bobskoot said...


have someone do a compression test. If the cylinder checks out, then it is only something minor

glad to help, and remember I know nothing about mechanics

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

RichardM said...

If it is load dependent, I would consider fuel issues first (filter, carb bowl jets clogged, lines, etc.) before ignition especially given that it sounds like it's intermittent and only affecting one cylinder. Anything common to both cylinders is unlikely.

Remote diagnostics are challenging but it sounds like you have a competent mechanic...

polarbear said...

spark plugs are cheap and easy..replace the spark plugs,(both of them) first.. spark plugs are prone to failure for a variety of reasons and can happen at any time.

Remember K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid) and never overlook the obvious.

Circle Blue said...

No. This is totally unacceptable. Dom breaks down, fixes it, and entertains us with writing about it. You are supposed to ride trouble free, laugh, and make me smile and chuckle as I read about your adventures.

I know nothing about this beasts, but it does sound like Motorcycle Man does and enjoys the hunt. I'm sure he'll ferret out the answer and I'm counting on it being soon.

I agree with Shybiker about the need to have two ponies in the stable, but I have only one and am lost if Billie goes down.

My sympathies, dear. I hope Scarlet is feeling all better soon.

Trobairitz said...

Oh no. No fun having a sick bike. At least you have a handy hubby that can work on them and lets you ride his bike to work. That helps.

I don't know much about motors so I am no help in that department.

Hope the fix doesn't take too long and you and Scarlet are out causing trouble soon.

ToadMama said...

I know absolutely nothing about engines. But I am sending you lots of positive vibes for a speedy recovery!

Troubadour said...

You got me, if MC Man checked plugs, coils, carbs, fuel lines, filters, fuses and contacts then it has to be something obscure. I'm thinking if were a blown valve you'd know it.
Although it doesn't explain one cylinder, check your gas cap/vent and the drain tubes under your bike. My America died once as the drain tube clogged with rain water, I cut the ends at a 45 degree angle and never had a problem again.
Hope you find out what's ailing her and have her back on the road soon.

David Masse said...

Not good Dar, but it sounds like expert assistance is live-in in your case. I'm sure that he'll get to the bottom of this problem and you'll be sailing off down the road in no time. It's especially nice that your mechanic has a loaner bike for you to ride while yours is in the shop! What a silver lining you have in that there cloud :)

SonjaM said...

Bummer. Can't offer you more than moral support, and will keep my fingers crossed that it turns out to be something minor.

Deb said...

Been off the boards for a bit...sorry to hear about this! I'm sure Vixen is happy to be getting out and about, though! Being without your baby must be comepletely frustrating. I hope MM can get her up and running soon!

Hang in there, kiddo~


Dar said...

Bob - My hubs is looking at the entire bike right now & doing a lot of research. Compression testis next on the list.

Richard - at least my hub is very familiar with my bike now!

Polar bear - we are running out of KISS right lol, it's probably going to have to see the bike doctor. He has a few more things to try.

Circle Blue - the hub has let me ride his baby so there has been some carefree riding again. It was a spectacular day today & after I did all ny chores I went riding! Woo Hoo!

Trobairitz - I was out causing mayhem on the hubby's bike. *evil grin* MWAH haaaaa haaa

Troubadour - he checked all of that and is thinking it is an electrical issue. He is going to take apart the kill switch, he read on one of the forums that there have been issues with it for some Shadows. Still a conundrum.

David - Thanks ! I am sure he will have her back on the road soon. I am impatiently patient right now.

Sonja - Thanks! It is hard being patient, I love my bike, but I have to say I have had a taste of 750cc and I am loving it!

Deb - haven't ridden Vixen for about 3 months now. I have been riding MM's V45 Magna 750cc, it is amazing, very smooth, lower centre of gravity and the steering is so smooth. It has a hydraulic clutch too, shifts lie butter. Even though it's heavier it's even easier to ride than Scarlet. I was surprised about that. Apparently the Magna was as my hubby put it "his last man bastion" something that was exclusively his, well I hate to break it too him, he opened Pandora's motorcycle box. Lol

Deb said...

I have read that the Magna is a much-coveted machine with an almost "cult following"...hmmm...maybe that will be your NEXT ride! Another Magna to go with MM's Magna!