Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Missoula, Montana
Engine revs and stalling problem
I'm hoping this was just a one-off problem not the beginning of something worse...
Last week I was coming home from a camping weekend. The roads were dry, the weather was warm and dry. I'd ridden 130 miles on a tank that had been full. My calculated maximum range (60 mpg * 3 gallons) was supposed to be 150-180 miles. I had been riding on this particular segment for 40 minutes so the engine was pretty warm but not super hot. When I pulled up to a 3-way stop and switched into first gear I had the clutch and brake engaged. When it was my turn to cross the intersection I released the brake and smoothly released the clutch, as usual. The bike moved about ten feet and stalled, leaving me dangerously in the middle of the junction.
My first attempt to restart the engine failed. The second attempt resulted in me moving a further 10 feet before stalling again, leaving me still two feet from the opposite curb (i.e. still in the way of other traffic). I quickly walked the bike to 'safety', trying to think what might have caused the problem. Foremost in my mind was low gas but I knew I had nearly a gallon left. The gas station was less than 100 yards away.
After waiting for the traffic to clear, I was able to get the bike to move away okay by increasing the engine revs (twisting the throttle) a little more than usual while letting the clutch out. I was able to fit exactly two gallons in, which confirmed that I had still had a gallon left in the tank originally - a fact I was able to confirm visually and audibly by rocking the bike from side to side before filling her up.
When I pulled away from the gas station, after five minutes of the engine cooling down and with a full tank, it happened one more time. As I pulled away, the machine seemed to lack the usual power and stalled after a few feet. Since then, I have ridden "Red" a few more times without any incident bar the fact that her idling engine in neutral sounds slightly slower.
Since there is no tachometer I can't tell if the revs are actually lower now. Is it possible that something has "slipped"? She's done 2,000 miles in four months altogether, and everything else has been perfect so far...