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Steve, Motorcycle Mechanic
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 7016
Experience:  30+ yrs. experience, MMI, HD technician, HD early, engine rebuild/performance, bike builder, kit bike program manager, CCI 2001-2004
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I have a problem with the front cylinder not firing

Customer Question

I have a problem with the front cylinder not firing
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  Steve replied 1 year ago.

tell me everything you can about when this started.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it began when the positive battery lead shit itself,i replaced it and the negative as well,then I was told my ignition module wasn't working,so have replaced that and v.o.e.s. as well,i can only assume I have a coil problem,but have had it checked,,seems ok
is there any easy way to check the coil?is there an easier way to do timing,cant see anything thru the stupid clear timing plug,have onlydone static timing and seems fine until I take it for a run,,then it falters and farts and spits
Expert:  Steve replied 1 year ago.

if the ignition is stock, your coil fires both plugs at the same time. so if the rear is firing, the coil is not the problem.

check the plugs and plug wires.

replace any fouled plugs. if the plug wires look old or dirty, replace them.

- measure the battery voltage under the following conditions:

- ignition OFF.

- ignition ON.

- with the start button depressed.

- with the engine at about 2,000 rpm (fast idle.

let me know what you find,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok will try tomorrow,the battery is near new ,and have replaced wires and plugs numerous times,also have replaced carby,its an s&s e type,same as I was running before
Expert:  Steve replied 1 year ago.

what do your plugs look like? (S&S ships with rich jets)

we need to check the battery due to your cable problem......that test checks the charging system as well. a problem with the charging system could easily cause the symptoms you have.

as far as timing.....get rid of the plastic plug and face the oil. it is the ONLY way to get a decent reading with a light. or, if it runs ok with the static timing, I always just go with that.


Expert:  Steve replied 1 year ago.

let me know if you need more help.

if no, please leave a POSITIVE RATING.

thank you,