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TIMOTO, Motorcycle Mechanic
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 1457
Experience:  Honda registered technician, silver level award, former Kawasaki/Suzuki tech, 40+ years exp.
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Virago. Turns over, new gas, but will not fire up. Replaced

Customer Question

Virago. Turns over, new gas, but will not fire up. Replaced the plugs & drained the carbs. Still same.
JA: Has the vehicle turned into a gas hog? And how does it start -- same as usual?
Customer: Yes, my wife said that she went through allot of gas for the little she used it since the last fillup.
JA: What is the model of your '89 motorcycle?
Customer: Virago. No fuel pump, gravity fed I believe.
JA: Are you fixing your bike yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I replaced the plugs, Drained the gas from the carbs, and swore allot!
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  TIMOTO replied 11 months ago.

Try spraying a very brief shot of starting fluid in the air intake to the carburetor. If the engine starts briefly and then dies after burning all the starting fluid then you have a fuel problem, most likely the carburetor jets are clogged and it need to be overhauled.

if not add a reply and we will proceed with further diagnostics.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
FYI, I noticed that the oil level was too high. I changed the oil myself when my wife bought the bike a few months ago so I knew there was something strange. When I started to drain the excess oil it was mostly gasoline coming out. After investigating further I noticed that her gas shut off was reversed, the gas came out when it was on shut and nothing came out on reserve. So when she placed it at off the gas kept on leaking (gravity fed) and continuously flooded. This could be added to your thing to look for, is your gas gravity feed and did you leave it on for a long period. Check your oil. Regards.
Expert:  TIMOTO replied 11 months ago.

You need to change the oil and filter again and then see if the engine will start. The fuel should not have filled the engine crankcase even though the fuel petcock wasn't functioning. Most likely the float valve in the carb is stuck and that is the cause of the problem.

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