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2001 RC51 won't start - Ashburn, VA
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formerly RC51Pilot
 
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2001 RC51 won't start - Ashburn, VA - August 22, 2008, 12:33 PM

I have a 2001 Honda RC51 with under 4000 miles that's been sitting in my garage on a battery tender for about a year. I bought a Yamaha R1 so I've neglected the Honda. It was running perfectly until I let it sit...

When I try to start it, the motor will turn but it won't "fire" or start. I suspected that it may be the plugs so I bought a new set but haven't replaced them yet. I replaced the gas about 6 months ago to see if that was the problem (no dice).

Are any members of this forum mechanically inclined and willing to help a fellow rider for a few bucks? I found a guy on Craig's List who offered to swap the plugs and troubleshoot for a tank of gas but he went dark after a few email exchanges.
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August 22, 2008, 01:12 PM

Plugs don't all of a sudden go bad. If the engine is "flooded" in a sense because of the inability to light the cyclinders off, the plugs would be wet with fuel. Pull the plugs and check them.

When a motor won't start you check for spark and fuel. Get a spark tester and eliminate that as a potential issue. After that, you have fuel issues.
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August 22, 2008, 01:13 PM

Two things to check first:
1: Verify that the kill switch is not on and if it is, check that the switch actually closes. I think 51 will turn over with it engaged, but not start because it drops power to the coils.
2: If that is ok, pull 1 plug. put the wire back on and hold it close to an unpainted metal part but not touching. Crank her over and look for a spark. Make sure you hold the boot, otherwise it'll shock you. May be best to check it in the garage or shade so you can see it easier.
If that doesn't yield any results, PM me. I'm busy this weekend, but could fit you in Saturday late afternoon.


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August 22, 2008, 02:27 PM

I donno much but I am guessing it doesnt have fuel injection .. carbureter have problem if they sit long .. what I have heard


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August 22, 2008, 02:30 PM

You're bike is paying you back for buying the Yamaha! LOL

Does the fuel pump "buzz" when you turn the ignition on (with the ignition kill swith on)???

If it has a Power Commander you could try unplugging it (don't forget to plug the factory harness back in) to see if it has failed.

Checking for spark is the first thing to do, though.

I have a service manual that you are welcome to borrow, I think it has a pretty good troubleshooting section. I think I'm tied up all weekend but I could swing out next week after work possibly.

The spark plugs are pretty easy to do, on an '01 you have to move the oil cooler to do the front, and the tank has to be lifted to do the rear. It's not too involved.

Last edited by toadmeister00; August 22, 2008 at 02:33 PM..
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August 22, 2008, 02:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DEEP
I donno much but I am guessing it doesnt have fuel injection .. carbureter have problem if they sit long .. what I have heard
It's injected...
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August 22, 2008, 02:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RC51Pilot
I replaced the gas about 6 months ago to see if that was the problem
6 month old gas isnt any better than year old gas. Get ALL of it out and fill the tank full with new gas. The plugs are probably fouled now too.

Put fresh gas in it, and new plugs and should be good to go.
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August 23, 2008, 12:44 PM

Thanks for all of your suggestions & advice. I hesitate to troubleshoot myself as I'd probably screw something up. I probably flooded the bike and fouled the plugs on one of my attempts to start it in the past.

The RC51 is a v-twin fuel injected sportbike. If anyone is close to Ashburn with a free hour it's probably a quick fix for the experienced.

Thanks.
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where the good spotz at ?
 
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August 23, 2008, 12:52 PM

does it crank ?


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August 23, 2008, 01:11 PM

Yes, it cranks...
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I smell bad gas
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I smell bad gas - August 23, 2008, 01:11 PM

I have to agree with the poster on the gas. It's the most likely issue if the bike has just been sitting. Assuming it hasn't been exposed to moisture which might have found it's way into the Power Commander connections (assuming you have a Power Commander) as they are very finicky about moisture. I'd start with the gas. Gas will laquer up when sitting and you may have some issues with the injectors until that's blown out. If all else fails give Johnny a call at 703-378-4115 and he can pick it up and bring it back to the shop...but start with the gas. If you have a Power Commander, rule it out as mentioned by disconnecting it and bypassing it. Don't waste your money on plugs, unless they were extremely fouled before it sat and they've got a coat of laquer on them that isn't likely your issue. Good luck.
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August 23, 2008, 01:36 PM

I already bought the new plugs as I mentioned in my original post...I just haven't installed them. I lifted the tank but there's a bunch of shit in the way and I wouldn't know where to start in pulling it apart to get to the rear plug. Also, when I replaced the premium gas six months ago, I tried to start it immediately...I didn't let the new gas sit for 6 months before I tried to crank it. I also used Chevron Techron cleaner when I replaced the gas. That should have ruled out the bad gas theory.
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where the good spotz at ?
 
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August 23, 2008, 01:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RC51Pilot
Thanks for all of your suggestions & advice. I hesitate to troubleshoot myself as I'd probably screw something up. I probably flooded the bike and fouled the plugs on one of my attempts to start it in the past.

The RC51 is a v-twin fuel injected sportbike. If anyone is close to Ashburn with a free hour it's probably a quick fix for the experienced.

Thanks.
you should not have to give it gas to start a fuel injected bike...........and i would def. change the plugs too


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August 23, 2008, 06:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RC51Pilot
I also used Chevron Techron cleaner when I replaced the gas. That should have ruled out the bad gas theory.
Nope, gas still goes bad. Whatever is in gas now makes it go bad very quickly, within 6-8 weeks of sitting the bike will not start anymore.

The gas is pretty easy to drain on the RC - set a gas can on the ground with a big tube/hose in it, lift the tank up and take off the fuel line going to the engine and drain it into the the hose - this will get 99% of the fuel out. Fill it full with fresh gas to dilute the old stuff as much as possible. Cycle the key a few times before you start it to build up fuel pressure in the line when its hooked back up too.
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August 23, 2008, 07:00 PM

no one suggested trying to bump start it?

run really fast...jump on it...pop it in 2nd, dump the clutch, roll on the throttle. make sure the switch is on...you don't have to hit the start button...just release the clutch and give it gas.
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