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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I’m new to the form and Motorcycling in general. I just passed the MSF class and bought myself a 1988 Ninja 500 with 30kmiles. When I when to check out the bike it started up with no issue and I rode it a little in first gear. It has no front brake pad so I didn’t want to test it any more. Me and my buddy loaded it up and took it home. The next day I go to start it up and maybe roll around in first again and it starts, idles a bit rough and dies. Then it cranks but won’t turn over. The next day... today... I take the tank off check the petcock (Seems Fine) check the battery 95% charged, check the spark plugs they seem good, smelled a little like gas not too much. Not really fouled The cylinders didn’t seem to have gas in them. I go to start the bike it cranks but won’t start. Every so often it will turn over but won’t run but for a few moments. Help please lol
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the replies.Yes I’ve tried using the choke. I may have flooded the engine and I’m going to remove the spark plugs to let them dry out if so. After work today I’m gonna try to either get another battery or jump it and later charge the battery. Updates, Im pretty sure I killed the battery last night trying to start it. I read that after an in-line fuel filter is installed it may cause issues if it’s not straight. The guy I bought it from did So I took the gas tank off a little to straighten it and started the bike it fired right up and back fired a bit And the revs were really high for idle and I cut it off. Then it wouldn’t start again and the battery was drained after trying again a few times. I’m suspecting the battery may be an issue here but idk if it’s the entire issue. I removed the Vacuum line running from the carbs to Petcock and sucked on it and did not get any gas in My mouth. The fuel filter has gas in it so I’m assuming gas is flowing through that. I’m thinking it’s the Battery system or a fuel issue. I can pretty much rule out spark (Even tho I have not checked for spark yet) because it does periodically turn over. And I haven’t checked compression but again it does turn over occasionally so I’m left with Fuel and Battery. Also it doesn’t Have an air filter so I’ll have to get one
 

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A good battery will definitely improve things.
My own bike would not start with jump leads, the starter motor would turn but the engine would not fire up. I bought a new battery and it started straight away.
I wouldn't bother doing anything else until you have a good battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank You all. I put my battery on a charger when I got home from work. I’ll buy a battery in the next few days. And re assess.
 

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If a bike hasn't been ridden for a while and it won't start or run properly the first things to check are battery and then cleaning the jets in the carbs.
As you have had it running but it doesn't run very well, I would be taking the carbs apart to clean the jets. Make sure you read all the topics on carb cleaning on this forum before you start.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks. I charged the battery Last night and it’s full but I had to be at work by 7 so I couldn’t work on the bike. When I get off I’ll check it and if nothing ill looks at the carbs. I may just order a new set for the hell of it lol
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Ok so I put the fully charged battery in and it fired right up. I also discovered I have no air filter and Im sure that’s part of my issue. Then I believe I started having fuel delivery issues. It backfired a bit and then stopped and after running a while the RPMs shot up to 4500. I turned it off. A few seconds later I started it and when it sounded like it was turning off I opened the choke and it stayed running for a while then cut off. Next it only ran with the choke in and now it starts and turns right back off. I’m assuming I need a completely new battery and to pull the carbs and rebuild them. The previous owner said he did
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hopefully. I just charged the battery again and it started right up again. Same thing happens tho after maybe a minute of rough idle it shoots up to 4500 RPMs
 

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Not having an air filter won't help at all.
Sounds like it is running out of fuel. Could be a number of things like... the fuel level in the tank is low, the petcock needs switching to reserve, a filter is blocked, the fuel line is kinked, the carbs need a clean and setting up properly.

Don't buy a new battery yet. They don't take all that long before they go flat if you're using the starter motor a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
i just ordered an air filter and carb rebuild kit.i don’t think it’s gas but it could be. I put some in there a few days ago and If I open the cap I can see gas in the tank. The way it idles rough and the rpms getting stuck at 4500 my best guess is clogged jets
 

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Hugh is right is could be many things, from wrong settings to block jets sticking cables unbalanced carbs and air leaks.
I have done 3 of these a few times and the slightest problem becomes a big issue. it is easy to forget something too.
I once did a carb overhaul set it up with a remote fuel source. start it up revs to 4k touch throttle or choke it dies after playing with it for almost an hour without improvement abandoned it for long coffee break. on returning and looking I realised I had not blocked off the left carb vacuum port (the one for the petcock) and it was sucking air in. once blocked it ran perfectly. so stupid but it happens.
 

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Before jumping to expensive conclusions, wait until you install the air cleaner.

The restriction it provides is what increases the vacuum in the carburetor.

That vacuum increase is what operates the vacuum diaphragms and moves the slides/needles. It also is what process vacuum to open the fuel tap.

Also, leaving it out=too much air compared to the fuel available without sufficient vacuum.

What will happen is, you won’t get ignition and engine running until somewhere around 2K rpm.

IOW, don’t go mucking around with anything in the fuel system until you install the air filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
The air filter will be here Wednesday. I think you all are correct. While it was running this morning still rough and the Tachometer was a bit jumpy before shooting up to 4500. I engaged the throttle and the Rpms went up I engaged the Choke it went down. After leaving it for a while I decided to kick it into first gear to see what would happen....Stalled. So I waited a while and the second time I hit the throttle a little and kicked it into first and it stayed running for a few seconds before stalling. It all leads to a air fuel mixture issue. I can post a videos when I figure out how. I added a makeshift air filter to see what would change and it ran way better without the jump in RPMs
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I may have made a mistake. I took the fuel tap off to remove the gas from the tank. I thought 93 would be better. I put The tap back on an 1 gallon of 93 in the tank. It won’t start at all now. It turns it may start for a second but dies. I probably should go back to using 87 from what I read about the low compression engines not doing better off 93
 

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hi. I don't think it will be the fuel grade bud. here in the UK we only have two grades of fuel. 85 ron with 5% ethanol and 98ron with zero ethanol. the bike runs fine on either. in fact it starts and runs better on 98
 

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Fuel isn’t the issue, except new gas is better than old gas. Stop dicking around until you get the filter.

You don’t know what issues are real or are issues being presented by the lack of air cleaner.

CV carbs need specific vacuum to run correctly. You currently will not have it as I already explained.

Simply removing the fuel tap and draining out fuel in and if itself should not induce further issues.....except to confuse the ones you already think you have.
 
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