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Discussion Starter #1
hi all. same problem returned again today. small leak from the left carb. no idea what it is caused by. 3 months ago I did a full carb rebuild and checked everything to cure it last time. and before anyone jumps on my toes yes I do know what I'm doing with the carbs. can't see where the leak is from without stripping all the stuff off, it's not a big leak just a few drops every minute or so. so its not flooding [not enough fuel leaking] all the seals were replaced and floats set while off. pipes are new and of course undamaged. last time I suspected the fuel rail O rings so changed them. it doesn't stop tapping the bowls. any ideas
 

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and before anyone jumps on my toes yes I do know what I'm doing with the carbs.
Agreed, thats why I'm surprised. Of course, nailing down the exact point of source will reveal the required fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks Duc. the only coincidental factor is the bike had been stood a while. after the last issue I used the bike almost daily without issue for 2 months but it has been stood again for about 4 weeks until today. will have to strip it down as minimalist as possible to get a good look. but it's -5 just now and getting colder. so may have to wait. unless of course the cold has something to do with it.
 

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The last time I had a leak was 9 months after the initial cleaning and I did a full rebild at that point as it was leaking from the fuel bolw oring, I recomend new bowl rings at the least.
 

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And you can do it without taking anythong other then the bowls off ;)
 

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thanks Duc. the only coincidental factor is the bike had been stood a while. after the last issue I used the bike almost daily without issue for 2 months but it has been stood again for about 4 weeks until today. will have to strip it down as minimalist as possible to get a good look. but it's -5 just now and getting colder. so may have to wait. unless of course the cold has something to do with it.
That is cold for the UK!

Not saying the cold is your cause, but it certainly isn't helping matters.

I had a Bandit 1200 a few years back that I commuted on daily. Put a sh!t ton of miles on that bike with zero issues. However, on the coldest of the cold of IL Winter days, it was known to leak a drop or two of oil from the oil cooler connections.
 

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Get some flourescent dye and LED UV flashlight to find exact source of leak. Spray off outside completely so there's no petrol residue. Add some dye to tank and ride around for bit. Them let sit until dusk and shine UV flashlight on everything.

I've seen bent float bowls seal temporarily. Or bowls with tiny bit of debris in gasket channels causing issues. Sometimes new gaskets don't sit properly in channels and creates a gap. In such cases, tiny bit of contact-cement helps hold them in place long enough for you to position and tighten screws.

Petcock-to-tank gasket may be leaking. Or petcock itself. Fuel-rail O-rings. Fuel hose may have cracks if they're not new. Etc... Finding actual source of leak will allow you to fix it permanently.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks for the input guys. suppose the first thing to check is the clear tube on the float bowls thingy to make sure one of the float valves hasn't stuck or is passing fuel and the levels are correct. possible if the carbs were not full when it was parked up. that has happened a few times on other bikes but tap on the float bowl usually sorts that. but on these it made no difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
bit warmer here today so got chance to check the float levels with the clear tube. as expected one side perfect, other side way too high so the float valve is stuck and flooding out. job for the spring now I think.

supplementary question for you guys. why does the EX seem to have so much of an issue with carbs while other bikes with the same carbs seem ok. just about every other thread is carb issues. I had the 305 [500's little brother] over 4years and never touched the carbs once. same carb only 32mm.
 

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Try the “tap it with the handle of a screwdriver “ trick

Fog
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks for the suggestion Fog. afraid I tried that on the day it started to leak. post #8 plus the end of a ring spanner. AND the welding slag hammer still leaked.
 

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Mine ran brilliant all year last year, not a drop anywhere. Decided to actually drain the bowls for the first time ever for Winter storage, came back in Spring and primed her up, leaked like a stuck pig. In an absence of fuel, the fuel rail o-rings shrank...I just let her drip a few days and she healed herself back up...ran all this past season dry as toast. Ethanol in the fuel hasn't done anyone any favors.
 

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@yorkie are you using any fuel additive/stabilizer?

Personal preference, I'm using Stabil 360, its an all-in-one ethanol treatment/stabilizer/cleaner. Just 1/2 oz per tankful both in season and final fill up for winter. The carbed 900 remains issue free, as do my 3 FI motorbikes.

Dunno if you have that or another choice "over there", but using *something* better than *nothing* to counter effects of ethanol.

Both sides of the "drain the bowls" theory....drain exposes carb innards to vented atmosphere. Leaving them full (with stabilizer additive) keeps innards protected. Just like your oil....fully your choice as to method.
 

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Mine ran brilliant all year last year, not a drop anywhere. Decided to actually drain the bowls for the first time ever for Winter storage, came back in Spring and primed her up, leaked like a stuck pig. In an absence of fuel, the fuel rail o-rings shrank...I just let her drip a few days and she healed herself back up...ran all this past season dry as toast. Ethanol in the fuel hasn't done anyone any favors.
I also drained the float bowls on the kid's dirt bikes a few years back. Similar result; leaked like a sieve when trying the start them in the springtime.

Went back to my normal routine; keep the carbs and the tank fuel of fuel. Fuel that has been treated and run through the entire system before storage. Hasn't failed me yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
yeah interesting comments there guys. Ethanol. no I never use any type of fuel stabiliser to be honest never thought about it. I know it's an issue in the states but never seen any of the stabiliser stuff for sale here. so just thought it was a US additive. different countries have different fuel grades didn't think it was in ours. I'll have a google on it and find out.
could answer a few questions if it is. the last time it leaked fuel it WAS the fuel rail "O" rings that were leaking and over here we have to use fuel pipe that is stamped "suitable for un leaded fuel" so may be it has.

secondly the dry float bowl syndrome that is also a possibility as I tend not to leave the bowls full when the bike is stood as there always seems to be a smell of fuel in the garage when I do. but nothing when I don't so as a matter of course run the bike with the tap off to reduce the level and stop it gassing fuel off in the warm garage.
 

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yeah interesting comments there guys. Ethanol. no I never use any type of fuel stabiliser to be honest never thought about it. I know it's an issue in the states but never seen any of the stabiliser stuff for sale here. so just thought it was a US additive. different countries have different fuel grades didn't think it was in ours. I'll have a google on it and find out.
could answer a few questions if it is. the last time it leaked fuel it WAS the fuel rail "O" rings that were leaking and over here we have to use fuel pipe that is stamped "suitable for un leaded fuel" so may be it has.

secondly the dry float bowl syndrome that is also a possibility as I tend not to leave the bowls full when the bike is stood as there always seems to be a smell of fuel in the garage when I do. but nothing when I don't so as a matter of course run the bike with the tap off to reduce the level and stop it gassing fuel off in the warm garage.
I used Stabil in my bikes when I lived in the UK. '360' is just their newer better version, designed to combat the ethanol in gas. At least here in the US, Stabil and Stabil 360 are cheap and available everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
hi guys. statement extracted from ESSO web space.

quote "What is the ethanol content of your fuels?
The majority of unleaded 95 Octane petrol sold in the UK contains up to 5% ethanol as required under the Government’s Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO).

There is currently no requirement for renewable fuel (such as ethanol) to be present in super unleaded (97 grade petrol).

Esso super unleaded petrol (Synergy Supreme+ Unleaded 97) is ethanol free (except in Devon, Cornwall, the Teesside area and Scotland). We would therefore advise anyone who has concerns about the presence of ethanol in petrol to use Synergy Supreme+ – providing they do not fill up in Devon or Cornwall, the Teesside area or Scotland.

Our Synergy Fuels:
Diesel
Supreme+ Diesel
Unleaded
Supreme+ Unleaded

so 95 octane has 5% ethanol in it 97 octane has none I have been using 95 so there is ethanol in it. what percentage of ethanol do you have in the US 5% doesn't seem a lot.
 

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10% is pretty standard here. I use StarTron to stabilize and clean. Sta-bil's original formula was created before the Ethanol crisis, dunno anything about the new 360 other than it claims to protect the fuel tank walls above the fuel level with some sort of voodoo fog. I use whatever the boat mechanics are using, which was SeaFoam for quite a few years but now this StarTron with active enzymes seems to be the preferred snake oil du jour...
 

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Original red Stabil been around 50 years now? Their dark green Marine 360 maybe 4-5-6 years now? Seems theres a new orange version too (I've not seen that on shelves yet) My preference Marine 360 in all 4 of mine here.

On a boater forum, I stumbled upon an endless debate between Startron and Stabil Marine users a few years ago....quite reminiscent of a certain still active 10 year old engine oil thread on a certain Kawasaki motorcycle forum, cough cough.

Undeniable the destructive effects of ethanol/extended storage require some form of countermeasures, your choice.
 
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