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  #21  
Old 29th May 2005
PecosBiker PecosBiker is offline
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Default Letting engine sit

Hello! I've always ridden the Sportster once or twice a week to work since I bought it new in October 2004 (in additional to occasional long distance riding on the weekends). The engine has always fired up promptly. I broke my collarbone last weekend (bicycle race) and today fired up the Sportster for the first time in 12 days. It was hard to turn over and I turned the petcock to the reserve setting and finally got it going. I let it run for 20 minutes with a high speed fan on it, gunning the throttle here and there. Course, whenever I rode it before, I always had it out for at least 30 minutes or more. Any suggestions on how to keep this thing alive until I can get back to really riding it? Thanks!
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  #22  
Old 29th May 2005
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dave dave is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Lafayette, CA
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Sportster/Buell Model: 1200C
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Other Motorcycle Model: FXDWG (Dyna Wide Glide)
Other Motorcycle Year: 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PecosBiker
Hello! I've always ridden the Sportster once or twice a week to work since I bought it new in October 2004 (in additional to occasional long distance riding on the weekends). The engine has always fired up promptly. I broke my collarbone last weekend (bicycle race) and today fired up the Sportster for the first time in 12 days. It was hard to turn over and I turned the petcock to the reserve setting and finally got it going. I let it run for 20 minutes with a high speed fan on it, gunning the throttle here and there. Course, whenever I rode it before, I always had it out for at least 30 minutes or more. Any suggestions on how to keep this thing alive until I can get back to really riding it? Thanks!
Welcome to the forum! I'm a bicyclist as well (mainly a roadie) - I have deserved to break my collarbone a few times, but haven't (yet).

A lot of folks use a small trickle charger to keep the battery charged up. Harley makes one - every dealer I've visited carries them. But 12 days seems like an awfully short time for the battery to discharge. Are you sure you don't have a current leak somewhere?

Hope you heal up quickly!
__________________
Dave Funk: Lafayette, California. 2004 1200 Custom
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  #23  
Old 1st July 2005
XLFREAK XLFREAK is offline
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thanks, I will definately use this
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  #24  
Old 5th September 2005
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jprior jprior is offline
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Thanks for the checklist (you saved me some work )
One modification I made was added a PART/NUMBER column, so I can keep track of that info along the way. It's always easier when I don't have to sift through papers in my filing cabinet.
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  #25  
Old 6th September 2005
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dave dave is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Lafayette, CA
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Sportster/Buell Model: 1200C
Sportster/Buell Year: 2004
Other Motorcycle Model: FXDWG (Dyna Wide Glide)
Other Motorcycle Year: 2013
Reputation: 46055
dave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to behold
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Originally Posted by jprior
Thanks for the checklist (you saved me some work )
Sure! Glad you find it useful!
Quote:
One modification I made was added a PART/NUMBER column, so I can keep track of that info along the way. It's always easier when I don't have to sift through papers in my filing cabinet.
Good idea!
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  #26  
Old 20th November 2005
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really useful thx a lot
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  #27  
Old 20th November 2005
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dave dave is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Lafayette, CA
Posts: 823
Sportster/Buell Model: 1200C
Sportster/Buell Year: 2004
Other Motorcycle Model: FXDWG (Dyna Wide Glide)
Other Motorcycle Year: 2013
Reputation: 46055
dave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to beholddave is a splendid one to behold
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really useful thx a lot
My pleasure! I'm doing my 15,000 mile service today, so I'm using it myself...
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  #28  
Old 3rd December 2005
MuddyXL MuddyXL is offline
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Great idea. Thanks for sharing! I printed out all the pages and will three hole em and start a notebook.
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  #29  
Old 3rd December 2005
MuddyXL MuddyXL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PecosBiker
Hello! I've always ridden the Sportster once or twice a week to work since I bought it new in October 2004 (in additional to occasional long distance riding on the weekends). The engine has always fired up promptly. I broke my collarbone last weekend (bicycle race) and today fired up the Sportster for the first time in 12 days. It was hard to turn over and I turned the petcock to the reserve setting and finally got it going. I let it run for 20 minutes with a high speed fan on it, gunning the throttle here and there. Course, whenever I rode it before, I always had it out for at least 30 minutes or more. Any suggestions on how to keep this thing alive until I can get back to really riding it? Thanks!
My new 06 was hard to start after 2 weeks of not being run. It cranked fine just wouldn't fire. I switched to reserve and it fired. I had a full tank so maybe the reserve position serves like a prime position like other bikes I've had. I don't know if this thing has a vacume operated petcock or not. Anybody know if the carb has an accelerator pump? If so twisting the grip once or twice before cranking might help.

The Battery Tender is a great thing to do but I'm not sure starting an engine without riding it doesn't do more harm than good.
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  #30  
Old 13th January 2006
Moved On / My Own Choice Moved On / My Own Choice is offline
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Yes there is an accelerator pump, so twisting the throttle once or twice (a regular thing for us on a cold start) will help.

Of course, it will NOT help if the float bowl is empty.

It IS a vacuum operated petcock, though to my knowledge there is no vacuum bypass for prime. If she sits for a week or so there doesn't seem to be any difference between reserve and regular on for starting ours. Both positions seem to take a couple of cranks to get going. But normally they start at the literal first touch of the button.

There are those of us, myself included, who feel that running the motor with no load on it (even with a cooling fan, which was a good thought btw) for any length of time is not a good idea. I've been told that bearing loads are excessively high with no damping from the drivetrain.

Perhaps the charging system on these bikes is robust enough to actually charge during those conditions, that wasn't always the case on many motorcycles though. I think the only method of keeping the battery charged (shy of riding) that makes any real sense is to use a trickle charger, like a battery tender.

Kev
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