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Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders Discuss Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders problems, advice, and/or how tos.

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  #1  
Old 3rd June 2020
MisPattie MisPattie is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: 883xls (Hugger)
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Default Bad Gas

Hi there, I have a 2003 883XLS. In the 17 years I've owned my bike it's never done this before, but abt a month ago it started to backfire when i accelerated, then after abt an hour of riding it would stall. Now if i try to start it, it turns over real strong but it won't start & i can smell a strong gas smell. I checked the fuel lines & they look fine. New battery last September, oil was changed in February, plugs & air filter were changed 2 weeks ago. Fuses are fine. Before i start messing around with ignition parts I'm wondering if the last tank of gasoline could have caused the trouble. I'm willing to empty the tank & refill it to see what happens. I've never done this before. What is the easiest way to drain a Sportster tank, from the carburetor or from the fuel line in the front?
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Old 3rd June 2020
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You should not be smelling gas fumes. Sounds like rich running/flooding for what ever reason. Plugs are not fouling? Pipes are not blowing black smoke?

I drain the tank at the fuel line where it hooks into the carb. Pull petcock to get dregs. Shine a flashlight to look into tank.
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Old 3rd June 2020
MisPattie MisPattie is offline
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Default

nope, old plugs were nice & clean, no black smoke, bike was A-OK right up to this recent episode. That's why I'm thinkin maybe the gas is bad. The bike has never acted like this before, & this came on with no warning at all.
Well, here goes nothin, gonna go get some new sparkplugs, drain the tank, make sure nothin is stuck open or closed, & try some new gas. Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it.
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Old 3rd June 2020
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Sportster/Buell Model: xls 1000
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Unfortunately. Crap could be lodged in the carb. Some folks swear by sea foam for cleaning a carb in a can.

I usually take em apart myself. Don't tear it down till you go through the other steps. If problem persists.
Then the carb is where I would look next. Besides intake leak checks and such. Be sure and check the gas cap is worth a crap anymore also.
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Old 4th June 2020
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Did you check for spark at the plugs?
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