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Virago 250 keeps CLOGGING UP!

This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Cassandra 1 year, 11 months ago.
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  • #3998

    Deverix
    Participant

    Hey guys – I’m new to this forum – nice to be here and all that. I figure there might be a few Yamaha Virago 250 owners in here… I am just trying to find out if I am the only one having this problem. I have an ’07, got it in ’08 with only 50 miles on it. It ran perfect when I got it. Cold weather came and the bike got parked, but I had not run the carbs dry so I guess it got clogged up – the bike wouldn’t start or if it did it ran like crap, spewed smoke and quit. I ended up having to have the carb cleaned or rebuilt – whatever, it was expensive. Then a year later (beginning of this year) I allowed the bike to sit for a few weeks and it clogged up again. I put it in the shop for a complete service – over $300. The bike was running like NEW. It only has 1,200 miles on it. It’s in perfect condition. But I’ll be damned if – after I had to be on the road for a couple of weeks, I decide to go for a ride and CLOGGED AGAIN. It ran for a bit – really bad with smoke coming out and then I see gas pouring out of the air filter. I shut it off and I guess now I have to take it back to the shop. I can’t imagine spending another $150 or more just because the bike sat for TWO weeks.

    I read in a post on here something about needing to put a fuel filter in-line between the tank and carb. Is this what is causing my problem? Now that the bike is running like it’s “clogged up” again, and I looking at another carb rebuild?

    I love this bike. But I am so disappointed with this repeated clogging. I’ve had bikes in the past and I know they could sit for 2 weeks without needing a $150+ trip to the Yamaha shop to get them restarted.

    Does anyone know about this issue and have advice for me? I appreciate you reading my post and replying. Thanks!

    #26766

    Max
    Participant

    Deverix,
    I run a motorcycle shop and over the last couple of years, clogged carbs have become a more common issue. Part of the issue seems to be a reaction of the various gasahol mixes with the materials in the carb leaving either a white powder that swells up when wet with gas, or a green goo about like syrup. For the alcohol problem, the only solution is to make sure that the bike is operated every several weeks. If you use a gas can, make sure it is clean.

    Most fuel systems cleaners have a high alcohol content and can potentially make the problems worse.

    I have found that in most cases the tank and fuel lines need to be cleaned and flushed also. This will get rid of all the loose rust, dirt, and other junk that can find it’s way to the carbs. If the motorcycle does not come equipped with a fuel filter, the addition of a fuel filter is cheap insurance. If they will fit in the available space and the line size is correct, the two I like are the stock filter used on the Yamaha V Star 1100 or the stock filter used on the Honda Shadow 1100’s. They are paper element filters and do a good job.

    Good luck.

    #26767

    Deverix
    Participant

    Thank you so much for taking the time to give me your expert advice!

    I read one post that says:
    “Be sure to use either the Yamaha fuel preservative or Sea Foam (available in most auto parts stores… also a conditioner and preservative) to condition your gas and keep your carb clean. The dealer also suggested getting the best gas you can find and also use premium.”

    What are your thoughts on the suggestions above? Will Sea Foam help?

    THANKS again!

    #26768

    CBBaron
    Participant

    Seafoam may work. Atleast I would say it is worth the < $10 try.I’ve seen alot of good reviews on the product though havn’t needed to use it yet myself.Another suggestion is to learn how to do the work yourself. Carbs are not very complicated and they don’t take many tools to work on. Learning how to work on them can save you significant money as you have already seen.Craig

    #26769

    Max
    Participant

    Deverix,

    I don’t know if I am an expert or not. Some people think I am just an opinionated old f _ _ t.

    I have never used Sea Foam. I am not a fan of carb cleaners and fuel stabilizers. Using carb/fuel system cleaners is not a substitute for a clean fuel system. If grit gets in the system, it will stay in the system even after the use of carb cleaners. It seems that most of the time when cleaners have been used, the problem was not solved and the carbs had to be cleaned by a mechanic anyway. I have had to change carburetor slides on bikes that used fuel stabilizers/preservatives because the rubber diaphram had become hardened, not soft and pliable. Even though the diaphram is not in direct contact with the liquid fuel, it is exposed to the vapors.

    Most brand name fuels have sufficient cleaners as they come out of the pump. I use premium unless it is not available. Then I use mid-grade.

    Make sure the fuel system has been flushed and cleaned (tank, fuel lines, and carb). Fuel tanks can be drained, removed from the bike, dissassembled and flushed with water using a garden nozzle. I usually catch the water coming out in a white plastic bucket. That way I can see what kind of junk the tank has collected. When stuff is no longer showing up on the bottom of the bucket, the job is done. Shake out as much water as possible and leave the tank in the sun for however long it takes to make sure it is completely dry inside. Use an in-line fuel filter. Buy brand name fuels and avoid gasohol if it is possible in your area. In my area everthing has alcohol. If you fill your bike out of a gas can, make sure the inside of the can is clean.

    If the rest of the fuel system is contaminated with sand, rust, etc. and not cleaned, cleaning the carbs is not going to last long.

    If you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself, it may cost a few dollars having a shop do it, but done properly, the results are worth it. If you do this yourself, take the necessary precautions for working with gasoline and gasoline fumes.

    #26775

    Jeff in Kentucky
    Participant

    I added the mini filter here, on the right, with a 10 micron stainless steel mesh that is washable (it used to be sold by K & N):

    http://www.golanproducts.com/filters.html#filters-mini

    I also use Sea Foam in the gas tank every winter, when my motorcycle sets more than 3 weeks without running.

    I also leave the fuel valve on all the time, so as gasoline evaporates from the float bowl, more fills it back up from the gas tank and hoses as the float valve opens.

    Also, I try to get gas from the newest underground tanks, and not when a truck is filling the tanks and stirring up all the sediment usually settled to the bottom of the tank. My favorite fuel is Shell, I will tolerate Chevron and BP if convenient at the time, and I stay away from the no reputation to protect little gas stations as much as possible.

    #26854

    LongRanger
    Participant

    If you have not looked at this website yet, I suggest that you do. Helped me out alot when I had my Virago 250.

    http://viragotechforum.com/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=6

    #30099

    Jerry Smith

    I’ve had the same clogging carburetor issues… After a few rebuilds that lasted for a few months… And some serious coins, I decided to try my hand at it. Much to my surprise, I found lots of black, coffee ground like, debris in the tank? And the screens on the fuel inlets inside the fuel tank were completely destroyed? I’ve cleaned out the carburetor and fuel tank. Now waiting for a new fuel inlet/filter assembly. It’s not rocket science. Take it apart and take a look.
    Good luck.

    #30445

    Cassandra

    Hey guys I too just had an issue with what seems to be the fuel system. Need help with diagnosis. Changed oil two days ago. I’ve put about 70 miles on the new oil and filter. Was driving last night in freeway doing about 75 when all of a sudden it acted as if I was running out of gas. Excelleration actually made stalling worse. Drove the rest of the way home using choke fuel mixture trying to give it gas with throttle only made it stall out worse. Any help is much appreciated.

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