Well, here we go again. I haven't ridden my SV in weeks, yes weeks. Due to a multitude of things, including but not limited to weather, my ride has been sitting idle in the garage. I've been concerned the fuel may become stale and I might have to schedule another dreaded carburetor clean-out.
I finally bought some gas stabilizer last weekend, rolled out the bike, dumped it in and let it run for about 15 minutes. I noticed, and have been noticing, that's becoming harder and harder to start. "Hmm, this is familiar", I thought. Despite the difficulty starting, once it was warmed up and I turned the choke off it was fine.
So, today, after over 7" of rain a 48hour period and more rain forcasted the rest of week, I decided to ride. Today is supposed to be a nice day sandwiched in between a bunch of crappy days. "Perfect", I thought. I can actually get the chance to try out my new Alpinstar GP3 boots that have been sitting in the closet for three weeks.
I get all geared up, jockey around the vehicles in the garage (no small feat) and migrate my work gear (cell phone, IPaq, ID badge etc) over to the bike. I get the bike out first off, it's having a hard time turning over. The battery isn't dead but I haven't had it on a charger so it's struggling. With FULL choke on, after about a minute of trying it starts to putter. It's idling horribly, I can almost count the time between the pistons firing. My bike is really struggling.
Mind you, it's about 40 degrees outside and the bike is cold so I expect some difficulty. Well, I don't like the way it's sounding and if I try to take the choke off it just dies. Even revving the engine with the choke on (the only way to keep it going), I can tell it's laboring.
I must have tried getting it to warm up and getting it going for 15 minutes. Even after that long, as soon as I took the choke off, it died. This has happened only one other time. When it happened last time my carbs were clogged and it cost me $250+ to have them torn down and cleaned. They said I had a tank of bad gasoline (no fuel filter on the SV), but later I realized I had let my bike sit too long without stabilizer and that was my problem.
Here's what I don't get. It wasn't nearly this bad on Sunday when I added the Sta-bil. Now, my tank was not full of gas when I added it, does that matter? The directions don't say to fill the tank. I had about two gallons of gas leftover from my pressure washer/lawn mower tank and dumped it into my bike. That didn't seem to matter either.
So, did I do something by adding the stabilizer without filling the tank? Or, are my carbs FUBAR again? If that's the case, is it something I can do myself? I don't know squat about tearing down a carb, but I'm willing to learn all winter long if it's that or $250.