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 Post subject: AAAARGH!!! S1 problems.
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:01 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:41 pm
Posts: 65
Current ride: Buell S1 Lightning
Location: Caernarfon
I broke down on the S1 a month ago on one of our charity runs, total battery failure, possibly masked by Optimate use, changed the battery, checked charging, fired up. Great job done. Wheeled the bike out today, fired up no problem, attempted to pull away, felt like it was on one cylinder. Using massive clutch slip got it rolling with no power and an almighty backfire on backing off to tick over. Revs with no load, both cylinders same heat will tick over till the cows come home. Have I fried something whilst the battery was dying and I was limping to a suitable spot to wait for the AA man to arrive, as in it's last throws it behaved exactly the same then?
I have a good mind to write to Erik to complain, twenty years old, owned for six years, fuss free, what sort of Buell is this?!!

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'97 Buell S1 Lightning, '40 Indian Chief, '96 Yamaha XJR 1200.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:08 am 
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Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 8:00 pm
Posts: 8158
Current ride: Buell X1 2001
Location: southampton
check voltage regulator

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=146

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:41 pm
Posts: 65
Current ride: Buell S1 Lightning
Location: Caernarfon
Thanks, I've already checked with a digital meter, 14.5v with engine running so it's charging OK.

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'97 Buell S1 Lightning, '40 Indian Chief, '96 Yamaha XJR 1200.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:06 pm
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Current ride: 2004 Buell XB 12s
Location: Schoorl ,Netherlands
Open up the timing cover and have a look at the ignition plate (melted pickup sensor)
Or could be a wire from the ignition is worn through!?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 9:27 pm
Posts: 1082
Location: Glossop in't th'hills
Voes switch ????? If it'll tick over but not rev I'd look towards that. Pash will hopefully have an input when he's back from the Banbury run. Or give Maz a bell


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:29 pm 
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proff. patpending
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 8:20 pm
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Current ride: Victoria Sponge
Location: Bristol - Gateway to all things good
S1s are the best. Can't be anything too difficult here.

So what are we saying, it'll tick over but wont take any throttle? Which carb do you have? If it's the CV carb, is the diaphragm split? Is there dirt in the jets?

My favourite trick with dirt in the jets is to put a huge (overdose) glug of RedEx in the fuel tank and let it tick over with it.

Last time I did that was on my little Honda, that wouldn't take any throttle but after about 10 minutes ticking over and ODing RedEx it became a mini-stallion...

The VOES will only switch over with quite big throttle openings so with small ones to get the revs up, so if it ticks over it should be able to take some throttle...

The total battery failure story worries me a little and makes me want to ask about earthing. May be worth discounting this by putting a jump lead from the -ve battery terminal to the engine and see if it makes a difference.

Hopefully TV is shit tonight and :maz: can give his input...

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 9:27 pm
Posts: 1082
Location: Glossop in't th'hills
pash wrote:
S1s are the best. Can't be anything too difficult here.

So what are we saying, it'll tick over but wont take any throttle? Which carb do you have? If it's the CV carb, is the diaphragm split? Is there dirt in the jets?

My favourite trick with dirt in the jets is to put a huge (overdose) glug of RedEx in the fuel tank and let it tick over with it.

Last time I did that was on my little Honda, that wouldn't take any throttle but after about 10 minutes ticking over and ODing RedEx it became a mini-stallion...

The VOES will only switch over with quite big throttle openings so with small ones to get the revs up, so if it ticks over it should be able to take some throttle...


RedEx... Last time I saw that used was about 35 yrs ago. I couldn't believe how much smoke that stuff generates. My mate put it in his Honda and went haring out of glossop. They nearly brought the police out to control the traffic in the ensuing smog cloud
pash wrote:
The total battery failure story worries me a little and makes me want to ask about earthing. May be worth discounting this by putting a jump lead from the -ve battery terminal to the engine and see if it makes a difference.

Hopefully TV is shit tonight and :maz: can give his input...


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:41 pm
Posts: 65
Current ride: Buell S1 Lightning
Location: Caernarfon
Thanks so far, but to clarify, it starts easy enough, it ticks over fine, it will rev out with no load i.e. in neutral but put it in gear and set off slowly it bogs down. rev it hard and slip the clutch it has no power and on closing the throttle and pulling the clutch in it gives an almighty backfire. It had a similar event last year after having been run too slow and getting hot, but this cleared itself. With the battery issue the symptoms were the same but on investigation the battery was found to be totally kaput, change of battery, fired up straight away and I assumed all ok. Wrong!

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'97 Buell S1 Lightning, '40 Indian Chief, '96 Yamaha XJR 1200.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:41 pm
Posts: 65
Current ride: Buell S1 Lightning
Location: Caernarfon
A swift re commissioning of the XJR1200 and muttering about buying a Monster 900 was enough it seems to call the Buell's bluff.
Fired it up last night still the same, gave another backfire and now it's back to normal. I did check the carb but float bowl clean, apart from single small blob of jelly like substance, checked the jets all ok. Whether I have a resident gremlin that will pop up again only time will tell.
Best keep my AA subs up to date I think.
Thanks for the advice.

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'97 Buell S1 Lightning, '40 Indian Chief, '96 Yamaha XJR 1200.


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