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post #1 of 5 Old 08-26-2013, 8:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Honda XL125S starting problems

Greetings!

Please forgive me if I have made a mistake, first thread here.

I recently acquired a reconditioned 1978 Honda XL125S, which unfortunately has been unused for a considerable amount of time, and doesn't start.

To be more specific, I have had it started, but only occasionally and then I can't get it going again for a while.

So far I've changed the fuel(I hear 2 year old fuel ain't too good. ), cleaned the spark plug with a wire brush to make it shiny, trimmed the spark cap cable back into the wire(it was quite loose), and also had a look at the air filter, which appears to be home made, but looks clean enough.

The biggest problem I believe is the choke lever has been butchered, so by default the choke is ON. The person I got it off had done it up for dirt bike racing and removed almost all the 'fruit' on the handlebars, including the choke button.

Yesterday it DID start, I think because most of the old fuel had leaked out and it had finally gotten the fresh stuff - but after it got dark I put it back in the shed and this morning it won't go again.

When I had finished last night however, the plug was blackened with what I believe is carbon fouling...

Any suggestions? I'm not really brave enough to open up the carburetor and clean it out, though if it comes to the worst I probably will give it a go.

Cheers!
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-27-2013, 1:02 AM
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Re: Honda XL125S starting problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Athero98 View Post
Greetings!

Please forgive me if I have made a mistake, first thread here.

I recently acquired a reconditioned 1978 Honda XL125S, which unfortunately has been unused for a considerable amount of time, and doesn't start.

To be more specific, I have had it started, but only occasionally and then I can't get it going again for a while.

So far I've changed the fuel(I hear 2 year old fuel ain't too good. ), cleaned the spark plug with a wire brush to make it shiny, trimmed the spark cap cable back into the wire(it was quite loose), and also had a look at the air filter, which appears to be home made, but looks clean enough.

The biggest problem I believe is the choke lever has been butchered, so by default the choke is ON. The person I got it off had done it up for dirt bike racing and removed almost all the 'fruit' on the handlebars, including the choke button.

Yesterday it DID start, I think because most of the old fuel had leaked out and it had finally gotten the fresh stuff - but after it got dark I put it back in the shed and this morning it won't go again.

When I had finished last night however, the plug was blackened with what I believe is carbon fouling...

Any suggestions? I'm not really brave enough to open up the carburetor and clean it out, though if it comes to the worst I probably will give it a go.

Cheers!

It doesn't sound very "reconditioned" to me, what do you mean by reconditioned?
Put a new plug and a new OEM air filter in her for a start.
Turn off the fuel tap, drain the float bowl, and see if she'll start when spraying starter fluid into the intake.
My guess is you will have to strip the carb to clean out the fuel residue, and you'll be able to fix the choke at the same time. Be sure to use a new o-ring between the carburetor and cylinder head.
Get a manual and print a copy of the fiche so you can see all the pieces.
CARBURETOR

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post #3 of 5 Old 08-27-2013, 2:30 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Honda XL125S starting problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by bladeracer View Post
It doesn't sound very "reconditioned" to me, what do you mean by reconditioned?
Put a new plug and a new OEM air filter in her for a start.
Turn off the fuel tap, drain the float bowl, and see if she'll start when spraying starter fluid into the intake.
My guess is you will have to strip the carb to clean out the fuel residue, and you'll be able to fix the choke at the same time. Be sure to use a new o-ring between the carburetor and cylinder head.
Get a manual and print a copy of the fiche so you can see all the pieces.
CARBURETOR
Sorry, I should have elaborated.

The guy my friend got it off had fixed it up and repainted it, and had it going, but there were SOME issues with it - spark related if I'm not mistaken. My friend bought it off him 2 years ago but seldom used it.

I'll get a new plug and air filter next time I'm in town, though I'm not sure how commonplace the air filters for this model are now...? It'll be awhile before I'm intown anyway.

Sorry, I'm not entirely sure what the float bowl is..?

Forgive my ignorance, I'm a computer guy not a bike guy.

Btw, I did get it going again today, I got the old spark out and scraped it against the wire brush for twenty minutes so there were practically no black stains on the outside, and warmed it up for 5 minutes with the choke on, but then had to turn it off to tie the choke into the OFF position. Ran sweet as after that, but I'm pretty sure It will be difficult to start again tomorrow morning.

Last edited by Athero98; 08-27-2013 at 2:35 AM. Reason: Spelling mistake
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-27-2013, 3:32 AM
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Re: Honda XL125S starting problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Athero98 View Post
Sorry, I should have elaborated.

The guy my friend got it off had fixed it up and repainted it, and had it going, but there were SOME issues with it - spark related if I'm not mistaken. My friend bought it off him 2 years ago but seldom used it.

I'll get a new plug and air filter next time I'm in town, though I'm not sure how commonplace the air filters for this model are now...? It'll be awhile before I'm intown anyway.

Sorry, I'm not entirely sure what the float bowl is..?

Forgive my ignorance, I'm a computer guy not a bike guy.

Btw, I did get it going again today, I got the old spark out and scraped it against the wire brush for twenty minutes so there were practically no black stains on the outside, and warmed it up for 5 minutes with the choke on, but then had to turn it off to tie the choke into the OFF position. Ran sweet as after that, but I'm pretty sure It will be difficult to start again tomorrow morning.

The float bowl is the bottom of the carburetor where the fuel supply is maintained at a constant level beneath the jets.
Get yourself a Haynes manual.
Honda XL XR80 XR100 XL125 XL185 XR200 78 87 NEW Haynes Workshop Manual 0566 | eBay

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post #5 of 5 Old 09-02-2013, 4:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Honda XL125S starting problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by bladeracer View Post
The float bowl is the bottom of the carburetor where the fuel supply is maintained at a constant level beneath the jets.
Get yourself a Haynes manual.
Honda XL XR80 XR100 XL125 XL185 XR200 78 87 NEW Haynes Workshop Manual 0566 | eBay
Sorry for the late reply, I was without an internet connection for a while.

I just had it going really well for the last few days, would start on first or second kick without the choke, but it started running a bit rough yesterday and now won't even start. Again.

The spark was again completely soiled, but not the fine black stuff like last time, more rough and patchy this time.

I'm still reluctant to take the carb out as I've done very little with motors before - is there anything else I can do before that might work?

I don't have any starting fluid, but I'm going into town tomorrow to get a new plug and see what else might be worth getting.

Cheers!

EDIT: Got the spark, but how do I find out what size gap?

Last edited by Athero98; 09-04-2013 at 4:43 AM. Reason: EDIT
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