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Discussion Starter #1
The 1996 RR I bought the other day is in desperate need of a tune up. I have already scheduled a tune up but my local shop won't be able to take the bike in until next week. In the mean time I have been using the bike to drive to and from work. But the bike just sounds like crap. I'm pretty sure it's just the carbs waaaaay out of synch. The two things the bike sounds like to me is 1) The old VW bug 2) When a bike hits reserve and those 3 or 4 seconds it takes you to switch the petcock over to reserve. Ya know what I mean? Can this do any harm to the engine? I'm not hard on the bike, just freeway cursing. Should I park it until I get a tune up? Or is it no biggie other than low MPG?
 

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Is it firing on all four cylinders? A cold exhaust pipe will tell you which one isn't firing.

disclaimer: do not grab the fargin' pipes while the bike is running!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm pretty sure it is running on all 4 (just rough). That is a good point and I'll check to see if all the header pipes are warming up. One question though. Can it run on 3 cylinders at low RPMs and at higher RPMs run on all 4? I ask because the roughness goes away at anything over 4-5K RPM.
 

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Just guessing here, but I would say its possible if one of your idle jets are clogged.

The carbs probably need to be gone through... especially if the bike has sat for any length of time. Old gas in the bowls, jets, etc. will harden up like varnish.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Funny you should say that. The bike has been sitting for anywhere from 1 to 2 years. I ran all the old gas out and topped the tank off with new gas. I also added some carb cleaner (B12) to the gas tank. The other day I even drained all the float bowls. So far no diffrence it still runs rough. If I continue to run carb cleaner will this 'clean' the carbs? Or do I have to have someone go through the carbs and clean them out?
 

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I'd take an afternoon and pull the carbs, clean 'em out and see what happens. Draining the bowls just empties out the gas that hasn't solidified yet. And running carb cleaner through the gas will take a long time to clean out all of the little nooks and crannies. Think about it... where does that old stuf go when it breaks free? Right into the cylinders.

Best bet is to take them off, drop the bowls and soak everything for a while in carb cleaner. You might be surprised with what you see when you remove the bowls, floats, jets, etc.
 

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Ditto to Bizjetguy. Pretty sure a thorough cleaning of the carbs and properly syncing them should clear most everything up.
 

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Yup, I can practically gaurantee those carbs need some lovins
 

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Carbs gotta come apart, they'll be full of $hit after sitting that long.
 

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ibAdam : Can it run on 3 cylinders at low RPMs and at higher RPMs run on all 4? I ask because the roughness goes away at anything over 4-5K RPM.
I had a Yamadog that would drop one cylinder at certain RPM's. Did carbs, then replaced all the ignition, and problem persisted. Took it into a shop and they said I had one bad spark plug.

Crap. I had just replaced them about a week before the problem started so I did not even think about that, not that I would have been able to tell visually. The diag computer spotted it right way.

$5.00 in parts, $60 in labor and my beast was back in business.

Check your plugs, replace your plugs. It's not THAT hard to do (easy really). You might find the problem is solved without getting the obligitory anal reaming at the mechanic's shop.

And yes.. a engine can drop cylinders at certain RPM's. I never thought they would but I learned the hard way. Plus, when it was running on 3 I didn't think it was running *that* bad, just rough. Shocked the heck out of me when I pulled a plug and found it covered with gas.

Oh, and you answer you question. If it's not running on one of those cylinders, yes you are hurting your engine. The gas can break-down the oil on the rings and pas into your crankcase and reduce the ability of your oil to lubricate (as well as possibly score the cylinder walls of the one that is not running.

Chances are nothing bad will happen but you are taking chances just the same. Good luck and let us know what you find out.
 
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