New Rider, new bike, new problems
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  1. #1
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    07 Suzuki Boulevard C50
    Posts
    6

    New Rider, new bike, new problems

    Hello all, thanks in advance for any assistance.

    I recently purchased a used Boulevard c50 with just over 10k miles on it for what I thought was a pretty good price. It was running fine for about a week, but I had some issues starting it. The previous owner left fuel in there for a whole month or two without draining it, so I thought nothing of it and that once I burned through the old fuel, the new fuel would start it running fine. I filled up today at a shell with regular 87 fuel, and went back to work. On my way home, I noticed that the bike wasn't running smoothly, and actually cut off while waiting at a light. Otherwise it felt and sounded like the engine was struggling to stay on. I've also noticed some clicking while trying to start the bike, but I'm less worried about that than I am with the bike running smoothly. I'm thinking that the old fuel probably gummed up the fuel line or the injectors, maybe even the fuel filter, but I'm not sure where to start. It's probably worth mentioning at this point that I'm not a mechanic, and have no idea how to do anything mechanical with a bike. That said, I can follow instructions if someone provides a product suggestion that has step by step directions. In any case, I don't want to take it to a shop if I can avoid it, but if that's the answer, then that's what I'll do. Otherwise, does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks again

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator

    My Bike(s)
    Vulcan 900, Can-AM Spyder
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    11,028
    Welcome.

    First you should not dismiss out of hand ANY symptoms that show up at the same time as "the thing you are most concerned about".

    Second, you should attack the easiest and cheapest (and most likely) culprit first:
    In this case, the un-mistakable symptoms of a battery going bad or low on charge.

    So....first you need the battery and charging system tested.
    All bike shops, battery shops and most auto parts stores can do that, often for free.
    At the same time, you need to check the connections at BOTH ends of both main battery cables to see that they are tight and free of corrosion.

    ONLY after you have made sure that the electrical system is up to snuff should you move on to the fuel system.
    A healthy dose of Berrymans B12 Chemtool in the gas should take care of fuel deposits, after running a few miles.
    That probably should be done even if the electrical check fixes most of the problem.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  4. #3
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    07 Suzuki Boulevard C50
    Posts
    6
    Thanks! I'll take it to a local auto store and have them test the battery, and I'll see about checking out the connections too. I'll look into that fuel additive as well and see how it turns out. That gives me a good direction to go in. The previous owner did say that he'd just recently had the battery replaced, but he didn't have it on a trickle charger and it had been sitting for a month or two, so it could very easily be depleted. I'll report back when I know more. At least I have a direction to go, so thanks for that!

    Edit:

    After looking at the battery and connections, they do not appear to be corroded in any way. Very clean looking, in fact. So I'll have to wait and see what the results of a battery test show.
    Last edited by Apophys; 05-15-2017 at 08:07 PM. Reason: Adding information

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  6. #4
    Super Moderator

    My Bike(s)
    Vulcan 900, Can-AM Spyder
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    11,028
    Quote Originally Posted by Apophys View Post
    After looking at the battery and connections, they do not appear to be corroded in any way. Very clean looking, in fact. So I'll have to wait and see what the results of a battery test show.
    Did you try twisting them around sideways to be sure they are tight ?
    And the OTHER end of those cables too ??
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  7. #5
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    07 Suzuki Boulevard C50
    Posts
    6
    I did. They are on very securely. After having my battery tested at autozone, they said that the battery is fine, so I'm pretty sure it's a fuel supply issue. I've added some SeaFoam additive to see if that will clean it up, but I'll have to drive it around for awhile before I will notice any differences. If this doesn't work within a reasonable amount of time, I'm going to siphon most of the fuel out, put a little more additive in and go from there. If I still don't see any improvement I think I'll have to take it into a shop, as there is probably something more serious going on at that point.

  8. #6
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    07 Suzuki Boulevard C50
    Posts
    6
    So after riding home tonight, it doesn't look like the additive has helped much. I thought it was at first, but now I'm not so sure. It's possible I haven't given it enough time, but I noticed that I had a very hard time getting the bike to go any faster than about 45 mph, regardless of how much throttle I gave it. I'm pretty sure that's an indication of something clogged in my fuel system, although I've got no clue where. I'm debating draining most of the fuel from the tank and adding a bit more additive to see if that helps clear it out. Any thoughts?

  9. #7
    Super Moderator

    My Bike(s)
    Vulcan 900, Can-AM Spyder
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    11,028
    Quote Originally Posted by Apophys View Post
    Any thoughts?
    Yes. Wild guessing often CAUSES more trouble than it fixes.

    What you describe sounds like one cylinder isn't firing most of the time.
    That could be as simple as a loose plug wire or bad plug.
    Carefully check the two exhaust pipes after riding. If one is WAY cooler, then you have a dead cylinder.
    You can test your "fuel system" theory by injecting a small amount of fuel directly into the air intake of the dead cylinder.

    SeaFoam is NOT a good heavy duty cleaner.
    Products made specifically for fuel system cleaning are better: Berrymans B12 Chemtool or Gumout for instance.

    Given your comments, I suggest that a shop visit might be your best bet.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  10. #8
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    07 Suzuki Boulevard C50
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by Easy Rider View Post
    Given your comments, I suggest that a shop visit might be your best bet.
    Well, each day the problem seems to get a little worse overnight. This morning, I was going to ride it around the block before going into work only to find that I cannot get it into first gear without stalling out. Even in neutral, applying a small amount of gas causes the engine to stall out. At this point, I cannot even ride it to a shop. I've got a service manual coming in tomorrow, so I'll just have to start trying to fix the issue on my own, at least enough to get it running to ride it to a shop. I do have a truck, but the bed isn't long enough for my bike and I don't have a way to get it in the back.

    I'm planning to siphon the fuel out tonight at the very least to get the potentially bad gas out. I'll decide from there if I want to try to add more additive, and I'll get berrymans this time.

    I'll keep you posted.
    Last edited by Apophys; 05-17-2017 at 08:31 AM.

  11. #9
    Super Moderator

    My Bike(s)
    Vulcan 900, Can-AM Spyder
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    11,028
    Quote Originally Posted by Apophys View Post
    only to find that I cannot get it into first gear without stalling out.
    Even in neutral, applying a small amount of gas causes the engine to stall out. At this point, I cannot even ride it to a shop.
    Any chance the side stand was down ?
    See post #7 above.
    While a shop manual is good, you don't NEED it to check out the basics.

    If needed a shop can come and get a bike that doesn't run.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  12. #10
    Newbie
    My Bike(s)
    07 Suzuki Boulevard C50
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by Easy Rider View Post
    Any chance the side stand was down ?
    See post #7 above.
    While a shop manual is good, you don't NEED it to check out the basics.

    If needed a shop can come and get a bike that doesn't run.
    The bike has a safety mechanism that will act as a kill switch if the stand is down, so I wouldn't be able to start it at all if the stand is down.

    Unfortunately, guessing is all I can do at this point, which is why I'm reporting the symptoms here for some advice. I do not have any working knowledge of how the mechanisms of the bike operate, only a high level functional knowledge of how engines work in general. I don't even know where the oil reservoir is on the bike. So until the manual comes in (tomorrow) I don't want to disassemble too much.

  13. #11
    Super Moderator

    My Bike(s)
    Vulcan 900, Can-AM Spyder
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    11,028
    Quote Originally Posted by Apophys View Post
    The bike has a safety mechanism that will act as a kill switch if the stand is down, so I wouldn't be able to start it at all if the stand is down.
    Possible but the VAST majority of them do NOT work that way......and I strongly suspect that yours does not either.

    Any that I have ever seen can be started with the stand down IF the transmission is in N......and on a very few, the clutch is required too.
    Don't believe everything that you think.


 

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