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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
~~~ Problem is solved, but please read if you somehow find yourself in the same position! ~~~

Hi All,
First time this has ever happened to my 2003 VL800.

1) Went out to fill up the tank last night (my brother filled up the Magna at the same time) and then back home and into the garage.
2) This morning, got on, fired her up, headed out to the highway
3) 20 miles or so later (holding 70 on the speedo), started to lose power, felt like I was running out of gas.
4) Then she came back a little, we pulled over for a moment, then decided to try again
5) A few miles later, she started balking again.
6) I turned around and limped home - seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to when or why she'd start to die on me.
7) Last few miles had much less problem, perhaps a few misfires?!?

The symptoms:
- Definite loss of power, as if out of gas (on my Magna, it would be simply a matter of switching to reserve)
- Subtle rolling on the throttle seems to also trigger the balking
- Managed to rev high with some sputtering
- Heard a backfire coming off the highway, which doesn't normally happen

I don't think it's bad gas as the Magna is running fine and has the same gas.

Thank you for any ideas!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Air filter is stock, pipes are Vance and Hines Cruzers with Smartpartz Hard Kore Quiet Baffles, and carbs are stock (as far as I know). Did an oil change 400 miles ago. Snapped off an exhaust bolt a few months ago and had a shop drill it out and put in a helicoil. No exhaust leaks or anything like that.

Bike has been running fine all summer.

MORE DETAILS:
Took the bike back out, got the engine good and hot. The problem is the worst with low RPMs and full throttle (like attempting max acceleration in 5th gear from 50 mph).

Problem is alleviated somewhat by pulling the choke


~~~ Problem is solved: somehow the air cleaner cover's front bolt was really loose and the cover wasn't tight enough to seal. Don't know how it got loose, but the result was that the fuel mix was simply far too lean. Note to self: "Use your eyes, dummy!"
 

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It's the gas.
Our bikes are VERY finicky about their fuel and cold blooded to boot.
My Vol. is the only bike I've ever owned that is so adversely effected by bad gas...most I've owned would run on years old premix (in a four stroke) with little to no complaints....this is not so for Volusia's, give em poor fuel they let you know.
As the ethanol, water, and other gunk settles out you get pockets of it that make the bike perform as you described....my solution on the road is to quickly wring the throttle from closed to wide open several times (five or six, some times more) while holding the clutch in...which pumps the nasty gas out of the float bowls faster.

Ethanol fuel stabilizer is your friend, use it and use it often.
 
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