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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After an eternity of searching for the "right" bike for a sidecar we finally found a low mileage '98 TBS (red/black). The bike came home Saturday in the pouring rain & sat, covered, in the back of the truck for 2 days.

This current issue is that the bike starts & runs easily, idles smooth but as soon as you give it any gas it dies. Could this simply be a result of the bike having been in the rain & needing to dry out a bit more (water in the carbs) or is it indicative of something more? The bike hadn't had this issue prior to our purchasing it but, well....

Meanwhile my better half & I are like kids, waiting for the sub frame to arrive & getting the sidecar in order. I can't wait to get this outfit together!

Also, is there anything in particular about these bikes that need updating?

Thanks in advance for any help with this. My '98 T509 is fuel injected & doesn't care how wet it gets & my husband's '95 Speed Triple has never had any carb issues (knock wood).

Nina
 

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Couple of possibilities spring to mind.

1. Gas tank venting. It vents via a hose on the left rear underside fitted with a tip over valve that must be right way round & pretty much vertical. A bit of fuel or water in there can block the valve too. To test for this, loosen the tank cap a bit to let air in there & see if it still dies.

2. Fuel blockage/carbs dirty. Aside from the gas tank tap filter (not usually troublesome) there's a small duckbill filter in the fuel line where it connects to the carbs. You'll have to remove the carbs to get at this, so give the carbs a clean & especially give the pilot a good scrub thru'. The latter are a known issue for gumming up when bikes are left standing a while.

The other problem that sometimes arises is faulty coils. Changing for Nology Profires is good insurance. (Not so likely your problem, as idle & low revs both poor with a bad coil or two.)

Otherwise, rock solid :)

Mike
 

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Check also the air filter box. They have been known to house all sorts of critters on bikes that have been left standing- or it could just be dirty.
 

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+1 on carbs (especially jets) probably need a clean

and

+1 on check the airbox for critters
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks very much for the suggestions. Will go down the list tonight. I never thought of the critter possibility (on my bike they prefer the exhaust & under the seat). I'll report back.

Nina

BTW- these are GREAT bikes, part of the reason we were so set on finding an early TBS. It's killing me that I can't even ride it!
 

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sidecars

I am sure you will have a bucket of fun with the sidecar.
I have had a T'bird with a Watsonian GP700 sidecar for the last 5 years+.
It has now covered 43000 miles and no mech trouble at all, just some sick coils at the 2007 Isle of Man TT. Engine has never used a thimble-full of oil.
I had fitted Unit Sidecar's leading link forks early on, but a year ago bought some Wasp LL's. Not much wrong with the Units, but Wasps are better.
I had all the 3 wheels rebuilt onto 15" stainless rims with stainless spokes by a wheel builder in Devon, and now run Smart car tyres all round. They last forever.
A need for an upgrade to the front brake led me to fit a 6 piston caliper by Pretech and a floating rotor, ex-Thruxton.
The sidecar chassis was cut and shut to lower it by some 60mm when I did the wheel rebuilds, the outfit now has 100mm ground clearance. I should have left it a bit taller, since speed bumps are, shall we say, a challenge!
I also fitted a Hagon heavy duty shock to cope with the extra weight.

I have recently decided I needed more power, so bought a cosmetically challenged 1200cc Trophy and the bike is currently in my garage for a motor transplant. I expect the motor to go in this weekend, and will then need to start assessing how much I need to modify the sub frame and how easy it will be to route the exhausts through said sub frame. Nothing beyong the wit of mankind, though.

You ask about upgrading.........if you do nothing else, fit leading links. It is like suddenly having power steering!
Keep the bike fed on a diet of regular oil and filter changes, check the valve clearances at the specified intervals and it should last halfway to forever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, all! Bike is running & very happy about it, too. No sign of critters (yet) but one of the hoses under the carbs had come unhooked. It must have come loose during transport. As embarassing as that was I figured that I owed it to you to fess up since you were all so helpful. A simple reconnect & the bike runs beautifully. My better half also noticed that the bike had no rear brake lights & discovered that the clearly color coded wires were connected wrong. He put them back right & suddenly there's light.

So in spite of the nice weekend coming up it looks like instead of riding we'll be giving the bike a thorough going over in order to see if we can find any other potential problems & eliminate them.

Meanwhile, 3 Better, thanks for the info! I'll pass it all on to my better half. We have a friend with a Tbird/Velorex combo who's helping to walk us through this. But the more info from experienced riders the better.

More questions about the TBS to follow, I'm sure. I'm just relieved that this bogey was eliminated with a simple fix.

Nina
 

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No fair!

:( I bought my first T'Bird last year from a shop interstate in NSW. Man was I ripped off! Bits fell off all over the place, the bike over-heated and blew up twice and it cost me $1500 to fix before selling it on!! For the 10 mins I got to ride it, it was great though.
 

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:( I bought my first T'Bird last year from a shop interstate in NSW. Man was I ripped off! Bits fell off all over the place, the bike over-heated and blew up twice and it cost me $1500 to fix before selling it on!! For the 10 mins I got to ride it, it was great though.
Dealer didn't make it right?
 
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