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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1973 Triumph Bonneville. I just had it serviced for summertime riding. I was having trouble starting it so replaced the spark plugs and also recently replaced battery. Carbs were cleaned and oil changed. Now I can only get it started with the choke open. After I close choke, the engine sputters, backfires, and simply won't idle without me really gunning the throttle. Does anybody know what the possible solution is to this problem??? I really want to get this thing rolling. Thanks!

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Back to square 1...

So, I'm riding the bike this morning and its fine...start it later in the day and i'm back to the old issue. It's backfiring and sputtering and if i don't give it consistent throttle its gonna die while riding. Eventually while in 3rd gear, it just dies while riding. I'm at a loss. I sat at a red light for 30min sweating my butt off trying to kick start her again...so now i have a heck of time getting the bike to turn over. The bike is going back to Hugh at 6th St. Specials in NYC. After the carb cleaning twice, new battery/plugs, and a general servicing...I can't explain it. It worked for just one week after last service and both times this has happened I had one solid week of good use, so what's happening in a week. If anyone has any clue what it could be, please do enlighten me. [email protected]#41
 

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tgreco,

If I were you, I'd take it straight back to the servicer, and let them know what trouble you're having.

Sound to me like a fuel starvation issue, or possibly the timing is a bit off (too retarded), or it could just be the carb tuning at idle...

Are you getting good flow when you prime (tickle) the carbs? Immediately after it stalls?

Is the breather hole in your fuel cap blocked?

Have you tried upping the idle speed a bit?
 

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"Are you getting good flow when you prime (tickle) the carbs? Immediately after it stalls? "

good diagnostics question OZ :)
 

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Hey, I don't know if you have the problem fixed yet but when you do I will be interested to find out what the solution is. I have a 73 bonny with exactly the same problem. I don't want to get too far from the house with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Today...

The shop I go to is closed for the holiday, but I gave it a try today and the bike seems to run just fine and its idling. I'm beginning to think that is indeed a fuel starvation issue. When i dealt with the fiasco on saturday I immediately filled it with super at the gas station. It never started that day again and it barely needed two gallons to be full, but now its working. How do you explain that? I do notice sometimes that while in gear i can feel the bike jump forward a bit as if suddenly getting good flow. I will have to check with my mechanic this week, but its running great now. Obviously the problem is still there waiting to resurface. We'll see...
 

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I'm wondering if you're dropping a cylinder. Possibly electrical. Could be any number of things. Points, condenser, coil breaking down, plug, plug wire/cap, loose ground, weak battery, bad ground, loose connection. If it happens again, check to see if both pipes are hot. I used to do it by getting a bit of saliva on my finger tips and tapping the header pipe (like testing to see if the iron is hot) about half way down (with the engine off). A cylinder that has been running will sizzle the saliva a cooler pipe won't so you'll be able to tell which one is dead to start the trouble shooting. Good luck.
 
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