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Buell Forum » Knowledge Vault (tech, parts, apparel, & accessories topics) » Troubleshooting (Poor Starting/Running/Handling/Ride Issues) » Archive through May 25, 2007 » Engine stalling, flooding out? 2003 Buell Blast « Previous Next »

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Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 10:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

I bought this bike used and I know that it had been well ridden prior to my ownership, however I didnt initially have any problems but needing to replace the speedo magnet.

About 2 months ago while ridding in the heavy rain, the bike just suddenly started bogging down and if I didnt keep it slightly throttled it would just die.

Frustrated, I let the bike sit for a while and thought maybe it was do to the rain. I then started riding it about 2 weeks later and never had the problem again.... until last week.

On a gorgeous Seattle day, in the 70s, no rain cloud in site, I started the bike. The idle sounds a little rough and low, but it starts. Once the bike warms up and I put it in gear and begin to throttle it bogs down and seems to almost flood? itself out. If I try to accelerate it coughs, sputters and sometimes just dies and I get no improvement when I turn the throttle. I am still new at learning bikes and frustrated because I am not quite sure what it causing it.

Is it a gas issue?
The Harley guys told me to check the spark plug first... I got that but I am not sure thats it. I have had a major exhaust issue and just got a brand new exhaust system today (needless to say it started acting up a day after I ordered it). Could the back pressure of the exhaust be causing it?

Any insight, guess or otherwise useful advice would be greatfully appreciated. I am really glad this Buell board is here. Most people around where I am have never even heard of a Buell.

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Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2007 - 02:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)

You probably have a torn carb boot.

This is a rubber coupler that connects the back side of the carbuator to the metal intake manifold. Its only about 3 inches wide and maybe the same diameter and secured with 2 metal hose clamps. Its best to remove the carb when you replace it, but it can be replaced without removing the carb. However, if you stress it, or don't get it seated just right, it will either leak, or tear right away again.

Some people use hydrolic hose as an alternative to the stock part. However the stock part has groves to fit over the retention ridges on the carb and intake manifold that plain hydrolic hose doesn't have.

Because you have the "pro-series" intake, you can expect this little rubber part will tear frequently. It happens when you Knee pushes on the intake.

Go back to the stock intake and run an K&N filter. The performance is just as good, and you won't have this problem anymore.


(Message edited by naustin on April 14, 2007)
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Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2010 - 01:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only)


I had the same problem on my 2003 Buell Blast. My bike is all stock. It was a Rider's Edge bike. I bought it in July 2010 used with 4,000 miles on it before I knew how to ride. Took it out, had lots of stalling issues. Ended up being the rubber intake manifold coupler. This thread was VERY useful. Total cost to replace was $16.50 at the dealer, but the diagnosis took them 3 days, a lot of drama, and an $80 fee. Details below.

Detailed Problem Description:

I finished Rider's Edge, then took my own 2003 Buell Blast out the next day. It would be happily running along at 40mph, with me steady on the throttle. Then out of nowhere, sputter, cough, stall. It wouldn't start again for 5 to 7 minutes. It was acting like a flooded lawnmower.

After getting it started again, it would idle just fine for about 45 seconds, then die. Again, it refused to start for several minutes. It acted flooded. I thought maybe the auto-choke was misbehaving.

10 minutes later it started again. I got half a block before the throttle started acting completely inconsistent. The bike started to jerk then sputter, so I pulled in the clutch and rolled on a bit. This kept the engine from dying, but after letting the clutch out near the friction zone again, I was getting zero power, and then it stalled again a few dozen feet later. Wouldn't start.

Detailed Solution:

I had the dealership in New Berlin, Wi pick it up since it wouldn't make it there on its own. I explained the issue to them. They told me they took it for three test drives in two days and it was running fine. Initially they charged something like $80 for the diagnostic and reported that they found loose battery cables.

I went to get the bike. It died at idle while warming up in the dealer's parking lot. Wouldn't start. Acted flooded. I went in to get a tech. By the time I got a guy to come out and look, the bike started fine. He said I must have forgotten to turn on the fuel. I hadn't, but I'm a new rider, so maybe I was imagining it, right? They promised it was fixed.

I left the dealership, got into 3rd or 4th gear, doing 45mph on some very busy roads...and it sputtered and died about a half mile from the dealership. I paddle walked it down the 45mph road to a parking lot. Called them, and told em it wasn't fixed.

They asked me to bring it back. Bring it back and hope it runs long enough to get there?! So be it. Got it started, but it died before I left the parking lot. By this time, the battery was drained from all the restarting. It wouldn't turn over at all.

PUSHED IT 1/2 mile up hill back to the dealer. They insisted it just needed a jump start and would be fine. They jumped it, said I'd badly flooded it, then did their "test drive" around the parking lot. Ran fine. BUT then they let it idle. It died. Wouldn't restart. Finally the service manager said this isn't normal and agreed to re-diagnose.

I told them about this thread. They called me the next day and said, hey we found this intake manifold boot that was all dry rotted! We also put a 0.002mm shim in the carb and cleaned it. We threw in the labor for free, so its only $15 for the rubber coupler and $1.00 for the clamp.

They pulled it around for me. I put my gear on, started it, let it warm up, but it died at idle again. GRRR. So I kept trying to restart it in the lot, and it wouldn't. This part is cool! As I'm sitting there periodically turning it over to no avail, other customers asked if I needed help. I explained the situation and they all said, "Oh I'd tell em they better keep workin' on this problem cause this bike isn't starting or running like it should at all!" A tech overheard this and came jogging over. He again asked if the bike had fuel. Full tank, switched on. He pulled out a screw driver and adjusted the carb. He increased the idle speed, and it hasn't died at idle since.

This time, the problem is solved! I drove it home 15 miles, shifting through all the gears. It did die one time while I was downshifting from 4th (clutch in all the way, while applying brakes), but restarted right away. No Flooding!!!!

So, this thread was really useful. Maybe the HD techs used it, eh? So is it typical for them to miss a problem like this because most HD's are fuel injected now? Maybe they'd never seen a carb before?
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