Question about Harley Davidson FLHRI Road King Motorcycles

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1983 FLHS starts and idles fine,pops and backfires when riding

Starts and idles fine, pops and backfires when trying to ride down the street

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  • Anonymous Apr 03, 2009

    I have owned a '92 H-D Springer since '94. Had a major service done Dec '07. Since I got it back, my bike has a problem almost the same as the above. It starts and idles fine, after about a mile it backfires and jerks violently for another mile or 2 and then it runs fine. The local H-D dealership looked at the manifold seals 4 TIMES during 2008 - I then gave up on them. Early this year another mechanic installed points ignition and a points coil. I ride only on week-ends so the bike sits for 6 days in betweeen. Every time the bike comes back from a workshop it is ok on the week-end after the 1st week. After another week I can feel light jerking on the 2nd week-end. After standing another week it really back-fires and jerks a lot on the 3rd week-ends ride. Does it have anything to do with the standing??? All the mechanics (where I've spent a lot of money) swear the bike is fixed when they return it to me. I would really appreciate ANY help as it is not possible for me to ride the bike every day to keep it problem free. Before the so-called service my bike would sit in the garage for 2 weeks sometimes and it would still be ok....

  • Anonymous Mar 22, 2014

    cold start, had small backfire and heard a pop. now has pop at idle from rear cylinder

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In 1983 the carb used on this model was a kehin. They can be made to work well, with a couple of tweaks. First, on the top about midway, you will see a boss sticking straight up. Unless it has already been done, use a jabsaw and cut the top 1/8 inch off the top. Using a tiny improvised screwdriver, back out the idle adjustment screw which is down inside about a half a turn. Then remove the float bowl. You will see 2 tubes hanging down. Remove the rubber plug from the larger one and remove the low speed jet. The jet and the mixture screw are soft brass, so make sure you don't shred them. The jet has a number stamped on the end. Go to a knowlegble shop and get the next size up. For example if you have a 52 and they say the next size is a 54, that's what you want. Take the old jet with you and compair the size of the air holes along the side. They should be the same size. If not, they are selling you a jet for a cv carb and that will not work. (common mistake) Don't forget to shove that rubber plug back when you reassemble it. If I have your problem pegged correctly, the bike will be less cold blooded and the driveability will be much better.

Posted on Jan 06, 2009

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  • 83 Answers

I would recommend changing the spark plugs first. If the problem is a sudden change then you may start looking at ignition issues such as needing a tune up. If you are running a points ignition, I can almost guarantee you that the timing is off. Sounds like the points may be shot.
If the problem is not sudden and has been gradually occurring then you may want to look at valve adjustment. Tight valves are notorious for this type of problem.

Posted on Dec 18, 2008

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