Question about 2003 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom

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I've got no power without the enricher wide open

The bike was running fine then I lost power. No power and back fires unless I have the enricher wide open.

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  • Harley Davidson Master
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Need to rebuild/clean the carb

Posted on Nov 26, 2014


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: 2002 Dyna wide glide. Will not IDLE

not running for a year! You have a varnish buildup in the low end circuit of the carb. You will need to remove the carb and do a full teardown of the carb to properly rectify this problem. SOMETIMES we are able to free up the passages by putting SEA FOAM cleaner in the tank , fill her up with fresh fuel and ride through the tank and it will clear up. SEA FOAM can be purchased at an auto parts store and is sometimes very effective. 1/4 cup to full tank fuel.

Posted on Jul 14, 2009

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SOURCE: 1999 sportster lost power

it might be excessive piston slap,=pistons too loose in bore so loosing compresion.ignition timing too advanced so pinking.carberation too weak,

Posted on Jul 03, 2010

  • 6 Answers

SOURCE: my bike was running fine and then it started

Check your spark plugs for damage at the electrodes; state of plug wires; coil and ground connections... Could also be lean air/fuel mix and/or low float level causing it to run lean.

Posted on Jun 08, 2011

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2003 sportster is havin a real hard time starting in the mornings, backfires sometimes while trying

not sure what you have tried but here are a few things that could be the cause

bad or fouled plugs
bad plug cables (sometimes you can't tell by just looking at them)
plug gap too close or too wide
bad battery
damaged wire or loose connection at battery or coils
water or dirt in fuel system
fuel vent system plugged. (best to see a dealer for this)

hope this helps

Aug 22, 2011 | Harley Davidson Bullet 500 Deluxe...

1 Answer


You're running the bike too long with the "choke" or enricher on. Five minutes is way too long. The enricher circuit is very rich and it will foul your plugs if you allow it to run too long. Use the enricher to start the engine and keep it running just until you can keep the engine running with the throttle grip. Then, use the throttle tension knob beneath the throttle grip to lock the throttle to a high idle until the engine warms up.

Good Luck

Aug 19, 2011 | Harley Davidson FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide...

1 Answer

2008 dyna wide glide won't hold idel speed after 15 minutes of running. Changed spark plugs, good for 2 days then same problem back. Bad gasoline?

If the bike is equipped with a carburetor, try not using the enricher (choke) so long. The enricher circuit in the carburetor is extremely rich. I see people let their bikes run for almost ten minutes with the enricher on and they can't figure out why they are fouling plugs. Only run the enricher until you can get the engine to run with the throttle. I use the throttle lock located on the underside of the throttle grip. Just idle the engine up that about 1500-1700 RPM, turn the enricher off, and tighten the little knob just enough to hold the throttle and keep the engine running until it warms up. Prevents you from fouling plugs. If this is not the case or you have fuel injection on your bike, you may need to take it to a qualified mechanic. I don't advise tearing into your carb or fuel injection unless you know what you're doing.

Good Luck

Jul 20, 2011 | Harley Davidson FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide...

1 Answer

, black carbon deposit on spark plugs starts spitting and coughing

You didn't say what year or model bike you have or whether it's fuel injected or carburetor equipped. If it's equipped with a carburetor this condition is usually caused by warming the engine too long with the enricher on. The enricher provides a very rich mixture to start the engine with. I've seen people start their bikes and let them run for ten minutes with the enricher on. They foul a lot of plugs to. Use the enricher to start the bike but as quickly as you can get the bike to run without it, turn it off and use the throttle grip to keep the engine running until it will idle by itself. I use the throttle lock underneath the throttle housing.


Jul 13, 2011 | Harley Davidson XL 883C Sportster Custom...

1 Answer

I ran my newly purchased 2004 FatBoy last Saturday, and it was wonderful.....tuned so sweetly. But now, today, the second time I've had it out, it was running very rich, to the point it was difficult...

Your bike is not equipped with a "choke" per se. It is equipped with an "enricher" circuit. Although both systems are meant to provide a rich mixture with which to start a cold engine, they do this it completely different fashions. If you were to ride the bike with a "choke" partially on, it would run very rich. But, once you crack the throttle plate open on an "enricher" equipped carburetor, the enricher is rendered inoperative. An enricher only works when the throttle is fully closed.

If you're running rich and fuel is splattering down the right side of the bike, you've got other problems in the carb. I would suspect that your needle and seat is not sealing like it should for one reason or the other. If the bike sat up for a while, it could have some residue on the needle and seat left from the gasoline evaporating or something. I'd go purchase a can of carb and injector cleaner and pour some in the fuel tank. Do not allow any of this to get on your paint. Try that for a tank full if you can. If that doesn't work, the carb needs to be taken off, stripped down, and thoroughly cleaned inside. Maybe install a new needle valve. The seat is not replaceable in the original carburetor.

Good Luck

May 05, 2011 | 2004 Harley Davidson FLSTF - FLSTFI Fat...

1 Answer

I can't get my 2007 Harley XL1200C to start in the cold

Since you didn't say anything about the engine not cranking over, I'm going to assume that the engine is turning over fine and everything else is as well. Some people do experience trouble getting their bike started on cold mornings because they are not familiar with how the enricher circuit works.

The enricher circuit works differently from the old fashioned "choke" found on older bikes. To get the enricher to work as it should, the throttle must be completely closed. A lot of people get ready to start their bikes and open the throttle just a bit. Do not do this with an enricher like your bike is equipped with. If you do, the air the engine draws in does not pass through the enricher passage but rather through the carb throat itself and then the mixture is too lean to get the bike to start.

The way I tell everyone to start the bike is first turn on the fuel at the petcock. If you're bike has the original petcock, it is vacuum operated and you don't have to turn it on, it'll turn itself on. Then, prime the carb by twisting the throttle grip two or three times. Then, turn the switch on and with the throttle completely closed, push the "start" button. The engine should fire right up. If not, twist the throttle one more time and try again. If it doesn't start up then, you may have a problem.

If you get the engine flooded and you smell gasoline strongly. Turn the throttle wide open, then push and hold the start button. Do not hold the button for over 15 seconds at a time under any circumstances or you may burn up the starter.

If this doesn't work, please repost and give me more information about what the bike is or is not doing.

Good Luck

Nov 06, 2010 | Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom...

2 Answers

I have a vtr 1000 Firestorm 1998 which is a pain in the *** to start from cold have balanced carbs put fuel cleaner through tank etc etc have changed plugs oil filter etc thinking starter choke problem but...

Although I'm a Harley man, I'm going to try to help you on this one. Just like a Harley, your bike is equipped with "enrichers" on each carb. When you pull the cable, a plunger is raised that opens two ports. One port comes straight from the float bowl and the other port runs parallel to the carb throat and this port allows air to flow though it and over the fuel port.

Now, on a bike with an enricher system instead of a "choke" that uses a "throttle plate" to close off the main venturi of the carb, when trying to start the engine cold, you MUST leave the carb completely closed. Do not open the carb at all to start the bike when cold. If your enricher is set up properly, your bike should fire up and run at a slightly high rpm. Once started and warm up begins, you can rev the bike a bit if you don't do it too quickly.

The reason for this is that the fuel passage goes directly into the float bowl. With the carb main venturi completely closed, air is sucked through the enricher circuit bore creating a vacuum that sucks fuel from the float bowl resulting in an overly rich mixture with which to start the cold engine. If you open the carbs main venturi the slightest bit, you reduce the air going though the enricher bore thereby decreasing the vacuum on the fuel from the float bowl causing a too lean mixture for the cold engine to start. I always tell the guys that I work on this problem to let go of the throttle grip and push the start button with their index finger. This makes them leave the throttle completely closed.

Now, if this doesn't work you could have any of several problems with your enricher system. The first problem is to verify that both enricher valves are working on your bike. Your bike is equipped with dual carbs as best as I can remember so it'll have dual enricher circuits as well. Make sure the plunger is being pulled up in both carbs by the lever.

Next, the small hole in the bottom of the float bowl through which the fuel flows up the fuel port of the enricher may be stopped up with a piece of trash. The hole is very small and easily gets plugged. You'll have to remove both float bowls to check this out.

Ok, that's as much as I can tell you about your Honda. I work strictly on Harleys as I can't keep up with the Japanese. They change too much stuff on their bikes too often which makes Harley's easier to work on. I'm an old geezer that's been fooling with Harley's since 1966. I mostly work on older Panheads and Shovelheads that the dealers no longer work on. I also work on the Evolution powered Harleys but I don't touch the Twin Cam engines. They've went to computer controlled fuel systems and such and unless you've got a "breakout box", you can't do a thing with them. I avoid them like the plague.

Hope this helps, Good Luck and ride safe.

May 10, 2010 | Motorcycles

2 Answers

Hi mt pit bike is spluttering under acceleration i have tryed to adjust air screw with slight difference but it is still not smooth under power. bike is fk1 125 dont know if valve clearence would be the...

Your bike may be jetted too lean. A common problem in these days of overzealous EPA regulations. You can tell if when you've cranked your throttle wide open and it splutters, if you back off on the throttle about 1/8 to 1/4 turn, it clears up. This is indicating that it is jetted too lean. When you close the throttle slightly, the fuel is being metered by the main jet and by backing off on the throttle a bit, you're cutting back on the air, thereby bringing the mixture closer to what the engine needs. Try rejetting the carb, Go up one or two sizes on the main jet, one step at the time.

Now, it could be too rich as well. If it splutters and blows black smoke out the exhaust, it either jetted too rich or the float level in the carb is set wrong.

Take care of the simple stuff first before rejetting the carb. Make sure your spark plugs are the correct ones and they are not fouled from overusage of the choke or enricher. If you allow the bike to "warm up" with the enricher on, plug fouling is common with this practice. I get the bike started and as soon as it will run without the enricher or choke on, I turn it off and keep the bike running with the throttle. Don't foul as many plugs that way.

Nov 09, 2009 | 2008 Yamaha Yamaha G5

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