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My 1977 1000cc sportster is back fireing when I open the throttle and it loses power.

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It could be an air leak, air being drawn in somewhere under vacuum from the engine. The first thing to check is your carb connections are okay. Get a can of carb cleaner and get the bike idling/ticking over. Spray the carb cleaner around the area where the carbs are clamped to the engine. If the engine stutters or stalls it means air is being drawn into the carbs screwing up the air/fuel mix. Check the rubbers and clamps if this is the case.

Posted on Apr 22, 2015

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1979 xls sportster. At about 3000 to 3500 bike begins to lose power and back fires. Not sure why. Any suggestions?


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Do I need a top end rebuild? I ride a 2007 Suzuki LT-Z 400 and losing power at about half Throttle


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Throttle snapped, how to replace throttle on 2000 harley sportster 1200?


To replace the throttle cable, first loosen the adjustment on both cables getting as much slack as possible in both cables. Then remove the two screws that hold the right switch housing together. Carefully seperate the two halves of the switch housing. Work the cable out of their slots in the throttle sleeve. Do not lose the ferrels on the ends of the cables but do take them off. Work the broken cable out of the lower switch half.

To get the cable loose from the carburetor, you'll probably have to remove the fuel tank. With the fuel tank off, you can work the cable out of the cable stop and then out of the throttle plate linkage on the carburetor.

To install the new cable, first slide the new cable up through the hole in the lower switch housing. Then put the ferrels on the ends of both cables and work them back into their slots in the throttle sleeve. Carefully reassemble the switch housing halves back together being careful not to pinch any wires.

Then reconnect the cable at the carburetor throttle plate linkage and insert the new cable in the cable stop. Adjust the cable so that you have just a bit of freeplay in them and check to see if the throttle will snap closed on it's own when cranked to wide open throttle position and release. Make certain that the throttle works correctly. Put the fuel tank back on.

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Jul 18, 2011 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

JUST BOUGHT A '73 XLCH THAT SAT FOR 2 YEARS BECAUSE THE OLD MAN THAT OWNED IT COULDN'T KICK START IT ANYMORE. IT STARTS RIGHT UP BY PUSH STARTING IT, BUT KICKING IT IS ANOTHER STORY. IT'S GETTING FIRE...


You probably need to adjust your valves. Ironhead Sportsters are equipped with solid lifters and must be adjusted with zero backlash. If one of the pushrods is adjusted just a bit tight and holds a valve open even slightly, the bike is almost impossible to start with the kickstarter.

To adjust the valves, the bike must be stone cold. Take the spark plugs out, raise the rear wheel of the ground, and put the transmission in fourth gear. Turn the engine over by bumping the rear wheel in the normal direction of rotation. Bring the piston of one of the cylinders up to top dead center on the Compression stroke. Pop the pushrod tube covers and check the pushrods. You should be able to spin both pushrods with your fingers. If not, adjust the pushrod so taht it's tight. Then back it off to where you can just spin it with your fingers. Keep in mind that on a Sportster, it's better to have the pushrods slightly loose than tight. Once you get that cylinder's pushrods adjusted, do the same thing with the other cylinder.

Now, once you get this done, starting your bike is simply a matter of figuring what works with it. I've always said that kickstarting a Harley, especially a Sportster, is a ritual. Some bikes like for you to milk the throttle twice, kick the engine through twice with the choke on and ignition off, then turn on the ignition and kick it. Other bikes seem to want only one milk of the throttle, one kick with the ignition off, and then kick it. Each bike seems to have it's own particular ritual that you must figure out to get reliable starting. I'd try milk the throttle once, put the choke on, kick it through with the ignition off once, then turn the ignition on and kick. If the bike spits back through the carb, you need to start all over again. If you get the engine flooded, hold the throttle wide open and kick until it fires.

One other thing about a Sportster. Did the old man you bought it from have a limp in his right leg? A Sportster is notorious for "slipping through" when you try to start it. The result is that all your weight comes down on your knee without any resistance. The result is your knee tries to bend backwards, the way it wasn't designed to do. This can tear ligaments and cartilage in the knee and it even has it's own name, "Sportster Knee". Be careful.

Ride Safe
Steve

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

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The carburetor works off of vacuum. Check the diaphram for holes. This will prevent the slide from fully opening, and cause a big loss in power.

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Well, yes it is somewhat normal, you have hot rodded it up. What happens is a bit of unused gas now gets buy the cylinder and explodes in the pipe instead of the cylinder. It happens due to scavenging, the new shorter pipes and the better filter allow more fuel to move quicker. If she has a carburetor it will need to be re-jetted but still may shoot flames. If fuel injected she will need dealer help.

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