Question about 2001 Honda VT 750 DC Shadow Spirit

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Bike missing and backfiring... put new plugs in 2001 ace 750

Bike missing and backfiring... put new plugs in and new battery... runs but lacks much power... seems to be the front cylinder
any suggestions... thanks chris

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  • funrent99 Nov 13, 2009

    missing before and after... some improvement with new plugs...

    bike did sit for 4 or 5 months though

  • funrent99 Nov 14, 2009

    Thanks for your response... kind of missing both acc and deceleration.... we found out the customer had water in gas in addition to sitting for 5 months... so we did a carb cleaning.... real funky in the bowl... seemed to work... ...

    Thanks for your inquiry.....

    chris

  • Ned C Cook
    Ned C Cook May 11, 2010

    Chris; Did this backfiring suddenly start or just got worse? When does it backfire? acceleration or deceleration or cruising.Is it firing out the exhaust or coughing into the intake? Let me know.

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette May 11, 2010

    Missing and backfiring Before you put the plugs in, or after?

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  • Honda Master
  • 3,433 Answers

I'm trying to think away the possibility of a burt vave. Have you run the valve adjustment? Carb adjustment is very critical, Too lean will cause backfiring or stumbling and too rich will cause deccel popping at the exhaust. One other thing, Vacuum leaks screw everything up so it wouldn't hurt to ck all the vacuum lines make sure of no cracks or loose fits. Safly, you may need to just run it out and hope for it to clear up.Make sure the plug wires are not laying on anything. Take some electrical spray cleaner and rinse og the top of the coilnd the plug wire. I'll keep thinking on this and if I stumble on anything I'll you know. Ned

Posted on Nov 14, 2009

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After changing the spark plugs, and riding the bike for about10 minutes, I heard a back fire , and the bike started smoking, and gasoline leaking throught the tail pipes.


When you drove it for 10 minutes did it work & run perfect without any missing? One cylinder possibly started missing backfired and then maybe the carb flooded some how. I would pull both plugs first. Have a look at the plugs, then you will be able to tell which one was missing (wet with fuel). Check compression on each cylinder and then check the carb. I hope this helps.

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How do i fix a bike that keeps backfiring after having it in a shop?


black plugs is running too rich
you lack of information doesn't include relevant information like engine size, 2stroke -4stroke-points or ignition module
backfiring is the combustion of a air fuel mixture when the inlet manifold is open to the combustion chamber
if 2 stroke it can be from a lean mixture from leaking crank shaft seals, worn rings
if 4 stroke it will occur when the inlet valve is open
this can be from incorrect valve clearance opening the valve too early
the ignition can be from a loose earth wire for the points or ignition module, faulty module or loose wire in the ignition switch or kill switch
I would take it to another bike shop for a diagnosis as the first shop is missing something either from a poor evaluation of the problem or from a lack of experience by the mechanics

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1 Answer

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Need Make/Model/Year/Engine Model/Deck Size, and hours on meter if you have one. A short description of the events preceding the beginning of the problem is also helpful.

Several possibilities:
1. Needs a valve adjustment or a valve job. Start with adjustment.
2. Needs new plugs. Start with new plugs.
3. Shear pin under flywheel is slightly damaged throwing off the timing. Remove flywheel examine shear pin for any damage. Just go ahead and replace it; if it even looks nicked or sliced.
4. Coil, or spark plug wire, is going bad. Very hard to test a coil for weakness without test equipment that the average person doesn't have. Check the first 3 problems, first. If it still backfires, then replace coil.
5. The other thing that causes backfire is fuel mixture too lean. On a small engine this is not usually an adjustment problem. It may be the fuel system/carburetor is dirty or partially clogged. It may also be an air leak in the gaskets of the intake manifold. If nothing else solves the backfire, remove the carburetor and clean or rebuild it. This is the least likely of the options so save it for last.

If compression is good and cylinder leakage is minimal, but a cylinder is misfiring or shows up weak in a power balance test, it indicates a fuel delivery or ignition problem (fouled spark plug or bad plug wire). A power balance, or cylinder balance, test should be run on a twin cylinder engine.

If an engine is hard starting, runs rough, misses or lacks power, run a cylinder balance test to determine if both cylinders are operating to their full potential. You will need an engine tachometer, a spark tester, and an insulated screwdriver.

1. Using the spark tester, with the plugs in, start engine and verify spark is equally good on both cylinders. Remove spark tester.
2. Connect engine tachometer.
3. Run engine at top no load speed. Note rpm.
4. Ground one cylinder spark plug with screwdriver. Note rpm.
5. Ground other cylinder with screwdriver. Note rpm.

The difference in RPM between the cylinders should be less than 75 rpm. If the difference between the two cylinders is greater than 75 rpm, the cylinder with the least rpm loss is the weakest and is a potential problem.

Note: If the spark plugs are new this could be an indication of a weak coil. Of course it could also be compression (rings), or valves.

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If the bike was running correctly when it was put in storage two years ago, I would start with the easy things first: As the previous poster suggested, install new, correctly gapped plugs, along with a new battery. Your bike uses an electronic ignition system, and it will not opporate correctly if you have a bad battery. The bike will miss, pop, and backfire, because there is not enough electrical power in storage (battery) to properly run the ignition system.

If these two things do not get the bike running correctly you will need to look at the carbs. Was the bike stored with fuel in the tank and carbs? If so, this is the most likely reason for the bike not wanting to run correctly. Flames from the exhaust are an indication of a very rich fuel/air mixture (a float could be stuck open (it can also be caused by the ignition not working properly and allowing unburnt fuel into the exhaust system)). Cleaning and reassembling mulitple carborators is not that difficult if you are careful and reasonably handy, but tuning them properly can be very difficult. You can save a lot of money if you rebuild them yourself, then take the bike to the shop to be tuned (The standard service rate these days is around $75 an hour)

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1 Answer

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Hi, Twb91 if your bike has been sitting idle for months or years and you did not do any pre-storage maintenance I feel your pain it will probably have a dead battery and not want to start or if it starts it will idle and run poorly, here are the following steps necessary to complete in order to get your bike back to an acceptable running condition.
1. If your battery was 2-3 years old when you last had the bike running you should replace it.
2. If you believe your battery might still be serviceable remove it from the bike and put it on a 1 or 2 amp trickle charger for 24 hours. If it is the old lead acid type with visible cells and acid levels fill each cell to the top line with distilled water and replace the caps, run the vent tube into a plastic or styrofoam cup, any cells that are cloudy/milky replace the battery.
3. After charging remove the leads and let the battery sit for a couple of hours then check the battery voltage with a volt meter, you should have 12.5 volts or better, any readings in the 11 volt range you need to do a proper load test on the battery and replace as necessary, any readings in the 10 volt range you have a dead cell and replace the battery.
4. Drain and flush fuel tank, google " how to clean a motorcycle gas tank" find a couple forums to view the different options available.
5. Remove your air cleaner and clean and re-oil per Mfg. specifications.
6. Remove the carburetor, disassemble and decontaminate with a carb dip or if you have EFI remove injectors and clean with carb spray and compressed air
7. Remove fuel valve and filter disassemble and clean as necessary, remove fuel lines and replace with new ones.
8. Replace spark plug with a new one and check for spark.
For more information about your issue and valuable "FREE" downloads that you will need please click on the links below. Good luck and have a nice day.
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1 Answer

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You need to clean your carburetors. The ethanol that is in gasoline turns to an orange colored film
and it clogs the jets. The prevention for this seems to be seafoam added to your gasoline after your carbs are clean.
It does work. If your bike sits a lot, i would also suggest that you start it up weekly and let it warm up. Sitting is the worse thing for gasoline.
Judging from your description and other problems, the backfire is probably bad gas not burning and igniting in the cylinder when overloaded with gas.
A good carb cleaning, consists of taking the carbs off the bike, taking out all the jets and soaking everything in a good carb solution.
I would start with the carb cleaning, drain the old gas out of the tank, start with fresh 93 octane and add the recommended dose of seafoam listed on the back of the botlle to your gasoline.
Put a set of new spark plugs in it, and fire it up.
Your back fire should be gone as well.

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