Question about 1985 Honda VF 1100 Sabre

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I had the carbs "rebuilt" by local honda shop a year ago. Have not ridden it much. Battery died again. Jumped bike and started fine. Gas pouring from carbs somewhere in the middle of the 4 carbs. Any suggestions what it might be? Can't possibly have it towed to Honda a 6th time. They don't want to work on it which surprises me. I know it's old but I'm willing to pay and have. Spent thousands in the past few years and it still is down. Are they not bike mechanics. Can I do something to these carbs myself. My skills are limited. Do you think it could just be a bottom cover? TY

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  • minischetti Oct 22, 2010

    Thank you, everyone. I took off the air cleaning housing and sprayed carb cleaner everywhere and I tapped on the carbs with a plastic handled screwdriver. The gas stopped leaking. I buttoned everything up and the bike runs great. Good advice on the gas and I will not let it sit anymore. It has sat in the past for 6 months at a time and started up. Guess I was just lucky. I will be more careful now over the winter months.

  • minischetti Oct 22, 2010

    Thanks everyone for the help. I took off the air cleaner housing and sprayed carb cleaner. I tapped on the carbs lightly with a plastic handle. Bike runs great now. I'm sure I'll be back soon enough (I hope not.) Going riding now.

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As jturcote says,it is more than likely something to do with your carb float bowl valve. I have found that this is usually caused when there is some sort of obstruction between the small rubber tip of the valve and the seat. This causes the valve to not seat properly and stop the gas from entering the carb. It will then overflow. I have found the most reliable cure for this is to get the bike started, turn the gas petcock to the "off" position and let the engine run until it runs out of gas. Use the choke lever to keep it running as long as possible. This will oftrn dislodge any obstruction. After the engine has quit, slowly turn the gas petcock back to the full on position and restart the bike. This usually works on the first try. I have had to do 3 times on one old beast before the overflow stopped. I then ran Shell premium for the next two fill ups. Costs more per fill up but I have found that it seems to disolve any residual varnishing in the carbs.An wise old bike mehanic told me that gas can start to varshing inside a bike carb in as little as two weeks. He highly recommended that a person should run their carbs dry if the bike is going to not be running for more than a week. Hope this cures the problem for you. It's free and will not cause any harm....Brian

Posted on Oct 22, 2010

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Probably a stuck float bowl valve. If you don't feel comfortable taking them apart, try tapping on them with a hammer to get the needle to fall in.

Posted on Aug 29, 2010

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No offense Jturcotte, I wouldn't use a hammer as much as I would use the back of one of those large plastic handled screwdrivers. Less chance to ding up things. Also, they could have messed up when they put the float bowl gaskets on. If giving them a good whack a few times doesn't work see if you can isolate which carb is doing it. The reason most places don't want to mess with carbs as much (and they charge you an arm and a leg) is because its a bit of voodoo to get some bikes running really well again. Others, you can just clean, toss them in and they work perfectly. I hope this helps.

Posted on Oct 21, 2010

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