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Bike Won't Fire

After replacing a set of cams in my 96 sportster and putting it back together as per factory specs, the bike turns over ok, has spark and good fuel feed, but it will not fire. Help!!



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Timing is off. If the timing isn't exactly right it will turn over until the battery goes dead or the starter burns up (which ever comes first). The fuel/air mixture has to be ignited, expelled from the engine,etc. for the bike to run.

Posted on Nov 23, 2008


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11 883 sportster wont start..backfires

Have you changed anything on the engine or exhaust? If so your bike needs a re-map. If not having a re-map won't hurt it will put the bike back to factory specs. Most times this will fix this problem.

Jul 22, 2014 | Harley Davidson XL Sportster 883...

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I do not understand why you would be taking cams out to set them to spec but in any case if the bike ran before this one has to assume you got something messed up putting it back together which is certainly not hard to do. In the dealership journeymen here are not allowed to put an engine back together without another journeyman double checking the work. If you are out a tooth on cam timing it should still start and just not run well, whether you are out in advance or retard state. You would have to be out quite a bit to have no fire etc. Even if you did not let the lifters bleed down properly when installing the pushrods and rockers the damage that would result should leave you with some starting action or symptoms UNLESS you were not at TDC compression when you were putting things together. What do you mean by "got fire won\'t hit????"???? Are you saying you have spark at the plugs but it will not ignite any fuel charge??? Or are you saying it tries to start but won\'t quite do it??? Have you identified that you actually have fuel getting into the intake??? The answer to all that would go a lot further to indicate what may possibly have been put back together incorrectly or other wise is wrong. You are carbureted in a 2006 so that eliminates a number of possible EFI problems. So, you posted this quite some time ago and maybe have this figured out but if not post again with an update and maybe I or someone else can help out some more. Otherwise I think you have some footstep retracing to do with regards to how you did the engine disassembly and re-assembly work to see if you can find something you did wrong and can change.

Jun 19, 2014 | 2006 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

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2007 833 ,,lost power riding down road,,batter new,,charging system is almost new,fuel pump working,headlights work,,wont fire... no power to the coil,,checked cam sensor,,is clean lookg ok,,,

Check all fuses with an ohmmeter. Unplug and replug everything one at a time. Still problem, borrow a known good ECU and try it in your bike. Nothing electrical can be diagnosed by looking at it. You have to know the specs and test with a multi-meter at minimum. Invest in the shop manuals if you plan on working on your bike yourself.

Oct 31, 2013 | 2007 Harley Davidson XL 883 Sportster

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97 Suzuki intruder 800

Drain the carb floats and clean with Seafoam. Gas breaks down after about 6 months and the ethanol in the gas coats the carb.

Oct 12, 2013 | Suzuki Motorcycles

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I have checked the ciol and its fine i still cant get my bike started is there a fuse maybe gone out

Check the cam sensor on the right side of the bike. It;s inside the round part of the cam cover.

Oct 03, 2012 | 2002 Harley Davidson XL 1200 S Sportster...

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Motorcycle won't fire

is the plug wet with /dry when you remove after attempting to start,what bike is it

Feb 15, 2018 | Motorcycles

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2001 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 C cranks but won't start. Doesn't seem to be getting spark to plug

Check your pick-up sensor located inside the timing cover,behind the adjustor plate. If the filament is not intact you will have no spark.
A defective coil, cam position sensor, or stator will also cause a no spark condition.

Good luck, i hope this will FixYa and get your bike back on the road.

Jun 28, 2011 | 2001 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

Wants the bike is warm up and turn off it won't start and back fires,let set for awhile and it will start again,does it everytime.

You didn't say what type of bike you were having a problem with but it sounds like a classic case of "fuel percolation". When the engine is hot and you shut it down, the lack of air flowing by the carb allows the fuel in the float bowl to boil. This floods the engine and it won't start.

Now, to determine exactly what's going on, The next time it does it, have a spare set of spark plugs with you. Pull the spark plug wires off the plugs in the heads and put the spare set in the wires. Ground them good on the engine and press the start button. Watch for the plugs to fire. If you see spark, then you know your problem is fuel related. If not, it's ignition related. Then we can go from there.

Tell me what type of bike we're messing with here?

Aug 03, 2010 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

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