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1987 xv1100 won’t idle ( California)

Have a question about fixing something on a Yamaha Virago XV1100? Post it here!

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OmenBackwards
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 1:12 am
Location: California
What Virago you Own: Have:75k 1987 XV1100

Re: 1987 xv1100 won’t idle ( California)

Post by OmenBackwards » Wed Jul 13, 2022 1:26 am

jsyzdek wrote:
Wed Jul 13, 2022 1:04 am
most spark plugs come with a decently set gap already.

If you have calipers, you can stack a few pieces of paper until you get the desired thickness, or measure the thickness of a credit card and see if it's about right, and then use that. As long as you get the gap close, it doesn't matter how you got there.

Even a small, flat-head screwdriver will do. Just measure how far along its taper it has the right thickness, mark that with a sharpie, and use that. You can get creative :)
I really appreciate your reply! This is hopefully the last thing I have to do to finally test drive this bike and the members of this forum have been so incredibly helpful I appreciate you!
Exactly where I wanna be

Had: 1982 Honda cx500, 1980 Gl1100, 1985 xv700

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jsyzdek
Posts: 279
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:31 pm
Location: Oakland CA
What Virago you Own: 1995 XV1100. My dad has a 1996 XV535. I also ride a 2008 SV650S and 2004 Yamaha TTR125. Currently restoring a 50cc Yamaha Champ moped

Re: 1987 xv1100 won’t idle ( California)

Post by jsyzdek » Wed Jul 13, 2022 2:28 am

no problem. By the way: where in California are you located?
Keep Calm and Ride On!

OmenBackwards
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 1:12 am
Location: California
What Virago you Own: Have:75k 1987 XV1100

Re: 1987 xv1100 won’t idle ( California)

Post by OmenBackwards » Wed Jul 13, 2022 4:29 pm

Okay swapped the spark plugs and fired her up! The bike now holds idle at 2500 rpm’s and I know that’s high, when I adjust the idle screws to try and get a lower idle I can get it down to almost 2000 rpm’s before it bogs and dies, sounds way better now which is awesome, maybe now it’s time to balance the carbs I’m not really sure what my next move is but I’m gonna do some more research thanks guys!
Exactly where I wanna be

Had: 1982 Honda cx500, 1980 Gl1100, 1985 xv700

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faffi
Posts: 283
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2022 9:55 am
Location: Norge
What Virago you Own: 1982 XV750 with XV1100 engine, Seca rear wheel, XT600Z shock, Seca 650 fuel tank

Re: 1987 xv1100 won’t idle ( California)

Post by faffi » Wed Jul 13, 2022 4:40 pm

In my experience, unless everything else is in order, balancing carbs is a little futile. Meaning you must first adjust the valves to spec, set float height to spec and that carbs operate as they should (with no blockage or false air or diaphragm issues), and make sure spark is good. Only then will synchronizing the carbs give a correct value, because everything above (plus compression) will affect the balance.

The reason I mention this is that even way out of sync, if everything else is up to snuff, you should be able to get a reliable idle around 1000 rpm even if the engine is running on just one cylinder. It is very difficult to understand what is the main culprit in your system just based on your descriptions, but can you tell us if the engine runs best right after it has started, or if it runs better and better as it heats up?
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a motorcycle.

OmenBackwards
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 1:12 am
Location: California
What Virago you Own: Have:75k 1987 XV1100

Re: 1987 xv1100 won’t idle ( California)

Post by OmenBackwards » Wed Jul 13, 2022 5:52 pm

Okay so let’s see if I can give you better information and a better description. When I swapped the spark plugs they were like dark black/ grey. When I started the bike up after replacing the spark plugs it shot right up to 3k rpm’s I was pretty excited to have it idling at all so I sat on the bike for 5-10 minutes adjusting the idle screw on the left. I got the rpm’s down to 2000-2500 rpm’s and it started to fall off and die. Then when I went to start it again it almost idled around 1k so I gave it a little gas to keep it alive and it jumped back up to 3k rpm’s and stayed there until I turned off the bike, I kept fiddling with the idle screw but I didn’t get any better results. I noticed a crack in one of my fuel lines I hadn’t seen so I replaced them all this morning thinking maybe that had something to do with it. But when I went to start it up it was the same thing lowest idles is 2.5-3k rpm’s.
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Exactly where I wanna be

Had: 1982 Honda cx500, 1980 Gl1100, 1985 xv700

FirstV
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2022 10:03 pm
Location: PA
What Virago you Own: 1979 XV Virago 1100 cc

Re: 1987 xv1100 won’t idle ( California)

Post by FirstV » Thu Jul 14, 2022 3:32 am

Id remove carburetor air filter pipes so you have access to carbs . Put some fuel in a spray bottle maybe two bottles
start bike and at the proper moment supplement fuel directly to carbs to see if you can get motor to kind of run
longer . Wile I don't have full understanding how to correct I generally can narrow things down on the basics .
If fuel starvation is an issue priming carbs can fake out motor long enough to get more answers
--------------------------------------

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faffi
Posts: 283
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2022 9:55 am
Location: Norge
What Virago you Own: 1982 XV750 with XV1100 engine, Seca rear wheel, XT600Z shock, Seca 650 fuel tank

Re: 1987 xv1100 won’t idle ( California)

Post by faffi » Thu Jul 14, 2022 5:27 am

The most common cause of what you describe, a hanging idle combined with a reluctance to idle, is in my experience false air entering somewhere between the carb and the engine. You can try and wiggle the carbs with the engine running to see if it alters the engine speed, or you could spray WD40 around the intakes and listen for a drop in rpm. If speed alters by wiggling or spraying WD40, you have a leak that must be fixed. Most common cause is cracked manifolds.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a motorcycle.

OmenBackwards
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 1:12 am
Location: California
What Virago you Own: Have:75k 1987 XV1100

Re: 1987 xv1100 won’t idle ( California)

Post by OmenBackwards » Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:55 pm

faffi wrote:
Thu Jul 14, 2022 5:27 am
The most common cause of what you describe, a hanging idle combined with a reluctance to idle, is in my experience false air entering somewhere between the carb and the engine. You can try and wiggle the carbs with the engine running to see if it alters the engine speed, or you could spray WD40 around the intakes and listen for a drop in rpm. If speed alters by wiggling or spraying WD40, you have a leak that must be fixed. Most common cause is cracked manifolds.
Okay so I ordered one manifolds and mounted them, my old ones were super worn. Now I’m having way less of a hanging idle but still dealing with a reluctance to idle, now I had a couple different jet options when i bought the carb rebuild kit from k&n maybe I have the wrong jets in the wrong carbs?
This bike is a handful but every step I get closer to finishing it the better it runs and sounds and I just wanna get it done before the winter! Lol
Exactly where I wanna be

Had: 1982 Honda cx500, 1980 Gl1100, 1985 xv700

OmenBackwards
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 1:12 am
Location: California
What Virago you Own: Have:75k 1987 XV1100

Re: 1987 xv1100 won’t idle ( California)

Post by OmenBackwards » Fri Aug 05, 2022 5:03 pm

jsyzdek wrote:
Wed Jul 13, 2022 2:28 am
no problem. By the way: where in California are you located?
Hey I didn’t see this, I live up in Rocklin right now, real close to Sacramento
Exactly where I wanna be

Had: 1982 Honda cx500, 1980 Gl1100, 1985 xv700

User avatar
faffi
Posts: 283
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2022 9:55 am
Location: Norge
What Virago you Own: 1982 XV750 with XV1100 engine, Seca rear wheel, XT600Z shock, Seca 650 fuel tank

Re: 1987 xv1100 won’t idle ( California)

Post by faffi » Fri Aug 05, 2022 5:59 pm

Jetting can be critical. If it is running very lean, it should run better with choke (some or full). If it is running rich, using choke will make it run worse. Fine-tuning can be done with the idle mixture screws.

Carbs badly out of sync, or dirty carbs with (partially) blocked jets will also affect running, especially at low rpm and low throttle openings.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a motorcycle.

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