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Love affair gone bad - Help!

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  • Love affair gone bad - Help!

    Okay, this is kind of a combination intro/what did I get into type post. The backstory:

    I fell in love with the Katana 1100 when it came out in 1988 (yes, I'm that old) but could only dream about it and read the review of it in Cycle magazine til the print wore off. 20 years later, with gas at 4 dollars plus a gallon I talked my wife into spending the money on a beautiful 1989 Katana 1100 I found on Craigslist. It was love/lust at first sight. I took it for a test ride, no major issues so I bought it. Had a couple great rides with it; used it as my daily commuter.

    Then one day one the way home from work I was doing about 75 when it lost power. The engine was still running but I had to stay in 4th gear just to stay at 65 mph. Took it in to a "mechanic" who had it for about a year. Seriously. Finally got it back 2 weeks ago. He changed the plugs and changed the oil, adjusted the chain and valves. Also rebuilt the carbs. He said the "E-clips" had fallen off.

    Went for a short 50 mile ride and all was bliss. Last week went out planning for a longer ride, and the same problem hit. Was in top gear, doing about 75mph, when lost power and had to keep it in 4th gear to get home at 60 mph. Here's the fun part. Riding back, I went through 5 gallons of gas in 64 miles. I should have been spewing raw gas out the exhaust pipe at that rate but no raw gas smells.

    No the ugliness begins. I've read Carbs 101 FAQ here. And I also read about K&N air filters. Anyhow I pull off the seat and find this:

    Take off the stock airbox and I find this:

    The carbs look like this:

    So the carbs are spotless, but I have the dreaded K&N air filter inside the stock airbox. Is this the air filter that has caused so much greif on these boards or was it separate cannisters on each carb?

    So, would this cause the top end crap out and horrible gas mileage? This is as far as I've ever gotten on bike disassembly. The last bike I worked on was a 1978 Honda CB750K so cut me some slack here; I'm in way over my head but I'm also unemployed so if this is going to get fixed it's gonna have to eb by me. I have time, but no money.

    Other info; there was no backfiring. Idle jumped from 1000 to 1500 rpms about every second. But smoothly, no missing or hesitating. The exhaust is stock. Everything else appears stock but the mechanic guy said the jets might have been messed with. I don't even know where the #@* jets are.

    Right now the gas tank is off, the battery is out, the air box and airfilter are out. Now I come crawling to y'all for help. Any ideas, what to do next, hwo would you handle this if it were your bike. Anything would be greatly appreciated!!!! I truly love this bike, I bought it for sport touring and for commuting just because I love to ride. When it was dialed in it handled like a dream and at 6'2" and 260# it's very comfortable even on long rides. I want this baby up and purring like it should be.

    You can view the pictures at webshots if they don't show up here. Sorry, my first post.

    TIA for any help,
    Last edited by 89Kat; 04-18-2009, 06:59 AM. Reason: Changed title - more specific and for searches - hoping for more responses

  • #2
    i can believe the e-clips fell off. at least one. would have made the main jet needle flop around and pop up inside the valve body. mine was like that when i bought it.

    and ****ty mileage, pull the bowls and check your jets to make sure they're all still in there. one of the orifices might have fallen into the bowl. ( i had it happen once, and i drained a tank before i found the problem)
    charlie was a chemist, but charlie is no more. what charlie thought was h2o was h2so4


    • #3
      Originally posted by 89Kat View Post
      Any ideas, what to do next, hwo would you handle this if it were your bike.
      Yeah . First , I'll say the carbs on this thing , though they WILL be different , should be similar to the old CB , if not exactly in parts , but how they work . So if you think about things THAT way ....
      If it were ME , I'd pull the plugs and see which ones (if not ALL) are black , or at least darker . If it was the K&N , it'd be running that crappy ALL the time . I'm inclined to believe it's actually electrical more than mechanical , actually . Thinkin about how some electric stuff craps out when it gets good & hot . However , one thing at a time .What do them plugs look like ? Then , I'd look at the possibility of worn carbs parts ( mileage ) ....
      I am a fluffy lil cuddly lovable bunny , dammit !

      Katrider's rally 2011 - md86


      • #4
        Thanks Ranger and MD. It's only got 30k on the clock so I wouldn't think worn parts but this is my first Suzuki so not sure. I'll pull the plugs this morning after sufficient coffee intake has been achieved and see what they look like.

        Ranger, are these some special Suzuki e-clips or are they something I can find at the local hardware/automotive supply store?

        Thank you both for taking the time to reply!



        • #5
          I found some e-clips at Advance Auto that were close enough I could "make" them work . Had to bend/pinch them in a hair .
          30k miles is enough to have worn carb parts , particularly emulsion tubes (what the book calls "needle jets") . Just sayin it's a possibility .
          I am a fluffy lil cuddly lovable bunny , dammit !

          Katrider's rally 2011 - md86


          • #6
            Doesnt even have to be an e-clip, just something close that will catch the spring seat. although the closer to stock, the better. that would explain a power loss but not fuel consumption.

            i say you really need to check your screw-in jet orifices. Like i said, i had the same problem. I was riding to the store, parked my bike, and when i came back it was flooded and refused to start, and when it finally did, it sounded odd, and just chugged gas like mad, with an ugly idle.
            charlie was a chemist, but charlie is no more. what charlie thought was h2o was h2so4


            • #7
              If the jesus clip pops off, doesn't the needle fall and shake around and not do what it's 'posed to do? If so, I imagine that would cause a whole mess of problems.
              90% of motorcycle forum members do not have a service manual for their bike.

              Originally posted by Badfaerie
              I love how the most ignorant people I have met are the ones that fling the word "ignorant" around like it's an insult, or poo. Maybe they think it means poo
              Originally posted by soulless kaos
              but personaly I dont see a point in a 1000 you can get the same power from a properly tuned 600 with less weight and better handeling.


              • #8
                First, thank you for the help and encouragement. I'm going to assume when you take the diaphragm cover off the entire needle assembly is NOT supposed to fall out on to the work bench. That's what happened on carb for cylinder #4. I reassembled it, stared at the e-clip hard and it fell off again. I'm assuming I found the problem. Going to put a new e-clip on with a tighter fit and see if that does it.

                Thanks again!


                • #9
                  it will fall apart. The spring is held between the cap (nub) through the valve onto the spring seat (little white or orange plastic disc) the jet needle sits below the spring seat.

                  with the cap screwed down, the spring seat should be pushing the jet needle down through its corresponding hole, keeping tension on it. If you opened the cap and the needle fell through the spring, the e-clip may have been above the spring seat as opposed to below it, negating the whole purpose of the spring (well, %50 of its purpose)

                  Once you have it all together, push the valve body up with your finger and let go. it should pop back down on its own from the spring. then do the same with the needle- in fact, give it a light little flick (on the tip, not the side). it should pop back down right away. if it pops up and doesnt come back down, or it kinda jiggles down lazily, you have a problem.

                  and make sure to put the e-clip in the same needle groove as the rest of your needles.
                  charlie was a chemist, but charlie is no more. what charlie thought was h2o was h2so4