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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone - some of you may have seen my "new member" post already, but after several days of lurking, searching and reading everything I can find, I've decided to go ahead and create my own "issue" thread.


I just recently purchased an 85 Aspencade with 58k - she wants to stumble on tip in at low RPM. Twist the hand a bit further and it'll stop wanting to buck and smooth right out. Essentially anything over 3k and it seems to have no complaint. Having only ever run V-Twins and parallel twins before, I will say that twisting the throttle to pass at 80 is amazingly smooth and relaxed. It has zero problems in the cruise. The bike will absolutely fly at half or more throttle in 4th or OD on the highway.


I'm no carb expert and I'm not sure where to begin. I do have half a bottle of seafoam in the fuel and it'll probably take me another week or so to get low enough for a refill. The weather here in Chicagoland has not been ride-friendly. Once I've burned thru most of this tank, I'll refill and do it again.



I know there was a TSB in 85 regarding stumbling on the Cali-model 1200s, but this is an Illinois bike since new, and I am the 3rd owner.


Obviously any input you might have is highly valued.



-Kelly
 

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The California bikes were sold in places other than California. Not sure why, but...

Many also simply got moved. So, do you have a hose coming off your gas cap?

Is there a hose diagram on the right side of the gas tank?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The California bikes were sold in places other than California. Not sure why, but...

Many also simply got moved. So, do you have a hose coming off your gas cap?

Is there a hose diagram on the right side of the gas tank?



No gas cap breather, no hose diagram.


Just had to run out and check...


Edit: The only things I can see on the carbs are the manufacturer stamp and what looks like a VD.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Little observation fromthe evening commute -



After my 20 mile jaunt home down the expressway, the bike is behaving as I would expect. That means this problem seems to be present, or at least obvious when the bike is cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What kind of air cleaner are you running?

Looks like a Honda element, stamped HM MG9-HF, which seems to reference back to old Honda part number 17211-MG9-000.




The element isn't what I'd call dirty, but it's certainly not brand new. I'm not entirely sure that it was properly (fully) seated in the airbox, though, as it was loose when I removed the lid, although I was fighting the fuse box and the breather hose and might have knocked it loose.


I've got it back in, fully seated and tightened down. I wish the little access panel door would swing upwards maybe just another inch or two.
 

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Do you know when the last time the carbs have been synced?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Do you know when the last time the carbs have been synced?



No clue. I know it was serviced annually by a shop about an hour away which I believe is no longer in business.


Lol, there's a tool I wasn't planning to buy already...
 

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I had a linkage problem that sort of did what you describe. Because the linkage was bent the carbs would be in sync at idle, then go way out as you start to roll the gas on. Once the RPMs were up, all was well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I live just Northwest of Rockford. If you would like to take a ride on a weekend, I can sync (show you how) them for you. It's not hard.

That's awesome of you to offer - and probably not a bad idea to get the bike out of the road for an extended trip to blow out the cobwebs.


I normally work weekends but am off the Saturday after the 4th. Otherwise we might be able to set something up in the future.


I'm not against buying my own sync set and doing it here, but it's nice to know someone with some experience is fairly close by.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The washer/shim trick is fairly well known in the Shadow community, too, typically because people swap to loud, open pipes and don't want to invest in a set of jets. It's likely worth investigation, but this seems like more of a basic drivability problem to me. I suspect the carbs need to be opened and inspected. I'm just not looking forward to that kind of work.
 

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Little observation from the evening commute -

After my 20 mile jaunt home down the expressway, the bike is behaving as I would expect. That means this problem seems to be present, or at least obvious when the bike is cold.
This does suggest running on the lean side at lower RPMs, the engine won't be so sensitive to slightly lean once warmed up nicely. If the bike has been sitting for a long time it's possible this is as simple as slightly gunked-up jets.

It doesn't sound like the carbs are in too horrible condition, maybe just somewhat varnished.

Before doing anything too radical I'd just drive it and see what 3-4 tanks of fuel with double-dose of seafoam does, especially if you do a lot of driving in the range where the stumbling occurs. This will pull the Seafoam-fuel thru the affected carburetor circuit and hopefully clean it out. Or perhaps pulling the carb racks, and carb bowls and cleaning what's accessible from there with good carb cleaner may yield results too. It doesn't sound like they need a full overhaul.

I've read several posts in the past about good results doing the shims as described above, I'd go that route if the Seafoam treatment doesn't yield positive results.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sounds like a plan, to me. I gave the bike a few extra minutes to idle at half choke and warm up a bit more this morning, and the symptom is less noticeable but still present.


I think I'll run it as is for another few weeks and see if it clears up a bit more. If it does, the carbs might be more of a next year project, given how crap the riding season has been so far.


That also gives me a chance to work on some other issues that need addressing, most importantly - the impossible to see through windscreen. Replacing it with a vented model sounds just dandy. Airflow is DEFINITELY at a premium on a full-fairing bike, I guess. My legs are cooking by the time I make it home in traffic.
 

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I have an 85 Aspencade and mine did that after sitting while i recovered from 3 strokes. I tried washers and everythuing else including lots of Seafoam.

If it runs better with the enrichener (incorrectly called choke) turned on I'd bet a dollar to a donut that the idle jets have begun to get dirty/clogged. I bought several sizes for my carbs (they were cheap on ebay 5 of one size for 2.89 Pilot/Slow,Main Jet For Keihin CVK OKO KOSO Polini Carb Size 32-55 118-170). i tried 40 and fixed, then I tried 38 and still worked. Then i put in 35 *stock size" and still worked!

So in retrospect, the originals were clogged, but probably on the holes that went through from side to side rather than straight through. You can see the holes i mean in the picture (they are in the section labeled 3MM.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I haven't tried riding the bike without having the choke closed - I only use it for starting and warmup, as I'm used to taking that time to get my gear on and lock up the house.


The jets are a good idea, and I wouldn't be surprised to find them to be partially clogged. Rather than mess with removing them, boiling them, running wire through them and hoping it's done the trick I would probably order a full set and just replace everything, especially not knowing the history on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
No, it's not particularly difficult - nothing I haven't done before, but I tend to second guess my ability. Last time I did the Shadow carbs, I didn't quite get one as clean as it looked and had to pull everything out all over again.



Shimming the needles isn't a big deal either - since you can get to the rear carb slides while the carbs are still installed, do you think it's possible to shim the rears and see if it makes any difference at all before pulling the entire assembly to do all four?


EDIT: Now that I think about it...I should be able to get to all 4 slides after removing the fairing, is that right?
 
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