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I'm new here and am seeking some troubleshooting advice. I bought an '86 Interstate with 23K miles last fall. I had the Honda technician in Salt Lake City go through it, tune it up and do the de rigeur wiring fix behind the battery. I put about a500 miles on it before winter set in then packed up my house and moved to southern Utah. I have a manual on it but it is sitting on the Mayflower truck and i don't want to buy another one. It has always run rough on startup but would smooth out once warmed up. The Honda tech in SLC said it could use a carb overhaul. Its extremely low mileage translates to gummed up carbs according to the Honda man. I've been regularly treating the gas to carb cleaner on fill ups. Now with better weatherI've been putting some miles on it and just recently it has begun idling and running very rough, with some backfiring, and the rough engine does not smooth out with increased rpm's. This has happened pretty quickly with my last two 100 mile runs. I'm not a mechanic and will probably pay someone to work on it but I need to have an idea so as not to get the over 40 finger probe from whatever shopI take it to. My old man was a mechanic and always told me to look at electrical issues before mechanical issues. I've been reading some other posts here and it seems carbs are mentioned a lot. Does this sound like a fuel problem to you guys in the know? Makes sense given its age and low miles. thanks for your responses.

Elmbow
 

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Hello

Im not a mechanic or an expert, but i just did rebuild my carbs 2 months ago with randall kit, i survived and so the carbs did.

my bike was also running very rough. very low mileage. carb cleaner is not the way to go..
Due to the age of the motorcycle, the carburetor orings and seals get worn and there is no carb cleaner/ additive that will restore them. so before messing with electronics, i would take the carbs out and rebuild them to honda manual expects.
The electric and electronic parts last longer than rubber. if you need some advices on rebuilding ur carbs you can post here, check my picture threat to see some pics of my process.

Have you checked the sparkplugs?; if they all come out wet on fuel, another point to the carbs ;p
 

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Just wanted to second William's opinion, most likely carbs. Dirt and crud collect and leaks do develop. That would also be my first guess with ignition second after eliminating the carbs. Normally if problems develop after a bike's been sitting awhile it's more likely to be carburetion problems rather than ignition troubles. Ignition problems tend to develop while the engine is in use since that's when heat and electrical stress affect the components. Carbs on the other hand are kayoed by chemical action and dirt. Both happen best when gas just sits in passages to corrode and dirt can settle and solidify.
 

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Thanks for the good advice. I wanted to add that as I slowly accelerate from a rolling stop it is rougher than a cob, missing badly, and then seems to smooth out some around 3-4K rpm although the miss never goes completely away. Backfiring is worst after its warmed up and idling. I'm going to take your advice, get a rebuild kit, and overhaul the carbs before I do anything else. It makes sense that now it's getting some road miles, things may be breaking loose and falling apart inside those carbs. The carb cleaner could have added to that even. Thanks for the link too.
 

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If I can add one more piece of advise. When you pull and rebuild the carbs, I'd also replace the air cut-off valve and vacuum lines.They're located on the underside of the carbs plenum and can only be replaced when the carbs are removed. With the age of the bike, they're probably due.
 
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