My excitement of getting the carburetors reinstalled was dashed with the dead battery situation. The existing battery was on a battery tender all winter, but I guess it wasn’t enough. BatteryMart.com saved the day shipping out a new battery with the electrolyte installed and the battery already charged and ready to go. The battery arrived with a charge of 12.7 volts which is right on target.
I did throw the battery on the battery tender overnight just to make sure it was topped off and I was curious about the operating range of the battery tender. The battery tender initially charged the battery at 14.4 volts and than maintained at 13.2 volts. The existing battery must have been past its useful life already.
With the new battery installed, the engine fired to life, but as the engine warmed, the RPM’s were climbing and would not calm down to a smooth idle.
The usual suspects were checked (throttle cable, idle adjustment screw, carburetor synchronization…), but nothing seemed to work.
The next day, taking advantage of the high idle, I thought I would make another attempt at the carburetor synchronization. To reach the adjuster between carburetors 2 and 3 I had to remove the brackets for the throttle cable and the chock cable. Surprisingly when I removed the choke cable bracket, the idle fell and the bike stalled. I had to feed it some throttle to get the engine to restart and could then adjust the idle screw to get a good idle.
Now, putting things back together, when I reinstalled choke cable bracket, the RPM’s climbed again. Turns out that the choke cable was not allowing the choke plungers to fully close and a slight richening was happening increasing the RPM. I could manually push on the rod connecting the four choke plungers to replicate the problem. With a little cable adjustment, I was back in business with a smooth idle, good engine revving, and then settling back to idle!
These two pictures show the choke fully closed and fully open. It was only open about a 1/16″ of an inch to cause all of the problems above.
I put the fuel tank back on, connected the fuel and vent lines, and I was off for a test ride that turned into a 20 mile ride. Ran smooth and pulled strong at any RPM. It is a very fun bike to ride even if not quite as precise a machine as the Ducati Multistrada 1200.
Even though it doesn’t sound as good in video, you have to do it just for proof. You can watch the video if interested.
After this ride, next on the to-do will be the front fork and the fluid in the final drive gear case.