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XL1200C, Carb Problems

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Tech Talk' started by usahellas, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. usahellas

    usahellas New Member

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    So after reading through the Tech Talk I have found about 3 threads where I might have been able to post this question. However none of those three were 100% related to my problem. I have a 1999 Sportster 1200C. After buying it (used) the carb was coughing and spitting. A freind and I adjusted the carb a bit and it was a bit better. But still not 100%. I had HD adjust the carb "just in case" but I must admit they did not do any better than we did.

    Problem, when the motor is cool the carb spits and sputters (coughs, whatever you want to call it). After the motor is warm and I am riding things are ok, but sometimes when I back off the gas (and sometimes just while riding without backing off the gas). Then I can get a spit, sputter, cough or pop from the carb. No backfires from exhaust I just feel it like a quick loss of power, jolt or whatever words you can use to describe this. When it pops and if I have my knee on the air cleaner cover I feel the pop like a small fire cracker going off under the cover. Any ideas. I am not the tech guy here. Especially on carbs.

    Secondly I have been thinking about getting a "better" airfilter and cover on my bike. Better meaning more air and look better. I presume that after removing my OEM breather kit I will need a bracket. I have seen two in your shop. If this is what I am basically looking for which one is the right one? :D

    DS-289062 For 88-04 XL $ 23.95

    or

    DS-289126 Fits 91-03 XL models $ 55.95

    Thank you,

    Lee
  2. harley_z

    harley_z New Member

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    I just went through the same thing with a 1991 sportster 1200 I had bought used. The bike was always "jumpy", even after warming up. The person I bought it from had on aftermarket pipes and never touched the carb. I decided to jump in and get a new set of pipes and jet the carb to those.
    That worked, but I was still getting some hesitation. Checked the timing and it was way off.

    Now it runs like a new bike. No hesitation, great throttle response, no more backfires, and cool.

    Just some thoughts.
  3. usahellas

    usahellas New Member

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    that is a worthy check

    Now I spoke to a buddy of mine about the timing and he told me after taking the bike for a spin that it is not the timing. I guess I will have to let him check it out again during the winter maintenance months. Now I had to take the car yesterday. (I hear it coming RAG, RAG!!! I had to do some shopping and there was no way all of that was going to fit in my saddle bag.) ;) So anyway I was back on the bike this morning and the occassional noise / feel I am getting is a hiccup. YEP, deffinantley a hiccup.

    :cool:
  4. Mike Garey

    Mike Garey New Member

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    xl1200 carb problems

    It sounnds to me the intermedate jet is too small you will have to go up 1 or 2 jet sizes ex.#40-42 or45 leave the main jet as it should be ok.Mike.
  5. hotroadking

    hotroadking Super Moderator Staff Member

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    1) Check for air leaks around the intake, carb cleaner works well, make sure that little tube is on the nozzle so you can direct the spray at the front and rear independently. The motor warm and running then spray around the seals to the heads. If the idle changes you have a leak. new seals should fix that.

    2) Are the pipes and filter stock? Here's you "they all do that" quote, bikes are lean from the factory for EPA, especially carbs. Drill off the AF mix screw cap and adjust it to allow more fuel at idle. When you let off the throttle and the butterfly closes this will help as well. If you can't get it properly adjusted (should be about 2 turns out from bottom) then bump the intermediate jet one size.

    3) If you go with a less restrictive filter make sure you have better mufflers like Khrome werks slips ons, cycle shack etc. Stay away from drag pipes they kill the low end power. (Sound good though) And then adjust the carbs fuel mix and jetting.
  6. usahellas

    usahellas New Member

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    Looks like I get to have some fun

    Thanks for the info. I will be putting this to use soon. I did get myself an S&S airfilter and plan on taking a more in depth look at the carb when I pull off the stock airfilter (this weekend I hope).

    Pipes are stock. In Germany bikers have problems with little green men (aka. Polizei, MC Green White). :mad: They are worse than the men in blue in the US. :p Germans believe that all motorcycles should sound like a BMW does. (Sewingmachine or weedeater) To avoid problems with MC Green White I plan on keeping the pipes stock. No matter how much it hurts my heart. :( It is hard but I enjoy riding and do not need the hassel with the police just because they think my bike is too loud. My heart is however still screaming "put a Vance and Hines on it"!!! :rolleyes:

    Who knows maybe I can get the S&S on it adjust the carb and see. Any major carb work will have to be done during the winter months where riding is almost impossible.

    Thanx,

    Lee
  7. maxpower_hd

    maxpower_hd Active Member

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    Hiccup

    I have had two 1200 Sportsters. Both did exactly what you are describing. I know you want to keep it quiet but you have to do something with the pipes and jetting to get it to run right. There are after market pipes with mufflers, like Paugcho, that are not too loud but still let your bike breath a little. The jet kits usually have pretty good instructions with them and are relatively cheap. Good luck with the men in green!
  8. hotroadking

    hotroadking Super Moderator Staff Member

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    you could probably get away with HD SE slip on mufflers they are not too loud and you'd pick up some power as well.

    Putting on a free breathing air filter and not allowing the gases more room to get out isn't going to help the problem, you'll be leaning out the intake even more.
  9. usahellas

    usahellas New Member

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    Ok

    Well even I am finally getting the point. :eek: Looks like I am not going to get around changing the pipes. It is a time and money issue so I guess that will be a project for next spring / fall. I know that in Germany Kess-Tech (supertrapp) have "legal" mufflers. A bit pricey but everything that looks / sounds good is pricey here. I just wish I could convince my wife to let us move to the good ole US of A. I need to get my bu** back to Georgia where it belongs and where the Harley's are loud.
    :cool:
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2004
  10. shopguy

    shopguy New Member

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    Hey USAHELLAS
    I know what you mean about the German cops. I live in Spangdahlem and am running V&H longshots. I just got the new baffles in, been an backorder for a while, and I passed my inspection. There is no way for the metal rod to go past them, believe the guy tried. I also just bought my wife a 1990 1200 sporty US spec from a local shop and the pipes are aftermarket(no name on them, but if you want I may be able to find out the brand) pipes that passed the real full German inspection, not just the watered down base ones.
    good luck
  11. usahellas

    usahellas New Member

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    I remember those!

    Yeah the good old base inspections were great. Back when I had my Kawasaki Ninja they went kind of like this. Let me see, lights work, blinkers work, motor runs and you have mufflers OK here is your sticker. :D

    If you can find anything on those pipes let me know. If I have a brand name I could ask the guy who got me my last inpection. Get this, the German inspection office in Frankfurt turned me down last year because my handlebars are too wide, my steel braded brake line has no name on it and there was something else. Found a hole in the wall shop that does inspections. Well to make long story short a few hours and dollars later I had my sticker. :cool:

    Lee
  12. shopguy

    shopguy New Member

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    Not quite that simple here. The inspectors are a real Pain in the @$$. They now have a brake machine that checks to make sure each whell is braking properly. He must have tried that metal rod about 5 times in my tailpipe, I think he was disappointed that it was blocked. I got 4 more vehicles to get through. The one I worry most about is my old Mustang. I'm lucky to put 2000 miles on in a year with the weather here, but it's gotta pass that BS test.
    To get back on track, I will look into the pipes and see what I can find out for you.
  13. coldtoe

    coldtoe New Member

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    Hellas,
    I think the last solution is the best...coming back to Georgia. I can take you on some interesting rides. BTW--- Mary forwarded the pics of the new blinkers.. Nice. I hope they're bright enough to get that famous german driver attention.. I haven't forgotten Ansbach & the driver's there. Come to think of it, a lot like the drivers here..
  14. usahellas

    usahellas New Member

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    Blinker

    Coldtoe trust me the only ones looking to see if you have blinkers are the cops. Yesterday morning a **** mom in a minivan (no it was not my wife) ran a **** stop sign trying to hit me. :mad: I gave her the horn then the finger then the horn again. :eek: I tell you what I LOVE my horn and it is loud.

    Yep, I have to get my wife talked into moving back to good old GEORGIA!! Go Dawgs!!! You and I could make some really good rides and the bike would LOVE the weather!!! Not to mention how much I would love it. I think that is why I feel almost home whenever I am in Greece.
  15. coldtoe

    coldtoe New Member

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    moms, vans & suv's

    Gotta watch them Moms... down here they all have those big, honking SUV's and their favorite thing is to tailgate you on your scoot :mad: .. I have a fast effective way that has worked every time to back them off... I spit straight up :D . Always works.. they drop back about 150 to 200 feet. :p Then again, yougsters in their nervous little cars that think they are "fast & furious" tend toward trying to run over you when you do that. heheheh :eek:
  16. usahellas

    usahellas New Member

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    No one will believe this

    So I have changed the air filter kit. I got the S&S airfilter on the bike now and I am sure that no one will beleive this. The bike runs like never before. Now our temps have been up a bit over the past few days so I will have to see what happens when it does get a bit cooler. The bike starts better and quicker, it has not been skipping or hiccuping (not even sure if that is a word) :D , it has not given me any problems what so ever when it is warm and I even think that it is faster. :eek:

    This just leaves me wondering what will rejetting the carb and new pipes do? :rolleyes: Sounds promising. I am afraid that this is getting addictive. :p

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