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My 2001 883 ran great last week, then sat for 5 days and now it's really really hard to start, choke makes practically no difference. Once I finally get it running I start to ride and it dies, or lasts about about a minute but I can barely make it to 2nd gear. It backfires really hard also. Someone told me it might be in the timing.. the piece behind the 5 speed emblem on the side cover.. I'm not sure I've only had bike for a couple months.
 

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The ignition module is behind the "5" and could very well be the trouble. I have replaced mine twice.
Check check the spark plugs & leads are secure and the battery connections are good also.
...Maybe moisture/bad gas in the carb.
 

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Bare bones, I am having the same problem with my 2005 custom, you may want to make sure the following is checked. Make sure your enrichment screw has not come loose, or fell out, and make sure the seal between the carb and the manifold is not cracked or come loose. But I learned this week that loose connections on your battery can mimick the same problems.. Good luck in trouble shooting.
 

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Thought I was going mad there for a while. I have an '89 883. Just got back from holiday last week and the bike didn't want to start. When it did finally fire it was only on one cylinder. Replaced the plugs, and it seemed fine for a day. The next day it seemed to start OK, but after a couple of minutes on the road it lost power and started to backfire real bad. Plugs seem to be fine. Before I start buying new leads and coil etc I could do with some ideas. If it comes to timing how do I check the revs as the bike has no rev counter. Looks like stripping the carb could be a good idea. Makes sense if any crap has settled over the two week layup, it's got sucked into the carb. Please post any other ideas, as I plan on getting it sorted this weekend one way or another. Thanks.
Paul.
 

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Fordpaul,
What did you find out, I have the same problems. I cleaned the cpk or ckp valve.Mine is intermttant and backfires bad but a minute later will start right up. Begining to wish I didn't buy this POS.
 

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Just a thought. I've read a few posts here and many have a " backfire" associated. I'm leaning, ( excuse the pun), on a lean condition. Todays fuel holds ethynol, which when combined with time and direct venting to the atmospere, ( bike, boats, lawnmowers,etc.), can seperate into two different, non-combustable forms of alchohol. This is called phase seperation. I would think a good carb clean is a great place to start. There's nothing wrong with a good cleaning anyways.
 
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