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Hey all, got a question about something I fixed, but I didn't really know what was wrong to begin with.

I got my 2002 SVS about a year and a half ago, in August of 2004. When i got the bike, it ran perfectly - no problems. It would fire right up, no choke most of the time. It behaved this way all the way up until that winter when it was put up for 2-3 weeks at a time, except for the randomly warm day when I would take the bike for a spin.

Towards the middle of last summer, 2005, the bike started to gradually take more effort to start. At first you would need to add more choke, then it would need to be full choke to keep it running more than a couple of seconds. Then you would need to open the throttle as well as choking, all the way up to where you needed to give it quite a little goose to get things going.

In October 2005 I got some cracked ribs so riding my bike was out the window for a while (since it even hurt to sleep at that point). I didn't attempt to start the bike from the time of my injury until mid-January 2006, about two weeks ago, at which time the bike would not start. The non-starting behavior: Lights were bright, instruments illuminated, starter turning, but no ignition.

I charged the battery all the way up, same results - seemingly no ignition. I checked the gas - the tank was only about half full, and it occurred to me that I probably had not stabilized the fuel after the last time the bike was stored. I topped the tank off with good gas, included some fuel system cleaner for carburated engines, rocked the bike sideways vigorously (hoping to mix the good fuel in with the suspect fuel). The bike still didn't start, but it sounded like it was closer to catching. I also noticed that there was a faint odor of gasoline, only detectable when I would smell the back of the exhaust pipe. The whole garage didn't smell horribly like gasoline as if the bike were flooded, but it did smell like at least a little fuel was getting through.

I raised the tank, pulled the air filter out, cranked it, and - :eek: - the bike started. It only ran for a few seconds, but it actually did start with the air filter out whereas it wouldn't with the filter in. But even with choke, I couldn't get it to stay alive. I put a little spray of starter fluid on each of the holes where the airbox goes into the carb, and the bike started up happily.

I quickly replaced the air filter and let the bike run for 10-15 minutes. Then I rode it for about an hour. A few times during this ride I turned the bike off and it started back up instantly - the problem from all of last season, where I would need to give it some pretty generous throttle to start, seems to be gone. It cranks over like the day it rolled out of the dealership.

So, it seems like whatever was causing the sluggish starts for so long was somehow cured by the starter fluid? How could that be? What could have been wrong in the first place that caused the sluggish starting?
 

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Chances are you flooded it. The time it took you to remove the air filter gave it a chance to clear a little. Change your plugs (not just because you flooded it once, but because that's a good place to start with an SV that doesn't want to start) and ake sure your battery is getting a full charge.
 
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