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Thread: Mechanic for 1963 R69S in Detroit Area

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    Mechanic for 1963 R69S in Detroit Area

    I'm at my wit's end.

    My saga of woe with this bike has been documented here. Suffice it to say that the bike had a piston melt down.

    I've had the cylinders bored and honed, new gaskets, set everything up per Vech and the Barrington book, including timing, valves, magneto position, cleaned the carbs, all jets are clear. I think I even got the differential timing worked out.

    I put the bike together on a warm day a few days ago, and nothing. I get spark, and as far as I can tell I'm getting fuel through the carb. I was able to get a few "chuffs" with a push start, but nothing after.

    Today its 40 degrees out, but the bike is in the garage. I didn't try push starting today, but I'm still getting spark, and as far as I can tell, I'm still getting fuel, but not even a chuff.

    I just can't figure it out. So, I'm throwing in the towel. Is there anyone around here that can work on these bikes? Anyone want to come over for a "play date" and play motorcycles?

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    Can you describe your procedure for starting the bike? What are you doing with the carb ticklers? Also, what is the gap setting on the spark plugs?
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    Starting procedure

    As far as the gap, I can't tell you off the top of my head, but these are new plugs, and I gapped per the Harrington book.

    My procedure was to open the petcock, and I put in fuel filters in line, so I see that the bubbling is done, and try to kick it over, no tickling of the carbs. No turning the throttle. Just kick it over.

    Now, when that failed, I tickled for a 3 count on each carb; no throttle. Still nothing.

    I pulled the plugs, and they appeared clean, but difficult to tell if they were wet, like with gas, which I got in November.

    One thing I was trying to find is a "base line" for the slide stop screw. Could that make a difference? For the initial carb set up, I frankly don't know what it should be. I was too PO'd to check the book in detail this AM. How much initial "lift", if you will, should it have?

    When I pulled the plugs, and had the ground to the heads, I saw a decent spark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 166926 View Post
    As far as the gap, I can't tell you off the top of my head, but these are new plugs, and I gapped per the Harrington book.

    My procedure was to open the petcock, and I put in fuel filters in line, so I see that the bubbling is done, and try to kick it over, no tickling of the carbs. No turning the throttle. Just kick it over.

    Now, when that failed, I tickled for a 3 count on each carb; no throttle. Still nothing.

    I pulled the plugs, and they appeared clean, but difficult to tell if they were wet, like with gas, which I got in November.

    One thing I was trying to find is a "base line" for the slide stop screw. Could that make a difference? For the initial carb set up, I frankly don't know what it should be. I was too PO'd to check the book in detail this AM. How much initial "lift", if you will, should it have?

    When I pulled the plugs, and had the ground to the heads, I saw a decent spark.
    Carb settings are important. I'm sorry but I am not familiar with the carb settings on your bike.

    Three things I would like to point out:
    1) A motor that has compression, spark and fuel should at least run.
    2) Get rid of the November fuel - ethanol fuel is said to have an approximate 30 to 45 day life span in a vented tank. Ethanol also attracts moisture and you will end up with what is known as phase separation. Not good.
    3) Was the spark blue in color? You need to have blue spark for maximum efficiency. If not blue put in fresh plugs and/or verify ignition system is working as it should.

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    Certainly, the height of the slide can make a difference. Too high, and you don't get the rush of air because it's going through a wide opening...the venturi effect. Too low, and you might not get enough air. You should take the air tubes off and look at the slide from the rear. Turn the idle speed stop screw all the way out until the slide doesn't drop any more. Then slowly turn the screw back in...when you see the slide start to rise, turn the screw about 1 more revolution. Do the same for the other side. Consider this an initial setting which might need to change during an eventual carb synch.

    As for starting, my R69S has gone through a few different stages of starting routine. And each bike will be a little different. Here's what I suggest you do:

    - open petcock, key off
    - tickle for a count of 3, maybe 4. That's hold the button down for the duration...don't just stab at the button.
    - with hand off the throttle, kick the engine over maybe 5 times
    - key on, use the kicker to find a good compression point and give it a kick
    - it if starts, you might need to quickly stab at the ticklers one at a time while you ease in some throttle

    Another approach would be to slightly open the throttle maybe 1/4 of a turn while you kick with the key on. This is one of those things you'll have to figure out to see what your bike's set up wants.

    Give that a try and let us know.

    As for settings, you probably should get with Bing and buy their book. In the meantime, here's an on-line version that's probably correct. Find your carb number and see what it calls for.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/roundel/66174400/
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

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    Spark color? Looked pretty white to me. What does that indicate?

    I'll try to re-set the slide stops, see what that does. As far as needle position, I'm correct there, along with the two turns out of the air mixture screw. OK, I'll see what effect this has....

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    Quote Originally Posted by 166926 View Post
    Spark color? Looked pretty white to me. What does that indicate?

    I'll try to re-set the slide stops, see what that does. As far as needle position, I'm correct there, along with the two turns out of the air mixture screw. OK, I'll see what effect this has....
    Spark color should be blue. Any other color indicates a weak spark although it may possibly run. It's entirely possible your ignition components may have aged to the point where it can't produce a proper spark. Just went through this a few days ago with a 1983 Gold Wing. Customer had us clean and rebuild the carbs and the bike ran noticeably better but there were issues at higher rpm's. After verifying we had performed the carb work correctly we put the bike on the dyno and discovered there were ignition issues on 3 out of 4 cylinders when run at high rpm. New ignition coils resolved the issue 100%. Please note other components can create spark issues as well so don't automatically assume you need coils. You do need a blue spark however to run properly.

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    Hmm... The coil and plug caps are new (and caps are the no resistance, brown ones). I'm going to try to start with these tips a little later this pm. Stay tuned....

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    Quote Originally Posted by 166926 View Post
    Hmm... The coil and plug caps are new (and caps are the no resistance, brown ones). I'm going to try to start with these tips a little later this pm. Stay tuned....
    Please excuse my ignorance but does that bike use a magneto to run? Antiques certainly don't have the ignition systems of today but my bikes from the 60's still put out a blue spark. However, I have never owned a magneto bike but I assume it would still put out a blue spark. I may need to google this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    Please excuse my ignorance but does that bike use a magneto to run? Antiques certainly don't have the ignition systems of today but my bikes from the 60's still put out a blue spark. However, I have never owned a magneto bike but I assume it would still put out a blue spark. I may need to google this.
    Read a few references to magneto's and yes they should produce a blue spark. Everything I read (4 google responses) did discuss the importance of a blue spark. One reference however stated a blue or white spark is strong. So perhaps my blue spark statement is not 100% accurate.

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    I went out this pm, and adjusted the slide stops. The left side fine, the right, it wouldn't lift the slide at all. Heres a pic showing why. I had a spare slide, so in it went.

    On top of that, the main jet is waaaay to high. Knocked it back down with a long socket:

    So, I tried starting again, turns out I didn't have as much gas in the carb as I thought. With a little tickle, it started up, ran for a few seconds, and died. Couldn't start it again

    I tickled again, and gas spilled out the top of the bowls, but no start. So, it seems I'm on to something. Any other ideas? Still looking for that local wrench...
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Yes, if the jet stack works up into the chamber, that can affect the slide positioning. Duane discusses this on his website...you do exactly like you did...just lightly tap it down.

    Once you get the carb flooded, you need to alter the starting technique. I find I have to hold the throttle wide open with key off and kick maybe 5-7 times. Then, let the throttle go, petcock off, key on, and give it a kick. If lucky, it will begin to rumble and you can slowly feed throttle while turning the petcock on. If the spark plug is wet, probably need to clean and it maybe even replace it.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

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    I guess what don't get is why is this such a bear to start. All the articles seem to indicate that a kick or to should do it, but that's never been my experience. I also have to think that this is more of a fuel issue than anything, but if the jets are clean, and valves are set, I guess I don't know why this is such a problem.

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    The /2 bikes can be pretty tricky, and frustrating, when they don't start. I've struggled many times with my vintage bikes, but usually figure something out. My R69S was a freakin' bear to start when hot. I thought it was the coil, so changed it, but that didn't help. I would kick myself silly. A buddy was traveling with me and he gave it a go...he started it on one kick. It was all about knowing what the bike needed.

    You must get the bike in perfect tune, valves set, carbs set up right...then you have to start with a good procedure. It is very easy to flood these bikes...you think you haven't but kicking doesn't seem to do any good. You need to "sneak" up on the proper steps for your bike.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snuffy Jon View Post
    I guess what don't get is why is this such a bear to start. All the articles seem to indicate that a kick or to should do it, but that's never been my experience. I also have to think that this is more of a fuel issue than anything, but if the jets are clean, and valves are set, I guess I don't know why this is such a problem.
    Each bike has it's own personality. It takes practice to find the technique that works for your bike. Some need to tickle for 2 seconds, others 4. Some need ignition off pre kicks, some don't. Plus, the hot vs cold starting technique varies. Using my R69S as an example:

    Engine Cold: fuel on... wait a few seconds. Tickle right cylinder for about 4 seconds. Tickle left cylinder for about 4 seconds. Key on. Kick. The bike usually starts on the 1st or 2nd kick.

    Engine Warm: Key on and kick. Usually starts on first or second kick. AFTER the bike has started I turn on the fuel petcock. If the bike doesn't start by the 2nd kick it wasn't as warm as I thought... turn fuel and tickle each side for about 2 seconds.

    It probably took me a year to learn the above techniques. They are right for MY bike... a different bike may need different procedures. Not turning the fuel on until after the bike was running for a warm engine made a big difference... I was flooding it before I learned that. Once flooded the bike is a bear to start.

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