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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. So, here's my problem. My baby is a 2001 M600, and I mustn't love her much because I leave her to suffer through a Prague winter (gets down to -15C). Obviously, when the roads are solid with ice I don't ride, so come spring there's a host of little niggles to sort out. Last year, the new one on me was fuel going off completely so quickly.

Anyhow, spring came early this year, so I'm trying to get her going, but no joy. I had real trouble with a trickle charger/battery maintenance gadget not doing it's job, leaving me to think my new-ish battery was duff, but I've got myself a better charger now and the battery's very healthy. I've checked every cable and connection I know, triple checked the plugs (which look good), visually inspected that there's fuel going through the carbs, and drained and replaced the fuel with fresh stuff. (And she was running fine up til the day I garaged her last year.)

As my dear dad puts it, "if there's fuel, air and a spark, then it can't not run." But she just won't catch. The odd flamey backfire if I let the starter turn over for a while but that's it. It's still cold here at night, down to -5C, and my garaging isn't insulated, but during the day it's anywhere between 3-10C. Any advice would be much appreciated. I'm no technical expert, but being owning a Ducati has taught me the obvious stuff to look for. Do I just wait til it's warmer?

Like I say, anyone with more experience or suggestions or further questions, please chuck them here. Thanks, Ben
 

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If you stored it all winter with untreated fuel, that fuel went bad and coated the innards of the carb or fuel injection system. If you then drained the fuel, you did so too late to prevent that coating.

To winterize a vehicle's fuel system properly, you need to do THREE things:

1. Fill the tank completely, to minimize the opportunity for condensation within the tank

2. TREAT the fuel with a stabilizer to prevent its deterioration into varnish

3. RUN the engine WITH the treated fuel in the system BEFORE storing it, so that the fuel left within the carburetor or injection system is TREATED fuel.

If you did not do this, the remedy will likely involve adding a STRONG chemical to the fuel which helps to undo some of the damage done by the deteriorated fuel. I had to do this once with a 6-cylinder Honda CBX whose owner left it for 2 years with untreated fuel. The chemical worked, gradually improving the engine's running ability over the course of one fuel tank's worth of treatment, but the chemical was strong enough to require the use of gloves, and there a strict warning that contact with paint would damage the paint.

Jim G
 

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Ciao Ben,
change them plugs, drain the carbs, new battery.

Still not spring here in Italy either, but Ducati gets some miles anyhow.

Hang in there, keep in touch!

Skier
 

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I would recommend that you find a way to get the engine warmer than 10C before trying to start it. You might leave an electric light either under the engine or between the cylinders as close to the carburetors as possible, and warm it up overnight, then wait until the warmest part of the day to try starting it.

If I let my bike sit for a week or more and tried starting it in temperatures that cold (about 50F, right?), I would expect problems trying to start it. My Monster never liked being started in the cold.
 
G

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With mine, if it's really cold, it will only start WITHOUT the fast idle on. Once it fires, I can feather the throttle for a minute, then turn the fast idle lever up a bit. If I try to start with the fast idle on, I'll be there all day...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Aww. You guys! Less than 12 hours after I post and just look at this! I knew I picked the right bike. Thanks to all. It's freezing night here now, so I'll be giving her another try tomorow if it's clear.

I'm planning just a more thorough version of what I've already been doing, but anyone got any thoughts on JimG's chemical clean-out suggestion? What would the magic stuff be? It sounds nasty...
 

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Ben: check with your local autoparts supply house. That's how I learned about the product I used. The counterman told me FOUR times to make certain I didn't spill it on ANYTHING, but it worked like a charm.

Jim G
 
G

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Dennis, I found out the hard way, hopefully more "ie" owners read this post, because it would save a lot of headaches. And batteries. And starters...
 
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