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Old January 12th, 2022, 09:27 PM   #1
spotmaxdog
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Unhappy Reviving a Ninja 250 - Low compression - Piston rings?

Hello and thanks for this great forum. I'm trying to revive a 2006 Ninja 250 that has been sitting for at least several years. It only has 1000 miles and still has the break-in sticker on the tach, so I'm a bit stumped as to why it has so many problems. Unfortunately no history on the bike. Bought it off some guy who tried to fix it but didn't have the time or the aptitude to do more than (attempt to) clean the carbs (incorrectly and lost parts). He had got it in a trade from some other guy. Nobody has seen it run yet. I started my riding career on a Ninja 500 so it would be nostalgic to ride around on this scoot. Motorcycle is cosmetically almost a 9/10. Fairings are almost perfect and no indications of crashes. Very minimal amounts of rust in fuel tank and on frame.

Currently it won't start. I've done the following.

Rebuilt the carbs (with all the parts) and tried to start it using ether. Did not get a light off even with copious amounts of starting fluid.

Changed oil. Oil was extremely overfilled and reeked of gasoline. Realized fuel had been leaking through the diaphragm on the vacuum petcock and accumulating in the engine.

Replaced spark plugs NGK CR8HSAs. Verified good spark visually (ground spark plug against frame and cranked engine).

Adjusted valves, 3/4 valves had almost no clearance. Adjusted intakes to 0.005 and exhausts to 0.006.

Still no start. Hooked up a compression tester. Showing 60psi on cylinder 1 and 55 on 2. Uh oh.

Put a teaspoon of oil in the cylinders and cranked again. 170psi in 1 and 200 in 2. Makes me think piston rings are stuck?

Installed spark plugs and tried to start again. Bike made some popping noises and blue smoke is puffing out of the crankcase breather tube. Still won't start.

Hooked up compression tester again. Back to 60psi.

So what have I gotten myself into? Symptoms seem to point to the cylinders not sealing up properly so either valves bent, piston rings stuck, or something worse.

If it's piston rings, is there anything I can try to see if I can free them without tearing the engine apart?
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Old January 14th, 2022, 08:15 AM   #2
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I've read that a 1/2 oz of marvel mystery oil poured into each cylinder has reportedly worked wonders on long neglected engines.

Certainly worth a shot, no? I'd suggest leaving it to work for 24-48 hours prior to cranking.

Suggest a pro clean on carbs as well, wet testing for any float valve leaks. Do the petcock as well.

Brand new plugs, and new fuel after draining the old prior to start attempts. Fully charge the battery as well.
Check state of air filter as well.

Best o' luck with it.
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Old January 27th, 2022, 05:00 AM   #3
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I understand that the Ninja will not spark the plugs if the voltage falls to 10vdc or lower... at least on my 2012 version the motor still will crank over good but there will be no spark at all.....
and cleaning the carbs on these Ninjas is extremely hard the pilot jet passage ways are very hard to get clean as they are small and have 4 exits with a cross over deep inside the carb... which is near impossible to clean
send them to Ducattiman he does professional work at a reasonable price !
....
either will dry out the carb diaphragms ! quickly and be real expensive to replace ...hit them with WD40 for a good soak next time you have them off !!!
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Old January 28th, 2022, 10:45 PM   #4
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Angry

Update:

It was the piston rings. Took the engine down to the jugs and the rings were solidly stuck in their grooves. Freed them and am now showing 150psi for compression.

Now I'm troubleshooting the fuel. I can only get it to run on starter fluid in the airbox. Carb seems to not be contributing any fuel/air mixture to the engine. I've cleaned it 4x, blown out passages, replaced worn out jets with new ones... nothing is working

Typical start attempt is a second of starter fluid in the airbox and then I'll crank with throttle half open. Bike starts, jumps to 5000RPM for about 2 seconds and then dies. Pretty sure it's just burning the fluid mix in the box and then dying due to lack of fuel.

I've tried air mixture screw settings of 0.5/1/1.5/2/2.5 but none of them seem to have any effect on the engine.

Not sure what to check next. Airbox is hooked up with the crankcase breather tube. I've worked on bikes before that have marginal carbs, which makes them run crappy or stall with throttle but to have absolutely zero workable air/fuel is a new one for me.
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Old January 29th, 2022, 12:12 AM   #5
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Have you verified petrol is actually flowing out of tank and petcock? Might not even be making it to carbs in 1st place...
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Old January 29th, 2022, 08:53 AM   #6
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The gas tank is not hooked up. I am feeding gas directly into the carburetor with a funnel to the fuel line.
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Old January 29th, 2022, 11:23 AM   #7
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As posted in numerous places on this site the carbs are notoriously hard to clean.... you now know why we say that ! the carbs are still dirty !
... i'm a retired motorcycle mechanic and I had my carbs out 3 times before I finally got them to run ...BUT it wasn't running right the pilot circuit was still dirty.... and I'm very familiar with bike carbs !
the passage ways are hard to clean because you cannot get a wire all the way through the passage ways... so you don't know that their actually clean or not
the best you can do is probe out the exits toward the center and then use carb cleaner to try and blast that out ... but that leaves the short passage way between the passageways un disturbed... and that is the one that is causing the problems !
your best bet is taking the carbs off and sending them to Ducattiman on this site he's an expert with these carbs and they will come back perfect and you will not have to worry about them again....
sense you can't get at the passageways that connects the other passageways inside the carb you have to rely on other methods to get that clean
and unless your into getting an ultrasonic cleaner and chemical bath and a whole lot of carb cleaner and then TEST the circuit afterword... you don't stand a prayer of getting these things clean !
.....
seriously, save yourself alot more aggravation and send the carbs to Ducattiman ! his price is reasonable and you'll get back carbs that are completely refurbished to like new quality !
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Old January 29th, 2022, 12:01 PM   #8
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Alrighty then, considering condition of engine, carbs will need complete restoration. Disassemble down to very last nut, bolt, and individual component.



Scrub everything with PEA-based fuel-system cleaner, including hidden secret passages in carb body. Spray "carb cleaner" no longer works due to removal of chlorinated compounds. Pee works better since it has some ammonia in it!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N8SX03W
https://n4mwd.blogspot.com/2013/10/s...-passages.html

Be sure to not lose needle-jet/collar when you disassemble emulsion tube. Poke out all lateral bleed holes in jets & emulsion tube. It'll push out little plugs of dried petrol varnish plastic like little grains of sand. No way they'll dissolve with any kind of solvent.



Choke jet isn't removable, still needs to be poked out with wire. Recent case had that jet so clogged, it needed drilling out with micro-bit!

Then soak everything in ultrasonic overnight. DO NOT use Simple Green, it dissolves metals and ultrasonic speeds up this damage.

Next micro soda-blast everything. Lots of petrol varnish fragments and chads hang around in tiny passages after all this scrubbing and cleaning.

Then reassemble with new rubbers: float valves, float-bowl seals, pilot and fuel-rail O-rings, slide diaphragms as needed. Make sure needle-jet/collar is oriented with beveled end facing slide needle.

Set float levels and do wet-test. Synch carbs. Set pilots for best warmed-up idle speed.

Now bike should run like brand-new off showroom-floor when carbs have been restored to factory-fresh clean.

Last futzed with by DannoXYZ; January 29th, 2022 at 06:00 PM.
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Old January 29th, 2022, 04:52 PM   #9
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Well stated Danno !
I might add Also take a few pictures of how the carbs are hooked up before you start... this helps later in re hooking up the hoses ! there is alot of them and it does get confusing ! ...like did this one go here or over here I can't remember ! then it's time to look it up in the manual !
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Old January 29th, 2022, 07:59 PM   #10
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Got it to run!

Pulled the carbs apart one last time. Blasted out everything with cleaner and compressed air. Replaced all the hoses with new ones. I think that did the trick, probably had a lot of air leaking through the carb.

Now it runs and the throttle response is even decent for a first try at the mixture screws. Just had it running for about 15 minutes in the garage, slowly turning down the idle screw from 5000! rpm down to about 1500.

First time it's run in about 10 years. Smoking from EVERYWHERE. So much oil and cleaner residue getting baked off.

Next up is troubleshooting the cooling system. Rad fan isn't turning on and the IR thermometer is showing 245F at the switch and the temp gauge at the very bottom of red before I got tired of waiting for the thing to turn on.

Project for tomorrow, but very happy to see the patient has a pulse. After the cooling system is fixed I think I'll go put the chain and rear tire back on it and see if it'll go down the street.
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Old January 29th, 2022, 08:31 PM   #11
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woohoo!!! Good job!!
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Old January 29th, 2022, 08:44 PM   #12
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Fantastic ! glad to hear you got her going ! NOW that thing can Kill you ! be careful on it and don't take any chances !
....
GOOD work !
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Old January 30th, 2022, 07:51 AM   #13
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Yep. Itíll be stealing butt time away from my BMWs. I love those weird tractor boxer bikes.

Itíll be really fun to wind something up to redline without going into lost license territory. My other bikes only have about 100hp and I consider them stupid fast, going down the highway at 85 with just a quarter throttle is enough for me. I cannot imagine how pent up the folks with the liter bikes feel on a daily basis cruising at 4k knowing the tach goes to 12.

Update. Fanís fine. Temp switch is probably corroded. $10 on eBay and Iím back in business. Now to put the rear bumper back on and find all the fairings screws and attachment points for the wiring harness. Unfortunate that the people previous to me that tried to work on the bike didnít read the directions on how to take out the air box. They tried to cut it out the side so some of the plastics are a bit mangled. might have to 3d print a new bracket for the coolant reservoir.
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Old January 30th, 2022, 07:55 AM   #14
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Previous owner was like, “i couldn’t get it running, i cleaned the carbs, replaced ignition and plugs, replaced the battery, and changed all fluids”

Translated.. “i broke the **** out of the carbs, went to autozone and got a random $3 spark plug that fit in the hole because all spark plugs are the same, got a $30 battery from Walmart that doesn’t even fit in the battery box, and overfilled the oil with about 1 gallon of gasoline because my eBay tank petcock leaked gas from the vacuum diaphragm directly into the cylinders.” Ironically the cylinders jugs were perfect because the rings were stuck in their grooves. No scoring from the hours of cranking with gasoline washing down the cylinder walls wondering why it wouldn’t start.

At this point I’m treating every system he touched as broken until proven otherwise.
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Old January 30th, 2022, 11:22 AM   #15
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Ahh yes I know that story real well... a little knowledge is a dangerous thing !
it is surprising how bad a back yard mechanic can screw something up in the attempts to "Fix it"....
.... on one of my Honda 90cc bikes I got in a basket the guy lengthened out the slots in the points plate so he could turn the points plate and change the timing.... why he thought that was necessary I have no idea !?!?!?!
.....
....I timed the engine and cleaned the carb and got it running great ...he also set the valve tappets to about 1/8" and I have no idea why !
hard to figure the reasoning of some people !
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Old January 30th, 2022, 11:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spotmaxdog View Post
Translated.. “i broke the **** out of the carbs, went to autozone and got a random $3 spark plug that fit in the hole because all spark plugs are the same, got a $30 battery from Walmart that doesn’t even fit in the battery box, and overfilled the oil with about 1 gallon of gasoline because my eBay tank petcock leaked gas from the vacuum diaphragm directly into the cylinders.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
Ahh yes I know that story real well... a little knowledge is a dangerous thing !
it is surprising how bad a back yard mechanic can screw something up in the attempts to "Fix it"....
.... on one of my Honda 90cc bikes I got in a basket the guy lengthened out the slots in the points plate so he could turn the points plate and change the timing.... why he thought that was necessary I have no idea !?!?!?!
.....
....I timed the engine and cleaned the carb and got it running great ...he also set the valve tappets to about 1/8" and I have no idea why !
hard to figure the reasoning of some people !
....
Bob...
I have saying for this....

"statistically, 1/2 of all people are below average!!!"

... makes it easier to just smh and go on with life when I encountre these situation...
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Old January 31st, 2022, 04:49 AM   #17
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Gas tank has been refurbed with the correct petcock and back on the bike.

Itís smoking a little bit. White smoke, smells like gasoline, havenít gotten the bike up to operating temp yet. Going to take it around the block today. Hope itís nothing, itís about 45 degrees and 90% relative humidity right now so probably just condensation.
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Old January 31st, 2022, 06:05 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by spotmaxdog View Post
Gas tank has been refurbed with the correct petcock and back on the bike.

Itís smoking a little bit. White smoke, smells like gasoline, havenít gotten the bike up to operating temp yet. Going to take it around the block today. Hope itís nothing, itís about 45 degrees and 90% relative humidity right now so probably just condensation.
Do both head pipes get warm at about the same time?
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Old January 31st, 2022, 10:25 AM   #19
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Ok sounds like you got it going good ! what did you have to do to the carburetors to get them clean enough to Run ? you said you cleaned them 3 times before but the 4th time looks like it was the charm ! what did you do differently ???? those carbs are the hardest carbs to clean I have ever encountered !
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Old January 31st, 2022, 01:58 PM   #20
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Bob, what did it for me was being militant about tracking down EVERY way air could get into and out of the carb. Took my time with all the intakes and exhausts. Plugged every vacuum line out of the thing until I could figure out I was losing vacuum out the petcock and idle air enricher lines. Popped new lines on those and I was in business.

One step forward but two steps back. Got the milkshake oil. Torn it down and head gasket was leaking as evidenced by two extremely clean piston heads. Serves me right for being impatient and not waiting for new head gasket to arrive in the mail when I redid the rings. Luckily it only ran for about 15 minutes before I realized I was losing coolant SOMEWHERE. Another piece of luck, self inflicted... one of the locknuts for the valve adjusters unscrewed itself and adjusted the valve to max clearance, must have forgotten to torque check it. it sounded like someone was banging on a snare drum. QA fail for me, shouldn't be doing that stuff at 11pm on a Sunday...

Putting the new gasket on it now. Too bad getting to the head gasket is like doing dental surgery through the rectum. Entire bike is back to pieces again.
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Old January 31st, 2022, 02:06 PM   #21
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LOL that's a good description !
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Old January 31st, 2022, 08:25 PM   #22
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Back together again. We'll try again tomorrow after work.
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Old January 31st, 2022, 08:52 PM   #23
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WOW ....you work fast ! that would have taken me 3 weeks ! HAHAHAHAH


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Old January 31st, 2022, 09:23 PM   #24
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I got lucky. I was able to jiggle the airbox enough to unmount the carbs from the engine without having to remove the entire back end.
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Old January 31st, 2022, 10:10 PM   #25
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I had to take off the left intake manifold on my ninja to get the carbs out
even with the air box moved back 1/2" there isn't much room in there !~!!
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Old February 4th, 2022, 04:24 PM   #26
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Tried to run it today and it ran like garbage. Couldn't get above 1500rpm on choke, died on choke.

So what the hell? IR thermometer showed the culprit... cylinder 2 is dead!

400F on the left cylinder exhaust and 120F on the right, that's not right.

I've got acceptable compression, haven't touched the carbs since last time and they have fuel in the bowls, and both spark plugs are firing outside the engine.

Left spark plug reads normal and the right one is oily and black. Timing is good (if it was bad it should not run on any cylinders). Maybe the plug is crudded up and isn't making a usable spark in the cylinder? Going to get new plugs and try again later.

This bike... always something.
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Old February 4th, 2022, 07:04 PM   #27
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Quick test to determine 100% if it's that plug is to just swap them between cylinders. Then if #1 is dead with fouled plug, you know for sure.
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Old February 4th, 2022, 08:49 PM   #28
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Ah... this answers my question in post #18 above.
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Old February 4th, 2022, 10:45 PM   #29
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I almost guarentee you the pilot circuit in the carbs is still plugged !
you can get the 1/2 throttle portion of the carb to work fairly easily I got that my first cleaning on my 2012 250R but the idle circuit is much harder to clean
because it has 4 exits and it's real hard to get any kind of pressure into those cavities in there to get them clean.
....
when I got my bike running just after I got it it would only run on 1 cylinder
so I pulled the carbs cleaned them and put them back on and it would then run on both cylinders above 2500 RPM.... but not lower.....
I pulled the carbs again determined to get the things clean and put them back in there and tried it again and it was exactly the same thing.....
so I pulled them again and cleaned them a 3rd time paying extra attention to the pilot circuit in each carb.... using wire , cleaning probes and anything I could even compressed air... put the carbs back on there and got it running
and I could tell it was trying to idle but just wouldn't... I discovered that the airscrew starting position is different for each carb, and opened up further than I had them... I opened them up more and finally got it to idle but not the best... much more tinkering later I finally got the air screws set properly and then it worked fantastically..... for about 2 ~3 months then it started dropping the rt. cylinder at idle again.... so the carbs need to come off again and be super cleaned ...I have a ultrasonic cleaner this time and I am hoping that will do the trick...
these are the hardest carbs to work on that I have ever encountered in all of my motorcycle dealings.... Small CV carbs is a bad idea ! LOL

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Old February 5th, 2022, 12:59 AM   #30
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Quote:
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Ah... this answers my question in post #18 above.
Sadly I know it was running on both cylinders before this last teardown. Gonna throw new plugs at it tomorrow morning and see where Iím at.
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Old February 5th, 2022, 01:04 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
I almost guarentee you the pilot circuit in the carbs is still plugged !

....
Bob.....
I think I can test this by just running one spark plug and seeing if I can get it to at least pop on starting fluid in the right cylinder. If it does then it’s the carb and I will have something concrete to work on.

Funny thing, I actually ran my GR650 on one cylinder for awhile because I had to get it between garages. It actually ran fine, just couldn’t get above 50mph. I guess when one piston has more cc than the entire ninja there’s enough power to drag the dead cylinder AND move the bike forward. Not so on the ninja. That poor little piston was giving it all she had.
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Old February 5th, 2022, 01:49 AM   #32
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a quicker easier check would be just cover the throat of the carb with your hand and see if that cylinder picks up.... that is if you have the air box off and can reach it.... stuff is so close on a ninja it makes even simple tests like that dificult.... LOL of course that will depend on if you have fuel reaching that carburator too because if that carb is dry that won't change a thing !
but if it's running on one cylinder and you put your hand over the other carb and it picks up that cylinder too then you found the problem it's just not getting fuel through the carb....for what ever reason
....
incidently, the cylinder that was not firing on my bike was wet as it could be and it did look like oil too running on one cylinder will pump oil in the dead cylinder because it is not firing , I changed the plugs in my bike as well just to be sure and it still would not fire ... I had the boots off the air cleaner side and could reach down and cover the throat of the carb carefully with 2 fingers and that cylinder immediately fired up ! I thought AH HA !!! no fuel !
because the choking of that side made it much richer and it fired up !
that told me it wasn't getting fuel at idle !
I played with it for a few days because I dreaded taking the carbs off one more time ... so I got the idea of adjusting out the air screws a little more
and soon as I did that she started to run on both cylinders at idle ..which it had never done that before ! .....
but unfortunately 3 months later it is doing the same thing again dropping to
1 cylinder at idle.... so I really need to pull the carbs and clean then again !
.....
the problem with cleaning these carbs is you cannot get into ALL the passage ways on the idle curcuit with anything.... I even bought a carb cleaning tool off Amazon and it worked great but it is useless at cleaning the crossover area deep inside where it is supposed to connect to the other 2 passageways
you simply can't clean it and have to rely on chemical cleaners and such
to do that for you and they just don't work that good.
that is where the ultrasonic cleaner comes in at it is supposed to clean those impossible to reach areas......( i'll believe it when I see it)
...i'm old school and if I can't poke a wire through it i don't think it's clean ! HAHAHAHA
but these carbs have an area where you can't poke a wire through it
.... I even straightened out a small spring so it would go around corners in there but that only gave me limited success !
the best answer is Ducattiman !!!
and I am seriously considering pulling my carbs off and sending them to him because I just don't want to mess with those things again !
....
Bob......
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Old February 6th, 2022, 12:38 PM   #33
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Got it running on both cylinders, it was the spark plug. Fired right up with a squirt of starting fluid (it's about 40F in my garage right now).

New problem, or a continuation of previous problem. Terrible hammering sound from the engine while running. Gonna look at the camshafts, hoping it's just one of the rockers not completely seated properly.

I think the moral of the story is don't do valvetrain work at 11pm on a worknight!

I am so lucky that 250 engines are a dime a dozen on eBay so whatever I bent, I can replace at a reasonable cost.
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Old February 6th, 2022, 03:10 PM   #34
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Sounds like a shim popped out! never heard of that happening before !
...Bob.......

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Old February 6th, 2022, 05:57 PM   #35
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Opened up the top end again, checked timing, checked valve clearances, everything was good.

Accidentally squeezed the clutch while holding onto the bike and heard the mechanism pop. Exercised the clutch a couple of times, lots of popping sound coming from the clutch basket.

Put it all together and fired it up. Stupid clutch was sticking/slopping. Pulled the clutch a couple of times and the noise went away.

Still smoking quite a bit, but it's cold, humid, and it hasn't been run through its paces yet. Going to do some laps of the neighborhood with it tomorrow, fine tune the idle mix, and then go rev it out and see if I can blow all the crud out of the engine.
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Old February 6th, 2022, 07:46 PM   #36
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You've got famous pre-gen rubber clutch pop!

Lots of people upgrade to new-gen clutch rather than installing another rubber clutch.
https://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=259395
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Old February 7th, 2022, 08:29 AM   #37
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I got it out this morning. It runs, it shifts, it still has white smoke but I'm willing to press for now. Doesn't smell sweet and the coolant reservoir hasn't gone down. Carbs are still a bit off, after a rev it'll go down to 1000rpm and chug until I manually rev it back to 1500 but I'll take it for now.

It's been freezing around here and rainy. I'm willing to excuse the smoke for condensation, as it's 100% humid and the exhausts were just warm to the touch after my ride (bike takes a long time to warm up riding around at 20mph and freezing drizzle).

It looks like she's on the up and up. Next step is to put the new fan switch on, fairings, and tires.
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Old February 10th, 2022, 04:07 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
I almost guarentee you the pilot circuit in the carbs is still plugged !
Bob.....
You were right. Stupid cylinder picks right up after 2000 RPM. Going to cheat and see if I can just pull the idle screw and blast it out with carb cleaner and air before I pull the thing again.

Progress is slow. I have these things called "children" and "work" that keep getting in the way.
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Old February 10th, 2022, 05:06 PM   #39
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Yes those things do definitely get in the way....alot ! but their worth having around anyway.... LOL
....
your chances of that working is very slim.... but it is worth a try anything is worth a try if that means you don't need to take the carbs off again !!!!
....
study the pilot circuit before you attempt to clean it again... you'll see a straight shot from outside air coming in that hit's a juntion and that hole goes 3 more ways.... one for the pilot jet, one for the air screw and one for the exit for the air fuel mix to get into the cylinders unfortionately they are not in-line with each other so poking a probe into one just cramms the crap into a side hole
and that is the problem ! getting that side hole area clean.....
it connects the other 2 parts of the curcuit together and the side hole/ connecting passage is ni to impossable to clean....
I thought I was going to have to pull my carbs off again and clean them but now it doesn't look that way.... so I am real happy about that !!!!
how I cleaned my carbs was with the wire probes through every hole in that circuit and used alot of carb cleaner and compressed air I also checked to make sure carb cleaner was coming out all 4 places when spreyed into the air intake pipe of the circuit... at first it was minimal if not only coming out 2 holes... but after a few hours of messing with it I finally got it where it was coming out all 4 holes on each carb... it is restricted coming out the one where it feeds the engine... but you have to get that one as clean as possable.... ...
I straightened out a steel spring and used it to try and get around the bends in there and I think that is what broke through the crap and cleaned it out
it was a small spring with the size of a 1/2" diameter.... I flattened the coils out into one long wire leaving a few coils as a handle .... rounded the sharp end of the spring with a file so it was not sharp... and put a short kink on the very end to help get it started into the side hole.... it did go into that passage way but only about 1/4" and I was scared that my hard spring would brake off in there so I only went in and out about a dozen times and them spreyed carb cleaner in it... i was too afraid to twist the spring when it was in the hole.... but that is what it needed ! but I was chicken !!!!

after doing that I sprayed carb cleaner in it and got it to come out all 4 places.... so I knew it was clean.....
i put the carbs back on and it ran and idled for the first time... but it wasn't right.... turns out I had the pilot airscrews turned in too far
.....
I broke down and bought the "SPECIAL TOOL" it takes to adjust the air screws on the ninja the other day and will adjust the idle with the air screws to the fastest idle i can get and then turn them 1/8 turn more to the open side.... then I can put the fairings back on with the new fairing hardware that just came today.... and she will be ready to roll again....
Bob.......
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Old February 12th, 2022, 09:35 AM   #40
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Pulled everything again and cleaned the crap out of that carb circuit.

I found the culprit. IT WAS THE DOG.

One little white hair in the circuit. That was all it took to clog it up.

Had one hell of a time putting the stupid airbox back on, the boots were not cooperating.

Figured out a good technique. I split the airbox and mounted each airbox boot separately. Once I had a good fit I torqued them down with a hose clamp and then reassembled the airbox with the boots already attached to the carbs. There's enough flex in the boots to wedge the air filter screen without popping the boots off. Then you just carefully squeeze the whole assembly back into the bike and bam, perfectly mounted boots every time.

The bike runs like a champ. A squirt of starter fluid sped up the vacuum petcock refilling the bowls and it idled happily at 1600rpm without choke.

Photo of the offender as evidence.
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