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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have a 2009 Vegas with 7,500 miles. My bike ran great all summer and then just last week I noticed a hesitation while riding. I notice it most when on roads that the speed limit is 40 and I'm holding it at 40 - 45 mph. I don't know how to describe it except it feels like something is holding it back. Like it's about to run out of gas. I don't have to pull over or anything, but it does make me nervous going too far from home. It seems to be fine while accelerating, When slowing down I get some popping from the exhaust. It's very hard to describe. Just a hesitation or stumble at lower speeds. Its probably there at higher speeds I just don't notice.

I've had the bike about 5 years and never had one issue with engine performance. I got the bike with really low miles and probably only ride about 1,000 a year because of the short riding season. Another factor is that I live very close to my work and sometimes ride my bike to work which is less than 2 miles. Sometimes I go right home after work without out going for a longer ride. I don't make a habit of that though.

A few years ago I noticed a similar issue and noticed one of the battery terminals was loose. I checked them now and they are tight.

I took out the plugs. In my opinion they look pretty black. Oddly enough one had white on the Electrode bridge, but not the other. The plug more toward the front of the wheel was more white. I cleaned them with a wire brush and reset the gap per the manual. One of them was off a little, but I dropped it several times after taking it out. Re-gapped and re-installed and rode about 20 miles with no difference.

I'm stumped because I don't know what could change literally over night. Maybe it is as simple as bad gas? I have about 30 miles left on this tank. I did just fill it before this all happened.

Should I change the plugs even though I only have 7,500 miles? Also, I'm not usually one for additives, but is there any additive I should consider?

Sorry for the long post, but I was just trying to give details.

Thanks in advance
 

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Sounds like a possible intake/vacuum or exhaust leak. I'd lean (no pun intended) toward intake. You could first pull the cheese wedges and see if it's anything obvious. Maybe spray a little carb cleaner around the throttle body and boots. If nothing then pull the tank and do a more thorough check. Check the air filter too.

Could also be the injectors getting plugged up. Run a quality injector cleaner through it in a tank of gas. I'm liking the Gumout All in One over the more popular Seafoam but it's your call of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Bob for the quick reply. I appreciate it. I’ll try the tips you gave me tomorrow. There isn’t much riding time left up here in the northeast so I want to figure this out before I have to put it away for the long winter
 

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BBob has very good tips, also look at the spark plugs. You are saying the same problems I had on mine after I started riding this summer. Took a chance and installed new plugs after gapping them, Bike ran great and did not pop when slowing down.
Good luck, let us know what you find.
 

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BBob has very good tips, also look at the spark plugs. You are saying the same problems I had on mine after I started riding this summer. Took a chance and installed new plugs after gapping them, Bike ran great and did not pop when slowing down.
Good luck, let us know what you find.
Good point and sometimes plug wires get tired. If they are 10 years old it's definitely time to change them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the feedback.

Update: I sprayed carb cleaner around the throttle body and boots (before changing the plugs) and I didn't hear any idle change. I didn't spray a ton in there, but in my opinion I assume it was enough. I noticed it idled a bit rough with some popping from the exhaust even before I sprayed the cleaner. I don't think there was any changes while spraying.

Next, I bought 2 new plugs, gapped them and put those in. I was excited at first because it idled a heck of a lot better with out any popping. But, once I took it on a 30 mile trip I don't believe there is any difference except maybe smoother idle at stop sign and stop lights. It still seems the worst at 40-45. Over 50 is tolerable. I hope this isn't all in my head and I'm expecting too much.

I bought that gumout cleaner mentioned above. I'm waiting for the low fuel light to come on. I probably have about 20 more miles to go. I realize there are directions on the bottle, but would you put the whole bottle in? It says one bottle for up to 35 gallons. I'm assuming my tank is around 6.

Also, spark plug wires were mentioned above? Should I get some of those? I hate just try different parts and hope for the best, but they are almost 10 years old.

Thanks again
 

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What you will find is that the Throttle Body Adaptor is shot or the IAV system hoses are rotten. Rubber doesn't last 10 years regardless of mileage. Just because you sprayed stuff and the idle didn't change, that doesn't mean anything.

When you talk about a symptom like 'hesitates at 40 mph' that's not good information. 40 mph in what gear? At what throttle position? Does it do it under the same conditions in other gears?

Anyway, your symptoms indicate an extremely lean condition... that would be explained by an intake-side air leak. Changing the plugs is not going to correct an issue that could cost you an engine. Fix the problem.
 

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yeah, what gear are you in?
at 40mph you wouldnt be higher than 3rd.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What you will find is that the Throttle Body Adaptor is shot or the IAV system hoses are rotten. Rubber doesn't last 10 years regardless of mileage. Just because you sprayed stuff and the idle didn't change, that doesn't mean anything.

When you talk about a symptom like 'hesitates at 40 mph' that's not good information. 40 mph in what gear? At what throttle position? Does it do it under the same conditions in other gears?

Anyway, your symptoms indicate an extremely lean condition... that would be explained by an intake-side air leak. Changing the plugs is not going to correct an issue that could cost you an engine. Fix the problem.
I have to admit, this kind of made me chuckle. If I could "fix the problem" I wouldn't be here reading your post, I would be out enjoying my motorcycle. But with that said..I understand your point and truly appreciate your time. I'm actually not trying to do a band-aid fix. Although somewhat mechanically inclined, I'm not a mechanic by any means. If $7.50 and 5 minutes was a waste of time and money...so be it. If the change of plugs actually had an effect (like someone's post above) I wouldn't think that was the end and it would actually raise more red flags for me.

At 40 mph I'm in 3rd gear. Throttle I'm thinking is approx. 1/4 open. Maybe a little less. At this speed, gear and throttle...it feels like the bike is starving for fuel. I'm sure that isn't what it technically is doing..I'm just saying that is what it feels like. It's definitely not the same as doing 30 mph in 5th and the bike is herky jerky. I do notice it in lower gears under the same conditions. I don't notice it as much in higher gears at higher speeds. For example 50 mph in 4th, but its definitely not like it was even just a few weeks ago.

I understand this possibly isn't something I can fix and I'm prepared to take it to the dealer if needed. I understand it's a long shot having anyone diagnose my somewhat vague description. People here generally have great opinions and at the very least it helps me understand what it might be so I can research and be prepared to talk to the dealer about it and at the very least try to understand what they are doing. I appreciate people for taking the time to post.
 

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At 40 mph I'm in 3rd gear. Throttle I'm thinking is approx. 1/4 open. Maybe a little less. At this speed, gear and throttle...it feels like the bike is starving for fuel.
Exactly... not enough fuel to compensate for the extra air coming in through an intake side air leak...
 

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Another bike that I owned had an intermittent mass air flow sensor problem. It was difficult to diagnose. Good luck with your problem.
 
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