Idling Too Low?

golfingirl

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I have a 2006 T100 and was wondering what should my bike be idling at? Also, how long should should the choke be on, approximately, before I can shut it off. My bike seems to idle very low and it has stalled a couple times on me. When I leave the choke on until the bike feels warm, it idles at 3000 rpms and when I shut it off, it idles at 900-1000 and feels like it may stall. Feels like it's a little too touchy.

Thanks.
 

keystiger

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Well its been awhile since I had a carb operated bike. But my fuel injected Tiger idles at about 1,000 rpm. You should have an idle adjuster screw under the tank beside Or sometimes under) the carbs. Did you receive an owners manual with the bike? It should outline "idle adjustment". Simple (usually philips head) screw adjust.....just not sure if its to the right or left. Some also have an adjuster knob which can simply be turned with your fingers no tools needed.
Hopefully Carl or one of the more experienced Bonneville riders will post up soon.
Hate to hear about the stalling though. Thats no fun at all. Also as a note, even if you have an owners manual it is always a good idea to get a Haynes Service Repair manual for your model bike. Can get them on ebay or amazon.com cheap, and sometimes (as the case is with my Subaru) I purchased (for just 4.00) a downloadable Adobe file and saved to my computer :y2: I get one for every vehicle I own, they are invaluable sources of information, pictures and tips for simple oil changes to complete engine rebuilds.
Hope you get it sorted soon.
 

Doug

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Just below the left side carb. you'll see a black knurled knob. Turn it in(clockwise) to increase the idle speed and vice versa.
Mine idles at about 700-800rpm.
You're used to a scooter,I think, and so perhaps not quite so familiar with a clutch yet?
Whilst quite torquey,these engines don't make a lot of power below about 2000rpm so you need to slip the clutch a bit when pulling off to keep the engine in it's comfort zone.
As for the choke,assuming your bike is still completely stock,then it'll be jetted really lean and so will be pretty cold blooded and need the choke 'till quite warm,typically the time taken to put on your helmet and gloves and then two or three blocks from a cold start.
Hope this helps.
 

golfingirl

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Thanks guys for your help. I played around with the idle today and everything was running in perfect order. Perhaps I have it set to idle a bit on the high side... 1200-1300 rpm but it seems to be running great with that. No longer having to go back and forth with the choke.
 

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I have my idle set around 900 rpm when the bike is fully warmed - which may take as much as five miles. I start with full choke and after a minute or two I push it part way in. In the city, I may leave it part way open for three or so miles. If I am on the highway, I close it as soon as I get up to speed.

As Doug, said, the Bonnies run very lean from the factory in order to pass the emission standards. I rejeted my carbs almost immediately on taking delivery. If memory serves me correctly, the Bonnies come with 110 main jets. I rejected to 112's. After adding free flowing mufflers and removing the snorkel from the air box, I ended up with 117 main jets. Dyno runs with an exhaust gas analyzer show the my air to fuel ration is darn near spot on all the way through the throttle range. I started with 123 mains and worked down until I got the air/fuel right.

The stock pilot jets are 40's. A lot of guys increased the pilots to 42. They claimed it made cold starting better and eliminating the popping on deceleration. I personally like the popping on decel, so I never changed the pilot jet size.

I have TOR's (Triumph Off Road) silencers on my other T100 with the sidecar. The main jets are 115 with these silencers. It still runs a tad lean, but not as lean as stock.

You can use the idle adjustment knob to increase the idle when the bike is cold and then decrease the idle when the bike is warm. If memory serves, the idle should be 900 rpm. I set the idle higher on the T100w/sidecar for my late wife as the sidecar increases the drag when start from a traffic light or stop sign. She liked it about 1100 rpm. I still keep it that way for me.
 

golfingirl

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Thanks for all the great feedback. I tweaked my idle up a bit and it did the trick. It's running really nicely at 1300 rpms. I'd like to take it a bit lower yet if possible. My choke is kinda sensitive. It seems it's either on or off. Very difficult to put it in half way which I would really like to do. None the less, I'm getting a feel for how she likes to run and with no threat of stalling (except perhaps from my newbie mistakes), I'm enjoying riding a lot. Taking it easy and getting much more comfotable on her. We're bonding. :y2:
 

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Laura, two wee points.
If you have your idle set too high,it will offset your engine breaking ability,therefore putting more work on your breaks and clutch, so as soon as you are a bit more familiar with the bike try to get it back to 950-1000.
Re your choke, they can be a bit jerky to slide in and out,so try resting your thumb along the top of the choke nob and adjusting it in or out with your forefinger as opposed to gripping it tightly between your thumb and finger.I know on my bike (same carbed engine) I need to run my choke about one third to one half for a couple of miles when its a bit cooler.Full on will have it revving way too high.
 

Sea Dog

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Arrrrr carbed Bonnevilles are real modern day classics. Each with their own personality and the owner having to tweak the settings to get them running just right. Fuel injection has taken all the fun (and sometimes frustration) out of it. :y2: Enjoy the journey Laura.
 

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Thanks for all the great feedback. I tweaked my idle up a bit and it did the trick. It's running really nicely at 1300 rpms. I'd like to take it a bit lower yet if possible. My choke is kinda sensitive. It seems it's either on or off. Very difficult to put it in half way which I would really like to do. None the less, I'm getting a feel for how she likes to run and with no threat of stalling (except perhaps from my newbie mistakes), I'm enjoying riding a lot. Taking it easy and getting much more comfotable on her. We're bonding. :y2:

That is great to hear. I love my T100's.

The choke is not really a choke in the classic sense of a choke. It is an enricher. It seems to have only three or four positions - on, half on, and and off. May be a couple of more in between.

Arrrrr carbed Bonnevilles are real modern day classics. Each with their own personality and the owner having to tweak the settings to get them running just right. Fuel injection has taken all the fun (and sometimes frustration) out of it. :y2: Enjoy the journey Laura.

I think that is one of the reasons why I enjoy my T100's so much. It was fun getting the carbs just right.
 

golfingirl

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Actually, I'm really enjoying the idea that my bike has some personality and it will take to for us to get to know each other. I'm inspired to learn about the carberator. I'm already reading the Haynes!
 

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That is great. I have the Haynes as well as the Triumph factory manual. You have a great attitude and outlook. TUP
 

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You have already received lots of good advice so I have nothing to add.
But I did enjoy reading the thread. You just never know what you might learn TUP
 

golfingirl

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So, I keep playing around with the idle and the choke, trying to find that sweet spot where it idles around 900-1000 rpms. No luck yet. If it runs that low, it still feels like it may stall or stutters a bit. Feels great idling at 1300-1400 rpms. I know that is not ideal. Anything else I should be looking at doing toget her running perfectly?
 

CarlS

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You will get the feel of of it. It is after you turn the choke off that you may want to increase the idle until the bike is good and warm. Then drop the idle back to about 1000 - 1100. That should serve you well. It should not stall. You may have to give it a little more throttle and slip the clutch a bit to start off from a stop, especially if the previous owner put a larger sprocket on the front as I did. The larger sprocket (by one tooth) gives you better cruising at lower rpm. Some guys who strictly ride solo go up two teeth on the front sprocket. Around town the stock setup is fine.
 

golfingirl

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You will get the feel of of it. It is after you turn the choke off that you may want to increase the idle until the bike is good and warm. Then drop the idle back to about 1000 - 1100. That should serve you well. It should not stall. You may have to give it a little more throttle and slip the clutch a bit to start off from a stop, especially if the previous owner put a larger sprocket on the front as I did. The larger sprocket (by one tooth) gives you better cruising at lower rpm. Some guys who strictly ride solo go up two teeth on the front sprocket. Around town the stock setup is fine.

Thanks CarlS. I'll keep trying and playing. I think you're right about having to slip the clutch a little more. It's perhaps my technique more than the bike itself. Can't wait for SUnday until I get a chance to play more.
 

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It is just a matter of experience and getting to know your bike. It will soon come naturally and you won't even think about it. You'll just do it. Enjoy your weekend and get a good ride in. TUP
 

devo

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Laura.this may be pushing it a bit as youll need to do a bit of investigating.
I am wondering if your bike has had any mods done as in aftermarket pipes and airfilter etc.The reason I ask is.if these things have been changed but the carbs have not been rejetted to suit,it will make the bike run lean which would explain your feelings of a reluctant idle.
May I suggest you contact the P.O. (previous owner ) and ask him if any mods were made to the bike.
 

DaveM

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Good one Harry that may well be it. Another thing do you maybe know someone with a Bonnie that you could compare it against as far as the idling and how it feels on their bike.
 

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Laura, when I first bought my 2001 Bonneville it only had 1835 miles accumulated in 10 years.
I had fits trying to get it to idle below 1000 rpm.

I started adding Seafoam to the gasoline in an attempt to "clean" any varnish from the carb jets and orfices.

I bought some TSA 3oz travel bottles and put about 2.5 oz of Seafoam in each bottle. I added a bottle per fillup and within two tanks it was idling perfect. I continued to run Seafoam until I sold the bike to a friend a year later.

Seafoam linkie
 

golfingirl

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Great advice everyone. There are no mods on the bike. The PO told me that when I was looking at the bike. I have the Seafoam ready and I will add some to the tank this weekend.

On the bright side, I rode around for a couple hours last yesterday evening. I took my time warming her up and I had the choke completely off in 10 minutes and just tweaked up the idle. I rode her around with the idle at 1200-1300 rpms. By the end of the evening I had her purring at 900-1000 rpms for the first time. She ran beautifully. I'm finally feeling like I understand what it takes to have her running smoothly.

Thanks for all your patience in assisting me. I'm new at this thing. Bear with me. I'll catch up to y'all.
 
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