Sunday, August 2, 2015

Three-Legged Cheetah

There are fewer than 36 hours until I plan to leave...and the Madura is running like a three-legged cheetah. Between the inspection station and the house of a friend from whom I'm borrowing luggage, she developed an awful cough and power loss that made me think there was water in the fuel.

I bought some water remover and a fresh tank of gas, but it didn't solve the problem. I rode her another hour, bought another tank of gas (93 octane this time, for good luck), and added more water remover. By the time I got home, she was clearly still sick.

I changed the spark plugs, flushed the radiator because it was already in the plans, and revved it up in neutral. She went fairly strong until 4000 rpms, and then the engine died completely. As she warmed up, the rpms needed to kill her dropped to 3000. The idle sounds funny - rough and a little too rumbly - and there's very little power on acceleration.

It seems to be a fuel supply problem, because after it dies, it takes a minute to get it turned over again. I'm going to test the fuel pump, and if it's not that, do the dreaded job: pull the carburetor and clean it out. I know I should have done this when I bought the bike, but it ran, and I was hoping to get away without it, because Madura carbs are also referred to as the Carbs from Hell.

This whole thing is beginning to feel like an action-movie countdown. "How close can we get to the deadline and still have major things going wrong?"

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