Reminder to check the simplest thing first
Just a friendly tale for those who are lost diagnosing problems. Learn from me!
So I had a problem with my front cylinder not firing. It wasn't spark or air so I took apart the carbs. They were sparkling clean sans 2 tiny bugs that got into the front float chamber and carb bowl. With carbs in it ran after a while of fussing, but very poorly and would die on application of the throttle.
I sat for a bit and thought about what has changed. Then it hit me- well, it's rained A LOT (the day before and since the last time the bike has been running right) and I remembered seeing some white puffs of smoke from the exhaust.
I drained my carbs into a clear glass jar and to my dismay didn't see anything funny. Left it to sit outside to make dinner. Checked it before bed and darned if there weren't 6 or 7 good sized drops of water at the bottom! I think my gas cap is not flush to the bike and is letting in rain/moisture. I will look into getting a new one, or replacing the seals, but the lesson is before sweating bigger stuff- think of the simplest explanation.