One Cylinder Woes?? (Did the shop try and rip me off?)
I brought my bike out from winter storage about a week and a half ago. I followed the winter storage tips in the Vulcan Verses before storing the bike for winter and it started up fairly easily. I brought it into the bike shop because I wanted a few items done to get the bike in tip top shape for the season. I usually can (and do) most minor preventative maintenance myself, but I wanted to have the shop take a look at the rear spline to ensure that it is lubed. Anyway, a day or so after I dropped it off, the shop called to say that the bike is only running on one cylinder and that they likely will have to pull the carbs to clean them (about $300).
Needless to say, I was surprised to hear this because it was running fine when she woke up from winter (I rode for about a week before dropping it off). I told the shop this and they said that something could have been dislodged during my drive in-and that when they drained the carbs, a decent amount of debris came out. The said that they checked all electrical connections and plugs/etc., but that the problem lies in the carbs, or the one carb. They also said that after getting the bike up to speed, or after it has warmed up, the other cylinder seems to operate fine. I went to the shop today to ride the bike to see what the "problem" is/was. It seemed to run fine and I did not notice any major problems. Obviously, I told them to hold off on the carbs. I figure that I will run a few tanks of gas through the bike (with a healthy dose of Seafoam) to see if there is any difference.
With all that said, I guess I'm wondering the best way to determine if the bike is running on only one cylinder. I would think that it would be fairly obvious if it was, but since I'm a fairly new owner (about a year) I wanted to reach out to the group. Since day one on the bike, it has run great (in my mind). Since there is no major difference in how it runs now vs. how it was running all last spring and summer, I find it highly improbable that I was riding for 6 months on only one cylinder. A bit of background on the bike: '02, 3300 miles, degoated, iridium's, and Big Crank MF Batt.
Also, I sensed that the shop might have been trying to pull one over on me...it's a Kaw/Honda shop, so you would think that they have a clue. The also said that the best way to store a bike for winter is to use Stabil in the tank and drain the carbs, but that differs from the Vulcan Verses storage logic. They also said that it is a major bitch to remove the carbs. I'm not above taking a look in there myself to see what is going on, but I don't want to get in over my head.
What do you think? Do you think it is a good idea to forgo the "carb service?" What can I do to determine if it is running on one vs two? Would keeping a close eye on my gas mileage for the next few tanks be a good idea?
This whole situation makes me really want to do everything myself in the future...even if they are not trying to rip me off!
Thanks in advance all!