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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I've been riding my '85 VN700 every day for the last two weeks. I've ridden it all over town and to the next town over with no noticeable issues. In the morning and sometimes in the afternoon when I first start it up it's kinda "bleh" but not so much I worried. Now, truth be told, first day I had it I ran that bad boy outta gas. I kinda wondered at the time if this would later cause some problems.

Now here's the thing: rode my bike to work this morning, no issues. After a couple minutes she ran like a champ. Went home for lunch. No issues until I was back in the parking lot. I was barely idling around a corner into a parking spot when I felt the engine heave a little. It wasn't much and I almost though I was losing my mind because I made a couple more circles just to be sure and that little bit of sputter didn't recur. Each of these trips is just about 2 miles, I might add. So, about 2 hours later, I though I was going to have to run a couple towns over so I jumped on my bike. She started, but with some effort and didn't even want to idle unless it choked and it took a few tries to keep her going. I finally got her to behave, rode her about an 1/8th mile to pick some stuff from the shop, found out I might not have to go anywhere, and so I shut the bike down. Another hour goes by, and it looks like I'm gonna hafta go on that trip after all but I need to go home first and swap to a car for people hauling. She starts up easily and goes but as I get out on the street she starts to sputter when I get in the throttle and she eventually dies. I tried a couple starts to no avail, but then switched to reserve and she started fine, and idled high as hell. Got her home with no issues after that. was gone for about 4 hours and checked on her, she started right up but there was definitely some lag in the throttle.

Now based on this long winded explanation, what do you guys think I have? I'm sure the carbs could use a rebuild, but I just changed the oil and plugs, and I had almost a half tank of gas. I know the battery's good, and I checked the breather hole in my gas cap and it seemed fine. I'm thinking fuel filters might be stopped up, maybe picked up some sediment when I ran out of gas that one time. Just wanna know where to start so I don't have to throw money at the issue till it's better.
 

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So I've been riding my '85 VN700 every day for the last two weeks. I've ridden it all over town and to the next town over with no noticeable issues. In the morning and sometimes in the afternoon when I first start it up it's kinda "bleh" but not so much I worried. Now, truth be told, first day I had it I ran that bad boy outta gas. I kinda wondered at the time if this would later cause some problems.

Now here's the thing: rode my bike to work this morning, no issues. After a couple minutes she ran like a champ. Went home for lunch. No issues until I was back in the parking lot. I was barely idling around a corner into a parking spot when I felt the engine heave a little. It wasn't much and I almost though I was losing my mind because I made a couple more circles just to be sure and that little bit of sputter didn't recur. Each of these trips is just about 2 miles, I might add. So, about 2 hours later, I though I was going to have to run a couple towns over so I jumped on my bike. She started, but with some effort and didn't even want to idle unless it choked and it took a few tries to keep her going. I finally got her to behave, rode her about an 1/8th mile to pick some stuff from the shop, found out I might not have to go anywhere, and so I shut the bike down. Another hour goes by, and it looks like I'm gonna hafta go on that trip after all but I need to go home first and swap to a car for people hauling. She starts up easily and goes but as I get out on the street she starts to sputter when I get in the throttle and she eventually dies. I tried a couple starts to no avail, but then switched to reserve and she started fine, and idled high as hell. Got her home with no issues after that. was gone for about 4 hours and checked on her, she started right up but there was definitely some lag in the throttle.

Now based on this long winded explanation, what do you guys think I have? I'm sure the carbs could use a rebuild, but I just changed the oil and plugs, and I had almost a half tank of gas. I know the battery's good, and I checked the breather hole in my gas cap and it seemed fine. I'm thinking fuel filters might be stopped up, maybe picked up some sediment when I ran out of gas that one time. Just wanna know where to start so I don't have to throw money at the issue till it's better.
clean or replace the fuel filters add fresh fuel with a dose of Seafoam and I think your problems will go away,It really is that good,running out of gas probably started your problems I think you are correct on this point.
 

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...She starts up easily and goes but as I get out on the street she starts to sputter when I get in the throttle and she eventually dies. I tried a couple starts to no avail, but then switched to reserve and she started fine, and idled high as hell. Got her home with no issues after that. was gone for about 4 hours and checked on her, she started right up...

Just wanna know where to start so I don't have to throw money at the issue till it's better.
Sounds like a simple issue of you ran low on gas and had to switch to reserve. Heck, you just recently ran totally out of gas before this episode. Sounds like you need to keep a close eye on your mileage after each fill-up. That's the least expensive way to start troubleshooting this issue, IMO. Know how many miles you get before needing to switch to reserve, and calculate your miles/gallon. Do this several times and figure what your worst gas mileage is, and always fill up before you reach empty assuming the worst gas mileage.

BTW, now I keep my fuel petcock on reserve all the time, and fill up when my gas tank is almost empty. I think it helps prevents sediment from building up in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice, guys. Yeah, I pretty much went to town on the thing tonight. took off the tank, checked the screen on the fuel tap, checked the filters and blew 'em out, and replaced all the fuel line, which is where I may have found the issue, actually. From what I can gather, the tap screen -is- the factory fuel filter, and one of the previous owners plumbed in a pair of small brass fuel filters. the fuel line to my #2 car from the filter was collapsed from being wedged in there. Got her started just a bit a go and she ran like a bat outta hell.

Altho I'm not entirely sure I really didn't just run outta gas and my gauge is sticky. the gauge in my '73 Ford lies too lol.

Of course, now it seems like she doesn't wanna start when she's hot...takes a good couple seconds of cranking, and I know that OE replacement battery is weaksauce. Might have to call a mechanic on this one, I just don't have the tools or the patience to fiddle around with carbs.
 

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I've never really trusted any gas gauges. Filling the tank exactly the same way and resetting the trip odometer every time and calculating mileage helps, as does knowing it's supposed to be 3 gallons to reserve and another half-gallon in reserve.

With a worst-ever tank over 40 MPG and typical tanks in my current riding cycle of around 50, I start listening more carefully for signs I need reserve around 120 miles and expect reserve by 150 (Though I have gone further than that before needing it) and cautiously try to stop before 10 miles on reserve.
 
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