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Question on Gas in Carbs
Hello all!!

Its been a while since I have been on here...between life and the sub zero weather I haven't done much with my wing in a while. In previous posts I talked about replacing the starter solenoid several times, and I ran new wires to the solenoid and the battery. They don't look the best but after its been sitting on the battery float for a few months now it at least turns over. The other day I got a wild hair and decided to give it a start...not sure why really just getting the itch early this year I guess....

Now last time it was running I had some bad smoking issues and I got some recommendations from all the great guys here about what could be wrong...between the wiring/cold/life I haven't been able to dive to deep into this issue, but I thought I would give it a shot anyway and see what happened. After some choke and a little cranking (still amazes me that after 30 years this thing starts up so well) It fired up and I was on cloud nine (it had been the first time in months I had it actually started with all the wiring issues). It ran for a little while and it didn't seem to smoke all that much...after about 3-4 mins it came back though and man was it pumping smoke...then I noticed that the fuel low indicator came on...thinking that was strange because it had at least a half a tank when I started taking it apart I looked in the fuel tank and shook the bike and sure enough it was empty...looked at the petcock and I had left it in the on position like and idiot!!!! It sputtered and then died Confused

My question is how much damage could this have caused and what kind of costs am I looking at to get it repaired if something is wrong?

Hope all the years here can give me some advice....hopefully I'm not the only one out there that has done this before!!

Thanks all!!
#1 02-11-2014, 04:18 PM,
No damage from running out of gas. However, you may have caused some self inflicted damage by leaving the petcock on, and leaving the tank only half full.

For starters, change the fuel filter. Then fill the tank with some fresh gas. Drain the carb float bowls. Get the engine restarted and do an assessment from there....
'96 ST1100
Brewerton, NY
#2 02-12-2014, 04:22 AM,
The first thing I would do is check the oil level. If you have a carb needle valve leaking, gas may be getting into the crankcase. The tank of gas had to go somewhere & you didn't say anything about gas on the floor or a raw gas smell around the bike. I never shut the fuel petcock off.

#3 02-12-2014, 08:15 AM,
… what Poorboy said!
While checking the oil level, also smell the oil. If it has a hint of the smell of benzene (gasoline), it will also be thinner than the oil you put in.
Running the bike on too thin an oil is bad enough, running it with oil which has been thinned with gasoline can be costly!!

First things first!
Get Life on track.
If part of getting Life on track is therapeutic time spent with your beloved GL, by all means, spend some time. But don’t cause damage in the process.

Fill the fuel tank with gas to help protect its innards from rusting.
Adding some Sta-Bul may be part of your religious beliefs, so follow your religion.

Check the oil level, smell the oil, check it for being thinned and look at its color.
If there is more in there than there should be, thin and smelling of gas – it has been contaminated with gas
If it is black as night, it is dirty
If it is the color if chocolate milk, it has been contaminated with water
(Check the overflow bottle for oil as well)

If there is any doubt as to the integrity of the engine oil, replace it and the oil filter before running the engine again.
Consider changing the oil after some miles are put on it to help get rid of any residual gas in the lubricating system.
That is problem one solved.
What caused the problem?

As was mentioned, a float valve not closing can be the culprit, and there are four of them to check.
I don’t believe there is any other way gas can get into the oil other than passing through the carburetor. The earlier Goldwings had fuel passages in the ‘throttle body’ portion of their carburetor assemblies and if an o ring gave up the ghost, raw fuel could flood the floor of the throttle body, pass though the carburetor throats and into the cylinders, past the rings and into the oil supply.

I too rarely turn my petcock to the off position unless it is for an extended period of down time. I find it keeps the pressure off the fuel pump and the pump is less likely to leak.

Problem, two…. you mentioned smoke, ‘man was it pumping smoke.’
What color? Blue, Black, White?
Blue – burning oil
Black – running rich (too much fuel)
White - did it dissipate or hang in the air for a while and float away? If it has a hint of ‘sweet’ to it, if may be a head gasket.

Get Life organized first. The bike has a ton of patience.

Take Care.

-Ride On
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
#4 02-12-2014, 10:34 AM,
Thanks everyone for the replies and advice! I will do some research and hopefully one day I will have enough experience to answer some of these questions for someone else!! Smile

Thanks again!
#5 02-15-2014, 06:23 PM,

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