Bike won't start. No fuel: How to fix a fouled injector

Metalsnacks

Well travelled
Location
Sydney Australia
This will be a beginners guide to some basic troubleshooting for a fuel injected bike.

Due to life's curve balls my 2020 Himalayan sat in the shed with the tank off for about 10 months.
Last weekend I reassembled it, installed a new battery and expected to go for a ride.
But the bike would not start. It cranked and cranked but would not fire.
I checked for loose connections on all the wires I had unplugged, checked all the fuses, but still it wouldn't start 🤬

In order for an engine to work we need two things: fire and fuel.
  1. FIRE: I pulled the spark plug out, connected the lead back on. Grabbing the spark plug by the lead I pressed the bottom threaded section of the spark plug onto an earthed part of the bike, and pushed the starter. If you can see the spark plug sparking as the bike is cranking you know you have fire. I could see sparking, which means everything is healthy in regard to ignition.

  2. FUEL: Well the tank had fuel in it, sure, it was old, but it should still ignite. But was the fuel getting into the engine? I had no idea...
    I unhooked the fuel line from the bottom of the tank and tentatively pressed the starter. A huge stream of fuel squirted from the bottom of the tank! Probably not the smartest move but at least I could see that the fuel pump was pumping. I followed the fuel line. Near the injector the line had a decent kink in it (probably should buy a new one) I gently squeezed the kink with pliers to straighten it, but the bike still didn't start. Next in line is the injector which is the device that squirts fuel into the cylinder. How the hell do you test that? I didn't know!
After I established that the spark plug and fuel pump was working, I put up a post on my local Facebook group asking what I should check next. One person replied that the likely problem was a blocked injector and to consult YouTube. I found a great video, watched it and with renewed confidence set off into what was for me, uncharted territory!


6565

This is what I did:

1/ After removing the fuel tank from the bike I unhooked the electrical plug from the injector.

2/ Then tested the injector by touching two wires connected to a 12v battery to the injector’s terminals.
Couldn’t hear the solenoid opening and closing the valve that lets fuel into the engine. You should hear it click.

3/ Removed injector and its attached fuel line from bike. It’s held in by a 10mm flanged bolt. The space is tight, but with a bit of jiggling you can remove it.

4/ Pulled injector off fuel line and cleaned it by spraying carby cleaner into it and soaking the bottom end in a puddle of carby cleaner.

5/ Dried it, re-tested it by hooking it up to the battery again and it worked. Every time one of the wires made contact to the battery it clicked.

6/ Emptied old fuel from the bike's tank, then reassembled everything. Refueled with fresh petrol.

7/ Tried starting the bike. After a few cranks and a splutter it sprang to life on the second attempt.


Here's the video about how to fix a clogged injector. It expands on the points written above, so is worth watching:

 
Last edited:

fog rider

Well travelled
Location
Alberta
Well done. That's pretty much how you do it. The only thing I do differently is to force some cleaner into the injector with a syringe/hose while I click the injector.

A safety note to other members of the forum: Be careful where you ground the spark plug when testing for spark on the bike. Keep it away from the spark plug hole or you might start a fire if there's any fuel left in the combustion chamber.

Also, a good practice when connecting the lead to the battery is to not hold it there for more than a second, or you might overheat the injector.

Plugged injectors are becoming an issue these days. Modern fuel has a short shelf life.

Cheers.
 

Metalsnacks

Well travelled
Location
Sydney Australia
Also, a good practice when connecting the lead to the battery is to not hold it there for more than a second, or you might overheat the injector.
Thanks for your advice. This wasn't mentioned in the video I watched and during my initial test I probably held the wires on for up to about 3 seconds. I won't do it again.
 

RotorWrench

Well travelled
Location
USA
This will be a beginners guide to some basic troubleshooting.

Due to life's curve balls my 2020 Himalayan sat in the shed with the tank off for about 10 months.
Last weekend I reassembled it, installed a new battery and expected to go for a ride.
But the bike would not start. It cranked and cranked but would not fire.
I checked for loose connections on all the wires I had unplugged, checked all the fuses, but still it wouldn't start 🤬

In order for an engine to work we need two things: fire and fuel.
  1. FIRE: I pulled out the spark plug out, connected the lead back on. Grabbing the spark plug by the lead I pressed the bottom threaded section of the spark plug onto an earthed part of the bike, and pushed the starter. If you can see the spark plug sparking as the bike is cranking you know you have fire. I could see sparking, which means everything is healthy in regard to ignition.

  2. FUEL: Well the tank had fuel in it, sure, it was old, but it should still ignite. But was the fuel getting into the engine? I had no idea...
    I unhooked the fuel line from the bottom of the tank and tentatively pressed the starter. A huge stream of fuel squirted from the bottom of the tank! Probably not the smartest move but at least I could see that the fuel pump was pumping. I followed the fuel line. Near the injector the line had a decent kink in it (probably should buy a new one) I gently squeezed the kink with pliers to straighten it, but the bike still didn't start. Next in line is the injector which is the device that squirts fuel into the cylinder. How the hell do you test that? I didn't know!
After I established that the spark plug and fuel pump was working, I put up a post on my local Facebook group asking what I should check next. One person replied that the likely problem was a blocked injector and to consult YouTube. I found a great video, watched it and with renewed confidence set off into what was for me, uncharted territory!


View attachment 6565

This is what I did:

1/ After removing the fuel tank from the bike I unhooked the electrical plug from the injector.

2/ Then tested the injector by touching two wires connected to a 12v battery to the injector’s terminals.
Couldn’t hear the solenoid opening and closing the valve that lets fuel into the engine. You should hear it click.

3/ Removed injector and its attached fuel line from bike. It’s held in by a 10mm flanged bolt. The space is tight, but with a bit of jiggling you can remove it.

4/ Pulled injector off fuel line and cleaned it by spraying carby cleaner into it and soaking the bottom end in a puddle of carby cleaner.

5/ Dried it, re-tested it by hooking it up to the battery again and it worked. Every time one of the wires made contact to the battery it clicked.

6/ Emptied old fuel from the bike's tank, then reassembled everything. Refueled with fresh petrol.

7/ Tried starting the bike. After a few cranks and a splutter it sprang to life on the second attempt.


Here's the video about how to fix a clogged injector:

Good job, and Fog Rider has good suggestions as well, especially in powering the injector only momentarily, preferably only one second bursts. I clean my injectors and replace the o-rings every spring as a preseason practice. Even using Stabil you can still get some varnish build up from sitting, especially since it's a cumulative thing over several seasons.

I use a reusable aerosol sprayer, although the syringe works fine, with SeaFoam or Berrymans B-12 under 20-30psi of pressure connected to the injector. A 9v battery hooked up to the injector as well with a momentary switch spliced in. I pulse the injector with the switch while spraying the cleaner. If I don't like the spray pattern after I test it, I just take it to work and use the ultrasonic cleaner.

The only tip I'll add is to make your first flush spray in the outlet end of the injector, reverse flow. If there's any debris in the inlet of the injector or if there is suspected blockage from foreign matter, initially spraying in the inlet end can force the debris further in or lodge it even worse.

I don't know if the Himalayan injector has a basket screen in them like most injectors, but if they do, you treat it like cleaning any screen or filter, Filter Cleaning 101, always opposite the direction of normal flow, at least the initial spraying or blowing.

Good troubleshooting and resolution!
 

Napom

Well travelled
Location
Northern VA
Nice! Thanks for the instruction on this - Glad you were able to resolve it - I am sure In a year or two I may be the guy askeing - Anyone rememebr that post on cleaning the injectors???
 

fog rider

Well travelled
Location
Alberta
I use one of these to "buzz" the injector during the cleaning operation. It's a bit pricey for the average owner, but I think it's a must-have tool for a shop.

And, as RotorWrench mentioned, use a 9 volt battery with a momentary switch.

3398__88340.jpg
 

RotorWrench

Well travelled
Location
USA
I use one of these to "buzz" the injector during the cleaning operation. It's a bit pricey for the average owner, but I think it's a must-have tool for a shop.

And, as RotorWrench mentioned, use a 9 volt battery with a momentary switch.

View attachment 6649
The nice thing about tools like that is it's use for other engines, not just the Himalayan. Makes the cost more justifiable.
 

Shearboy

Well travelled
Location
USA CO
Sherco was I believe the first to inject a dirt bike, I had one back in 08 and still have it. Once had a blocked injector and just took it out and tossed it in my Sonic cleaner for a half hour, job is done!
 

RotorWrench

Well travelled
Location
USA
I have an ultrasonic cleaner at home but it's for cleaning brass and doesn't have heat. If I have a stubborn injector that won't pattern right after cleaning I use the one at work, which is actually designed for fragile part cleaning and has adjustable heat.

FWIW, I think the 2000 model Cannondale was the first production EFI bike, but my memory isn't as good as it used to be. I do remember when GasGas came out with theirs sometime around 2003 or 2004. A lot of talk about it in the dirt bike mags at the time.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom