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XR650L sputtering during water crossings then it's fine

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I have a '16 with less than 3k.  When crossing big water hazards (up to about 18", slowly so I don't drown the thing), after 10' or so, the engine starts to sputter and miss.  It'll stay running if I give it lots of throttle but I'm losing power.  As soon as I get across, it will sputter for another few seconds then it'll be fine.  There's no water in the float bowl or the oil.  This seems like an electrical problem but where should I look and what can I do to fix the problem?

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Water covering the end of the carb vent at the bottom , back of the motor. Put a tee in it and run the other end up under the gas tank.

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I dont know if this would help you or not, but at an annual dual sport ride that is typically watery, we were instructed to prep our bikes a head of time for the deep water crossings, by cleaning and sealing up all electrical connectors with silicon, including spark pug boot. I took all mine apart and used dielectric grease on all of them and have never a problem & some are pretty deep. Water coming over front fender. The trick is to chug at the right speed, (3-5mph?)so there is a plowing affect, which makes a wave, that breaks around engine area so the air filter box is not submerged under water. The next big challenge is, hopefully there is a nice flat surface under that swamp, and no hidden logs to trip up on & fall. If that happens kill engine asap, to keep water from getting sucked in.

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Stock the electrics are very resistant to water.

I have fully submerged mine (at about 30F) and as soon as I pulled the air filter and plug and cranked enough water out of the cylinder and crankcase for it to turn over, and drained the bowl, I was riding home.

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the stock CV carb has a vent hose that goes down behind the engine ending just below the front of the swingarm,,,,,and if you follow it up it tees off and that hose ends just above the carb,,which is very high..I've crossed streams that I actually had to put my kness on the seat to keep from getting soaked boots,,at one stream I did this weekly as it was my favorite trail..never had the bike even cough with water pretty close to the bottom edge of the seat..

 

B

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2 hours ago, brianhare said:

the stock CV carb has a vent hose that goes down behind the engine ending just below the front of the swingarm,,,,,and if you follow it up it tees off and that hose ends just above the carb,,which is very high..I've crossed streams that I actually had to put my kness on the seat to keep from getting soaked boots,,at one stream I did this weekly as it was my favorite trail..never had the bike even cough with water pretty close to the bottom edge of the seat..

 

B

That's what I've always done in deep water , knees on the seat.   Unless you can wheelie across , there's no sense in having boots full of water.

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Tried that in deep water.ONCE..the front end came down like a stone when the water got waist deep,,,,didn't drown it but I left one hell of a pucker in the seat midway across..:lol:

 

B

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I ride alone so I'd rather deal with wet feet than trying to get air from the bottom of a stream with my leg pinned!

 

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As mentioned above its a carb vent issue. My 426 would do it badly, fix was to add small T's from a fish tank and run vents up.

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5 hours ago, XR650L_Dave said:

I ride alone so I'd rather deal with wet feet than trying to get air from the bottom of a stream with my leg pinned!

 

You'd really have to try hard to end up under the bike from a kneeling position on the seat.   :lol:

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2 minutes ago, JoeRC51 said:

You'd really have to try hard to end up under the bike from a kneeling position on the seat.   :lol:

You haven't seen me hit a hidden rock, I'm quite talented-

I can just see I go downstream, the bike tilts upstream, after I'm off the bike the current pushes it over on top of me!

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