engine died during water crossing

Raced the Shasta Dam HS and in the first water crossing my engine died, just like I had turned off the motor, no hesitation. Water was boot top deep and I was motoring thru in 1st. While in the water I tried to start it and it would start for a second then die again. After pushing our of the water it finally started but would hesitate, blubber and die again. After a few minutes I was able to continue but for the next 10 to 15 min it continued to hesitate. Seemed to clear out after that. The air filter and box didn't seem wet, I dont think I splashed enough water in the air box to cause this.

The snorkel is removed. Stock air filter. Re jetted with WB E2 pipe.

Never had any problems prior even at high altitude.

Any idea's or solutions?


There are 4 vent tubes coming out of the carb. 2 on each side, 1 of those goes up and the other goes straight out from the carb. Take the 2 that run up and run them into the air box. With all 4 tubes hanging down when you go through water all 4 tubes are covered by water the cold water splashes on your carb cooling it off and the pressure can't equalize because the vent tubes are under water.

I believe those vent tubes will suck water in as well, so I would be cleaning everything,

as a rule, NEVER start your bike whilst its in water, always safer to get it out before trying to start it.

Vent tubes plugged. On each side of the carb, they "T", one goes down (this is to drain fuel slosh) and the other goes over the top (this is to keep the float changer open to atmoshpere, even if the other drain is full of gas) problem is, the tubes that goes over the top and the drains get water in them, (they all dump in front of the rear tire) they basically disallow flat chamber venting to atmosphere and the thing will pull in extra fuel and blubber. Here is what I did. Leave the vents as is, but the 2 that cross over the top of the carb, just chop those 1/2" past the little retainer at the float bowl. Now unless you get yourself in water deep enough to cover the bottom of the carb, the float changer will always have a vented to atmosphere.

The only potential problem that I've found with running the top two lines into the airbox is if you lay it down, you will get fuel into the airbox.

I cut a very small slit in the bottom of that pinched clear tube to allow fuel (and whatever else) to drain. I ain't going to be going through water deep enough to bury that drain plug.

Also, if you tried to start the engine in the water, you may have sucked some water into the crankcase through the breather. I would certainly change the oil and you may need to flush it.

I have run tubes into the air box for years. On the older carbs there were only 2 tubes so you had to put a T fitting into each line. Now that the carb is T'd at the carb with 4 lines no need. I have never had fuel go into the air box and if you are sucking water into the tubes in your airbox you have all ready sucked it into the engine through your air filter.

On several long rides with guys that have had thier bikes die in stream crossings we did this with 1 of the tubes only because we were on the trail and they never had the problem again. 1 guy actually ran the bike that way for over a year I'm aware of and never had the issue again, after having it several times in one day.

as a rule, NEVER start your bike whilst its in water, always safer to get it out before trying to start it.

Thank you! never start your bike when in water, especially when in water top of boot high !

I know it sucks walking your bike out of a river or stream but its what you have to do in that situation.

I personally never go thru water slow, going slow just gives the water time to get into places it shouldn't be.

Good luck.


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