XR650L Stalls, won't idle, can't be ridden

Aloha from Honolulu,

I'm a long-time lurker and first time poster looking for help with my Dad's 2002 XR650L. Completely stock with about 600 road miles on the clock.

His bike is used maybe 4 times a year at a vacation house. He has developed a problem that currently prevents the bike from being ridden.

On his last ride, out of nowhere the bike dies on the road. If he immediately tries to start the bike, it won't. If he lets it sit a few minutes, it will start, run o.k. for about a minute then sputter, stall and die. Lots of popping and backfiring as it starts to die.

He lets the gas sit in the tank and carb between rides (3 ~ 4 months) and rarely pushes the bike hard. Before his last ride he added a small amount of Techron to his tank to address the stale gas / varnish issue I warned him about.

My intial thoughts are 1.) float bowl out of whack, 2.) clogged jet(s).

I tried changing the gas and no difference with fresh fuel. The fuel delivery to the carb is strong, so I doubt it is a petcock or fuel strainer issue. It really feels and sounds like a fuel starvation issue.

Any advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Could be a failing CDI, just to throw a non-fuel issue out there.

You probably need to pull the bowl and make sure the carb is clean.

There could be water in the gas- it can do funny things. Drain the carb into a clear glass and look for water in the bottom. Pull the bowl off the bottom of the petcock as well.

Right after it dies loosen the carb drain screw and see if you get fuel.


If there is fuel after draining from the carb drain screw, what does that imply?

If there is fuel after draining from the carb drain screw, what does that imply?
That it isn't running out of fuel and probably has a clogged jet or dirty carb... if it's not an electrical failure.

Ahhh, cool. Thanks.

with only 600 miles on it and knowing that it mostly remains idle, I would bet it is a fuel related problem and highly unlikely ot be an electrical / ignition problem. Pop the carb off and clean it out. Then change the plug and take it for a good long ride.

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