bought my very 1st bike, problem already. pls help


i just travelled a good distance and paid good money to buy a nice looking moped... a 1983 honda urban express deluxe.

i am not much of a mechanic yet but i think i better get studying because i have run into my first problem.

i have taken the bike out for a ride like 6 times so far... never for more than five minutes... 4 out of the 6 times the bike dies as soon as i come to a stop. it usually starts right up again but today it just would not start up again after dying.

i hope it starts tomorrow but i need to do something about it because i would like for it to be my main transportation and i cant have it dying everytime i come to a red light.

any advice would be greatly appreciated. i am very willing to learn how to fix it myself but i need some direction... what could the problem be?

the bike has 900 miles on it and the guy who sold it to me said he just rebuilt the carb.

please help. thanks.

Re: bought my very 1st bike, problem already. pls

The problem is very likely carburation so forget what the guy said .. Go through the entire fuel system from the gas cap to the engine. It's gotta be immaculate if you want reliable transportation. Gasoline deteriorates fast and the residue gunks up the little passages and jets in the carb.

Fuel related problems are the #1 cause of pedaling home.. (or pushing, in your case).

Sounds like the bike is in good shape otherwise..

If the bike is new to you, give it complete tune up anyway.. check all cable adjustments.. float level.. check ignition timing.. get a new spark plug.. clean the air intake system.. clean/file the points.. check and fix and tune everything.

Setting idle would be the very last thing on the to-do list. Carburetor / fuel system needs to be in perfect shape. Set idle only on the hot engine or it won't idle when hot. But on a bike that has any kinda problem, a slow, smooth reliable idle may be impossible.

Get a Urban Express manual HERE and read it cover to cover and become intimately familiar with your bike.. And read Fred's Guide (at the top of that page) for ideas about other things to tune and to check.

To have complete confidence that your bike will get you there and back requires learning and applying new knowledge and new skills. So be patient and keep a cell phone handy in the meantime..

Re: bought my very 1st bike, problem already. pls

I agree with joew on the needs to reclean the carb, because if you don't to an extremely thorough job the bike will never be reliable. Be meticulous and clean every nook and cranny, every hole has to be clear. Look up which area of your carb is the idle jet and pay particular attention here.

Now that you have the manual I'd also go over the schematic wiring diagram and check every electrical wire, junction, ground and connection and switch for continuity with a multimeter. You should be able to do this in an hour.

Also try to determine if your tank has any internal rust, as this will also clog up your carb.

Ride on...

Re: bought my very 1st bike, problem already. pls

If it has an idle mixture screw (it should),make sure you remove that,and watch out because there's usually a spring and an o-ring behind it.Spray a lot of carb cleaner into the screw hole,and make sure it's coming out the passage on the other side.Also,if there is rust in the tank,install a fuel filter in the line from the tank to the carb.I don't recommend trying to seal it,unless it's actually leaking,at which point you have nothing to lose anyway.I've seen that sealer start coming loose,and then you have a much larger problem than you started with.I road an old motorcycle around for years with a rusty tank,and only had to relpace a couple of $2 fuel filters.

Re: bought my very 1st bike, problem already. pls

Leon Swarmer /

Another possiblity could be a plugged vent in the gas cap.

When the fuel goes it crates a vacuum and won't let any more go. After it stops, take the gas cap of and wait 15 seconds adn see if it will re-start.


Re: bought my very 1st bike, problem already. pls

ever heard of checking the idle? sory if someone else posted it i only got to toronto boys post.

Re: bought my very 1st bike, problem already. pls

Yeah.. while these are all good comments, I think I'd suggest adjusting the idle before getting too involved.

First, warm the bike up. Use the idle speed screw to set a low, reliable idle, then use the mixture screw to try and make the idle faster. Keep lowering the idle with the speed screw, then trying to raise it with the mixture until no further improvement is possible. At that point, use the speed screw to set your desired hot idle.

As for the guy just having rebuilt the carb, unless he is experienced in these things, chances are he screwed it up - or maybe just didn't do it thoroughly.

Re: bought my very 1st bike, problem already. pls


thanks to everyone for responding.

feeling a bit overwhelmed and undereducated, ive been procrastinating tackling this problem... ive continued to take the bike out for a five minute ride being careful not to stop because thats when it stalls.

i finally took the moped to my brother who knows a bit about motorcycles and has tools... we took out the carb and it is now soaking in fluid.

its been a while since ive been back on. i am surprised, happy and appreciative to see friendly folk actually giving free advice, thank you very much.

i have just read some of your advice and i will give it a go.

thanks again,

ill keep you updated. thanks


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