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-   -   Another Africa Twin problem (ignition I think) (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/tech/another-africa-twin-problem-ignition-39455)

Tybalt 12 Dec 2008 07:27

Another Africa Twin problem (ignition I think)
Hey guys,

My baby is sick again. Im very un tech savvy so this is my best attempt to write out its symptons. any advice or help would be greatly appreciated but dumb it down a bit for me if you dont mind.

The first 'issue' I didnt think much of - it seemed to be a bit harder to accelerate after 50 mph - it pulled a bit if that is correct termonology.

After 3 very hard days of driving (straight shot coming from Aqaba Jordan to Antalya, Turkey) I pulled into a gas station and filled up. The first stop light I came to after the gas station as I was down shifting I had a very loud backfire. As I continued on through Antalya the backfiring increased as I was using the engine to break.

I checked my spark plugs and one seemed a bit dirty so I replaced it. This helped but only for about 5 miles and the same problem continued.

Next day I decided to continue on rather than wait for the end of the Eid (religious festival here in turkey) and weekend to get her looked at, and pressed on to Izmir. The ride was fine until the end - but I was very carful not to engine brake and as much as possible just kept it at an even 60 mph with about 4.5 rpms.

In neutral I hear the backfiring after reving it and then dropping the rpms below 3.

The bike got me all but 70 km away before really acting up. It began to jerk a bit as if loosing power and then gaining it again. I feel that perhaps a cylinder wasnt firing regularly. at times though only in acceleration I could hear the rough one sided firing (hard to describe but loud and scary).

I pressed on because I was so close and just mentally had to get to Izmir before total personal collapse. I made it into town but had a great deal of problems in traffic. Another issue (perhapse unrelated but probably not) is that my bike turns off if there if Im not giving it some gas or have the choke on. When it died 4 blocks from home I had trouble starting it again, but eventually managed. it made it one more block before it died and wouldnt start up. After letting it sit for a while, I was able to get her going again to get me the last 3 blocks.

Sorry for the long explination! Thanks for any insite you might be able to give!

AliBaba 12 Dec 2008 07:55

Shot in the dark:

The problem occurred directly after you filled petrol.
1) Empty tank
2) Flush it with petrol and check filters
3) Drain carbs (maybe clean them)
4) Change plugs
5) Get new petrol
6) Testride

peegee 12 Dec 2008 10:06


I think you should check carburettor diagphgrams. Symptoms seems that there could be a hole in other. i dont know year of your bike but here you can find one picture. Honda XRV 750 L/M/N Africa Twin RD04 90-92 Carburettor Diaphragm


Xander 12 Dec 2008 12:42

There are a few things that jump out at me..

One: the chokes on AT are rubbish.. they stick! I have completely disabled mine, pull of your tank and manually pull out your choke at the spring and see if this is the cause (I have money on it..).. It is likely to be stuck 1/2 open or closed or some other annoying thing that will screw up your bikes pull). It you can avoid using the choke to start on most days.. there is a modification where you can put in a heavier spring.. but this may be very hard to do on the road.

Two: it could be your fuel pump.. Are you running OEM (standard honda)? .. They go on AT at rate of about 100% mostly near the 20k mile mark:nono: .. make sure that you are getting a decent flow.. (do this by filling up tank and by passing fuel pump). Personally i would but a new Facet pump (£40) anyway.. yours will break sooner or later... It could just be showing the 1st signs..

Three:Check your plug leads that they are not cross arcing (in the dark. Rev engine and spray with plug leads with water if you see a spark you need new leads..) . or that your CDI is not gone bonk! (this i know no easy check).

Finally also do the standard ... clean air filters (and scoop.. most people forget the scoop).. new plugs.. good oil/filter. And yeah lose the petrol in your tank if it is mostly ETOH your bike wont run well.

Good luck

goodwoodweirdo 12 Dec 2008 12:47

Africa Twin
Alibaba got it in one...

Sorry to hear you're having problems... have you checked all 4 plus or just the two you can see without delving under the tank ?

However I had the same symptoms on my RD04 whilst in Jordan / Syria the road south from Madaba ..I had it when riding up hills the bike would splutter, backfire and loose power… I was quite low on fuel, so I completely filled the tank at a busy modern fuel station, hoping they would have clean new storage tanks.. I then loosened my fuel filter and turned it 180d hoping to find a cleaner half in the filter… after that no problems at all .. Since replaced the fuel filter.

Remember some of the gas stations you’re visiting never have the tanks checked or emptied, if you’re one of the last to take fuel from their under ground tanks, believe me fuel is not the only thing your getting…

Before damaging the bike, take the tank off, empty it completely … change your fuel filter, easy enough to find.. whilst the tank is off check all 4 of the spark plugs.. try with decent new fuel…have a good look around for split rubber including loose circlips

If you are really stuck, I fully recommend the Honda bike garage back in Antalya… speak with the service manager, Senol Bahttyar, he speaks good English. The garage address is Sinan Mah. 1250 Sok No 7 Antayla +90 0 242 311 83 13

Otherwise tell me where your heading and I’ll look for bike garages..



Hooli 13 Dec 2008 15:29


Originally Posted by goodwoodweirdo (Post 218738)

check all 4 of the spark plugs

wouldnt an africa twin be twin cylinder so just two plugs?

ozhanu 13 Dec 2008 23:55

sorry to read it tim. hope you can make it to istanbul.

see you

goodwoodweirdo 15 Dec 2008 11:25


Originally Posted by Hooli (Post 218836)
wouldnt an africa twin be twin cylinder so just two plugs?

Its a twin spark and two of the HT leads are really well hidden under the tank... its also worth having the Honda original spark plug tool, as room to move is on the mm .... it’s a closed ignition system, so replacements are your only option. The weakest point is the rectifier / regulator which can fry, leading to boiled batteries … a simple charge warning light is easy to fit and shows the status of charge ..


Tybalt 15 Dec 2008 13:58

Well I took it into a shop. I posted this on the holy three (ADV rider, Honda Train bike Forum, and HUBB of course!) and got back some pretty varied responces so I just took it to a Honda service place with all the suggestions I had gotten.

They cleaned and scooped the airfilter, cleaned the carborator and re-adjusted the choke (I think it was sticking actually) and replaced all 4 spark plugs.

Something in that seemes to have done the job becuase its not acting up anymore. It sounds a bit different...a bit more punchie in the exhaust - but that is probably more the way it should be sounding than it has been. Im worried becuase it seemed too easy...but these bikes are tanks afterall haha. Thanks for all your suggestions! Keeps me on the road! :scooter: Its amazing how bad you can feel when your bike isnt working and how good you feel once your back on it riding smooth!

Xander 16 Dec 2008 12:13


Originally Posted by Tybalt (Post 219050)
They cleaned and scooped the airfilter, cleaned the carborator and re-adjusted the choke (I think it was sticking actually) and replaced all 4 spark plugs.

Glad you got it sorted!! and that you are back on the road:thumbup1:..

Hooli 20 Dec 2008 22:43


Originally Posted by goodwoodweirdo (Post 219030)
Its a twin spark and two of the HT leads are really well hidden under the tank

ahh i didnt realise twin spark systems appeared on normal bikes, i thought it was just a racing/performance thingy.

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