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Yamaha FJ1200 throttle stuck open

September 11th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Today I took the bus with my Pelican case full of tools and motorcycle apparel to where I left my motorcycle after it took me on a very wild ride.

I had some difficulty early Wednesday morning after I finished editing a draft CD for a client at Waterlou Studio, it was 3 am. I went out to ride my Yamaha motorcycle home, but I found the choke was stuck closed and the bike would not start. Not wanting to annoy the neighbours with repeated attempts I got off the bike and pulled on the choke knob as hard as I could, until I finally felt it slide out.

This was not the first time I had this problem, so I felt confident enough that once I started the bike, I could slide the choke in and out a few times and the choke would return to normal operation. This time the ride did not go so well. The choke was stuck on and no amount of sliding in and out was going to change that fact. The revs kept climbing until the gas was wide open no matter what I did with the throttle. An FJ 1200 with the choke stuck wide open gains speed rapidly. A few moments of excessive speed followed — as the throttle had no effect on the full on feed of gasoline into the carburetors. I killed the engine.

I managed to get the bike into neutral after a few very quick minutes. I could coast down the hill with the revs climbing out of control and me frantically pumping the choke lever and snapping the throttle. When it got so bad that I feared for my engine, I used the kill switch and cut the power to the motor. I tried all of the controls I had and started the bike again. The revs climbed to a dangerous level so I killed the engine again. After a few of these sessions, I decided that the bike must be parked, so I found an out-of-the-way spot with no signage and carefully backed and pushed the bike to a stop.

0158-FJ-parkedI was lucky to get a ride home as it was raining and cold and my friend, who had kindly given me a ride, took my waterproof  cover back and carefully covered the bike to keep off the pounding rain . . .0160-case+tools


The next day was also raining, so I decided to leave it for Thursday before attempting a rescue.


I took my tools and bike apparel in my Pelican case and it was great to be able to wheel all of this to the bike. The really great part is I  know I can put it on the rack and take the case home with me on the bike!

I had carefully observed the last time this difficulty had occurred and my mechanic had checked it out. The following are some photos of my bike in various stages of disassembly and repair.


First the tank and side panels had to be carefully removed. The tank is loosened, then a rubbermaid container I brought for the purpose props the tank up. An inspection of the carb shows the choke cable is stuck. Some manual pulling and it loosens up to normal.

Making sure the breather hose is routed properly before putting the tank and side panels back.

It all seems to be working now, but I have a feeling if the bike heats up again, I may have the same problem. It seems to be related to driving in rush hour traffic and getting quite hot, then the choke sticks. I plan to order a new choke cable from Yamaha and carry enough tools to effect this roadside repair again if I need to. For now, I am back up on two wheels.
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