1973 Honda CB500 Died

hi there,

as the subject suggests, i bought a 73 cb500 late last year and didn’t have much opportunity to take it out, but it seemed to be in good running order. i took it out towards the beginning of the warm season this year for a fairly substantial ride (about 70 miles or so), and about half way into it the bike started sputtering and lost all acceleration. at the time i was on the interstate so i had to pull off to the side of the road. luckily, a motorcycle enthusiast with a trailer happened to be passing by and saw me and offered a ride to the nearest gas station. his thought it looked like my ignition coils were going bad and needed replacing. after about 15 minutes i started the bike back up and made it the rest of the way on my trip fine. i have since ordered some new coils, but in the mean time have tried taking the bike out for short rides (a few blocks short). unfortunately the problem seems to be getting worse. additionally, i now notice that it wont even start without the choke engaged, and if i attempt to turn it off while running the bike dies out. any thoughts?

– kyle

Hey Kyle –

If the choke is a variable in the equation then the carbs are always the issue. I would imagine your coils are fine, it’s pretty rare that coils fail.

The heat and vibrations from riding can stir up debris in the carbs or in the tank and it can find its way into places where it shouldn’t be. You should definitely pull your carbs and give them a good cleaning. You might also drop your petcock and see if there is a lot of gunk in the tank that can be flushed out.

Let me know how it goes.


Evan Fell

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