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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will do the standard disclaimer right now -- I am a total n00b and this is my first post about my first bike, so be patient with me! With that out of the way, here's the situation:

- Just bought '71 Honda CB350 with 13,500 miles. Looks to be maintained reasonably well, though I was told from the guy I bought it from that it didn't start when he found it.
- Took it out on the highway and within the first 40 miles, it startled to get sluggish when giving it throttle. I would open the throttle completely and get not full power.
- intermittently, the throttle would magically "open up" again, and the bike had full power for a couple short spurts before getting sluggish again.
- Bike then died while idling at a stoplight. I started it back up, but it puttered out again after riding about a mile. Died while idling at another stoplight.
- Bike then wouldn't start at all. However, headlights, green neutral light, and blinkers still work.
- When I try to use the electric start, the green neutral light flickers out.

I have an old analog multimeter that I'll use today to check the battery no problem, but does this even sound like a battery or charging issue, or is my head in the wrong place? Bike won't start, so I'm going to borrow a charger from a friend. Just looking for a thread to pull. Thanks in advance!
 

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If you push the starter button and the neutral light goes out, you either have a bad/dead battery or a poor connection at the battery. I'd first check the water in the cells (bike batteries hold less total electrolyte because of their size and thus can lead to a low level more often) and then charge the battery fully. Since it's only a 12 amp battery, don't charge it with more than a 2 amp charger and don't leave it on 2 amps overnight, it will overheat and can cause damage. I'd start it at 2 amps and drop it to trickle for the remainder of an overnight charge, then have it load tested at an auto parts or battery store. If the battery tests okay then it sounds like your charging system is suspect
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the excellent advice. I will follow those steps and report back. Hopefully that will solve the issue and I won't have to dig into the charging system (yet).

If the cells are found to be low, I assume that's just a top off with distilled water?
 

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Thank you for the excellent advice. I will follow those steps and report back. Hopefully that will solve the issue and I won't have to dig into the charging system (yet).

If the cells are found to be low, I assume that's just a top off with distilled water?
Yes, but with their usual short life of only a couple years on average (the standard battery, not the better AGM batteries) using distilled water isn't going to prolong the life a whole lot - certainly can't hurt though
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The saga continues. Performed some maintenance on the battery; just pulled it off the tender and re-installed with a full charge.

Tried the push-button starter and kick starter.. the engine turns over but won't run (giving throttle doesn't help). I'm not sure if this is an ignition issue? Plenty of gas and it looks like the fuel is reaching the carbs (I have a clear inline filter on both lines). Spark plugs don't exactly look new, but they're not fouled either...
 

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As a new owner, are you turning the gas petcock off when parked?
What did your battery read?
When you press the starter button, what does the battery read?... Aka load test results.
Also, like mentioned above, check your spark plug wire and caps are in good condition. Inspect by unscrewing the caps from the wire
 
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