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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I usually start my bike running (on sidestand) and then let it warm up while I'm donning togs. This morning as I went to get on I noticed a wet patch on the gravel under the bike (Vara 1000 carb), and upon closer inspection found that there was an obvious dripping from one of the breather pipes under the engine. Too short of time to sort it I went to work on the Alp.

This evening I started the bike (after checking coolant still full). Nothing at first and then once the bike had been running for nearly 2 minutes the dripping started again. Collecting the fluid in a plastic container it seems to be petrol - though it felt slightly oily (possibly plastic container dissolving?) it soon evaporated from my fingers, and smelt of petrol, but not as strong as I would have expected.

I have not noticed this dripping before (though could have missed it for a few days?), and haven't noticed particularly bad fuel consumption (filled with 21 litres the other day for 193 miles - is that reasonably normal for a carbo?).

Searching for clues I had a quick look at the Haynes manual which mentioned that the Vara had manual fuel taps - I never knew that! Always assumed they were vacuum operated like my Transalp!

If the float were sticking (as in Jackdaw's 'Are these two events connected' post recently), I would have thought that with the taps permanently open (until now!) I would be getting fuel dripping without the engine running.

Any ideas?

Two further queries -
(1) Having been alerted to the fact the bike has manual fuel taps, I can see no straightforwad way way of operating the right hand one, which points away from the opening, and where access is largely blocked by the coolant tank. Presumably this is not normal, and the tap has been refitted facing the wrong way at some point? Or is there a cunning technique?

(2) The left fuel tap I can reach. It has three positions. Up is obviously on, presumably horizontal is off (I can't see the writing). What is down? (Another on? Reserve?)
 

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Generalissimo Tea Boy
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Aha, I too have seen the mystery of the taps.

It's the same tap used on each side so yes one faces away from you. Through the power of 'covering my garage floor in fuel', I learnt that the tap has three positions, on, off and bloody on again. Off is a precise position, slight movement either way and it's ON!

This makes removing the tank a fraught business as they can get knocked on various parts of the frame as you lift it. For next time I have made up some hoses with bolts blocking one end so if the tap gets knocked the fuel will stay contained.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, that clears up the fuel taps mystery. Thanks, Yen.

Anyone any thoughts on the petrol (now sure that's what it was) leaking from the breather after the engine had run for nearly two minutes?
 

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My recent fuel spillage from the overflow pipe does appear to be directly linked to me dropping the bike the day before. I've hadf no more drips from the breather. Has the bike been on its side? Have you had the tank off for any reason?
Just to confirm there is no reserve position on the Vara. Take notice and fill up after the warning light. 21 litres for 193 miles is reasonable on a carbodero. 9 miles a litre is about what I expect, riding steady.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, Jackdaw. No, the bike hasn't been dropped or had tank removed.

After doing this dripping on two consecutive engine starts (without bike moving) the other day, it hasn't happened again at all (and had never happened before that I've noticed). I am guessing that, like you, I might of had a bit of muck temporarily sticking the float valve in the carb. I had previously discounted this possibility as I though it would have continued when the engine was stopped as the fuel taps were still open, but have since remembered the fuel is pumped - engine stops, pump stops, so that would explain that.so that would explain that.
 
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