We all do stupid stuff from time to time, but it seems like I do more than most average people. Case in point, I purchased my KTM 525 in November 08, Randall and I went out for a ride the next weekend. We had a good ride and I adapted to the bike quickly. We rode all day and pulled back up to the truck with 94 miles in for the day.
On my way home I stopped at the car wash and cleaned my bike up. When I arrived back home I started it up and rode it around the house to displace any water that might have gotten into the pipe. I pulled it into the garage and it was running beautifully. I put it up onto the stand and went inside the house to clean up.
Some friends came over later and I took Nick (who also rides dirt bikes) out to the garage to show him my new 525. I started it and as it was sitting on the lift stand idling, after all of 20 seconds, it started sputtering. I was alarmed but had company so I didn't have time to mess with it now.
I got up the next morning and attacked the problem immediately. First thing I checked was the gas. I pulled the gas cap off and moved the bikes side to side. Gas sloshed up out of the tank onto my forehead. OK, thats not the problem. I started the bike and it was once again running very roughly. I started in adjusting the idle screw on the carb. No difference. I made more carb adjustments but nothing helped. It died and I couldn't get it started again. OK, I know 4 strokes don't foul spark plugs, but I'm going to stick a new plug in it just to make sure. First you have to take the tank off to get to the plug. To get the tank off, you first have to take the seat off, so 15 minutes later I am to the spark plug. The plug tip looks good but I stick a new one in anyway (a 2 stroke thing) and check the plug cap to make sure it is getting spark to the plug. Everything checks out so I put the tank and seat back on. It still won't start.
I make a quick call to the shop I bought the bike from they said to bring it up, that one of the mechanics would look at it that afternoon. I drove the 70 miles to the shop and Travis, the mechanic, got on my bike, tinkered with the carb a bit and started the bike up! It was running great. What the ... a quick glance and I notice he had turned the fuel petcock to the reserve position before starting it while tinkering with the idle screw on the carb. Yes, SIMPLY PUT, IT WAS OUT OF GAS! What a moron. I am used to my other bike I have running 110 miles on a tank of gas and the 525 should get the same to better mileage. My other bike has a 2.7 gallon tank with a small reserve, but what I didn't realize is my new 525 has a 2.2 gallon tank with a huge reserve on it (I thought it was a 2.5 gal tank - my bad). If I had just flipped it over to reserve, everything would have been fine.
Oh well, at least nothing was wrong with the bike, just the operator. I have ridden bikes for 40 years and I really couldn't believe I couldn't adjust the carb on it. Oh well, like my dad always taught me, "You gotta be able to laugh at yourself, if you can't the world will do it for you."