Dumbest question ever

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Jun 11, 2009
Hi Guys,

73' Commando 850. With regard to turning on the fuel lines: I am assuming that the arrow, not the lever should be pointing toward the 'on' position.
ie: Lever pointing down when in the on position.
Sorry for such a no brainer but as a new owner I wanted to be completely sure. (it will start and run both ways......yikes)
Thank you,

If your petcocks are passing fuel in the off position you may have fuel weeping into the cylinders. Make sure there is no gas in your oil!
It will start and run both ways... for a while, in the off position, until you use up the fuel sitting in the float bowls and fuel lines to the carbs. I turn off the petcock 1/4 mile or so from home and easily get home on that amount of fuel.
Guys, thank you...now I know what petcocks are!

So am I correct that arrow (lever pointing down)should be turned to the on position?

Thank you...
On mine, levers are horizontal in off position and vertically point down in on.
oldejack said:
So am I correct that arrow (lever pointing down)should be turned to the on position?

The original "petcocks" (that's "fuel taps" or "petrol taps" to us in the UK) don't have any arrows on them?

So yours are probably a later type, possibly made by "BAP" (says BAP on the rear?) or "Paioli" (Grey or Black plastic levers?) in which case, the arrow (Paiolis do have an arrow) should be turned to align with the ON or OFF, or OFF or RES(reserve) stamped on the steel lever retaining plate held by two screws (or rivets)?

Some taps have OFF, ON and RES positions.

As with most valves, fuel or otherwise, valve OFF is normally with the lever set at right-angles to the valve body.

If your taps are Paioli three position type, then lever down (arrow up) is normally ON, lever up (arrow down) is REServe.

Oddly, I have a Paioli two position tap with ON and OFF selected by moving the lever through 90 degrees, however the lever can be turned a further 90 degrees, but the valve stays OFF!
Again guys, thanks so much for your help.

Just didn't want to do any harm to my bike....

Total newbie here....

There are no dumb questions Chris.

('Cause I've already asked them all....!)
Why not undo the connection pipe and twiddle the lever to see what is on or off? If gas piddles out then its on, if not then its off.
Do you have two taps, one on each side? I run with the RH on, and the LH off. The LH has a reserve so I end up with two 'reserves'....one is turning the LH tap to on, the second is turning it to reserve position. This is because the tank has a 'spine and so there is a reservior of gas in the lh side trapped.
BrianK said:
There are no dumb questions Chris.

('Cause I've already asked them all....!)

The only dumb question is the one that is not asked :!: Not something I've had a problem with here... :wink:

ps - disconnecting the fuel lines and testing the petcocks is an excellent suggestion. It's also a good way to test for leaks. The petcocks that came on my 750 could not quite manage to stop the fuel flow. Neither could the original nylon float valves....

I have 2 petcocks and the RH (gear side) has been 'fixed' to stay on....

The LH valve is adjustable, and I think I've had it right but will try removing the petcock to be sure.

I will know in a bout an hour when I leave the office and get on the road!

Thanks again to all....

Also, if there any Canadians here, does anyone know where one could find 20w50 Belray oil?
Canadian Tires seems to be out of stock at the moment :)

You can get 20W-50 Castrol motorcycle oil at Canadian Tire, works for me.

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