If you have a “Freedom” engined Victory and you have been noticing your performance starting to lag, your engine’s idle speed dropping lower, and lower, or, you are riding, and your bike just dies during a closed throttle situation, it may be time to clean your throttle body. It’s not that hard a job, and it is one of the little things you can do that will keep your Victory running well.
This tutorial applies to Victory motorcycles with “Freedom” engines, V92 C, TC, Vegas, and the Vegas variants, Hammer, Jackpot, and Kingpin, without exhaust sensors. The Victory pictured here is my 2003 V92 C, there may be some minor differences in equipment, but, basically the procedure is the same. Other brands of motorcycles with similar fuel injection setups may also benefit from this procedure, but, before attempting it, be sure you fully understand your brand’s fuel injection system.
The first step is to remove the tank, this is better done with the tank almost empty. You do want an almost empty tank, trust me on this, I have forgotten, topped my tank off the day before, and it makes getting it off a total bear, a full tank weighs a ton! The first step is to disconnect the fuel line going into the tank or fuel rail. I usually take my line off at the fuel rail because there is so little room under the tank, your situation may be different, so it’s up to you. There are two other connections, the tank vent line, and the fuel pump electrical connection, make sure both are disconnected before removing the tank. Before you remove the tank, make note of the routing of the gas line so you can put it back correctly during the reinstall. Something additional, if you disconnect your fuel line at the injection rail, it’s a good idea to completely remove the hose clamp before pulling the tank, it could potentially scratch your chrome or paint on it’s way out.
After you have your tank off you should be looking at something similar to this unless your air cleaner assembly has been replaced with an aftermarket item.
Remove the five screws (red arrows) holding the cover in place. This will reveal the inner velocity stacks inside the air box. The Victory shop manual calls them intake tubes, but I like “velocity stack” better.
Both stacks will have to be completely removed for the throttle body cleaning. Start with the left stack, rotate it counter clockwise as you are pulling it out.
Take your time, this is a long sucker! And, there is a sensor that it can come in contact with.
The sensor is for air temperature, it’s reasonably well protected, but, it pays to be cautious just the same. The orange item on the right side of the above image is the MAP sensor.
This is the location of the air temperature sensor, just beyond, you can see the air filter, in this case it’s a K&N performance filter. To remove the right velocity stack, rotate it clockwise.
It’s a little less trouble to remove than the left stack, again, just be mindful of the air temperature sensor.
When you have both stacks out, you should see something like this, congratulations, you have reached your throttle body! Take a cloth that is as lint free as possible and wipe out the oil and any debris before opening the butterflies for cleaning. You can also put some throttle body or carb cleaner on a cloth and wipe the area down as follow up, the idea is to eliminate anything that might get drug into the open butterflies during cleaning. From this view there looks like the throttle body is reasonably clean, not really, the real story is on the other side of the butterflies.
You are looking at a year’s worth of carbon buildup, if you have never cleaned your’s it may look worse, mine did the whole area was black with carbon. Let’s get started cleaning, first we are going to need some high tech tools.
And here it is! I find an old tooth brush works best, it’s plastic, so it can’t damage parts, the bristles can conform to clean closer, and when it gets really grungy, you toss it! But, we can’t risk bristles breaking off getting in the engine, so we use a cover.
I like to use an old cloth baby diaper, over the brush, just soak it in carb or throttle body cleaner and swab away. I tape the throttle open at the handlebar, this way I have both hands free, one to hold a light so I can see, the other for cleaning. Make sure that there is nothing that can fall into the open throttle bodies during cleaning, and, do not spray cleaner directly in the throttle body, having a extremely volatile chemical trapped in your engine is never good!
As your cloth gets dirty move it around on the brush head, if this is your first time cleaning, you might need a second cloth. Make sure you clean as much as possible, including the butterflies on both sides, and as much of the edges as you can.
When you are done it should look like this, if there is some lint, I can usually get it out with my finger, when you are done let the butterflies close and wipe the area down again to clean any remaining debris. From this point, you can begin the reassembly, begin with the right velocity stack, turning it counter clockwise as you insert it. Turn the left stack clockwise to install it, on both be mindful of the temperature sensor. They do not go back in without some effort, and you my be tempted to just leave them out, but don’t, they are an important part of your intake tuning, and they keep the oil from your crankcase breather from being sucked directly into your engine. After they are back in, reinstall the cover, after that’s done, it’s time to reinstall the gas tank. Make sure you have everything reconnected, fuel pump connection, tank vent line, and, of course, the fuel line, if you disconnected it at the fuel rail, make sure it is routed correctly, the line fully seated, and the hose clamp tight.
The next step is to test run the engine, but before you do there is one last step, priming the fuel pump. The pump is primed by turning the ignition key to the ON position, but not starting the engine, toggle the right hand engine stop switch off and on two or three times, on the last on cycle, leave it on, for a minimum of 10 seconds, then turn the ignition key to the OFF position. You may now test run the engine, start it as you normally would and let it warm up, keep an eye on the fuel line where you disconnected it for potential leaks. The first time I performed a throttle body cleaning, I had a slight leak, so I always check before I go for a test ride. You may notice that during your test ride the idle may be higher than before, this is a possibility if you have been turning your idle up prior to cleaning. If it is high, you can turn it back down, if you have a tachometer, the manual recommends 900 RPM as a good setting, if you don’t have a tach, play it by ear.
Words By: Terry Cavender
Images By: Terry Cavender
30 thoughts on “Victory Throttle Body Cleaning”
Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for posting.
You are welcome John!
Does this help at all with the fast idle? I’m constantly having to adjust it (sticks a lot).
Actually, a couple months ago I popped off my tank and did get to the throttle body and saw it was dirty but did not clean it as well as you show above. I’m “mechanically challenged” so do try to do what I can 😉
Lately I’m cleaning off my fouled plugs every few hundred miles. Today after work it sounds like I’m cleaning the throttle body better!
’04 Kingpin Tour
No, Paul, it will not help with your fast idle, that is, if what you are talking about is the “choke” lever on the handlebar, most of the time that is caused by the cable getting hung up a bit some place on the bike. When I back my Vic out of the garage and back it toward the right by turning the bar left, the idle always goes up, turning the bars straight returns it to the idle setting I have set. Throttle body cleaning will only affect your normal idle when the engine is warm. I can’t guess as to why your plugs are fouling, if you or someone else has made modifications to your engine, that may be the cause. I am running a standard Victory Stage One, and I have not yet had a plug foul.
Thanks for the quick reply Terry. I did clean up the throttle body … it was a mess in there. Last time I opened it up I just wiped away at the butterflies a bit but after looking down both with a flashlight … yikes. I did have to turn down my idle after the cleaning.
Good job Paul! If you had to turn your idle down after cleaning you did the job right. Just make sure your idle is set at 900 RPM, that’s where your engine will be happy. I know a lot of Victory owners try to set it lower to get that “Harley” sound of a loping idle, if they are looking for that, they should just go buy a Harley! LOL! Besides, we all know when a Vic sounds best, when it’s on the gas! Enjoy your Victory, I know I do!
At almost 70 years of age I just bought an 04 kingpin with 30k miles. Looks new!! I have many miles on the road but its been years since I rode on a regular basis. So…… I want everything right. The throttle on this bike dosen’t return to 0 unless you move it manually. So I would like more spring or something. Any Ideas?
Wow Ron, that is so cool that you are still riding! At only 30,000 miles that Kingpin is almost broken in…. LOL! Let’s see what can be done about your throttle.
First, let’s define what you mean about “returning to zero.”
#1 Are you meaning that the twist grip will not roll completely forward when you let go of the throttle after rolling it back? If you roll the throttle all the way back and let go, when it returns you should hear a hollow “thunk,” or, as I call it a “thok,” that is the sound of your throttle hitting the idle stop. If it does that, then it is returning to a closed position, and it’s most likely you have too much free play in your cable, you are supposed to have some, but not a bunch. You can make adjustments to remove some of the free play if you have too much. I would recommend looking up the correct free play in a Victory service manual. You can buy a paper manual from Victory, or, if you do a search, you can often find a downloadable PDF of a manual.
#2 Or, are you saying that when you roll the throttle back, it does not return at all, and it just stays stuck where you let go of it? If this is your problem, then you either have an entrapment someplace, or, your cables need some lube. Here is a warning about lubing cables. If you have the “braided” cables, you cannot lube them, it will discolor the clear coating, and they teflon liners, they are not meant to be lubed. The ones with black coverings can be lubed, just make sure you use a quality cable lube. If your cables have an entrapment, it will take a bit of work to get them correctly routed, the routing information can also be found in the Victory manual.
Since you are new to this bike, I would strongly recommend getting a service manual if you are going to do your own work. I have had a service manual for every motorcycle I have ever owned. I would also suggest you do some basic maintenance, like the throttle body cleaning, oil change, and perhaps new air filter. You might also want to check/replace your brake fluids and pads as well. Unless you know the history of the bike, it’s always a good idea to make sure these items are covered. If the question is ever asked “when was the last time,” a maintenance was done, and your answer is “I don’t know,” then it’s time for it to be done.
Thank you very much for commenting, let us know how it goes.
Hey Terry.. I just bought a 02 victory v92 standard.. as I was polishing it I noticed the intake boots were rotted badly.. I ordered new ones and wanna replace but I cant seem to get the airbox off?? any suggestions????
Hey Tim, I have some bad news for you. If you have the standard Victory air box, it cannot be removed without cutting it up, removing the frame, or some other drastic measure. Why Victory designed it this way comes under the heading of, “what the hell were they thinking?” But, you can remove your throttle body to get to your boots, the steps to do this are located in section 5.24-5.25 of your Victory service manual. If you don’t have one, I would suggest you either buy one from your Victory dealer, or do a Google search and find a downloadable PDF version. I would not try working without a manual, there are several parts that must be removed and put back, wires, cables, etc. That means you will need to reconnect and adjust them, so you will need the specs. I hope the work goes well for you, please let us know how it turns out.
This is great! I have a 2001 Victory V92C which I bought last year with 50K. I’ve been upgrading since then and now getting to the engine and performance portion of my upgrade. This bike has been riding rough lately especially on 5th gear (with what seems to be “blowback” from the exhaust). Also noticed wet oily soot under the cross over pipe. I got on the Victory forum and posted the same concern and one of the guys suggested cleaning the throttle body. Did a search on Google and your article came up. Will be starting this work tomorrow. Cheers
I am not sure if it will cure what you are describing Bong, but it could not hurt to clean the throttle bodies. Good luck, I hope it solves your problem!
Hi, I’m not sure if I’m doing this right….. I’m not very computer friendly. I wanted to ask Terry about problem with 2007 hammer. I had the throttle cables done and since then the idle is very erratic and at low rpm the bike seems to surge and putter while trying to maintain a steady speed,it runs great as long as you are on the gas and actually gets the best mileage ever, any idea what could be wrong? It ran great before cables replaced but dealer told me they were unsafe and needed to be changed.
Well Ken, you were doing it right enough in mentioning what happened prior to things going wrong. Most of the time I get, “My bike’s not running well, what’s wrong?” I am many things, but I am not a mind reader…. (sigh) My first suggestion would be to take it back to the dealer if this was just done. At the very minimum, the gas tank was removed to replace your “unsafe” throttle cables, did they ever say why they were unsafe? So while they were in there they could have done something to cause the problem. But, I do not see how replacing the throttle cables would cause the problem you describe. Let me ask a question, was the problem evident immediately after riding away from the dealership? Or, did it pop up a ride or two later?
Thanks for your response, sorry I’m not on the computer much. The problem started immediately, I just thought it was having troubles idling because it was cold out, but the problem persisted. Would you know if there is supposed to be some kind of spring on the throttle body (everything looks a little loose in there). I called the dealer, the told me that my throttle body needs to be cleaned, but I don’t think thats the problem, it worked fine before it went in.
As for the cables, they said they were unsafe because they were “starting to rust and stick”????
Thanks again, hopefully this can be resolved,
I’ll give you the same advise I give everyone, work on your own bike. Victory dealerships have a reputation for being crap, and most likely your dealer is one of them. Buy or download a manual and get to work. As for the throttle body cleaning, my article is pretty much complete, with pictures. In time you will discover what is wrong with your bike.
Last year I bought a 02 v92 tc with over 19,000 miles. Its been a great bike! Just this weekend, coming home after a great ride in the Quachita montains of Arkansas, riding down the hwy I heard a loud clunk and it started slowing down then another clunk and I shut the motor down and coasted to a stop. The motor will not turn over, nor will it shift in or out of gear. Taking it to a victory dealership tomorrow. Any wild guess what it could be??
A wild guess…… It’s broken???
Seriously, it sounds like the bits that move your gears around to shift has had a failure. I could be something else, but, if my “wild guess” is right, expect a full engine teardown to repair the transmission.
I had a similar failure in 1980 when I was traveling to Sturgis on my Harley. I was shifting down coming off an Interstate ramp when it happened. All of the gears were trashed, and the case was blown open. Basically, a circle clip holding a shift fork failed, letting the gears mesh in the wrong way. I ended up replacing the transmission in total. I got lucky, a “used” one out of a 79 was available for $350 USD. So I bought it, where it came from, I didn’t ask.
Good luck, let’s hope I’m wrong, and your problem is something minor.
I’m not sure if the throttle bodies are the problem, but I thought I’d ask. I have a 2003 Vegas with only 7,500 miles so it doesn’t get ridden a lot. Throttle bodies have never been cleaned.
I had it out yesterday after a few months of being idle. I filled the tank with fresh fuel. The bike idles just fine and runs well up to about 3,000 rpm. Above that it starts to misfire. Misfire is pretty severe at 4,000 – 5,000 rpm. I was going to run some Techron through it, although I use Chevron gas pretty much exclusively. I pulled the rear spark plug, couldn’t get the front wire to pull off and I was afraid of damaging it. The plug looked OK, wasn’t fouled.
It does have the Stage 1 kit and map. Any suggestions as to what could be my issue.
Well David, I can see one problem right off, you’re not riding it enough! LOL!
Actually, I was being serious about that to a point. One of the worst things in the world for a motorcycle that sits is fuel with ethanol in it, it can play hell with the tank, pump, lines, injectors and other fuel related bits. If your bike is going to sit for long periods of time, use a fuel stabilizer.
The fuel may not be the issue, I can think of some other causes of the problem, and they all are electrical.
1. Since your Vegas is a 2003, there might be the issue of a bad speed sensor connection. Back when I had my 2003 V92C, every time I washed it, the connection would get wet. Then I would have misfiring, and it would flash the “check engine” light. Now, you didn’t mention washing, or a flashing check engine light, so that may not be it, but if you had those that may be it. Victory was replacing that part of the wire loom under recall back in the day, but that was ten years ago, so good luck.
2. You could have a bad throttle position sensor, for short, a “TPS.” A bad TPS will cause a misfire in a specific RPM range like you describe, there are tests you can do to check this with a multimeter. You can find the tests in the Vic service manual. I had my TPS go bad and I replaced it. Funny stupid story about this, but that’s for later. You can go two ways to fix a bad TPS, buy the whole throttle body from Victory, that’s the only way they sell it. (WTF?) Or, go to your local auto parts house for a replacement. Personally, I’d go with option two. I wish I could remember the part number, but the only thing I can remember is that the same TPS fit a Chevy Suburban.
3. Your battery could be bad, Vics are very sensitive to inadequate voltage, again, there are tests you can do.
There are other possibilities, bad coil, bad plug wires, but the good news is, you can test for every one, just dig out your service manual and get to work. The worst thing you can do is start guessing and replacing parts you don’t have too. Use logic, and be methodical in your testing.
I hope this helps.
BTW…. to get your plug wires off, go buy a pair of those plug boot pliers at your local auto supply.
Terry, thanks for the reply and you are correct, I don’t ride it enough.
I hadn’t washed it and no check engine light, so the speed sensor should not be the issue. Battery is good as I keep it on a Battery Tender.
I have the Victory Parts manual but not the Service Manual. The TPS is listed as Part No. 4010225. I’ll see if I can find one.
I’ll take your advice and get a spark plug boot cover puller and start there.
What about doing a TPS reset?
Terry, BTW and FYI I found a post on the allpolaris site that says that the TPS is also used on Ford cars and has a NAPA Part # of 2-19187. Image looks like what is in the Parts Manual.
Terry, you are correct in that the bike doesn’t get ridden enough. Bike wasn’t washed and no check engine light so I suspect that the speed sensor is OK. Battery should be good as I keep it on a Battery Tender and it starts fine.
Parts manual shows TPS as Part No. 4010225 and as you can see from my previous posts, I understand that the part is available alone from NAPA for about $55. So I may start there.
Also I will get a spark plug boot pliers and go through the plugs, plug wires and coils.
Thanks for your assistance. I’ll let you know how I make out.
Gee David, comment much?? LOL!
If you do a search you might be able to find a PDF download of the service manual. Without it you are flying blind.
Here’s what I would do, you can go another way if you want, but here’s what I would do.
Step One: Clean the battery terminals and the connections to the ground and wire loom. Just because you have your battery on a tender don’t mean a thing if it does not have a clean connection. So make sure it’s all clean and coated lightly with dielectric grease. Ride the bike, if the problem is gone, that was it. If it’s not gone, go to step two.
Step Two: Replace the spark plugs, you can get them at any auto parts store. Ride the bike, if the problem is gone, that was it. If it’s not gone, go to step three.
Step Three: Clean the throttle body, since it hasn’t been done, do it, it might cure the problem. Besides, it’s good practice for removing the tank again to replace the TPS, or test the coils. Ride the bike, if the problem is gone, that was it. If it’s not gone, go to step four.
Step Four: Stop guessing, and start testing. Don’t just buy parts and slap them in, test each one, for most of the tests you will need a multimeter. Get one from Radio Shack, and the probe extension kit as well, you will need it to make accurate readings. Follow the test procedures in the service manual. I would start with the TPS test first, then the plug wires, then the coil, and so on. If you replace a part, ride the bike, if the problem is gone, that was it. If it’s not gone, go to step number whatever.
At the very worst, you don’t find the problem, and you have to take it to the dealer. At your dealer they can pull the error codes to sort the problem. To be honest, this will take some work on your part, but, you will feel so good when you solve it yourself, which, I think you will.
Thanks Terry. Just got back from a ride and the Techron didn’t solve the problem so I will embark on your list.
You might want to try Seafoam, I have not used it, but I have heard good things.
This was the response I got back from my local Victory dealer before I decided to look for a DIY guide:
Throttle body clean on a Vegas is $145.
Seriously! You make it look so easy, I cannot imagine how they could charge almost $150 and still sleep at night! Thanks for the great article!
Thanks for your comment Michael. Like any shop, I’m sure they have overhead costs and such to justify charging what they do. I’m glad you found the article useful, please let me know how you did.
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