I am a girl who rides a motorcycle. Because I ride, I think it is important to know how to work on my bike. Recently, my 1986 Honda Shadow 600 developed a stutter that I traced back to a clogged fuel filter. Here are the steps I followed to replace it.
Preparing for work
Getting ready to replace the filter means preparing your bike, and gathering the tools needed. You’ll need to gather a flat-head screwdriver, an Allen wrench, a small container to catch excess fuel, and a clamp or vise grips.
To get your bike ready you have to stop the flow of gasoline out of the tank. Turn the fuel stopcock to the off position. The fuel system is under the driver’s seat. To get to it, you’ll have to use an Allen wrench to unscrew and remove the seat.
Replacing the fuel filter
The fuel filter on a 1986 Shadow 600 is an in-line filter, meaning it is inserted into the tubing that carries fuel from the tank. Find the tubing that runs from the gas tank, and pinch it off with the clamp. I didn’t have a clamp, so vise grips worked in a pinch.
The filter is housed in a plastic support. Snap it free and uncoil the fuel line. Pinch and slide the leading metal fastener to expose the front end of the fuel filter. A flat-head screwdriver may help. Wedge it between the fastener and the fuel line to keep the fastener open enough to move it. Do the same with the fastener at the trailing end of the filter.
Gently twist the filter so that the end closest to the fuel tank pops out of the fuel line. Have your container ready to catch any remaining gasoline in the line. Drain the filter too.
Compare the new filter to the old while one end is still attached to the fuel line. This ensures you install the new filter so fuel flows through it in the right direction. Twist the old filter free and mount the new filter in its place. Replace the fasteners on each end and screw them down tightly.
Release the clamp from the fuel line slowly while holding the new filter over your catch container. Look for leaks and fix any that you find. Turn the fuel stopcock on and continue to check for leaks.
Once the system is sound, re-coil the fuel line and snap the fuel filter back into the plastic support. Replace the seat. Start the engine and let it run for a minute or two to draw fuel back into the line and filter. The engine may sputter as this happens.
Once the sputter stops, clean up the mess, and dispose of the old filter. The whole job takes about 30 minutes and then you are ready to roll!