My TVS NTorq kept shutting off while riding: Bad spark plug to blame?

I felt the scooter jerking and buckling under me and then there was no power.

BHPian Iyencar recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Yesterday morning the scooter was fired up after sitting for a few days. As expected, it had some starting trouble. The battery seemed weak. Anyway, after a few kicks, she was up and running. Drove up to work with no problem while filling the petrol tank towards the end.

After finishing work as I was about to fire the scooter up my worker came up and said he noticed a few drops of liquid near the sidestand. This was right where there’s a rubber drain pipe. I checked to see if there were any leaks. Thought it could be some excess fuel and started driving.

In about 10-12 kms I was on the Kharghar bridge (the same one where my accelerator cable snapped, but in the opposite direction). I felt the scooter jerking and buckling under me and then there was no power. Somehow, I coasted to the side and parked. Turned on the parking lights which I had recently installed (they have now paid for themselves). Gave it a few kicks and she fired up. Drove again thinking it was a one-off.

Another 7 kms and the same issue. This time it took longer to get started but she did start. Now I knew I had to see a mechanic ASAP. So I took the stadium service road as I had no intention of stopping on the side of a highway again. The scooter again stopped in 3 kms. Kicked again, took longer but started. Managed to reach my usual mechanic, Subhash Automobiles, behind the petrol pump (opp. DY Patil). The minion mechanic available took a quick ride and said he couldn’t notice anything! However, I asked him to evaluate all possibilities. So he then proceeded to clean the carburettor.

Taking the carb apart:

Cleaning with petrol (taken from my own tank). A lot of crap was removed

Putting it back in. Way too many screws

The black washer (circled in red) needs to be aligned correctly and is tricky to put back in.

He then proceeded to open up the air filter. A fairly easy job, except the screws holding the cover were a bit rusted. A few knocks later the filter was removed and found to be just fine. No pics though.

Then he checked the spark plug. As mentioned in my earlier post, the plug had just been replaced a few weeks back. Shockingly, it had gone bad. Maybe the grade was incorrect or the tuning was lean as mentioned by BHPian Enviroclan. I couldn’t find the manual so not sure what the grade ought to have been. Anyway, he put in a Bosch plug. I repeatedly asked if it was the right grade and he said they were using it on Ntorqs. Will get the carb tuned when the head mechanic is in next week.

Next, I asked him to check the engine oil too while we were at it. It was thick and dark and the volume was less. However, by this time I really wanted a full service done so I asked him to just top it up for now and I would get the scooter in next week. I’m not sure what went wrong or what worked. Maybe it was one of the above or all of the above. Maybe it’s Maybelline. For now, she runs fine. Fingers crossed.

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