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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The bike: 2010 FLTRX, 55,000 miles, stock engine/ECM/electronics, 2 into 1 exhaust, cat-less stock header. Bought the bike used with 12,000 miles back in 2011.

This is the first time I ran into this problem.

My problem began in mid-November 2015 and occurred the last two times I have gone out riding. 1) I go into the garage for a late morning ride and hit the starter button, the bike starts-up immediately as it always has done; 2) Ride approximately one mile to top off the gas tank. After filling the tank I hit the starter button for the first time and the bike just cranks away, it does not start :confused:; 3) After I wait several seconds I hit the starter for the second time and the bike just cranks away and then backfires loudly through the exhaust, it does not start :eek:; 4) Again after waiting for several seconds I hit the starter for the third time and the bike starts-up immediately as usual; 5) For the rest of the day when I hit the starter button the bike starts-up immediately.

Not sure what to check first (codes, exhaust flange gasket bolts, etc), any insights are welcomed.
 

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Try a set of new spark plugs.
 
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If you ride the bike for more than a mile before you shut it off does it still act the same. Your ECM fuel enrichment table for engine warm up may be just slightly lean in the early stages.
 

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mine has done that, and strange as this sounds, thats how i know its time for a new compensator, it also will start farting back thru the intake, the bike is on its third comp
 

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What type of two n to one? Does it always run rich? Outside temp?
Does your bike deceal pop
^good answers, check for cracked plug first
 

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mine has done that, and strange as this sounds, thats how i know its time for a new compensator, it also will start farting back thru the intake, the bike is on its third comp
How many miles are you getting out of those compensators?
 

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After you try starting the bike and it just cranks over cycle the ignition by turning it off then wait a few seconds then turn the ignition back on and wait for the check engine light to go out than try starting the bike. The ECM may need a reboot for lack of a better term, if the bike starts then it is a ECM issue if the bike doesn't start it may be a mechanical issue.
Check for DTC's but if it was a ECM issue you may not get any DTC's that are related to the problem.
The good news is if it is the ECM in most cases just cycling the ignition will start the bike and the ECM will work as it should so there is no need to replace the ECM unless it fails totally.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all of the input!

The battery is good and I occasionally have a minor decal pop.

Since the fuel filter is due for a change, I'll change the fuel filter first. If that doesn't work I'll try cycling the ignition switch and then change the spark plugs. Won't be able to do this work until early December, I'll provide some feedback then.

Thanks again, and enjoy your Thanksgiving.
 

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I'd change the plugs add some injector cleaner into the gas and leave it plugged into a trickle charger for a day. Eliminating a few possibilities all at once.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I changed the fuel filter

Ok, I finally got back into town and changed out my fuel filter. Not to hard to do, but removing and installing that U clip was somewhat of a pain.

The old filter element was 'dark brown' in color which is clearly different then the brand new filter's 'white' element. Not sure if the old filter's element was 'dark brown' to begin with or became 'dark brown' over time. I found a very small amount of debris on the element. Suprisingly the bottom of the filter housing had no sediment, debris or junk.

Anyway, I have been out on the bike several times after I changed the fuel filter and my "no start" and "backfiring" apparently has been fixed. Need some more riding time to really verify the new fuel filter fix, nonetheless thanks for suggesting this fix.

I'm not sure why changing out the fuel filter would fix my "no start" and "backing" problem as described above. If someone can explain that to me how a new fuel filter fixed my problem, it sure would be great.

Thanks again.
 

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It really does seem like an electrical 'break'. Cracked plug, worn lead etc. as others have mentioned. You may have been finding a sweet spot where heat expansion is not enough or is to much making the problem. These are all things you may have leant on while changing the filter accidentally adjusting the issue.
Could be dirty/bad air temp sensor but that should give trouble all the time.
That backfire is just raw fuel going into the pipe and igniting when the engine fires up.
Your decel popping is most likely a completely separate tuning issue.
Buy your girl a set of plugs for Christmas anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the feedback from down under.

Since I have rode my Shovelhead for decades with mininial maintenance, I have the same approach with the twin cam. I'll stay with just changing out the fuel filter, which apparently is the fix, until the bike tells me differently.
 
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