I have a 1975 Honda XL250 that I bought earlier this summer. Up until recently its been running great. It was leaking a little gas, but nothing too serious. When it started to get worse, I opened up the carb and cleaned it out. I figured the float needle wasn't seating properly. This largely solved my problem, although there is still a little bit of drippage. I need to get a carb kit and just haven't gotten around to it. So the cleaning of the carb took place on Monday. It wasn't starting, so being a relative noob, I thought it might have something to do with the carb flooding. After cleaning it I tried to start it again, but still no dice. Tested the spark, and it was sparking fine. Not really able to think of anything else I did some research and came across a post that said sometimes you may get spark on a test, but when it's back in the chamber it won't spark due to pressure or something along those lines. So I figured, my spark plug is dirty anyway, a new one will cost me $2, and at the very worst I have a new plug. Anyway, this ended up solving the problem. It started right up.
Since then, I rode it to class yesterday and just cruised around town later at night. It was working fine, but then when I was cruising I noticed I was losing some power on acceleration. It was sputtering if I accelerated hard and would make some popping noises. Not loud ones, but popping nonetheless. The idle wasn't very smooth this morning when I rode it to work and it actually died pulling up to the first light. Does anyone have any suggestions for troubleshooting or fixing this?
UPDATE: I set the idle a little higher and that seemed to help, but when I rode it back to work it was still giving me problems. I stopped off at the gas station to fill up, despite still having what I thought to be enough gas in the tank. Anyway, I filled up and now it idles and runs fine.
UPDATED UPDATE: So after getting home from work it sat for a bit and now I'm having very similar issues. Sometimes when I accelerate from a stop it will sputter and either come very close to dying, or just die. This is definitely not due to me shifting improperly. There's a lot of popping when I just rev it, and sometimes it has trouble idling.