I've just recently purchased a 1998 Across, having been off bikes for many years. Two small issues; First is this morning the starter seems to have died. Fired up fine first thing, stopped for fuel round the corner, now starter does not engage. A faint 'tick' can be heard and lights dim a little when pressing starter button. Bike push started fine, battery is only a few weeks old. First start this morning it cranked strong. Second is a flat spot around 5-5500rpm. In any gear, winding on throttle from hear sees bike hesitate for a couple of seconds before it clears itself and then is strong all the way up from there. A mate riding with me mentioned some black smoke is visible at the same time, but is gone as revs increase. It also often needs some throttle kept up when slowing down to stop, or sometimes it will stall. Sounds to me like it is running a little rich. The previous owner modified the exhaust but shortening the original muffler by about 30% and re-welding the end back on. Is this a likely cause of the tune issue? He did also supply an original unmodified muffler.