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Thread: weak spark

  1. #1
    Junior Member rick martin's Avatar
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    My 1996 200 has always had a hard time starting, I've rebuilt the motor because compression was weak.

    made it around the block and it died, the compression is very good, but the spark is weak - Do I need a magneto?

    The battery has been replaced twice and the starter seems to really drag (the starter was replaced 6 months ago)

    I seem to have an electrical problem, but don't know what to try next.

    any thoughts?



    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member mrlmd's Avatar
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    I assume you are using the choke correctly to start the bike?

    What do you mean you have a weak spark? How did you test it for being "weak"? What does the plug look like?

    Did you measure the voltage at the battery with the engine running? That will tell you real quick what voltage you are putting out going into your battery and if the charging system is working appropriately.

    And what do you mean by the starter drags? Running or turning over slowly? Have you cleaned all your battery and starter connections and ground of corrosion and made sure they are clean and tight?

  3. #3
    Senior Member PJungnitsch's Avatar
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    The spark on these bikes is naturally short and weak, it's a characteristic of CDI ignition. I can't see mine when I test it in daylight and the bike starts fine.



    As mentioned, check the voltage when the bike is running.



    Some tricks that helped mine are richening up the idle mixture screw to 4 turns out, and using the kick starter if the bike has been sitting for a while.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
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    Are you trying to start the bike in gear? The clutch will drag a little if so, making it hard to start. Try it in neutral.
    KJ, just KJ, ok.


    Current rides:
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  6. #5
    Junior Member rick martin's Avatar
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    Ok, didn't realize the spark on these was so weak - I recharged the battery, and after a few seconds it fired up.

    maybe I'm not used to the way these start, but it seems to me to spin slow.

    Would a bad CDI be discharging my battery? I also seem to have a little rattle in the motor (Timing chain maybe?) is there a trick to adjusting the tension?

  7. #6
    Senior Member mrlmd's Avatar
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    I'm really not trying to be nasty and we all want to try and help you, but, did you read my previous post and do it?



    "Did you measure the voltage at the battery with the engine running? That will tell you real quick what voltage you are putting out going into your battery and if the charging system is working appropriately."



    If you don't do that first to get some idea of what's going on, you are wasting your time and ours.



    Why are you jumping around and looking for trouble where it probably may not exist? I would bet our problem is in the battery and how you are using it or maintaining it but if you don't check your charging system you will never know what the problem is.



    You have replaced your battery twice - Why? What type of battery did you get? If it was an AGM or VRLA they have to be fully charged up before first use or they will NEVER hold a full charge after you use it once or twice to start the bike. You don't fill them with acid or take them off the shelf and use them out of the box.



    Were those old batteries fully charged up on a suitable size charger and then load tested to see if they were any good, or did someone tell you they were "bad" and sold you another one? Or are you just going out and buying things without knowing if they need replacement or not?



    And you need the choke to start these- that's standard operating procedure.



    When you turn the bike off, walk around and make sure you haven't left any lights on.

  8. #7
    Senior Member arrowsmith's Avatar
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    The charging system has nothing to do with the spark.

    The ignition and the charging system and battery are two different circuits.

    However the speed of cranking will effect the spark.

    Mine will not start with it in gear with the starter or in neutral with the kick stand down but will run with the stand down.

    it will run with the battery and charging system removed if you can start it.

  9. #8
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Arrowsmith is correct. Spark on healthy CDI system is RPM-dependent.



    One of the most frequently overlooked items are the starter solenoids.



    It may not neccessarily be your particular issue, but Jap bike solenoids have notoriously short lives, in my experience. They arc across the points with age, rob current from the starter and drain the battery quicker when cranking..



    Worth looking in to if your bike starts easily with a good kick, but won't start with the button.



    The quick and dirty way to check it is to bypass it. With a fully charged battery, put the bike in neutral, turn the key on and jump the large terminals with a pair of needlenose pliers or a 10 gauge jumper wire. If it starts right up or seems to spin faster, Bob's yer uncle.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

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  10. #9
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    A properly jetted carb does not need choke to start unless the weather is quite cool.




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