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Discussion Starter #1
I've tried on 3 consecutive mornings to ride my bike. Temps were 42,54,58f. Bike sat out over night. Pull choke , turn on fuel wait 30 secs try to start. Each time ran battery down. Recharged while at work. Each time when I get home bike starts within 1-2 secs of hitting the starter button. What's wrong? Battery? Other? Thoughts?
 

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I'd start by checking your battery terminals for tightness and corrosion, then check the Ignition systems ground points for the same. The coil is grounded beneath the fuel tank and the CDI is grounded in the battery area. If that doesn't help check your spark plug, see if it is getting spark and has proper gap.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks I will check those. I also want to add that it would turn over for 30-45 seconds. At 5-8 secs at a time. Just don't understand why it starts easy in the evenings. I'll pull the battery and take it in for a check tomorrow as well.
 

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Possibly moisture in the air condensing on the electrics shorting out something. It drys during the day and all is well.



Try covering it with a cheap Harbor Freight tarp before putting it to bed and see what happens in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good tip, would expain why it always started on cold mornings in the barn. If this is what is indeed hapening......any idea where this could happen? I would hate to get caught in a rain storm and have the bike shut down.
 

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Sounds to me more like you have a bad battery. You have no kickstart? Have you tried to roll start it or jump it with another battery?
 

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Good tip, would expain why it always started on cold mornings in the barn. If this is what is indeed hapening......any idea where this could happen? I would hate to get caught in a rain storm and have the bike shut down.


My GUESS is around the spark plug and spark plug wire. Moisture condenses on the spark plug itself and the electricity goes down the outside of the plug.



This may start an argument but you can spray WD40 on the end of the spark plug and up into the spark plug boot thing. That is suppose to keep moisture away. (WD40 is one of the items many people either love or hate and are passionate about it.)



Let us all know what happens.
 

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Mine did that for a while it was a combination weak battery, corrosion in the battery cables and at the starter and I needed to turn the pilot screw out 3 turns. Now it will start without choke and it has been in the 40's in the morning. It is best to start these bikes in neutral, not in gear with the clutch pulled in. The starter doesn't spin the motor fast enough and the spark plug wont get enough juice. Switching to 10-40w in the winter really seems to help.
 

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Before trying WD40 take a dry paper towel, remove the spark plug wire and dry the spark plug and inside the boot with the towel. See if that does any good.
 

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Good tip, would expain why it always started on cold mornings in the barn. If this is what is indeed hapening......any idea where this could happen? I would hate to get caught in a rain storm and have the bike shut down.


This is what happened to me riding home in one of the worse rain storms I've ever been in, thunder,lightning pouring rain. Better than my shower.
Bike just shut down on the HWY going 55, just coasted over to the side of the road and it would not start. Started to think of how I was going to get home. About 5-10 mins. later it just started up as if nothing happened. Rode the rest of the way home and have not had any problems since.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Of course the battery was dead when I left it this morning! And of course this evening just a bump of the starter and she purrs. Yes on the same battery that was dead 8 hrs earlier. I pulled the battery. Some light corrosion. Tossed in new battery from other bike. I'll see what happens with the new battery under the same conditions.
 

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Sounds to me more like you have a bad battery. You have no kickstart? Have you tried to roll start it or jump it with another battery?
I agree with MRIMD. Leave it out over night with a new battery and try it.



Moose
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Its just getting comical now..........



Swapped out the battery for a new/newer one. Same results. Cranking over , battery dies, no start. So i wiped the engine and wires down with a paper towel. No signs of condensation on anything other than the seat. So i guess i can rule out the battery....



What next?...



1. spray all wires and connection with wire dryer and "something" to keep and condensation out.



2. Leave stop cock "on" over night.---- Thinking maybe its not getting fuel to carb, but i doubt this is the reason. But I did leave it "on" for the day, and each time in the evening its starts right up.



3. Put back in barn and see if things go back to normal. then test with a cover while sitting outside.



4. Turn pilot screw out 3 turns, set now at 2 turns, with 2 clips.



Any other ideas? Im wondering if this bike is just cold natured? I need to work these bugs out before i haul it to NC for a weekend.



Could this be a cdi issue?





Keep the ideas coming....
 

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Have you verified that you are getting spark and that the spark plug isn't fouled. Also, trace the wires back to the CDI and pull apart and re-seat the connectors. When you crank the engine over with the choke on and it refused to start does it smell like fuel in the exhaust? I'm also wondering about the fuel cap. Its a long shot, but try opening it before you crank the engine over. Theory being that if you shut off the valve and the fuel is warm without the vent working properly the cooling of the fuel over night might cause a vacuum in the system, starving the engine of fuel. If the exhaust already smells like the bike is getting fuel, your can go ahead and rule that out,
 

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Its just getting comical now..........



Swapped out the battery for a new/newer one. Same results. Cranking over , battery dies, no start. So i wiped the engine and wires down with a paper towel. No signs of condensation on anything other than the seat. So i guess i can rule out the battery....



What next?...



1. spray all wires and connection with wire dryer and "something" to keep and condensation out.



2. Leave stop cock "on" over night.---- Thinking maybe its not getting fuel to carb, but i doubt this is the reason. But I did leave it "on" for the day, and each time in the evening its starts right up.



3. Put back in barn and see if things go back to normal. then test with a cover while sitting outside.



4. Turn pilot screw out 3 turns, set now at 2 turns, with 2 clips.



Any other ideas? Im wondering if this bike is just cold natured? I need to work these bugs out before i haul it to NC for a weekend.



Could this be a cdi issue?





Keep the ideas coming....


Get some starter fluid in a spray can. Try taking off the cover to the air filter, removing the foam pad and spraying the fluid into the outlet from thr filter box to the carb. Does it fire up easily when you do this? If so then your problem could be fuel-related. If it fires up with the spray then the next time you try to start it in the morning, give the float chamber a few good hard taps with a blunt instrument before cranking to see if the problem is an intermittently sticking float needle. I would also consider the old trick of removing the spark plug, heating in the oven or under the grill and then refitting it when it's good and hot (use gloves to carry it!). If it fires up OK with a hot plug then that suggests mixture problems when it's cold (although it might also be a weak spark).



If the problem still seems to be electrical then you may also want to consider taking the battery out overnight and giving it a charge in a warm room then try the bike in the morning with a freshly charged warm battery. Battery capacity is affected by temperature so it could be that it can't quite generate enough power when it has got cold overnight but it is able to work OK when it is warmer. If I was exploring the cold battery possibility I would connect it up to car battery before attempting a morning cold start (make absolutely sure you get the terminals the right way round!). If it fires up fine using a car battery then you probably need to invest in a new (heavy duty if possible) battery for your bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Have you verified that you are getting spark and that the spark plug isn't fouled. Also, trace the wires back to the CDI and pull apart and re-seat the connectors. When you crank the engine over with the choke on and it refused to start does it smell like fuel in the exhaust? I'm also wondering about the fuel cap. Its a long shot, but try opening it before you crank the engine over. Theory being that if you shut off the valve and the fuel is warm without the vent working properly the cooling of the fuel over night might cause a vacuum in the system, starving the engine of fuel. If the exhaust already smells like the bike is getting fuel, your can go ahead and rule that out,




I just installed a new NGK spark plug, properly plugged. With just a few hours on it. I did unplug the plug wire and reseat it on the plug. Doing this gave me a slight start then died. So ill double check the spark plug in the AM.



I was also thinking of the vapor lock on the fuel cap. Ill add that to my list of things to try.....









Edit: In doing some research , i wonder if my oil weight is slowing things down..running 20w50. Guess i should switch to a 10w.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So as clockwork when i got home it fired off at the end of the first revolution. Fuel petcock was still off, so i think i could rule out any fuel starvation issue. As the bowl seems to still have some fuel in it. I stopped and got some 10w40 oil. Even after running the bike for 30-45 seconds the 20w50 flowed out like syrup. It took the 20w50 3 times as long to drain as it took to pour in the 10w40. So maybe thats it..... ill test again in the morning..... Next test if this doesnt work is back to the barn with doors open to check if indeed it is temp causing it or humidity/comdensation/dampness........



this is slowly becoming more of a science experiment each day......
 

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I don't think it it's any one thing. When it is colder the air is more dense and you need more fuel. Either open the pilot screw more or use the "choke", which on our bikes is not a "choke" but an enrichener. When it is colder a weak battery will not keep the charge. Hence a low battery causes the starter to turn slowly. Couple that with the fact that these clutch plates tend to stick together, it is notably worse with thicker oil, the sticky clutch plates slow the engine rotation when trying to start up the bike. If the engine turns too slowly it does not put out enough power to cause proper spark and your bike won't start. The longer you try the weaker the battery gets and worse the problem. I went through this last year. Drove me nuts. Bike would not start in the morning but would fire right up at lunch time.

Here is what fixed it for me. Pilot screw open 3 turns. New battery. Clean all the corrosion in the battery cables or replace them. Clean the contacts on the starter. New clean 10w-40 synthetic oil. Most importantly, start the bike in Neutral...NOT in gear with the clutch pulled in, put it in neutral. Actually putting it in Neutral ensures no drag on the motor when starting it. If you just pull in the clutch the plates still drag and the motor turns over too slowly.

I don't see moisture having anything to do with it. I'm in AL too and it is humid as hell, my bike sits outside in the rain and it still starts and runs fine. I have ridden it from Townsend TN to Ellijay GA with 2 other TW riders in a torrential downpour the entire ride without problems.
 
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