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Discussion Starter #1
Oh Great Alpha Nerds of the TW200 Forum! I beseech thee for some of thy hard-earned wisdom.

My 1993 TW really has a hard time starting in the cold. It's got a new carb, clean gas, and new battery but just doesn't like it when it gets a little nippy outside (30 F). In fact, it won't start at all. But if I stick my heat gun on the cylinder head for a few minutes it starts up just fine and runs well. I'm trying to understand what may be happening inside the engine to cause this problem, but I don't think I fully understand all the variables yet.

I understand the older TW generators don't put out as much power, especially with a stock bulb in the headlight, so the starter may not be getting as much juice. A friend suggested that the cylinder walls may be lacquered up which is causing things to get a bit tight in there. Another suggestion was that the rings are worn out and I'm not getting enough compression.

Any other suggestions on what may be going on inside my engine? I don't have an intuitive feel for the TW yet and would appreciate any insights you have.

-Sam
 

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Many TWs are cold blooded. I would start by adjusting the air/fuel mixture screw and make sure you’re getting a good consistent spark.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Many TWs are cold blooded. I would start by adjusting the air/fuel mixture screw and make sure you’re getting a good consistent spark.
I stuck a new spark in it last week but I haven't adjusted the air fuel mixture screw yet. I'll do that next. Thanks.

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Sam,
May I make a suggestion. You've been asked if it's getting a constant spark. Well, before I'd go through too much additional cost or whatever, there's two things to suggest here.
1. Pull that spark plug out and ground it thoroughly. You can clamp a jumper wire on the threads and the other end to a good, known ground, like the negative on the battery.

2. Leave the clutch out, and make sure you're in neutral (green neutral light ON), and, make sure the kick stand is down.

3. Now, hit the start button and watch for spark. If your spark plug fires initially, for 2 or possibly 3 sparks then, seems to shut down and you're still cranking. Stop.

4. Now, do the same test, only with the clutch lever pulled IN. Push the start button and now watch the spark plug. If it continuously sparks, that's normal.

5. Are you pulling the clutch lever in while trying to start your bike dead cold? If not, try it. If you are pulling in the clutch, then I can't help any further. I've just recently found I needed to pull in the clutch to start the bike, even with the bike in neutral.

Now, when the bike's been ridden for a few miles and shut down for a moment or two or three, when I come out of a store etc. and go to start the bike, there's no need for the clutch to be in. The first couple of sparks that are supplied without the clutch being pulled in will fire that engine easily. But, during cold starts, it starts waaaaaaaaay better when the clutch is pulled in.
Scott
 

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Does this happen when you are trying to start it with the electric starter or kick start or both?

Couple thoughts/experiences which may help you (or not).

If it has a hard time starting with both electric and kick starter, you may have a lean condition. I had an XT200 (kick start only) which has a very hard time starting in cold weather. It starts great during the summer with the stock pilot jet. Last spring I put in a larger pilot jet and it would start up either right away or after just a few kicks. During warm weather, it didn't run very well so I put the smaller (stock) pilot jet back in. In my XT's case, I think there may be something else wrong with the carb (plugged enricher system) but since you put in a new carb this would eliminate that problem.

I also have a 93 TW and it rarely starts with the electric starter but will fire right up with the kick starter. This eliminates it being a carb issue. Every great once in a while it will start with the electric start. I've swapped in different batteries from one of my other TW's and it does the same thing. FYI, my other TW will start with the 93 battery so I've pretty much eliminated it as a battery problem. Still, I think if I rode it more it would start more often with the electric starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
1. Pull that spark plug out and ground it thoroughly. You can clamp a jumper wire on the threads and the other end to a good, known ground, like the negative on the battery.

2. Leave the clutch out, and make sure you're in neutral (green neutral light ON), and, make sure the kick stand is down.

3. Now, hit the start button and watch for spark. If your spark plug fires initially, for 2 or possibly 3 sparks then, seems to shut down and you're still cranking. Stop.

4. Now, do the same test, only with the clutch lever pulled IN. Push the start button and now watch the spark plug. If it continuously sparks, that's normal.

Scott
That was a really interesting experiment. My spark fires continuously with or without the clutch lever pulled in. I'm not sure that's normal. But since this bike has had so much of the electrical system stripped out I wouldn't be surprised by any kind of quirk it has. Fortunately, it still runs great in the summer. I just want to see if I can get out on the trails as soon as the mud dries up a bit. Maybe February . . . :)

My bike also starts up easily with the electric start once it's warmed up , but it's a lot like Admiral's in that it really needs a kick whenever its cold.

My next task is to adjust the fuel air mix and learn more about carbs. The previous owner bought a decent $60 carb off of eBay and stuck it in without any adjustments because he didn't want to learn how to rebuild or adjust a carb. Like I said, runs great in the summer, but it appears to needs some tweaking for colder weather.

Does this happen when you are trying to start it with the electric starter or kick start or both?

Couple thoughts/experiences which may help you (or not).

If it has a hard time starting with both electric and kick starter, you may have a lean condition. I had an XT200 (kick start only) which has a very hard time starting in cold weather. It starts great during the summer with the stock pilot jet. Last spring I put in a larger pilot jet and it would start up either right away or after just a few kicks. During warm weather, it didn't run very well so I put the smaller (stock) pilot jet back in. In my XT's case, I think there may be something else wrong with the carb (plugged enricher system) but since you put in a new carb this would eliminate that problem.
In the summer it'll start with either, but if it's moderately cold 40 - 50 F it definitely needs a kick, but it starts great with a kick. It's only when it gets below 40 or so that neither method works.

I'm at 5000 feet and the previous owner who bought the new carb was at sea level. I suspect I might need to tune the carb a bit for my higher elevation and colder temps. Honestly, I'm a little excited (and anxious) to see if I can learn how to properly tune a carb. I've read most of the carb posts on this site and when it gets a little warmer I'll start fiddling around. I'd really like to get this bike running as strong as possible. I've got a 7,690 elevation mountain in my backyard and I've just had so much fun exploring it. I'd just like my bikes to run properly under all conditions, if that's possible.
 

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Oh Great Alpha Nerds of the TW200 Forum! I beseech thee for some of thy hard-earned wisdom.

My 1993 TW really has a hard time starting in the cold. It's got a new carb, clean gas, and new battery but just doesn't like it when it gets a little nippy outside (30 F). In fact, it won't start at all. But if I stick my heat gun on the cylinder head for a few minutes it starts up just fine and runs well. I'm trying to understand what may be happening inside the engine to cause this problem, but I don't think I fully understand all the variables yet.

I understand the older TW generators don't put out as much power, especially with a stock bulb in the headlight, so the starter may not be getting as much juice. A friend suggested that the cylinder walls may be lacquered up which is causing things to get a bit tight in there. Another suggestion was that the rings are worn out and I'm not getting enough compression.

Any other suggestions on what may be going on inside my engine? I don't have an intuitive feel for the TW yet and would appreciate any insights you have.
It needs to be spoiled in a warm garage and not rode and put away wet.
Oh Great Alpha Nerds of the TW200 Forum! I beseech thee for some of thy hard-earned wisdom.

My 1993 TW really has a hard time starting in the cold. It's got a new carb, clean gas, and new battery but just doesn't like it when it gets a little nippy outside (30 F). In fact, it won't start at all. But if I stick my heat gun on the cylinder head for a few minutes it starts up just fine and runs well. I'm trying to understand what may be happening inside the engine to cause this problem, but I don't think I fully understand all the variables yet.

I understand the older TW generators don't put out as much power, especially with a stock bulb in the headlight, so the starter may not be getting as much juice. A friend suggested that the cylinder walls may be lacquered up which is causing things to get a bit tight in there. Another suggestion was that the rings are worn out and I'm not getting enough compression.

Any other suggestions on what may be going on inside my engine? I don't have an intuitive feel for the TW yet and would appreciate any insights you have.

-Sam
Here's a pic of my old 93. It starts right up. I suspect that moving from sea level to a higher altitude needs a carb adjustment to start correctly.

203276

Oh Great Alpha Nerds of the TW200 Forum! I beseech thee for some of thy hard-earned wisdom.

My 1993 TW really has a hard time starting in the cold. It's got a new carb, clean gas, and new battery but just doesn't like it when it gets a little nippy outside (30 F). In fact, it won't start at all. But if I stick my heat gun on the cylinder head for a few minutes it starts up just fine and runs well. I'm trying to understand what may be happening inside the engine to cause this problem, but I don't think I fully understand all the variables yet.

I understand the older TW generators don't put out as much power, especially with a stock bulb in the headlight, so the starter may not be getting as much juice. A friend suggested that the cylinder walls may be lacquered up which is causing things to get a bit tight in there. Another suggestion was that the rings are worn out and I'm not getting enough compression.

Any other suggestions on what may be going on inside my engine? I don't have an intuitive feel for the TW yet and would appreciate any insights you have.

-Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here's a pic of my old 93. It starts right up. I suspect that moving from sea level to a higher altitude needs a carb adjustment to start correctly.

View attachment 203276
That's a pretty clean looking '93!

How is the box on the rear working out for you? Does it grab too much wind at high speeds?
 

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Does your choke help with cold starts? You can also give a look in the airbox and at the filter. If it’s dirty you might not be getting enough air. Also give your carb boots a look to make sure they have a good tight seal. I use synthetic oil in all my bikes. I recommend it for cold blooded bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Does your choke help with cold starts? You can also give a look in the airbox and at the filter. If it’s dirty you might not be getting enough air. Also give your carb boots a look to make sure they have a good tight seal. I use synthetic oil in all my bikes. I recommend it for cold blooded bikes.
In the really cold weather the choke doesn't help enough. Checked the airbox and the filter is clean and freshly oiled. Haven't checked the boots yet but that's a good idea. Ditto on the synthetic oil.

I usually use synthetic in my vehicles but I've been sticking with the Yamalube for the TWs. But I can see the merits of going with synthetic for the bikes. Synthetic seems to be a little slicker in my experience and should help with the colder starts.

Do you have a preference on a reasonably priced synthetic? I've read the oil threads on this forum and they made my head spin. :)

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Discussion Starter #11
Everybody, thanks for all the suggestions. I'm going to keep working down the list of things to check until I get this bike working properly. It really is a joy to ride!

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I have always used Mobil1 Racing 4T synthetic. It is approved for use in wet clutch bikes like ours. There is a farm supply chain of stores here in the Midwest (Farm & Fleet) that always has it priced at $10 per quart.
 

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I have zero science to back this up but... back when I was a wrench and worked on and rode bikes most everyday, when a bike was really cold, I found that holding the front brake on and compressing the forks up and down vigorously for a few seconds seemed to help atomize the fuel in the carb which led to easier starting. No joke!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have zero science to back this up but... back when I was a wrench and worked on and rode bikes most everyday, when a bike was really cold, I found that holding the front brake on and compressing the forks up and down vigorously for a few seconds seemed to help atomize the fuel in the carb which led to easier starting. No joke!
No, I think you're wrong. There is science to that observation. I've been doing a similar thing with lawnmowers for years but I never thought to try it with a bike. That's an excellent suggestion!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have always used Mobil1 Racing 4T synthetic. It is approved for use in wet clutch bikes like ours. There is a farm supply chain of stores here in the Midwest (Farm & Fleet) that always has it priced at $10 per quart.
I've got a Tractor Supply near me. I'll check it out this morning. Thanks.
 

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That's a pretty clean looking '93!

How is the box on the rear working out for you? Does it grab too much wind at high speeds?
It is a battery box. I works great for hauling things around. I don't think it grabs any wind because I already block all the wind before it gets there. I have loaded all kinds of things in there and it is better than a backpack. Something I learned though, an empty steel cup can act like a ball on a pothole. I hit a bump and the cup jumped out of the box and down the street. I spotted it a few times going to work and was going to get it but I think a rain washed it down the gutter before I got to it.
 

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It is a battery box. I works great for hauling things around. I don't think it grabs any wind because I already block all the wind before it gets there. I have loaded all kinds of things in there and it is better than a backpack. Something I learned though, an empty steel cup can act like a ball on a pothole. I hit a bump and the cup jumped out of the box and down the street. I spotted it a few times going to work and was going to get it but I think a rain washed it down the gutter before I got to it.
That's a great idea. I may put one of those on my bike that doesn't have a rack. Thanks for the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If it won't start...even with the choke pulled...then you are definitely too lean and need to adjust the mixture screw,
2 1/2 turns out from lightly (but fully) seated.
Darn. That was way too easy a fix. I wish all of them were like that.

Once I figured out how to get access to the adjustment screw and found the right screwdriver tip, it took me all of 3 minutes to seat it and back it out 2 1/2 turns. And now it starts with the electric starter in cold weather. Thanks!
 

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Glad it worked out for you.....

You will find (with this model) that many 'fixes' are quite easy...it's a simple but robust engine and with any luck, your repairs will be few and far between.
Change your oil often...check your valves at every other oil change...never lug the engine...keep your chain clean and lubed.
 
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