TW200 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2003 TW200 (actually belongs to my son-in-law that will not start unless you lay it down on the right side almost to the ground, and then it will fire up and start. Apparently the previous owner had the same problem and disclosed this. After the first time getting it to start using the tilt method, it will start later after stopping or the next day. It runs good while riding.

Since I thought this should be an easy fix, I went to work on it since it bugged me. I checked the fuel out of the tank at the carb hose to make sure fuel is getting to the carb. The gas is good and it has always had this problem the first time you start it. Note that we always run the carb dry when it is put away.

I figured it was a got level setting or a stuck/binding float that frees up when the bike is tilted to the right side.

I opened the bowl drain and turned on the petcock to see if gas is getting to the carb and it is.

I pulled the bowl off and checked the float setting and it is spot on to the specs and the float has no obstruction. It moves freely uo and down. Checked to verify that the float shuts off fuel when the float is lifted.

Put it all back together and it still won't start the first time unless you lean it over.

I Has anyone else seen this problem on their TW or have a suggestion on what to check. My feeling is that it is a fuel issue, but maybe it could be something else that leaning the bike over fixes.

Thanks,
Al
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
Hi Al, welcome to the forum. Let's start with some common stuff. If I'm in your shoes, here is what I'm doing...

Inspect: What shape is the air filter in? I'll make adjustments with cleaning and oiling if I see fit. I'm going to check the airbox in case any critters made a home in there that will obstruct air flow. I continue forward by looking at airbox to carb boot then the carb to engine manifold looking for cracks or holes and fit and how everything is sealing, as well as the general condition of the rubber. As with tires, these parts are recommended to be replaced every decade or so because of rubber breakdown and deterioration. Pulling the seat and the side covers, I'm looking at the condition, routing, sheathing, connections of the wiring and spark plug wire and boot. While I'm in there, I'm changing the 20 amp fuse and the spare, because an oxidation layer can cause some funky stuff, and it's just too cheap and easy to do not to do it. Tighten the battery connections.

Easy, stupid stuff: Change the oil. Change the spark plug. Even if it's good. $5 for a new one, just change it. Eliminate it as a source of any problems. Then, even if I think the gas is fresh, I'm changing it for brand new stuff straight from the pump. I pour the old stuff into a gas can and then, if it still looks and smells good, it goes in my truck. Since the carb is probably suspect, when I put new, fresh gas in an empty tank, I'm going to add a bottle of Sea Foam, since it can work wonders, and might just work without a total carb breakdown and cleaning. The secret with an additive like Sea Foam is to run the bike and get it in and through the system, then let it sit, preferably overnight. Repeat. Repeat. With this though, don't run the bowl dry, leave it wet. Run the bike, shut it off with the key, turn the petcock off, let it sit. Do it again later. Again. Let it sit to work to breakdown the gunk, then run it through. Let it sit again.

Worth noting: The stock TW carb is set very lean from factory to get that EPA and MPG rating, but most change that to make it start and run better. The pilot circuit screw is underneath towards the front of the bike. The stock setting is .95 turns out from a light seat, but most find going to around 2.5 turns out is the sweet spot. If it's never been touched, then it is hidden under a factory cover which can be removed by making a small hole, then turning in a small sheet metal screw to bite the cover, then pulling on the screw with pliers or vise-grips.

Finally: A good carb cleaning with a full breakdown and cleaning of the body in a sonic bath with a solution of simple green. Inspect the internal parts and replace as necessary.

I'm trying hard to think of why it would only start when laid over on its right side. Here are my quick possibles and what to check... 1) The petcock is on the left, so once you open the petcock and get fuel into the bowl, something with the float and valve might not be quite right and flood. When laid all the way over to the right, the fuel may not get down the petcock tube? Turn on petcock for 15 seconds to get fuel into the bowl then shut it off. Keeping the bike upright, see if it will start. 2) Old, thick oil and a weak battery may not be letting the engine crank quickly enough to start and leaning it over put all of the oil over, reducing the load in the bottom end enough to allow the engine to crank faster to start? Charge/change/jump battery and change oil. 3) There is a nest or something in the airbox that obstructs the intake tube, but leaning over moves the object, allowing airflow for the bike to start? Check airbox. 4) A wire or connection is grounding out or not connecting, but when the bike is laid over it hangs free or connects properly? Check wiring and connections.

You'll want to check out our Stickies in the Technical Write Ups section... Technical Write-Ups

You may want the Service Manual... http://tw200forum.com/forum/technical-write-ups/70-service-repair-manuals.html

Before tearing apart the carb, get familiar with it here... http://tw200forum.com/forum/technical-write-ups/881-tk-carb-photos-parts-identification.html

If you do open it up, you may need this... http://tw200forum.com/forum/technical-write-ups/967-removing-carburetor-float.html

Good luck. Let us know what you find.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Turning off the fuel and draining the carburetor is a good thing. Next time you shut it down leave the gas turned off, the carb drain screw closed, and after a day or so check the carb drain to see if the carb now has fuel in it. Sometimes the petcock will slowly leak fuel and refill the carburetor. I had a previous motorcycle that had this very same starting problem. If gas was left in the carb for more then a few days it refused to start. I always made sure the carb was drained when I went to start it after a long period of being idle. For what ever reason it didn’t like gas sitting it the carb. This worked well and I would turn on the gas at that time it always started right up. I’m currently replacing the petcock on my 2002 TW due to it very slowly seeps gas back into the bowl. Just maybe? Easy fix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Just noticed that both of you are from Washington. That is my home state as well. The bike is out on the Pacific coast and I live in the Seattle area. I will dive into your suggestions as soon as I get back out their. I had not considered the leaking petcock possibility. The TW is a great bike for riding around the area and the big tires are good for riding the beaches. Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,079 Posts
Inspect both ends of both battery cables.
If there is a loose connection at the battery, leaning it may allow some battery movement, which may help with the connection.

All good advice on the carb, but many "carb" problems are electrical.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Badgerflorida

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,598 Posts
Wow this is a weird one. Lots of good advice here. Go after the free or cheap stuff first. Can’t wait to hear what the culprit is. Since you’re only dealing with air, fuel and spark - seems to me fuel would be most affected by lean-angle. Cheers and good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,079 Posts
Wow this is a weird one. Lots of good advice here. Go after the free or cheap stuff first. Can’t wait to hear what the culprit is. Since you’re only dealing with air, fuel and spark - seems to me fuel would be most affected by lean-angle. Cheers and good luck.
Float level was one of my first thoughts, but it was already addressed by the OP.

My guess may be wrong, but generally my focus is electrical, with some consideration for this clue: "After the first time getting it to start using the tilt method, it will start later after stopping or the next day."
 
  • Like
Reactions: Badgerflorida

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Just wondering, if the petcock seeps fuel which would be the same as leaving it on, and the float valve seeps a little, would that fill the carb to the point where it would cause starting problems? I would think it would. If the carb was filled to that point would leaning it way over to the right side allow enough fuel to drain out to allow it to start? Just wondering...
 
  • Like
Reactions: admiral

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I just replaced the battery and cleaned the cables prior to installing it. Most of the suggestions made here I had already looked into. I was hoping someone might say that this is a known problem caused by something that has already been figured out.

Apparently the previous owner never figured it out and just used the tilt to the right and then pick it back upright to start it up.

Besides the other suggestion that I have not tried yet I think I will check it for spark before leaning it over to confirm it is probably a fuel problem.

It could be a while before I go back out to the ocean but I will keep you informed of what the status is. I am not one to give up on anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
I think the right answer here is to get your own TW, and when your SIL sees how much fun you are having riding with us, he will figure that sucker out for himself. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
Maybe the leaning thing is just mojo, and adds to the total time to start.

If you come out cold, lean it over first thing, without trying anything else, does it start right away?

Leaning over is an odd fix... and I'd want to dispel that idea first, if possible. :dontknow:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,422 Posts
My experience is that the TW is a power hog on the battery. Perhaps you have a bad bearing on your starter which causes excessive drain when starting. This would decrease the power going to the coil and not enough spark to fire it up. When leaned over it perhaps is not pulling extra amps due to the excessive pressure of of that bearing being relieved thereby getting enough power for plenty of fire power. Something to consider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,598 Posts
Not sure if it has been mentioned yet in this thread, but you also need to consider all the safety switches - neutral, kickstand, etc. They shouldn’t be affected by lean angle, but you never know. Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,823 Posts
this is a problem with a lot of xt225. some say to lean the bike on both sides. some say to shut the fuel off before stopping the motor the day before, to run the fuel down in the bowl. i find if i touch the throttle at all on a cold start, that will increase the starting time. i think it all points to one thing....a pumper carb. good excuse to get one
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,061 Posts
What happens when you try to start it the conventional way? Doe's it try to start at all? Petcock on, choke on full and hit the start button? What happens?
 
  • Like
Reactions: maddawgj and Ken

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,079 Posts
What happens when you try to start it the conventional way? Doe's it try to start at all? Petcock on, choke on full and hit the start button? What happens?
Ditto
Does the motor crank/turn-over but no spark for it to start or does it do nothing?
I am traveling (Kanab, UTah-great weather) and do not have schematics to reference.
My XT250 came equipped with a bank angle sensor / tilt / tip-over sensor.
I do not recall the TW having one, but if it does, I'd bypass or replace it.

BTW, there are earlier posts on this forum about this pedculiar starting method.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ken and maddawgj

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,061 Posts
No sensor. Do you recall where you saw those posts? It might help this guy. I looked yesterday and couldn't find anything.
 
  • Like
Reactions: maddawgj and Ken

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Should we start a pool and pick our favorite possible cause? Electrical, Fuel, etc? We would have to wait until he OP figures it out and reports back. ? Inquiring minds want to know!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ken
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top