88' KLR very slow to start in the mornings - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 4 Old 09-27-2015, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2015
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88' KLR very slow to start in the mornings

Need some help with a little starting issue i'm having...

I bought a 1988 KLR 650 a few weeks ago. It was well maintained and i'm the third owner. 13k miles on it. Have LOVED the bike so far.

I commute to work daily. It's a short ride, only 8 miles or so. When I go to start my bike in the mornings it's incredibly slow to start. Full choke, few throttle twists, then about one full minute of cranking until the starter until it finally catches. I know this isn't right. If I bump/roll start the bike I can get it going fairly easily. I checked and charged the battery. It's in great shape.

Once I do get it running in the morning it runs great all day and idles well after I run it for a bit.

What are some first steps to diagnose this? Clean the carb? Could it be the spark?
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-28-2015, 04:15 AM
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Location: Maine
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Welcome to the forum.

You're right; it shouldn't be like that.

My '01 doesn't have an accelerator pump on the carb and I doubt that yours does either. Which means that twisting the throttle does nothing but open the butterfly -- no gas is drawn into the intake until the engine is turning.

Mine starts best if I turn on the choke (or enricher) and leave my hand off the throttle. Twisting the throttle will actually kill my engine in the first several seconds of running with the choke lever "on". (It's labeled "choke" but instead of reducing air like a real choke, it adds fuel so it's technically an "enricher circuit".)

I'd probably check the petcock and the vacuum line from the carb to the petcock.

But that's making a recommendation before all the info is in -- If you crank for half a minute and it doesn't start, does the exhaust smell of gas?

EDIT: Cleaning the carb on a bike this age is always a good idea.

Last edited by Grinnin; 09-28-2015 at 04:19 AM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-28-2015, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, so I didn't twist the throttle at all. Turned the enricher to full, and cranked it for half a minute. Didn't start up until I rolled the throttle slowly after the 30 seconds of cranking without any throttle.

I didn't smell any gas. I'll check the petcock and vacuum line. What's the best way to check for leaks? Any tips?

I cleaned the float bowl and jets but haven't done a full cleaning of the carb. I'll do that.

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post #4 of 4 Old 09-28-2015, 06:06 PM
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Have you checked the valve clearances or do you have history on valve clearance checks? If not you may want to give that a go.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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