Cold Weather Starting Problems - 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 17 Old 12-12-2017, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Cold Weather Starting Problems

My bike usually starts just fine but needs to warm up for a few minutes before it will run right under normal conditions. However, when the temp is in the mid-low 30's I have a lot of trouble getting it started. It will turn over and hit one time and die. If I try 10-15 times, it pops once or twice each time and that seems to warm it enough to get it running. I know it's a carbureted bike, but I would think I should be able to get it started with full choke in the cold.

I sure hate holding up the show when the group is sitting there on their carbureted DRZ's waiting for me to get my old KLR running.


So, is this normal? If not, I'll start down the road of fixing it.

If it is normal for the old KLR, then is there a known mod to fix it ?
I'm thinking I'd try to make some sort of tickler system to richen the mixture a bit, but just dreaming at this point.
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post #2 of 17 Old 12-12-2017, 09:25 PM
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1st order of diagnosis.
What year model is it?
How many miles on it?
How many miles since last valve tappet adjustment?
What was the engine Cold Cranking Compression reading after the last valve tappet adjustment?
What is the current engine C. C. Compression reading?

90+ psi should start pretty good! As long as you use full 'choke' and leave the throttle Alone!

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

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post #3 of 17 Old 12-13-2017, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
1st order of diagnosis.
What year model is it?
How many miles on it?
How many miles since last valve tappet adjustment?
What was the engine Cold Cranking Compression reading after the last valve tappet adjustment?
What is the current engine C. C. Compression reading?

90+ psi should start pretty good! As long as you use full 'choke' and leave the throttle Alone!
Thanks for the reply! Good to know it should start in near freezing temps.

The bike is a 2002 KLR650 A16.
There is 14K on the ODO. (suspiciously low for a 2002)
Valves were checked at 10K when I purchased the bike.
Exhaust .008 both sides
Intake .006 Left, .008 Right

I haven't checked compression but as you suggest that would be a good place to start, and hopefully eliminate as the problem. I will need to purchase or borrow a compression tester so it may be a while.
Is there a failure mode for the compression release that would cause low compression on starting even if everything else is OK?

Enricher cable is adjusted to 0.10" play.
Possibly some crud in the enricher passages?

I have read on some other threads that people have had success turning out the pilot mixture screw, but it seems to me that the mix would then be wrong when warm, plus, access to the screw is sealed off on my carburetor.

It doesn't get into the low 30's often in the California foothills where I live, so I will need to spend the night at higher elevation to reproduce the problem or to verify a fix. I want to try to understand and eliminate as many possible causes before heading up there again.
Any ideas are very much appreciated.
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-13-2017, 02:42 PM
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Do you use the throttle as you start the cold engine with the enrichner lever pulled?
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post #5 of 17 Old 12-13-2017, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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No, I never give it throttle when starting.
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post #6 of 17 Old 12-14-2017, 11:29 AM
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Then we need to know the C C Compression reading.
Then re-adjust the valve tappet clearance to .007-.008 intakes and .009-.010 exhausts, if CCC is low.
Then re-measure CCC.

If the CCC is less than 80psi one needs to perform a leak-down test to determine if the valves are leaking off the compression. Or is the decompressor pin simply too tall. (modification is possible)

A completely clean carburetor is always a good thing. Here is a video of the best/quickest way to remove it,

There are many carb cleaning videos available. There might be one in the link with-in this link,
http://www.klrforum.com/how-tos-tech...ing-cvk40.html

pdwestman
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post #7 of 17 Old 12-14-2017, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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I couldn't find a 12mm compression tester, so one is on it's way. Something I should have anyway, should be here in a couple days.
In the mean time I can clean the carb. Thanks for the video!

Also will be dealing with this !
Took the tank off and found both grade 10.9 sub-frame bolts sheared clean off..
I'm thinking the 10mm X 190mm grade 12.9 through bolt fix for this.
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post #8 of 17 Old 12-14-2017, 09:51 PM
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Looks like those bolts are 'extra long'! I'll just guess that your bike has 'crash bars installed'!

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

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post #9 of 17 Old 12-15-2017, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I installed the Motech crash bars and used the bolts that came with them. I had read about the sub-frame bolt issue but decided to take the chance since the bolts were high grad. Bad Idea. Now I have a major pain in the arse to deal with.

No need for cold weather starting the bike if the sub-frame isn't connected to it ....
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-15-2017, 12:04 PM
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Best to purchase a LEFT Hand drill bit, so as Not to spin the stubs In!!!!

If they are Not Lock-tited they may even be turned out with the point of an awl.
Can you get so lucky?

But I'm guessing those bolts were too long and bottomed out in the threads and never really tightened the sub-frame to the frame.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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