2008 Starting Problems...sometimes.. - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-05-2011, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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2008 Starting Problems...sometimes..

Hi everyone, I'm looking for some help in figuring out why my 2008 KLR650 is hard to start sometimes. The bike can sit for a few days and start great or it can start great every day and then it doesn't want to start. The bike cranks great and I think it might be a fuel related problem. To get it to start I play with the choke and throttle but what seems to help the most to get it started is by sitting on the bike with it upright off of the kickstand, wait a minute or two and then it will start. I have had the bike into the dealership several times for this and they are clueless. I have also had the bike start great the first time of the day, ride to an appointment, come out an hour later and it doesn't want to start. When the bike does start it runs great, no problems with it while riding. I thought the petcock was the problem (maybe clogged) and rebuilt that, installed a new plug, new battery ( 2 weeks ago) and adjusted the pilot screw out to a total of 2 turns. The bike doesn't do this on every start, just once in a while. If it is hard to start the first time that day and I ride it, it's hard to start if I stop somewhere and restart it. The carb was gone through by the dealership the last time I had it in there and they said it was clean and ok. I'm not sure where to start to look so anyone with any ideas would be great. Thanks.
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-05-2011, 07:25 PM
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Try putting some Sea Foam in the fuel tank and run it with that added. What kind of fuel are you using? Try without ethanol blend.

Other than that the 22 cent mod is worth a try.

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post #3 of 16 Old 09-05-2011, 07:42 PM
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Have you tried checking for spark when it won't start? Sounds like you've covered the fuel system pretty well. Possibly an intermittent spark issue?

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post #4 of 16 Old 09-05-2011, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Normy View Post
Hi everyone, I'm looking for some help in figuring out why my 2008 KLR650 is hard to start sometimes. The bike can sit for a few days and start great or it can start great every day and then it doesn't want to start. The bike cranks great and I think it might be a fuel related problem. To get it to start I play with the choke and throttle but what seems to help the most to get it started is by sitting on the bike with it upright off of the kickstand, wait a minute or two and then it will start. I have had the bike into the dealership several times for this and they are clueless. I have also had the bike start great the first time of the day, ride to an appointment, come out an hour later and it doesn't want to start. When the bike does start it runs great, no problems with it while riding. I thought the petcock was the problem (maybe clogged) and rebuilt that, installed a new plug, new battery ( 2 weeks ago) and adjusted the pilot screw out to a total of 2 turns. The bike doesn't do this on every start, just once in a while. If it is hard to start the first time that day and I ride it, it's hard to start if I stop somewhere and restart it. The carb was gone through by the dealership the last time I had it in there and they said it was clean and ok. I'm not sure where to start to look so anyone with any ideas would be great. Thanks.

Welcome to the forum.

How many miles on the bike? Have you checked the valves? When they start to tighten up the bike will get harder to start.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-05-2011, 07:49 PM
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Seafoam for sure and remember the choke is not an on off switch.




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post #6 of 16 Old 09-05-2011, 10:34 PM
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try venting the tank next time it doesnt start?

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post #7 of 16 Old 09-06-2011, 07:10 AM
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My suspicion leans towards valve adjustment. If this has been done, please disregard. If it hasn't, regardless of the owner's manual mileage recommendation, it might be worth looking into. Tight valves lend themselves to starting problems, particularly when warm.

Welcome to the forum, and I hope you find this place useful and entertaining. Keep us in the loop as you work through this issue.

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post #8 of 16 Old 09-06-2011, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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HI everyone, thanks for the information. My bike has 3500 miles on it and the valves have not been adjusted. As for the fuel, I use 87 in it and I think it has some ethanol in it. I bought the bike new in March 2008 and I fill up at the same station I have always used since I bought the bike. The starting problem started about a year ago. Since I live in SW Oklahoma I ride the bike almost year round so I wasn't supprized when the dealership said the carb was clean. What I'm confused about is that if I have the bike upright (on my mortocycle jack or sitting on it) that seems to work to get it to start after not starting. I'll be trying everyone's suggestions and see what happens. As for a valve adjustment, any good idea's what to set them at? I do have a Kawasaki manual for the bike, just wondering what you all think works best for valves. Thanks again to everyone
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-06-2011, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Normy View Post
HI everyone, thanks for the information. My bike has 3500 miles on it and the valves have not been adjusted. As for the fuel, I use 87 in it and I think it has some ethanol in it. I bought the bike new in March 2008 and I fill up at the same station I have always used since I bought the bike. The starting problem started about a year ago. Since I live in SW Oklahoma I ride the bike almost year round so I wasn't supprized when the dealership said the carb was clean. What I'm confused about is that if I have the bike upright (on my mortocycle jack or sitting on it) that seems to work to get it to start after not starting. I'll be trying everyone's suggestions and see what happens. As for a valve adjustment, any good idea's what to set them at? I do have a Kawasaki manual for the bike, just wondering what you all think works best for valves. Thanks again to everyone

You want to set the valves to the max end of the spec.

3500 miles in 3.5 years, I'm guessing you have a fuel contamination problem. You can open up the float bowel drain and see if there's gas in there when it's not starting. Take the carb apart yourself and blow out all the jets with carb/brake cleaner. Gas sitting in a carb will leave a varnish that plugs stuff up. The float valve may be hanging up and that's why it starts easier standing straight upright. I would drain the tank and clean it out and the petcock also.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-06-2011, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Spec, the tank has been drained and cleaned when I rebuilt the petcock a couple months ago and that's also when I put in a new plug (old one looked good). The screens on the petcock stand pipes were in great condition and not clogged. Ya, the bike doesn't have many miles and has lived a sheltered life because it was my main ride to work and the base is about 2 miles from my house. Thanks for the idea of the float hanging up and I will clean the carb myself to see if that helps. As for the float hanging up, I have never ripped apart a carb, would it be easy to see if it hangs up?
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