hard starting if it sits a week or longer - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-20-2014, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Question hard starting if it sits a week or longer

I'm new to 2nd gen KLR so I'm stumped - the manual says to shut off petcock when storing, but the petcock is vacuum activated so it's irrelevant - what is relevant is that after a week the carb is dry and Kawasaki didn't put a prime position on the petcock - the dealer said they used to have one - so I grind and grind the starter to fill the carb - is there anything I can do that's smarter than killing the battery and starter?
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-20-2014, 10:50 PM
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Welcome to the Forum Lee_T ! I have a 2011 and even when I leave it sit over winter is doesn't turn over twice before starting. I got rid of the vacuum operated fuel valve and installed one of the manual valves from a Yamaha 660 Raptor. Minor rerouting of the fuel line was required. You can get one from:
http://www.eaglemike.com/Manual-Petc...LR650-mpcy.htm

Check out the rest of Mike's site too. Big KLR supporter and great guy as well!
Regards....justjeff

It's not a Tractor....It's a LOCOMOTIVE!! Chugga Chugga
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-21-2014, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee_T View Post
I'm new to 2nd gen KLR so I'm stumped - the manual says to shut off petcock when storing, but the petcock is vacuum activated so it's irrelevant - what is relevant is that after a week the carb is dry and Kawasaki didn't put a prime position on the petcock - the dealer said they used to have one - so I grind and grind the starter to fill the carb - is there anything I can do that's smarter than killing the battery and starter?
"After a week the carb is dry . . . "

Just wondering; where does the fuel in the float bowl GO?????????

Doubt it can evaporate through the jets in that time; maybe I'm overlooking another pathway.

Mine generally starts with application of STARTING ENRICHER, rather independent of storage time.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-21-2014, 08:02 AM
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Mine does the same thing.

The only time it does it is on the first start when it's sat for over a week or so. I'm not sure what causes it so like a lab rat I have simply adjusted my routine. I roll it out and let the starter spin the engine over a couple of times. If it doesn't start, I just shut off the key, go take a couple of minutes to put my gear on, then it just starts right up when I try it again.

I don't know what causes it. It doesn't matter if I use the choke or not.

At one point I thought maybe there was some kind of binding in the choke mechanism: i.e. I would pull the lever, but perhaps something was hanging up so it took a couple of minutes before everything at the other end of the cable moved into position.

But, one would think this would also occur if the bike had sat for only 2 days and a choke start was required. If it just sits for a couple of days, it starts up just fine. It's just as cold when it's sat for 2 days as 45, so ambient temperature doesn't seem to be a factor.

Under the same temperature/length of sitting conditions, I've tried starting it with no choke, half choke, full choke. It does the same thing every time. With my new routine, I fully engage the choke and if it doesn't start, I'll just leave the choke lever where it is until I come back out and start it. I don't attempt a start, move the choke back to "Off" while it sits, then come back out and return the choke to "On" before attempting to start it again.

I queried this on another thread recently and a few owners had experienced the same issue, but it doesn't seem to be all that common.

I've been riding it pretty regularly, but the next time it sits for at least a week, I'm going to try Savage's suggestion of twisting the throttle a couple of times before attempting that first start.

It would seem the only thing that really changes between my first unsuccessful start attempt and my second successful attempt is application of vacuum to the petcock.

Another thing I've noted is that it seems to do it more toward the end of my riding season. Over the Winter, I dump a prodigious amount of Seafoam into my tank and make sure it circulates through the fuel system. Maybe after a few months of running shitty 10% ethanol gas, the thing just gets a little persnickety. I don't remember it doing this back in say, March or April.

I will have to make it a point to see how it acts again next Spring after it's had a healthy dose of Seafoam run through the carb again.

As a short-term experiment, I'm going to start filling up with the non-ethanol 90-octane gas they're now offering at a new gas station close to where I work. I'm going to keep my tank filled with that for the time being and see if things change the next time I have to leave the bike sitting for a week.

But, for the time being, the crank/wait/crank method works fine for me.



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post #5 of 12 Old 09-21-2014, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
"After a week the carb is dry . . . "

Just wondering; where does the fuel in the float bowl GO?????????

Doubt it can evaporate through the jets in that time; maybe I'm overlooking another pathway.
Maybe it evaporates out the bowl vent? pretty small opening though.
jj

It's not a Tractor....It's a LOCOMOTIVE!! Chugga Chugga
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-24-2014, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
"After a week the carb is dry . . . "

Just wondering; where does the fuel in the float bowl GO?????????

Doubt it can evaporate through the jets in that time; maybe I'm overlooking another pathway.

Mine generally starts with application of STARTING ENRICHER, rather independent of storage time.
Yeah. A week does seem very short for the bowl to dry out. Two or three months, maybe, but a week is too short.

Try an experiment. Get it running and then kill it and drain the bowl into a small container like a medicine bottle and mark the level. The next time it has sat for a week, before starting, drain the bowl into the bottle and observe the week old level compared to the minute old level.

I wonder if problem might be the opposite. If the float valve had a very slight very slow leak, over a week it could drain the fuel line down into the bowl and the bike could be flooded when you first try to start it. It would take a bit of cranking to clear the excess fuel from the bowl before it would start.

The bowl drain measurements would give an idea of what the problem might be.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-26-2014, 08:53 PM
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Guys,
I'll give you my take on this issue.
Todays ethanol 'enhanced' fuel IS very 'evaporative'!

When you pull the choke 'ON', you reduce the Vacuum to the fuel petcock.
Reduced vacuum to the fuel petcock, reduces fuel FLOW to the carb.

TRY This,
Turn KEY on, NO CHOKE! NO THROTTLE! CRANK IT! For a count of 10-15.
To Re-fill the Carb.
With the starter button, STILL ENGAGED, PULL the Choke ON!

If it does NOT start, ALMOST Instantly, 'STILL CRANKING!', just 'twitch' the throttle.

Twitching the Throttle, allows more air in, more AIR IN, INCREASES the Compression. More compression, means an easier cold start (with an already 'primed' engine)!

Maybe it is (past) time for a valve tappet adjustment? Or KACR (Kawasaki Automatic Compression Release) modification? To get cold CRANKING compression to or ABOVE 100 psi.

pdwestman
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Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-26-2014, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
..............When you pull the choke 'ON', you reduce the Vacuum to the fuel petcock.
....................
I don't see how the choke/enricher can make a significant reduction in vacuum to the petcock.
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-26-2014, 09:05 PM
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Generation 2 Owners,
The MC Mod, or Exhaust Cam Advancement mod, may be worth 10-20 PSI of 'COLD START COMPRESSION' Increase all by its self.

WHY?
The mod also advances the KACR! (Closes the exhaust Valve Decompressor, EARLIER.)

And a 'Torqueier' engine power curve! Idle to 6000 RPM!
WHY?
Closes the exhaust VALVES Earlier during NORMAL running speeds.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting

Last edited by pdwestman; 09-26-2014 at 09:20 PM. Reason: Change of text. / Added text.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-26-2014, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoMotor View Post
I don't see how the choke/enricher can make a significant reduction in vacuum to the petcock.
GoMotor,
The enrichener opens an Extra jet and an Extra AIR PORT, which reduces Vacuum to the petcock.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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