Won't Start - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

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post #1 of 13 Old 11-12-2014, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
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Won't Start

Hi Friends:
Well, I rode 8000 miles since spring, from Oregon to Minnesota and back, the bike worked perfectly the whole way. It has not had any maintenance other than oil change recently. After changing oil the starting problem began, would not start. Seemed like fuel was not getting into the carb.
So, I started it by rolling down the hill and popping the clutch and it started hard but warmed up and ran OK. But when cold, will not fire up.
Being a pretty unsophisticated motorcycle mechanic, I searched the manual for starting problems. It mentions not overfilling the tank above the neck that causes fuel to expand into evaporative emission control system in California models-which this is not- which may cause hard starting.
OR
It could be clogged fuel line;
OR
It could be a vacuum problem with cap? (it has fresh gas; I'll try starting with fuel cap open..

My questions are:What order do I check these issues out? How do I clean the fuel line? (Is there no fuel filter in the fuel line?)Is there any reason why changing the oil and filter would result in hard starting?

This bike has been a great travelling companion!
Thanks for any suggestions.
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-12-2014, 07:35 AM
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Not much to go on, long-distance diagnosis-wise!

Just a couple of considerations: You ask about fuel filters; KLRs have screens inside the fuel tank on the petcock fitting; one for the regular standpipe, and one for the reserve standpipe. Rarely are these clogged, but . . . you might switch your petcock lever to the RESERVE position to see if fuel flow improves.

Or, you can check fuel flow by disconnecting fuel line to carburetor, place tank-side end in container, and crank the engine. Carburetor port vacuum from cranking should open petcock and fuel should flow freely while cranking.

Just a couple of idea; more likely, a piece of trash intermittently clogs a jet in your carb; might be able to flush it out by draining the float bowl; otherwise, you may learn what the inside of the carb looks like!

Good luck.
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-13-2014, 01:06 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2014
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Wont Start

I had my KLR 2014 stall on me as I was going down the road the bike acted like it was out of fuel so I flipped the reserve which did nothing for me, anyhow looking at the different options I think it is the petcock diaphragm not opening. This seems like a real common part to fail, I would try checking it by pulling it off and open it up to see it that is the problem.
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-14-2014, 03:11 PM
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Changing the oil and oil filter will not make the KLR hard to start unless you used some very heavy weight oil and have a weak battery on a cold day.

If your KLR starts and then runs fine by bump starting, I would not suspect anything in the fuel system. If the fuel system (tank cap, petcock screens, petcock vacuum diaphragm, fuel line, carburetor) works for bump starting, it should work with the starter motor.

Also, if it starts and runs well by bump starting, it is hard to suspect the ignition system.

Tight valve clearances will make it difficult to start, but the valves won't get instantly tighter because you changed the oil.

I would check the battery voltage. It should be about 12.5 volts. I would experiment by jumping the battery to a car battery. If it starts well with the car battery, you have to suspect the battery or the wire connections for the big battery wires.
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-15-2014, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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My mechanic suggested installing a larger jet, saying that at the factory the carbs are often set as lean as possible for better fuel economy... might explain cold starting difficulty? Thanks
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-15-2014, 08:53 PM
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Kawitranny,
TELL Your mechanic, that you want him to Check the engine compression First, before he starts messing with your carb!
If the engine compression is Less than 80psi, Ask him to check and adjust the Valve tappet clearances to the upper end of Specs.

That would be, No Tighter than .006" on the Intakes. And no tighter than .008" on the Exhausts.
Valve shims are Only Available in .002" Increments!

So, No Looser than .008" on the Intakes. And no looser than .010" on the Exhausts.

GoMotor suggested this already, I agree!

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-16-2014, 01:59 PM
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Hard starting

Does it crank over fast enough?
Does it crank slow? If so, measure voltage at battery while running the starter.
Should be above 12.0 volts. Most CDI's require at least 10 or 11 volts to operate.
Cranking can drop a battery down below 10 volts while starter is running.
When not cranking, the battery voltage can go back up above 12 volts.

You mentioned "when cold" it would not start. Check operation of choke. Could you be flooding it ??
After I laid my bike down on its side once, it was real hard to start.

Ageing Gracefully



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Last edited by larry31; 12-16-2014 at 02:04 PM.
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-17-2014, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawitranny View Post
My mechanic suggested installing a larger jet, saying that at the factory the carbs are often set as lean as possible for better fuel economy... might explain cold starting difficulty? Thanks
While your mechanic is right about the factory lean carburetor settings, the starting circuits (you are using the start lever on the handlebar?) provide a rich fuel/air mixture effectively bypassing the lean jetting when the start lever is used for starting.
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-17-2014, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawitranny View Post
Hi Friends:
Well, I rode 8000 miles since spring, from Oregon to Minnesota and back, the bike worked perfectly the whole way.

After changing oil the starting problem began, would not start. Seemed like fuel was not getting into the carb.

I started it by rolling down the hill and popping the clutch and it started hard but warmed up and ran OK. But when cold, will not fire up.

My mechanic suggested installing a larger jet,
Forget the main jet. That only comes into play near wide open throttle. Not at starting with a closed throttle.

Check the battery and main cables by jumping to a car battery. If it starts investigate the battery and cable connections.

Check for fuel to the carb by opening the drain at the bottom of the carb and applying suction the vacuum nipple at the back of the petcock. Suck on it with a hose. If you get good flow out the drain, the fuel supply is good.

Check the carburetor function by squirting some starting fluid
in the air box near the filter. If it starts, clean the carburetor.

Since you say it runs OK once started, it doesn't seem likely to be a spark plug or wiring problem, but a nice clean plug never hurts.

Tight valves can make hard starting, but usually changing the oil doesn't cause the valves to tighten up. If you don't know the condition of your valves, it is a good idea to check them.
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-26-2014, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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It is not the jet

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
Kawitranny,
TELL Your mechanic, that you want him to Check the engine compression First, before he starts messing with your carb!
If the engine compression is Less than 80psi, Ask him to check and adjust the Valve tappet clearances to the upper end of Specs.

That would be, No Tighter than .006" on the Intakes. And no tighter than .008" on the Exhausts.
Valve shims are Only Available in .002" Increments!

So, No Looser than .008" on the Intakes. And no looser than .010" on the Exhausts.

GoMotor suggested this already, I agree!
Thank you for this instruction. I sent it to the mechanic, and I'll need to take the bike in because it still doesn't start in the cold unless I crank it repeatedly with the throttle a little open. Unfortunately, I put on a jet kit, costing over 200, without needing it, but I did get more power, which is nice.T hanks all for advice..,
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