KLR 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 04-25-2015, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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KLR Won't Start

A few days ago I got a Thermo-Bob kit in the mail for my 2014 KLR. I was having trouble getting the thermostat housing installed so I first took off the right side panel then finally took off the gas tank to do the install. Removing the tank also allowed me room to use a torque wrench on the new housing assembly. Once I had the Thermo-Bob kit installed I remounted the gas tank, connected the fuel lines, started the bike, and ran it until the fan came on then shut off to make sure that all was fine. Then I reinstalled the panels, seat and remainder of the parts and was happy with the installation and how easy it was, even with removing panels and the tank.

Well, today I was going for my first ride since doing this work. I started the bike normally and was letting it warm up a bit before riding off, but when I eased back on the choke lever the engine died. I tried restarting, the engine sputtered a bit, then no more sputters. When I looked things over I found that the vacuum hose to the fuel tap had fallen off so I reattached it. But the bike still won't start, it just cranks and cranks without a pop or sputter. I looked things over as best as I can with the gas tank installed and all looks fine including both ends of that vacuum hose. I have tried the fuel tap in both the on and reserve positions with no luck. I also tried cranking the bike over with the carb float bowl screw backed off, a tiny bit of fuel dribbled out, but then no more.

Well, I removed the fuel tank and all looks okay, can't find any loose or damaged wires. The vacuum hose for the petcock was tightly attached to the carb. The main fuse under the seat is okay so it's not that. I'm guessing that I screwed something up but why did the bike run fine a few days ago and during the warm up today but then suddenly quit? Any ideas? Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-25-2015, 01:06 PM
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If you pull the fuel line off the carb and crank it over you should get a good stream coming from your tank/petcock. If your not, it's either the vacuum hose or the petcock. Can't really see the petcock failing on a brand new bike though, so I suspect that the problem lies with the vacuum line or the fuel line.

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post #3 of 13 Old 04-25-2015, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 650Stew View Post
If you pull the fuel line off the carb and crank it over you should get a good stream coming from your tank/petcock. If your not, it's either the vacuum hose or the petcock. Can't really see the petcock failing on a brand new bike though, so I suspect that the problem lies with the vacuum line or the fuel line.
I opened the drain on the bottom of the float bowl. If fuel was flowing it would come out of this drain hole. None came out.
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-25-2015, 05:34 PM
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If I was working on it, I'd disconnect both the fuel and vacuum lines from the petcock. And connect some scrap hoses to the fittings.
With a fuel line in a glass jar, and the vacuum line in my lips, I'd suck on the vacuum fitting and put my tongue on the end of the hose.
Turn the fuel selector handle from ON to Reserve and confirm fuel flow from both positions. Then turn the handle to OFF! And keep your tongue on the vacuum hose, at least 30 more seconds!

If the vacuum diaphragm 'retains' your tongue and the fuel flows in both ON and Reserve, that part should be Good.

Re-connect the FUEL Hose Only to the carb. Suck on the vacuum hose to refill the carb. AND Drain the carb, into the glass jar. Fuel can get in, and a sufficient quantity can be drained out.

Refill the carb, and reconnect the vacuum hose to the fuel valve and the carb. Test run.

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post #5 of 13 Old 04-25-2015, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
If I was working on it, I'd disconnect both the fuel and vacuum lines from the petcock. And connect some scrap hoses to the fittings.
With a fuel line in a glass jar, and the vacuum line in my lips, I'd suck on the vacuum fitting and put my tongue on the end of the hose.
Turn the fuel selector handle from ON to Reserve and confirm fuel flow from both positions. Then turn the handle to OFF! And keep your tongue on the vacuum hose, at least 30 more seconds!
If the vacuum diaphragm 'retains' your tongue and the fuel flows in both ON and Reserve, that part should be Good.
Re-connect the FUEL Hose Only to the carb. Suck on the vacuum hose to refill the carb. AND Drain the carb, into the glass jar. Fuel can get in, and a sufficient quantity can be drained out.
Refill the carb, and reconnect the vacuum hose to the fuel valve and the carb. Test run.
Since posting I've removed the gas tan, drained all the gas and removed to petcock. My plan is to simply order a non-vacuum petcock from Eagle Mike on Monday morning. Do you have any ideas on how to test the petcock with it removed from the tank?
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-25-2015, 08:11 PM
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Yes,


Apply Vacuum to the appropriate nipple and blow/suck thru the fuel nipple.

With an empty carburetor, it takes about 20 seconds of continuous cranking to fill an empty KLR 650 carburator With GAS, with the choke DIS-ENGAGED.
If one Engages the cold start enrichener (CHOKE), that steals vacuum from the fuel valve diaphragm! Then it will take about 30-40 seconds of continuous cranking to fill the KLR650 carb with gas. Then it should start.

So the 'secret' is ZERO Throttle, ZERO 'choke'. Crank it continuously, 20-30 seconds to fill the carb with fuel and Then Pull the Choke ON, all in one continuous operation! Should start. If not, just 'tweak' the throttle a smidge, while still cranking.

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post #7 of 13 Old 04-25-2015, 10:59 PM
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It sounds like you inadvertently pulled the vacuum line off the petcock, then ran it until the carb emptied.

Have you tried to start it for a good long time, like 10-20 seconds? It can take some time to fill that carb bowl back up with gas after you empty it. You can hit the starter for short spurts waiting several seconds between to create vacuum in order to fill that bowl if you don't want to work your starter so long. Another alternative is to apply a vacuum to the petcock vac hose (suck) to fill the bowl.


err.... like pd said.

**edit: I rather doubt you have a bad part- I'm sure that it's just a simple thing that got dislodged while you were working on it. I wouldn't go buy parts (or even yank off my tank) yet.
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-26-2015, 01:14 AM
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I would get some clear 1/4" vinyl tubing. Remove the fuel line from the petcock and run a length of the clear tubing from the petcock outlet down to a can/pan/bottle/whatever on the floor.

Fill another piece of tubing about six feet long with gas by sucking it up into the tube or however you like. Hold the two ends of the tube up so the gas doesn't leak out. Plug one end of the tube into the fuel line removed from the petcock and hold the other end up so the gas can flow from the tube to the carburetor. This tube is acting like a small gas tank.

With the vacuum line connected to the petcock and the lever turned to on and fuel in the tank start the engine as you normally do with the enricher and let it idle.

Now the question is "What doesn't work?" If the engine doesn't start with the gas from the tube, you know to suspect the carburetor or the spark.

If fuel doesn't come out of the petcock into the container on the floor while the engine is cranking or running, you know to suspect the fuel delivery. Hopefully it is something simple like not enough fuel in the tank or accidentally turning the petcock to OFF instead of RESERVE.
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-26-2015, 04:15 AM
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Modest proposal:

After cranking, with fuel in the tank . . . open carb drain screw (2.5 mm hex key, IIRC). Does fuel flow from float bowl out drain? If YES, vacuum petcock and float valve are WORKING; if not . . . problem could be either . . . a good, "WHACK!" of the carb will sometimes free a stuck float valve; repair/adjustment of a malfunctioning vacuum petcock may be more complex.

If fuel flows, but bike won't start still, could be contaminated fuel. Checking for this problem, disconnect fuel line at tank; drain fuel bowl COMPLETELY . . . stick a small funnel's nose into the now-disconnected fuel line; FILL funnel with guaranteed righteous fresh, "dry," gasoline (you DID close the carb drain screw, right?); then crank her up. You KNOW you have combustible fuel in the carb now; assume you've checked for spark; whether you have compression should be obvious from cranking . . . if it don't start then, looks like a carb problem, curable, perhaps, by carb disassembly and mechanical cleaning/adjustment (might get by with, "Better living through CHEMISTRY," applying some carb-cleaner fuel additive joy-juice, like Sea Foam, etc. A dose of fuel conditioner, like "HEET" fuel-line anti-freeze in the tank to combat moisture, may be a good idea . . . better still, drain the whole fuel tank and re-fill with fresh gas, to be sure (vacuum must be applied to the stock petcock to perform this routine, draining through the petcock).

Spark, compression, and a combustible mixture are necessary for the engine to run. The first two can be verified; the latter (combustible mixture) may require purging of existing fuel and resupply from a known good source.

A 'way cool device for cases like this is . . . a small bottle of fuel, with a 1/4" i.d. hose attached to the lid; substitute fuel tank for connecting to the carburetor when testing; about $ 10 from Tucker Rocky, or you can use the funnel-and-hose technique previously mentioned . . .

EDIT: SEE POST # 11 BELOW.

Last edited by Damocles; 04-26-2015 at 06:33 AM.
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-26-2015, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyxon View Post
It sounds like you inadvertently pulled the vacuum line off the petcock, then ran it until the carb emptied.

Have you tried to start it for a good long time, like 10-20 seconds? It can take some time to fill that carb bowl back up with gas after you empty it. You can hit the starter for short spurts waiting several seconds between to create vacuum in order to fill that bowl if you don't want to work your starter so long. Another alternative is to apply a vacuum to the petcock vac hose (suck) to fill the bowl.


err.... like pd said.

**edit: I rather doubt you have a bad part- I'm sure that it's just a simple thing that got dislodged while you were working on it. I wouldn't go buy parts (or even yank off my tank) yet.
I did inadvertently knock off the vacuum line. It more like fell off, probably was never installed fully. But I did not crank the engine for a good long time. It's hard to believe that I have a bad part on a brand new motorcycle so your explanation makes the most sense to me.
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