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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need some help with a little starting issue i'm having...

I bought a 1988 KLR 650 a few weeks ago. It was well maintained and i'm the third owner. 13k miles on it. Have LOVED the bike so far.

I commute to work daily. It's a short ride, only 8 miles or so. When I go to start my bike in the mornings it's incredibly slow to start. Full choke, few throttle twists, then about one full minute of cranking until the starter until it finally catches. I know this isn't right. If I bump/roll start the bike I can get it going fairly easily. I checked and charged the battery. It's in great shape.

Once I do get it running in the morning it runs great all day and idles well after I run it for a bit.

What are some first steps to diagnose this? Clean the carb? Could it be the spark?
 

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Welcome to the forum.

You're right; it shouldn't be like that.

My '01 doesn't have an accelerator pump on the carb and I doubt that yours does either. Which means that twisting the throttle does nothing but open the butterfly -- no gas is drawn into the intake until the engine is turning.

Mine starts best if I turn on the choke (or enricher) and leave my hand off the throttle. Twisting the throttle will actually kill my engine in the first several seconds of running with the choke lever "on". (It's labeled "choke" but instead of reducing air like a real choke, it adds fuel so it's technically an "enricher circuit".)

I'd probably check the petcock and the vacuum line from the carb to the petcock.

But that's making a recommendation before all the info is in -- If you crank for half a minute and it doesn't start, does the exhaust smell of gas?

EDIT: Cleaning the carb on a bike this age is always a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, so I didn't twist the throttle at all. Turned the enricher to full, and cranked it for half a minute. Didn't start up until I rolled the throttle slowly after the 30 seconds of cranking without any throttle.

I didn't smell any gas. I'll check the petcock and vacuum line. What's the best way to check for leaks? Any tips?

I cleaned the float bowl and jets but haven't done a full cleaning of the carb. I'll do that.

Thanks!
 

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Have you checked the valve clearances or do you have history on valve clearance checks? If not you may want to give that a go.
 
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