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Discussion Starter #1
https://youtu.be/_Ib70z1y0zk
Hi all, I've been reading around the forums a bit here and I must say you all very knowledgeable with your machines. But I'm hoping to get you all's opinion. I've had a lot of used and abused machines that I spent a great deal of time working on as opposed to riding. I finally wanted to be down with it and bought a brand new 2018 KLR 650 with 6.9 (not even kidding) miles on it. From the showroom floor after purchasing it, it had a hard time starting. Which the dealer told me was normal. I've never had a new motorcycle before so I said, Okay, but if it keeps acting up ya'll will fix it, right? They said it was no problem. Not even two days later the motorcycle doesn't even want to start on a cold night, choke, no choke or otherwise. It even stalled out on the freeway on the way to the dealership to have them fix it.

I wish I had recorded that, they told me they fixed the issue by cleaning the carburetor. So I started recording the motorcycle. Let me know, is this normal? The dealership is telling me this is all normal for a new motorcycle, but it can't be true...
 

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No it's not normal. Any new bike starts right up with no drama. You've got a fuel delivery problem sounds to me. Take it back and show them the last minute of the video.
 

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No not normal; my 2000 is 18 years old and starts like a champ every time. I suspect that even with the low mileage that the bike had been prepped and run at some point and then it sat........if it had ethanol contaminated fuel in it and it sat for even a couple weeks, you can get green spooge building up in the carb. Thier "fix" makes sense in that context but then you should have no more issues with it.

All that said, it is a carbureted bike and it takes a little bit of time to get used to a routine and know how much enricher to use based on the temp of the bike and ambient temps....but it's not rocket science nor does it explain the bike dying whilst underway.

If it was my bike, I'd install a KLX jet kit from Eaglemike, pull the snorkle and swap up to an LiFePo battery (spins the starter faster) but you shouldn't have to do any of those things to get it to run right and start consistently.

Cheers,
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No it's not normal. Any new bike starts right up with no drama. You've got a fuel delivery problem sounds to me. Take it back and show them the last minute of the video.
I sent the video to the dealership, they told me that due to the sand on the side of the bike (I rubbed up against a soft dune), they believe the bike was dropped and they say that is the reason for all the issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No not normal; my 2000 is 18 years old and starts like a champ every time. I suspect that even with the low mileage that the bike had been prepped and run at some point and then it sat........if it had ethanol contaminated fuel in it and it sat for even a couple weeks, you can get green spooge building up in the carb. Thier "fix" makes sense in that context but then you should have no more issues with it.

All that said, it is a carbureted bike and it takes a little bit of time to get used to a routine and know how much enricher to use based on the temp of the bike and ambient temps....but it's not rocket science nor does it explain the bike dying whilst underway.

If it was my bike, I'd install a KLX jet kit from Eaglemike, pull the snorkle and swap up to an LiFePo battery (spins the starter faster) but you shouldn't have to do any of those things to get it to run right and start consistently.

Cheers,
Dave
They say it was stored with no gas or anything, I purchased it jan 13th and in total I've probably had the bike just over 9 days in my possession. I returned it 3 days later when it was having starting issues (and I hadn't even taken it off road at that point). That's when they said they "opened up the carburetor to allow more fuel in.". I asked what that meant, if they rejetted or what. He said they only checked the float bowls to see if they were clogged or stuck, to which they weren't. I told them "Then you haven't found the problem". That's when they cleaned the carbs, or so they tell me. I had the bike for a few more days and that's when it again stalled out on the highway and I decided to try it off road and stalled out and didn't want to start. I figured maybe I was just going to slow for the engine to cool down.
 

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Sounds like you need to do your own carb work to fix this. That's what I would do. Also make sure you're getting good gas flow to the carb when it stalls out.
 

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I sent the video to the dealership, they told me that due to the sand on the side of the bike (I rubbed up against a soft dune), they believe the bike was dropped and they say that is the reason for all the issues.

That's bull shit and sounds like a shitty dealer.:tapfoot: you may have a bit of a hard start condition after a drop when you first start it up, but after that it should start normally again.

Might be time to visit another dealer or make a call to Kawasaki Customer Service.
 

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I can see if it were dropped or layed down on its side, it will flood over some and may be hard starting. In which case, you’d keep the choke off and open the throttle while cranking to clear it. I couldn’t tell if you did, or how much time passed in the video before it finally started. If the throttle was not opened, it could take quite a while to clear before it would start.
I’ve had this happen a few times on my ‘16 and other bikes and it took maybe 10-15 seconds cranking with throttle opened to start.
 
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Albert,
Once the engine is running and the temp gauge is near or above the 1/8 scale does the engine idle normally, with No enrichner (choke) & respond to fairly quick throttle input?
 

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Albert,
In your video, I don't hear much 'thump,thump,thump' from the muffler when you are cranking and the engine is Not Even Trying to ignite.

This usually suggests a low Cold Cranking Compression issue. The 1996, 2008 & 2009 units had some over-active Kawasaki Automatic Compression Releases. Maybe the issue is back, again?

But we really need to rule out carburetor issues.
Do you mistakenly open the throttle during a cold start attempt when you should only have the enrichner pulled wide open?
From the factory there is too much slack in the choke cable, but the adjuster is under the fuel tank, gotta' remove it to adjust it. Good time for the dealership to also perform a Wide Open throttle compression test! In Your Presence as an observer. Specs call for 77- 124 psi. 90-125 is usually very reliable cold weather (30f & up) starter.
 

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Take it back to them again and make a fuss, have one of the mechanics ride it every day until is dies on him and leaves him stranded - you'll get more attention. Go to the sales man that sold it to you (hopefully with another customer) and explain how the POS HE sold you doesn't run and their service staff is avoiding the problem - my '06 with bad rings and needing a valve job still hit every time I started it. Very not cool of the dealership. carb probably varnished up - make sure you only run non-ethanol gas in it unless it is a daily driver. Ethanol gas can varnish in 30 days or less.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That's bull shit and sounds like a shitty dealer.:tapfoot: you may have a bit of a hard start condition after a drop when you first start it up, but after that it should start normally again.

Might be time to visit another dealer or make a call to Kawasaki Customer Service.
Already spoke to Kawasaki they say they are going to send a tech to assist them in a week

Albert,
Once the engine is running and the temp gauge is near or above the 1/8 scale does the engine idle normally, with No enrichner (choke) & respond to fairly quick throttle input?
Seems to run the same no matter the temperature. It seems to idle a bit higher when warmer (no choke) and responds fairly quickly to throttle input.

Albert,
In your video, I don't hear much 'thump,thump,thump' from the muffler when you are cranking and the engine is Not Even Trying to ignite.

This usually suggests a low Cold Cranking Compression issue. The 1996, 2008 & 2009 units had some over-active Kawasaki Automatic Compression Releases. Maybe the issue is back, again?

But we really need to rule out carburetor issues.
Do you mistakenly open the throttle during a cold start attempt when you should only have the enrichner pulled wide open?
From the factory there is too much slack in the choke cable, but the adjuster is under the fuel tank, gotta' remove it to adjust it. Good time for the dealership to also perform a Wide Open throttle compression test! In Your Presence as an observer. Specs call for 77- 124 psi. 90-125 is usually very reliable cold weather (30f & up) starter.
You are right there is no thump from the muffler. I do not open the throttle on cold starts. I only rev it in the video because without the extra throttle blip the motorcycle would just die like it had been doing, as if it wasn't getting gas :/
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Take it back to them again and make a fuss, have one of the mechanics ride it every day until is dies on him and leaves him stranded - you'll get more attention. Go to the sales man that sold it to you (hopefully with another customer) and explain how the POS HE sold you doesn't run and their service staff is avoiding the problem - my '06 with bad rings and needing a valve job still hit every time I started it. Very not cool of the dealership. carb probably varnished up - make sure you only run non-ethanol gas in it unless it is a daily driver. Ethanol gas can varnish in 30 days or less.
I've been making a fuss, calling daily, complaining about my bike to the mechanic's supervisor, the manager, and even the store owner and branch manager. They really don't care. This dealership has been a ****ing nightmare. But I'm really glad that you seasoned KLR owners are telling me that this really is not normal. I knew there was no way it could be but this definitely does give me extra peace of mind.
 

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Keep kicking. These things love mods and go forever with them (as far as I can tell) hence the large community. None of them, IMO, when properly maintained, run poorly and they can take a ton of abuse. Just my 2 bits being almost 300 pounds (think 6'6" lineman) and having ridden 2-up through hairy trails.
 

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Albert,
What is the engine idle speed?
If it responds to throttle as described, I'll ask if the idle speed screw on the RH side needs to be turned up to 1100 rpm cool - 1300 rpm fully warmed in-order to not die at a stop light.

Too low of idle speed setting will affect starting, cold & hot. But I'd still suggest choke cable adjustment and CCC test.

With the engine running at normal temp & idle speed of 1200 + or - 100 rpm, gently pull on the choke lever. If it moves more than 1/4 of full travel before affecting rpm & exhaust note I'll suggest that the cable has too much slack in it & it is possibly not getting full cold enrichment.

Upon your 1st complaint, did they talk about zero throttle on cold startups, with full choke applied?
And then on hot startups, put starter in motion & then add just a touch of throttle? (I always explained this at point of sale.)

Idle speed and choke cable adjustment should have been 2 of the first things discussed & attended to by a competent mechanic, after your 2nd complaint, IMHO. And carburetor cleaning if needed. (Which it may or may not have needed or received.)

If a 3rd complaint, CC Compression test, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
All of this on their nickel, this is just proper dealer set-up and possible diagnosis of a possible warranty issue, IMHO. (42 + years in the biz)
 

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Albert,
What is the engine idle speed?
If it responds to throttle as described, I'll ask if the idle speed screw on the RH side needs to be turned up to 1100 rpm cool - 1300 rpm fully warmed in-order to not die at a stop light. (42 + years in the biz)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but few brands that I purchased new before, came to the dealer in the crate. In this case, I don't know if KLR comes like that or not. If it does, some kid dropped the ball in PDI and the choke cable being out of adjustment, is the most likely culprit. Since bike had 6.9 miles on the clock, it's obvious that it had gas in the tank, the question is HOW LONG was it sitting at the dealer's fueled, and what kind of fuel was in the carb? Since they "cleaned" the carb (I seriously doubt that), gas should not be the issue. Choke cable/idle speed is more likely. If I would have a problem like that (and IF I fail to get help from KHI), I would take it to an Indy, serve the dealership with the bill, and resort to small claims court if they refuse to pay (or take too much time to pay up).
 

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I'd call Kawasaki’s USA Customer Service: 949-460-5688 Pacific Time, they're located in Orange County California.

They, I am certain, will be more than willing to "help" the dealer resolve this issue!
 

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Daniel,
I've no idea about any other brands delivery of new motorcycles to their dealers, but not a single Kawasaki motorcycle ever delivered to the previously oldest Kawasaki dealership in the USA ever was delivered un-crated. And there was always some assembly required! More assembly than many realize on many models.

On the 1987-2016 KLR650's, the fuel tank was empty, but it was installed. Normally no need to remove a KLR650 fuel tank to perform final assembly, final preparation & test ride. And I always insisted on putting on at least the 1st 5 miles to check all transmission gears, bed in the brake pads & scrub in as much radius of the tires as possible.

The Gen 1 choke cable adjuster is/was near the lever, easily re-adjusted.
The Gen 2, they buried it along the frame spine, but in a 65-85f shop a KLR650 will normally start even if the cable is allowing only 1/2 choke.

The Gen 2 choke cable can be easily adjusted properly (if needed) during the 500 mile break-in maintenance. Which the fuel tank should be removed to properly perform.
But if the cable truly Needs adjustment before then, you are correct, it should be considered part of the PDI by the dealer & their customer.
 

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Albert, I've been reviewing your video some more.

You are letting off of the starter button about 2 rotations of the engine too soon in several of the attempts. It is a single cylinder engine, it does Not have an extra 3, 5 or 7 cylinders to carry the engine thru to the next firing of that 1st & only cylinder.

Time slots, :38-:52 / 1:12-1:25 / 2:30-2:50 . You should have left your thumb on the button just 2 more seconds.

It is Not like an automotive starter. On most Japanese bikes, one can leave their thumb on the starter button for a minute or even two with the engine running and will it not have any grinding of teeth like a car. Because it is a one-way sprag clutch engagement system, not a spiral Bendix drive.
Heck, one could even engage the starter button at red-line on any Kawasaki motorcycle that I can remember, with no ill effects. Heck, the next time it is running try it, you will hear what I mean. No problem.

At 1:48 you appear to have used the cold start enrichner upon getting the bike un-stuck from the sand. I assume that the engine was fully up to temperature before riding into the sand. Wrong move.
You should have put the starter and therefore engine into motion and then gently rolled the throttle open. Keeping your thumb on the button until after the engine was in full running mode, or a thirty second count, whichever comes 1st.

At 2:54-2:55 when you do finally get it started, it sounds like it is only going to idle at about 900-1100 rpm. That is usually Too SLOW.

At 3:11-3:14, you are releasing the button too soon again. Quit playing tap,tap,tap. CRANK IT.

At 3:22-4:55 is where I really noticed that I wasn't hearing much 'Thump, Thump, Thump' from the non-running/non-firing exhaust pipe. But, Too Low of idle speed setting will reduce the amount of air being compressed, so one could have less 'thump,thump,thump'. Did you ever just gently roll the throttle open in this time frame?

At 5:02-5:04 I see your wrist flinch. Which allows more air in, which creates more compression, which allows the engine to start.

I truly think that an idle speed adjustment (1200 +/- 100) and these tips will probably eliminate your starting issues.
If not, show the dealership how much slack is in the choke cable with the procedure I earlier described. And if it is slack like I suspect, insist that they remove the tank to properly adjust it and Perform a Cold Cranking Compression test while the fuel tank is removed. 90+psi should be good.
 
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I bought my KLR Brand new in July. I have never had any trouble starting it at all. Not even the very first time I started it at the dealership.
I did have a minor problem; a coolant lead caused by a loose coolant line clamp. I could have fixed it easily my self, but bugger that, the thing had only done one thousand Kilometers! That means any problem is the dealer's problem, or Kawasaki's problem. I took it back to the dealer and had them fix it.

I would have demanded they fix any problem in the first couple of thousand kilometers.

I advise you to fix nothing, adjust nothing and demand the dealer take care of their problem.

I wish you all the luck in the world

Regards

Timberfoot
 
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