Vstar 650 cold start problem - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Vstar 650 cold start problem

So picked up this Vstar 650 last week after it sat up for a few months from a buddy

In order to get it started I removed the carb bowls and sprayed inside cleaning what I could without removing floats or Jets.

Replaced bowls and it started right up, it runs and sounds great HOWEVER during cold start its taking me moving the air valve and choke in and out, basically doing anything I can to get it to stay running to warm up. It cranks right up and strong each time just dies like it's out of gas. Once warm it never does it again

My buddy states it never once gave him any issues on cold starts or anymore than any other bike would

Any thoughts ???

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 06:58 PM
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Sounds like pilot jets are clogged. Time to take carbs off for a good clean. Don't forget the small holes in side of pilot.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like pilot jets are clogged. Time to take carbs off for a good clean. Don't forget the small holes in side of pilot.

I knew it was coming lol

I was just hoping not to have to play with it

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 07:46 PM
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ok... couple things

the website saying to put half a 16oz can in your motorcycle tank is exceeding the recommendations on the side of the can: 1 ounce per gallon. The only time Ive heard of people having trouble with seafoam and other carb cleaners is when they dont follow the directions on the can written by the people who make the stuff.

about starting the bike: what are you doing with the choke when its cold?

the normal sequence is:

choke all the way out
crank the starter with zero throttle applied
when the engine fires you can burp it just a bit after you let off the starter
immediately push the choke in till it idles down normally, about half way in

check your lights and mirrors and all your gear, push the choke in a bit more if the motor sped up, then ride off
when you get about 1/2 mile down the road push the choke in all the way.

There is no procedure for starting the bike up and letting it sit there half choked warming up. If you wanted to let the bike sit and idle you would have to match the choke position bit by bit as the engine heads warm up. There is no need to do that.

If you get the bike to start, ride it. Once you have the throttle off zero the choke is no longer doing anything significant, just making the bike run a little bit rich. By the time you get half a mile down the road the bike should be warm enough for zero choke.

Before you tear the carbs apart, if its running it usually helps to put seafoam in your new gas. If the jets and ports are letting fuel thru (if the engine is running at all) then the carb cleaner will do its work as it flow thru the carb. Its $8 a can and worth a shot. The only time you really need to take the carbs all apart is if they are completely plugged with jello, and the engine wont run at all.

Also since you think the bike is running well, except for the choke business, the carbs cant be gummed up that bad. Go for a full tank of gas with 4oz of Seafoam and dont be shy about cranking the throttle open when you can, and then see how the cold start works after 200 miles.

Last edited by KCW; 12-06-2018 at 09:28 PM.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KCW View Post
ok... couple things

the website saying to put half a 16oz can in your motorcycle tank is exceeding the recommendations on the side of the can: 1 ounce per gallon. The only time Im heard of people having trouble with seafoam and other carb cleaners is when they dont follow the directions on the can written by the people who make the stuff.

about starting the bike: what are you doing with the choke when its cold?

the normal sequence is:

choke all the way out
crank the starter with zero throttle applied
when the engine fires you can burp it just a bit after you let off the starter
immediately push the choke in till it idles down normally, about half way in

check your lights and mirrors and all your gear, push the idle in a bit more if the motor sped up, then ride off
when you get about 1/2 mile down the road push the choke in all the way.

There is no procedure for starting the bike up and letting it sit there half choked warming up. If you wanted to let the bike sit and idle you would have to match the choke position bit by bit as the engine heads warm up. There is no need to do that.

If you get the bike to start, ride it. Once you have the throttle off zero the choke is no longer doing anything significant, just making the bike run a little bit rich. By the time you get half a mile down the road the bike should be warm enough for zero choke.

Before you tear the carbs apart, if its running it usually helps to put 1 ounce of seafoam in your new gas. If the jets and ports are letting fuel thru (if the engine is running at all) then the carb cleaner will do its work as it flow thru the carb. Its $8 a can and worth a 50 mile ride.

Also since you think the bike is running well, except for the choke business, the carbs cant be gummed up that bad. Go for a full tank of gas with 4oz of Seafoam and dont be shy about cranking the throttle open when you can, and then see how the cold start works.
Thanks KCW

I put the Seafoam in as you recommended after getting it. I really haven't ridin it enough, I will take it our and burn through a tank

Right now probably haven't even done 10 miles yet due to weather
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 08:02 PM
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If you need some encouragement, when I got my Royal Star in september I had never rode a V4 1300 bike before. I didnt know it at the time, but I was lugging the hell out of it, and it was running poorly. The previous owner had got to the point where he only rode it once a year to take it to get it inspected. He said he was draining the old gas out each winter and refilling the tank, but when I looked in the tank it looked like tea.

I rode the bike about 5 miles to where I work, drained the bad gas out and refilled it and added Seafoam.

It took about 3 tanks of fuel with Seafoam till the engine really started to perform, along with me getting my confidence up to ride it wide open in the lower gears. Now its running great and starts easily.

If a motorcycle is properly maintained and the fuel stabilized each winter before storage, you should never have to take the carbs apart and clean them. A can of Seafoam each year going thru the tank should keep it running great. If that was not true I never would have got the Royal Star with FOUR carbs, I would have got a Road Star (1600 V twin with a single carb).

Last edited by KCW; 12-06-2018 at 08:04 PM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KCW View Post
If you need some encouragement, when I got my Royal Star in september I had never rode a V4 1300 bike before. I didnt know it at the time, but I was lugging the hell out of it, and it was running poorly. The previous owner had got to the point where he only rode it once a year to take it to get it inspected. He said he was draining the old gas out each winter and refilling the tank, but when I looked in the tank it looked like tea.

I rode the bike about 5 miles to where I work, drained the bad gas out and refilled it and added Seafoam.

It took about 3 tanks of fuel with Seafoam till the engine really started to perform, along with me getting my confidence up to ride it wide open in the lower gears. Now its running great and starts easily.

If a motorcycle is properly maintained and the fuel stabilized each winter before storage, you should never have to take the carbs apart and clean them. A can of Seafoam each year going thru the tank should keep it running great. If that was not true I never would have got the Royal Star with FOUR carbs, I would have got a Road Star (1600 V twin with a single carb).
So I played with the choke as directed and left it on the last notch before fully out and it has started cold everytime without any issues and after a few seconds I slide it closed

Really not sure if this tells a story on why it would start perfect almost all the way out or not but figured as I ride it more this might end up changing with the carbs getting cleaned more each time
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018, 06:28 PM
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The carbs on the old air cooled VW beetles had a sorta self adjusting choke. It had a heater element in it.

If the engine was cold a bi metal spring would close the choke all the way. When you started the car the heater in the choke would start to warm it up. As it heated up (the heads and the element in the choke) it would open the choke slowly over the next few minutes.

You had to adjust it in the summer and winter, with the engine cold you loosen a screw and turn a plate till the choke was just touching closed all the way. That would set it for that temperature. In the summer that was not closed far enough so you did it again.

This gives you an idea what it takes to adjust the choke 'just right' as the engine is warming up. You would have to sit there and slowly nudge it in bit by bit as the engine warms up - because our bikes dont have the heater element in the choke.

Much easier to start up, check your lights and ride off. Just dont push it all the way in too soon, or when you stop the bike will stumble when you take off again. If it stumbles as you take off turning a corner, the bike will dive for the curb turning to the right, or into the other lane turning left.

Stay aware for the first half mile or so, the engine is running a little rough. After that push it in all the way.

Good to hear its perking up.

Last edited by KCW; 12-08-2018 at 07:14 PM.
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