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Discussion Starter #1
My Yamaha 650cc (2009) runs great but getting it to cold start it is a hit or miss. Dealer installed a brand new battery, spark plugs, topped off all the fluids, etc., and had verified the electrical system to be in fine condition. Even with a full choke, it does not start in our current temperatures, ranging between 45 and 55 degrees. Note also that the bike is parked outside -- no garage. A rolling start (being pushed at 10-15mph, 2nd gear) is the only way I can get it started.

Any troubleshooting tips? Also, is continued use of a rolling start harmful to the bike?

Thanks!

SC
 

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Hi Sridhar, I am no expert, but I once owned a 1999 V-Star 650 Classic and currently own a 2000 V-Star 1100 Classic, but if I were you I would try to determine if it was a fuel or spark problem by doing the following tests: I would pull out a plug when it refused to start and see if the plug was wet. If it was wet - you know it is not a fuel problem. Then after the plug dried I would turn it over with the plug still in the plug wire and let it hand down and rest against the side of the cylinder head and turn it over again to see if you are getting spark. If you determine that it is neither a fuel or spark problem then you may want to treat the fuel itself. Is it possible that you have water in your fuel? You may want to try a fuel treatment that is o.k to use in your bike to disperse any water that you may have in your fuel system. I would also see if the bike starts once you put up the kick stand because it may be a problem with the kick stand safety switch and that may be why you can only start it when you kick start it (with the kickstand up). Also, I don't think it is particularly harmful to kick start a bike occasionally, but you may damage your clutch if you do it all the time.
 

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How are you starting the bike?

Sit on the bike, kickstand up.
Turn fuel tank on
pull choke all the way out
Bike in neutral
Turn on ignition, make sure check engine and neutral lights come on
Turn on kill switch (to run position)

Do not pump or twist the throttle
pull the clutch in
hold the starter with NO throttle until the bike fires (might take several seconds)
when the bike fires you can burp the throttle just a bit.

assuming it starts push the choke in immediately one or two clicks
dont push it in all the way until you have ridden two or three blocks (1/4 mile).

There are pitfalls in each of these steps if you are not doing something correctly that will keep the bike from starting.

If the bike still wont start, the debug tree branches in many directions:

1. is the fuel / exhaust system stock, or have the jets been modified?
2. is your air filter clean
3. is your choke engaging properly
4. is the starter spinning at the normal speed...
5. are your plug wires damp / wet (can you keep the bike covered) ?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your tips. Have been doing all the things you've suggested, and gave up and finally took it to the mechanic. He diagnosed the problem to be faulty pulse coil; part of the stator apparently. Cost to fix is a whopping $500

Sridhar
 

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Thank you for your tips. Have been doing all the things you've suggested, and gave up and finally took it to the mechanic. He diagnosed the problem to be faulty pulse coil; part of the stator apparently. Cost to fix is a whopping $500

Sridhar
wow 500.00 for an 85.00 pickup coil and a 12.00 gasket,and maybe a couple hrs labour. i changed mine in just under 2 hours. i'd be questioning the shop on how many hours their charging, if i can do it in 2 hrs the book labour time can't be much more than that, the stator screws can be a real pain, mine were and i still kept the time under 2 hrs, if i remember i had to remove the tool box, the tank, the side stand and the two side covers.and everything was easy to access, no special tools needed
 

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We bought my wife's 2002 V Star 650 a year ago. Unfortunately we did not get to see the bike cold started before buying, and it turned out there were some carb issues that included very lean burn and made it pretty hard to start even in warm summer temperatures. After cleaning the carbs and adjusting the primary mixture screws to 3.5 turns out, rejetting mains to 100, and shimming the needles with two 1/32" washers each (we live in Denver) the bike ran much better and started a little easier. Once the cooler weather hit the bike would not start with less than 25 attempts. I scoured the web looking for some advice and found two likely causes: 1. The carbs were dirty or 2. a myriad of possible electrical problems.

I figured there was no way the carbs were the issue since I had just cleaned them, so I spent a lot of time researching the electronics and testing various coils, relays etc. No solution was found.

Finally I stripped the carbs down to bare metal (i.e. removed all seals and soft parts) and soaked overnight in Berryman 0996 Chem-Dip Carburetor. Then I used gumout spray cleaner to very carefully clean ALL of the circuits. After reassembling and reinstalling the carbs, the bike starts easily even in sub-freezing temperatures.

I'm posting this in hopes of saving other folks the grief of uncertainty in troubleshooting cold starts on these bikes. Unless you have completely torn down and cleaned the carbs, you probably have enough contamination in one or more of the starting circuits to prevent a good start.

Please note: you MUST completely disassemble the carbs and remove all of the soft parts before soaking or using other solvents. This is a pretty complicated job but can be accomplished with patience and lots of photos along the way. If you soak your carb without removing seals, it will leak air and/or fuel when you put it back in service.
 

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Dr Dwight, that is a great post - by doing the carb tear down and fixing the problem in one pass you clearly identified the issue.

Its too common of an issue, primarily caused by 10% ( E10) fuel breaking down after sitting for a few months. And that makes it worse for motorcycles because they tend to be seasonal vehicles, and you are never sure when your last ride of the season will be. By the time you realize you have not taken a ride since september and now its December, the fuel has already degraded, and you cannot fix or stabilize fuel that has already gone bad.

There is a simple prevention: keep a bottle of any fuel stabilizer in your garage, and as soon as you realize you might not ride again for a month or more, put the proper amount in your tank. If someone only rides once a month, they should be putting a stabilizer in every tank of gas. If you only use half a tank a month, fill it up, use half a tank, then 1/4 of your tank is two months old.

This happens so often to so many riders that people think motorcycle carbs must be torn down and cleaned on a regular basis. That is not true - if the fuel is well maintained and stabilized over winter, and a bike is not parked for years without being touched, it should never be necessary to clean a carb by hand.

This was never an issue until they started with the 10% ethanol gasoline. 100% gasoline will get old and lose some of its energy/gallon, but it never use to turn into goop in our tanks and carbs.
 
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