whats the deal with hard starting?

i keep reading things saying that these bikes are hard to start and have starting problems and such. ive got a 01 wr426 and it usually starts up after a few kicks when cold and first kick when warmed up. ive got two friends with 426s and two other friends with 250fs and they dont have problems either. so from what ive seen if you know how to start the bike its no problem. but if you dont it can be a problem, as ive seen another friend of mine kick and kick a 426 (it was borrowed and i think the first time hed ever started one, but he rode it for a while and still never got the hang of it) when i could start the thing first kick. so whats the deal here? are there masses of people that dont know how to start their bikes or is my idea of a hard starting bike different from other people? or are me and friends just lucky?

My last years 426 was a breeze to start, hot or cold.This years 450 will flatten the battery when left sit for a week ,after i recharge it i usually get it going the second time around.Some suggested kicking it when cold but i kicked the tis off it and it still wouldn't start.I have tried a few carb adjustments and it now starts easier kicking than the button when left for a week.I will keep try the carb route as i think this is where the answer lies.It is very frustrating.My mates drz 400 starts easy all the time.

Just my observations Dave

My WR450 starts everytime. :)

It is the battery that is the problem. It has to be fully charged to start a cold WR450. I am going to upgrade to a Hawker Gel Cell when this battery is cooked.

Indy -

What Hawker battery are you looking at? I went to their website and the smallest gel battery I could find was 30 AH and weighed 25 lbs. I must be looking in the wrong place :D Anyway I bought a Battery Tender Jr. ($19.95 + shipping @ AZmotorsports) and just keep the bike charged before I go out. Seems to work great but then again my coldest day of riding might be 60F. I know if I start and stop the bike in the garage a lot it will run the battery down. Not enough run time to recharge it. I believe you are right - not a lot of extra capacity in this battery. I guess that's why they decided to keep a kickstarter on it. :)

Funny, when my 450 was brand new it didn't like the estart first thing in the morning, so I would just kick it (one kick). Now that the bike is broken in real good she'll start with the estart first thing in the morning.. No problem.

Tyler, My old WR426 started one kick everytime.. :)

Hey PDBlue, Check out this web site for small Hawker batteries: http://www.rogerkrausracing.com/hawker.html

I agree with Dan Lorenze. My bike starts a lot easier then in the beginning, but we have to start our bikes in the 30's out here and if you trailer it and factor in some wind chill you can get a hard to start Yamaha. :)

Indy -

Are you sure this is the way you want to go? The smallest battery on that site weighs over 6 lbs more than the stock battery (10.8# vs 4.6#). In cold weather country it may be nice to have the extra capacity (or maybe even mandatory) but out here I don't think it would be worth the trade off. Actually my experience has been similar. Since I broke in the bike and got the jetting sorted out I haven't had any starting problems. Knock on wood. Maybe you could carry jumper cables :)

IMO most people that have problems starting 4-strokes are those that have just switched over from a 2-smoke and have'nt learned the routine. I have watched people kick 4-strokes until their tongue is hanging out, then I would start it in two or three kicks.

I think what Indy is talking about is the electric start. It's a little more finicky than the kickstart. I'm with you though once you've got the kickstart drill down no problem. However once you've had electric start you don't want to go back. :)

Yes I am talking cold starting with the electric start only. Kicking it is no problem when it is cold. Hawker makes all kinds of sizes of batteries but the lead gel cells are much heavier for the same size casing. :)

Some peaple just don't have the gene.

tyler -

my problem with starting 4 strokes is after a crash, or after a stall on a hill or something like that.

e-starters aside, i've found all 4 strokes from all makers to be very tuff to start afer a crash.


Wide open throttle for however many kicks it takes to clear it out and then back to your normal hot start routine. Only thing is different bikes take different amount of kicks to clear out the excess gas. An XR650 could take 8 or 10 if the float wasnt set right. Thats when a manual compression release is handy. WR450 takes about 4 or 5 to clear. That reminds me, we dont have it so bad with the wr450 kickback and shear the key problem. Heck when XR650s backfire they catch fire and burn up. Seen it happen. Tim

My '00 400 starts easily with one kick when warm. When it's hot it always starts with one kick (if I remember the hot start button and I'm not too tired to hold it up and kick :)). If it's been sitting for a few weeks it might takes a few kicks but nothing unreasonable. I would trade the extra 10-15 pounds on a 450 for kick start only. I do lose alot of time when I stall just doing the basic TDC/hot start routine compared to some friends with their electric start 450's. That is the only time that I wish for electric start and even then from a time saving perspective only.

This is what works for my WR-450: Cold start-electric: Choke,no throttle, turn it over for abourt 3-5 seconds with the stop botton engaged. Next try starting it with the botton disengaged. If it backfires, or won't start, repeat the first step. Mine usually starts the second try. I usually kick start for the first cold start: Choke on, no throttle, stop switch engaged, kick over 5-10 times gently, then give it 1-3 good kicks with the off botton disengaged. It usually starts easily. If not repeat the first step. Four strokes need to be slightly wet with fuel for an easy cold start. My XR-400 had a similar routine-Choke, full throttle, stop switch engaged, kick over 5-10 time gently, one good kick at top-dead center usually fired it up with the off switch disengaged.

cold air through the radiators on the drive up

would make for hard starting.

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