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Starting Technique Discrepancy

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I've been reading a lot on XR400 starting technique. It seems to be universally accepted that keeping the hand off the throttle is necessary, and it does seem to help a lot. HOWEVER, I have also read a lot about guys who will turn the idle up 1 or even 2 turns before kicking and they swear by this (they turn it back down after a couple minutes). So, isn't turning the idle up the same as cracking the throttle, intentional or not? Seems like if turning the idle up helps, why not just hold the throttle slightly cracked? I don't see how both of these methods work but they seem to. What am I maybe not understanding?

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One or two turns on the idle screw adjuster is a very small amount, too small for your wrist to set and hold on the throttle while you kick the bike over.

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I've been reading a lot on XR400 starting technique. It seems to be universally accepted that keeping the hand off the throttle is necessary, and it does seem to help a lot. HOWEVER, I have also read a lot about guys who will turn the idle up 1 or even 2 turns before kicking and they swear by this (they turn it back down after a couple minutes). So, isn't turning the idle up the same as cracking the throttle, intentional or not? Seems like if turning the idle up helps, why not just hold the throttle slightly cracked? I don't see how both of these methods work but they seem to. What am I maybe not understanding?

Why not just tune the bike so it starts first kick with no throttle?

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What Ramz said.

And besides, it seems with some people, there's a connection between their kicking leg and right hand that makes them twist the throttle during starting, unconsciously or otherwise.

And turning the idle speed up a turn or so works for those people that normally run a low idle speed. Personally, I don't like a low idle speed, too much engine braking. Keeping my idle speed set a little higher so I don't have quite so much engine braking also makes for easier starting.

Edited by Trailryder42

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I agree adjusting the idle should not be a standard practice, Maybe use the choke when it is cold in the morning but after that it should start rather easy without the need to adjust the idle?

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If dead cold, Find TDC and kick with no throttle and full choke. It should start right up! Mine does.

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If dead cold, Find TDC and kick with no throttle and full choke. It should start right up! Mine does.

I agree that should work if stock and properly tuned. I have read so many posts where people

have messed with the jetting when the carb only needed to be cleaned, float level comfirmed and mix

screw set correctly. Was the idle screw set to idle at 1200RPM. Or they never looked at the condition of the plug,

adjusted the valves or cleaned/replaced the air filter.We have no idea what has been done to the poster's bike. Then the next thing heard is the need to buy a high priced carb. If done right the stock carb with some jetting changes will accommodate

most all but the most extreme motor hop-ups. These XR's are not 8 second drag bikes that need a monster oversize

carbs. If the motor bogs the carb is not setup right. Honda does know how to build a bike.

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I always turn my idle up a little to start when it's cold, but my carb needs cleaning too, so I have to hit the throttle as soon as it catches to keep it running until it warms up. Then it starts pretty easily until I dump the bike, which is kind of a lot for a man of my age and experience.

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That makes sense about some guys who run a lower idle needing to bump theirs up at startup. My bike is stock except that I just put in a 55 pilot and it starts pretty easy now. The most frustrating thing is trying to adjust the mixture screw. It is all but impossible to get to. I can sort of get in there with a small screwdriver when it's cold, but running forget it. I tried some welding gloves but they're so bulky that it doesn't work. Nobody makes a remote screw setup from what I understand. How are you possibly supposed to do this?

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Kill switch on , Choke on, petrol on, decomp in, turn over twice, decomp out, find tdc, big kick , no throttle , start! When Cold! Kill switch on, find tdc no throttle kick start when hot!

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I find I only need choke when cold, nothing when warmed, but 2 maybe 3 kicks when cold and first kick once warm, if ive dropped it, pull in the decomp and kick it over a few times then normally starts 1st or 2nd kick, but that was the old days, these days just push the start button and it starts, even after dropping it :p

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What Ramz said.

And besides, it seems with some people, there's a connection between their kicking leg and right hand that makes them twist the throttle during starting, unconsciously or otherwise.

And turning the idle speed up a turn or so works for those people that normally run a low idle speed. Personally, I don't like a low idle speed, too much engine braking. Keeping my idle speed set a little higher so I don't have quite so much engine braking also makes for easier starting.

I think the kick n twist is an old 2 stroke thing

also you shouldn;t have to be winding the idle adjust every start up

mabye just a light feather of a throttle would help for a cold morning warm up

works on mine but if too much there can be a kickback :rolleyes:

Cheers

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I can sort of get in there with a small screwdriver when it's cold, but running forget it. I tried some welding gloves but they're so bulky that it doesn't work. Nobody makes a remote screw setup from what I understand. How are you possibly supposed to do this?

If you have Herculean hands, I can see how you'd be having a problem. Your regular riding glove is enough to protect your hand long enough to make an adjustment. They make some really small stubby screwdrivers. Places like Autozone usually have a basket full of them.

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As many of you know, there are a few things that make all XR400s and 600s "hard to start" The main one is the technique, but the technology based items are jetting, valves, and the pulser coil. IF the bike is getting a little long of hours, it is a good thing to replace the pulse coil and or the entire stator with pulse coil.

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Never understood how people called these bikes "cold natured" or "hard to start". A 6 year old barefoot could start my bike.

They are cold natured, especially with stock jetting. Even jetted properly, XR/XL takes a longer warm up period to ride away trouble free than most bikes.

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They are cold natured, especially with stock jetting. Even jetted properly, XR/XL takes a longer warm up period to ride away trouble free than most bikes.

Which is a good thing.

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Never understood how people called these bikes "cold natured" or "hard to start". A 6 year old barefoot could start my bike.

Come, a 6 year old. I know of no six year old who could keep their butt in the seat and kick the kick starter all the way through. Or are you talking about standing off to the side?

I sometimes have to give my idle screw a twist up by I always back it out all the way after it's warmed up. I kind of prefer the hard engine braking when backing off the throttle.

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Bite the bullet and get the mikuni pumper from XR's only and forget about all the voodoo of trying to start this bike with that crappy carb. Mr Honda was already dead when they put that crappy carb on that bike or he would have had someone's head on a pole. Mine starts first kick every time. Who wants a hard to start cantankerous bike out in the middle of the woods.

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