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DR-Z400Y (2000), Can jump start, but not kick start this bike.

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WARNING/DISCLAIMER :I have not ridden a motorbike in 27 years. I am a NOOB in regards to all things motorbike related, but looking to change that. My previous post was in regards to trying to identify the carb on my bike, as I had to drain it.

So, I brought a 2000 year DR-Z400Y with the intention of learning to ride again. Not going to ride on the road, till I have a level of proficiency, which I believe I can obtain by the way I originally learnt to ride - that is off road.

The bike was delivered by the seller. He kick started the bike on the second attempt. He did make a comment at the time, that I cant recall exactly ...  but along the lines he was surprised it started so easy, he said "had warmed it up proper before delivering it". But I did not attempt to restart it till 3 1/2 months later.

So had carb stripped/cleaned by the shop. They said carb did look dirty, and "after a strip and clean they had no problems starting it." The day I got it back, I could not kick start it. I do shift work, and unfortunately didn't get to try for a week or so later. I called the shop, the mechanic who worked on it was away. So I didn't get to clarify how many times they kick started it. Or if they knew that was the real issue. They would have been focused on what was a gunked up carb - I guess.  The mechanic I spoke to did say  something like "they can be really bad to start"

I pull the choke out full. Have experimented with giving throttle pre half turn, full turn, no turn.
But usually :choke on full, don't touch throttle. Decompression lever. Try and feel for optimum kick position. TRY AGAIN AND AGAIN. FAIL. Have never kick started this bike.

I live on a hill. And decided to jump start it. Worked on first attempt. 9/10 I can jump start it. Even did it on the flat with my son pushing. So its kick starting that is the issue.

So guess its my technique. Or that AND that these year bikes are hard to kickstart ? A workmate said that the larger bore bikes of this era can be notoriously hard to start. He had a XR400, and has had a DR350, 1998 or 1999 I believe. He said he REAL problems kick starting them.

I guess I will have to try and get the technique right/better, though I have tried so much its starting to really piss me off.

If I cant reliably kick start the bike (no electric start), there is no point in having the bike. I need to change bikes. Maybe some one can advise whether there is a change to the set up I can make (will have it done by the shop) that is worth looking into. I am going to get another bike that is road legal, and electric start. Either DRZ250 or 400. But this bike was always going to be a hack, one that I could ride off road without worrying about damaging a much newer bike. So not ready to quit on it yet.

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Sorry, should have mentioned ...

The day I jump started it on the hill. Found it seemed like a full 10 minutes before the bike would run without the choke. Stalls the moment you half close, or close the choke. But when I got the bike so it was idling nicely, with no choke, seemed fully warmed up : I tried kick starting to see if it would be any different. No. Just could not kick start the bike.

Have tried this exercise twice now. Cant kick start the bike anytime. Warmed up or not. Have never kick started this bike.

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Need to have choke even when engine warm ? I would start looking at this. (Fuel and /or vacuum)

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Decompression lever. Try and feel for optimum kick position. TRY AGAIN AND AGAIN. FAIL.

Decomp lever? Is this a 2 stroke?
I think it's a 4 stroke since someone suggested valve clearance. Which means that lever is your hotstart (opposite of choke, needed when 4 strokes are warm) which leans mixture to ease warm starting.
So I'd suggest no throttle, choke on, slowly kick engine around until pressure build up is felt. This should be close to TDC (where you need to be everytime) now ratchet kick lever to top and give QUICK kick not to confused with hard kick. You want to get kick lever to bottom stop quickly not necessarily drive it past stop to ground as a hard kick would do.
I would only try twice with choke on then twice more without choke. Still no luck then try 3 or 4 with hotstart pulled (to clear possible flooding)
Lather, rinse, repeat.
A twist or 2 of throttle should cause acc pump to prime a little extra gas before kicking with throttle closed.
Good luck finding the right touch until it has been ridden regularly.
As mentioned check valve clearance as this could be the main issue. I just gave you basic 4 stroke starting method for properly running engine/carb.

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