DR650 No Start - Stumped...

I’ve got a 2000 DR650 with 23k miles that I’ve owned for the last 4 years. I consider myself pretty capable mechanically (rebuilt/restored other bikes as well), but this problem has me stumped. Here’s what happened:

The bike was running normally, then sat for two months while I traveled (a friend was supposed to ride it, but oh well). I got back, put on some new brake pads and took it for a spin to bed-in the brakes. The bike was running well, I was having fun, and I sped up to 90mph on my way back home (it’s got a modified airbox, rejetted BST40 carb and GXSR exhaust…normally does 90 easy). All of a sudden the motor starts cutting out, I back off the gas and pull in the clutch, and the motor dies. Tried to start it again on the side of the road, no luck. When I try to start the bike, the starter motor cranks, the piston cycles, I have spark, but it will only fire for a millisecond and then die (maybe on just one stroke) after cranking for 4-5 seconds. Here’s what I’ve done so far:

- Did a leakdown test, looked great at 95%

- Changed oil, no metal shards found on magnetic drain plug or in pan

- Cleaned carb

- Drained old gas from tank, replaced with fresh gas and added fuel stabilizer

- Adjusted valves (they were a tiny bit loose)

- Replaced spark plugs (checked them on the bike, getting consistent bright blue sparks)

- Tested resistance of pulsar coil, power coil, and ignition coil (both primary and secondary) - all  within spec

- Battery tested and in good shape

After all this, I still have the same result when starting the bike. I haven’t tested the CDI box yet, but I think that’s the next thing on my list before tearing into the motor. Any ideas of where else to go from here? This really has me banging my head against the wall...

sounds to me carby related - getting fuel ?

diaphragm still ok ?

I'm thinking the same thing after going through the ignition system and having everything test to spec...the only other electrical/spark related thing that could be going wrong is the CDI. As for the carb, I inspected the diaphragm, but I wasn't exactly sure what to look for...there were no tears or any other obvious issue. Anything I should re-check?

Also, when I cleaned and reassembled the carb, the float assembly wasn't seating very well in the two openings where it sits in the carb body. I ordered a carb rebuild kit, so I can replace the float assembly o-rings and give it a shot. Should arrive in a couple days and then I'll install, will post an update.

Just a thought, but have you checked the little sock filter at the carb fuel line inlet? Having sat for a while crud can build up and block this. Also clean the idle and main jets.

Alright, did a full carb cleaning/rebuild today and even completely removed the filter at the carb inlet...same results. The next step is to check the CDI, so I'm on the hunt for a running DR near Ventura, CA to do a quick swap and see if mine's faulty. My only thought after that is there's something wrong inside the motor, either with the cam timing or maybe the piston arm, but I'm no expert here. Any other ideas are welcome.


FOUND IT. Took the stator side cover off the motor last night and confirmed a suspicion I'd had...a loose pulsar coil. The two screws holding the pulsar coil into the cover had backed out, which would cause the motor to fire briefly and then die since the coil would wobble out of position. In fact, one of the screws backed completely out and fell down into the motor, but luckily it had wedged itself at the bottom of the casing next to the crankcase oil separator plate. I was able to fish it out still intact. It appears that this screw must've fallen out VERY recently, because the damage to the pickup coil is minimal along with the screw. I had tried to start the bike yesterday morning during some tests and it was the first time I hadn't heard the bike fire even for just a moment...I'm guessing that was when it fell out. Last week, the pulsar coil tested within spec at 219 ohms last week, so I tested it again last night to make sure I wasn't crazy and now the reading is infinity (due to the damage from hitting the generator rotor). I've got a new pulsar coil coming from ProCycle and should be up and running sometime next week.

Seems like the big lesson here is that even if your pulsar coil passes the resistance test, it could be loose and consequently act like an intermittently failing coil. So check that before buying a new CDI. Thanks for all the help and suggestions, stoked to be riding again soon.





wow, good job

Thanks for passing the information on.  Now us DR owners have one more thing we can check when it isn't working correctly.

What is it they always say?  "All you need to get an engine to run is proper fuel/mixture, compression, and spark".  The spark part has to happen at the correct time to be effective.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By g steezy
      Here’s a video of me running the trans Missouri Trail last season. I’m ended up skipping several portions of it because I’m GPS illiterate, but still had a great time. My buddy only ran with me for one day due to a rear tire not being repairable. I’d like to run the entire route again sometime. 
      This is my first real video I ever edited so please keep that in mind. It’s a little long, but if you’re bored feel free to check it out.
    • By g steezy
      Here’s some footage of me and a buddy on our DR650’s out messing around.
    • By DitchRelinquisher650
         Hello all! My name is Miles and I need some help gauging what to expect for condition/"reliability" you could say, of my DRZ400E for cross country travel!
      I am looking into traveling the Trans America Trail. I'm from Rhode Island and found an alternate rout where I can start on the West border of Connecticut. Ending in Colorado, to Nevada, then California; and cruising something along the lines of RT66 back.       [just for reference, don't mean to ramble]
        The Machine: 
               2003 DRZ400-E
      ~6k miles total  -  5k lightly ridden, never seen dirt  -  0.8k %100 hard off road [past year]
      Frequent Oil changes, Air Filter changes {I ride with the guy I purchased it from nearly daily. He was good about maintenance on the regular, but also pushe the bike in the woods just as much!} Front and Rear Suspension rebuilt, carburetor rebuilt all last year Stock everything except FMF power bomb header and exhaust muffler, and Vapor Trail Tech, lights + fork socks Expected Maintenance:
      Top End Rebuild, Timing, Valves adjusted [Have not done compression test, but i would expect new top to be necessary] obvious things such as Brake Pads, Fluids, Chain/Sprockets, Tries, Heavy Tubes  From this information, And Any You Can Think Of To Ask, does this DRZ have potential for the Trans America Trail; a  ~6'000 dirt, then ~4,000 road return trip?! Or would I be better off selling it for a newer model?

    • By dalto21

         I'm currently considering a 2000 DRZ 400 with 31,000 miles on it. The owner wants $2500 for it but I think I could get it down to $2000 since it's so old. It seems like the owner knew what he was doing and took care of it well since he knew to install a manual cam chain tensioner,  a radiator guard, 3x3 mod, etc. I know the DRZ has a solid motor so I feel like if the bike itself has been well taken care of, it should at least have another 20K miles in it, right? Am I wasting my time with this bike or do you think it will last me if I take good care of it? What would you offer for this bike?
      Here's the post: https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/mcy/5989999685.html
    • By RiderOfTheNight
      Hello guys I'm new here.
      I just want to get more information before I decide what to buy.
      I like the drz400 but the seat height is like 930mm or 950mm ? I'm 5ft8 (33in inseam) 35.5in with boots
      My friend got drz400s and I tried to sit on the seat
      Like this one
      there is actually no issue but I can barely touch the ground with my full foot I stand with my toes
      Is there anything I can do to decrease the seatheight by 2in's or more? that would be cool
      Or I should get drz650 which is the seat length is 880mm ?
      I really didn't like the 650