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XR650L not starting and spark plug issue

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Hey, first off I'm new to motorbikes so I may be using the wrong terminology here and there.

I haven't run my bike for a few months and now it's not starting. I'm in neutral, tried the choke at different levels, full gas tank.

I may have flooded the carbs, but I wanted to check the spark plug first because I have no clue about carbs.

  1. I've attached a photo of the spark plug, could this be the reason it's not starting?
  2. When removing the cap have I pulled too hard and snapped the wire (see photo), if I've snapped this piece what's it called and what am I replacing?

Really appreciate the help, 

Cheers,

 

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9 hours ago, mapexdrums said:

I may have flooded the carbs, but I wanted to check the spark plug first because I have no clue about carbs.

Apparently you don't know much about carburetors.  The one on the XR650L can't flood, so don't worry about that.

If you want to see if the spark plug is producing a good spark, connect it to the wires and hold the edge of it against the engine somewhere, then push the starter button and look at the plug.  You'll see a blue spark if it is working properly.

If you let the bike sit for months without starting it and didn't drain the carburetor first, you might now have some gunk of some sort in the small openings in the carburetor that are used during starting and when the engine is idling.  That would make it very difficult to start.

What you should have done before parking it is to drain the fuel from the carburetor.  Those of us with California versions of the XR650L don't have carburetor drain screws, so you can just shut the fuel off and ride it a block or two until the engine sucks most of the gas out of the carburetor.

If I were in your position and had verified a healthy spark, I would get some engine starter fluid, spray a couple of seconds worth into the engine where the air cleaner is, with the air cleaner removed, then start the thing.  If it won't idle, you'll know that you've gummed up the small passages in the carburetor by letting it sit.

Edited by ScottRNelson
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Thanks ScottRNelson, I'll give that a shot this week.

Going by my first pic in my thread have I snapped the wire?

Cheers

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9 minutes ago, mapexdrums said:

Going by my first pic in my thread have I snapped the wire?

Put it back together and see if you get a spark.  If you do, then it should be okay.  I really haven't spent any time examining my spark plug wire in the nine years I've owned the bike, so I can't tell you from looking at a photo.

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You can flood the L, and it sure looks like you did.  Granted you don't flood the carb but you do flood the cylinder.  When you pull the "choke" you aren't choking off air but you're adding fuel through another section (circuit) of the carb.  That black soot covered plug is the tell tale sign of a mixture that is way too rich to burn.  If your battery voltage is low or your switches and/or wiring has some corrosion your ignition can struggle to produce a spark.  Add that soot covered (fouled) plug to the mix and, even if you were getting spark, you may not be now.

The part you broke is called the cap assembly.  It pulls off pretty easily.  The lead (wire) isn't broken, the cap assembly has a center lug that threads into the center of it so you won't need a coil assembly.  With that insulator broken it might still work but you'll want to replace it at some point to keep the spark properly contained.

Re-installing the cap assembly and plug and, as stated above, testing it with starting fluid will quickly tell you what's going on with spark.

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Hollerhead thanks man, really appreciate the help. Love this site already.

Absolute rookie, I can't remember what way the lug went in, and it pushes right the end (wire end) correct?

What do you mean the insulator is broken? Going to pick up some starter fluid.

Cheers,

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Picture 2 is correct orientation.  

The cap assembly threads onto the coil lead (plug wire).  A little bit of lubricant at the end of rubber outer cover will make it slide easily over the coil lead.  Once the plug wire is pushed into the cap assembly hold with coil lead and twist the rubber boot just like a regular screw.  It won't tighten like a screw so just a couple turns while pushing together will do the trick.  Twisting it more won't help but may hurt.

Nothing is broken.  I was mistaken.  I thought the ring on the far right of the second picture was part of the inner resistor housing (the hard "plastic" inner part).  I see that it is just the ring that pushes in to add some support to the top of the rubber boot to help seal it around the coil lead.

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When in doubt crank with throttle wide open!

Might be a CV carb, but that means no accelerator pump to add gas when you crank it open to clear it out!

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Dropped in the new spark plug and sprayed a little quick start to get it going. Starts fine everytime now. Did an oil and filter change as well this weekend. The engine doesn't seem to run 100% smooth but this bike is from 93. It running a lot better than it was.

The spark plug is black so is running rich, is there any easy way to adjust the carb without pulling it out?

Thanks again lads, really appreciate the help and quick replies.

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10 hours ago, mapexdrums said:

Dropped in the new spark plug and sprayed a little quick start to get it going. Starts fine everytime now. Did an oil and filter change as well this weekend. The engine doesn't seem to run 100% smooth but this bike is from 93. It running a lot better than it was.

The spark plug is black so is running rich, is there any easy way to adjust the carb without pulling it out?

You can find out which way you need to go by making some adjustments to how much air gets in.

For example, removing the left side-cover will generally let a bit more air in than what normally gets through the normal airbox openings.  Removing the air filter will let a little bit more in, to temporarily check how it runs.  Don't leave that out for long.  If it runs better, it's rich and you need to go down in main jet size.

I've used duct tape on the various airbox openings to reduce the air getting in on another motorcycle.  If that makes it run better, you're lean and need to go up in main jet size.

The last time I checked the mixture that way, I did some acceleration runs from a standing start to a known point where I hit about 60 mph.  I would do about three runs with each setup and check the speed I was hitting at the marked point.  The best speed indicated the optimal mixture.  In my particular case, the best was achieved with the airbox partially blocked, which told me that I was rich in the main jet.  So I went up one size, removed the restrictions, and the bike ran best that way.  Since that bike ran well in the midrange before, I also dropped the metering needle one position to make up for the bigger jet.

You still have to take the carburetor out for the final adjustment of the jets and possibly the metering needle.

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