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I have a 1980 XR500. I’ve been slowly restoring it over the last 3 years. The first engine rebuild was botched. Guy had no clue, got specs wrong, etc. Second rebuild was good, I guess. Professionally done by a very knowledgeable (older) person at my local bike shop. Carb is rebuilt as well and jetted correctly. It’s tip top. Air filter is clean. Spark is fine. New coils. Tons of compression. In theory, the dang machine is practically brand new. 

Ive only been able to get it to crank a few times since everything was done. Now...can’t get it to do anything. 

Tried again this morning for 30 minutes...thought I would have a heart attack. 

Still. Won’t. Start!!!!! 

 

Yes, I am performing the correct starting procedure. I’m at my whit’s end here.  

What am I missing?! 

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if getting it to "crank" means it started and ran as expected,then you may have a fuel supply problem or a fouled spark plug.

 if the machine has good spark at the correct time and adaquate compression,and fuel in the carb float chamber,but is reluctant to start you can try to push start it.

  Another option that works very well is simply put a hot plate under the motor (medium heat).for a few minutes until the engine just feels warm....it will usually start easy then

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If you cant smell unburnt fuel in the exhaust after that long, there isn't any getting in the cylinder,

 If you can smell it, then it's not  igniting,.

   Try a new plug, even if current plug shows a spark, it may not spark under compression.

    Wind the idle screw in a couple of turns and then dont touch the throttle while attempting to start.

 

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If you cant smell unburnt fuel in the exhaust after that long, there isn't any getting in the cylinder,
 If you can smell it, then it's not  igniting,.
   Try a new plug, even if current plug shows a spark, it may not spark under compression.
    Wind the idle screw in a couple of turns and then dont touch the throttle while attempting to start.
 


Yah, I can definitely smell fuel after a few kicks and if I give it any throttle at all, a puff of smoke will come out the exhaust.

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