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Beta2Stroke 2020 300RR difficulty starting when cold??

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Help.  I have had a 2020 300RR for about 4 months with zero issues.  It has always started instantly with the engine hot or cold.  I love in Texas so it’s never gets really cold but the past two weekends it did not want to start.  It was much cooler than summer weather, around 60.  Engine would turn over and not start.  I would do this three or four times and then boom, it’s on just like normal and starts instantly the rest of the day.  Bike runs perfect, idles perfect, what could this be?

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Ok sorry I should have mentioned.  It turns over immediately and super fast just as normal, it will go and go and no start.  I do this wait a few seconds and repeat process 3 or 4 times and then it starts right up.  It’s like there is no fuel or spark and then and then suddenly it starts up.

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If you have Li-Ion battery, and you have it on 2020 bike, look again responses above 🙂

100% it's the battery. That is normal for Li-Ion. It needs to warm up. Li-Ion batteries are lighter, with almost zero self-charging current, much better in every way - but in cold they will need to warm up. Cranking is the best way to do it. After 2-3-4 times, it wil start normally.

With sun, it will go back to what you are used to - boom in first try. 🙂

Edited by severian
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5 hours ago, 2strkbeta said:

Ok sorry I should have mentioned.  It turns over immediately and super fast just as normal, it will go and go and no start.  I do this wait a few seconds and repeat process 3 or 4 times and then it starts right up.  It’s like there is no fuel or spark and then and then suddenly it starts up.

It sounds like it could be a malfunctioning starter bendix.  When my 300RR was new the bendix would sometimes fail to engage even though the starter was turning over very rapidly.  I laid the bike over on its right side, removed the flywheel cover and added around 10cc of gear oil to the bendix area.  Note that this a recommended procedure in the shop manual.  This cured the issue for the most part however the 'sticking' bendix still occurs occasionally on cold startups in cold weather.  The engine always starts on subsequent attempts.

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Thank you all for the information and the feedback.  I will check the things mentioned and see what happens.

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4 hours ago, Chas_M said:

It sounds like it could be a malfunctioning starter bendix.  When my 300RR was new the bendix would sometimes fail to engage even though the starter was turning over very rapidly.  I laid the bike over on its right side, removed the flywheel cover and added around 10cc of gear oil to the bendix area.  Note that this a recommended procedure in the shop manual.  This cured the issue for the most part however the 'sticking' bendix still occurs occasionally on cold startups in cold weather.  The engine always starts on subsequent attempts.

I still think this can be related to the battery in some cases.  Any time I ran a lithium this would occasionally happen.  Starter would crank hard but the bendix wouldn’t engage right away.  I’m back and still running my oem lead acid and this hasn’t happened once with it.   

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wlong is it sitting between outings or startups?

If running pump gas I'd drain the float bowl if it's going to sit for more than a day or two all the junk that is in pump gas will start to oxidize sitting in the carb lowering flammability (yes even premium ethanol free)  we switched to 100LL back in the 90's and have seldom had mess with carburetors since other than jetting

Edited by dieseleveryday
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16 hours ago, firffighter said:

Lithium ion cold start technique 

Thank goodness we have KTM techs to help all of us out! 

The KTM tech provided some good info in the video.  I am surprised when he mentioned that the cold threshold for Li batteries was 20 C or 68 F.  That's not very cold.  On second thought perhaps that was the threshold for when to use the 'choke'.  In any case you could tell that in the cold engine the bendix was engaging because the engine was turning over, albeit too slowly to start.  

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1 minute ago, Chas_M said:

The KTM tech provided some good info in the video.  I am surprised when he mentioned that the cold threshold for Li batteries was 20 C or 68 F.  That's not very cold.  On second thought perhaps that was the threshold for when to use the 'choke'.  In any case you could tell that in the cold engine the bendix was engaging because the engine was turning over, albeit too slowly to start.  

Last year I was riding in Central Oregon in late Fall. Mornings woke up to bikes covered in frost.  

I used the technique from the video and worked just as described, YZ250FX with no kickstarter. 

 

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Points about battery differences absolutely,  but the Bendix is a variable as well in the Beta system.  I always had sporadic "misfires" where the Bendix would freewheel, and need to coast down before trying again, usually with success.  I'd guess most if not all Beta 2stroke guys have experienced this.  Not that often with the 300 (has compression bleed hole), but much more often after the 250 conversion with the head cut for more compression, all other parts being equal.   Bendix is clean, smooth, and I always have the well filled with syn ATF.  Starter motor is always cleaned and serviced with new brushes.  I've tried two different LiOn batteries(Yamaha OEM  4 cell/Antigravity 8 cell), Lead Acid, heavier gauge cable to the starter motor (to reduce inrush voltage drop), and even tested it from my truck battery with no significant difference.  All attempts to minimize the time the starter motor takes to ramp up from 0 RPM, which is what makes the Bendix work. The Bendix will extend rapidly, engage, and then "bounce out" of engagement, seemingly when the engine hits the higher compression.   If the engine happens to be > BTC on its way up its worse.   I'd really like to solve this problem if possible so next I think I will remove the cover/stator and fixture the Bendix on the end somehow so I can observe it visually and get a better idea.

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On 10/18/2020 at 12:15 PM, Chas_M said:

The KTM tech provided some good info in the video.  I am surprised when he mentioned that the cold threshold for Li batteries was 20 C or 68 F.  That's not very cold.  On second thought perhaps that was the threshold for when to use the 'choke'.  In any case you could tell that in the cold engine the bendix was engaging because the engine was turning over, albeit too slowly to start.  

KTM Li batteries are very low voltage. All my bikes have a larger 210cca+ batteries and never have theses issues even down to 40*f. I have had starter issues on my 2016 Xtrainer and even a replacement within 150hrs. While I wouldn't rule out the battery I suspect a cable and or starter system issue.

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On 10/18/2020 at 10:51 AM, 00tundra said:

Are you using the choke to start cold? 

I have tried it both ways and no difference.  This bike really hardly ever needs the choke and when it does it’s only for a few seconds.  It’s very weird it turns over super fast just as normal, engine actually turning over.  After a few tries it fires right off and runs as normal.

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On 10/17/2020 at 9:07 AM, severian said:

If you have Li-Ion battery, and you have it on 2020 bike, look again responses above 🙂

100% it's the battery. That is normal for Li-Ion. It needs to warm up. Li-Ion batteries are lighter, with almost zero self-charging current, much better in every way - but in cold they will need to warm up. Cranking is the best way to do it. After 2-3-4 times, it wil start normally.

With sun, it will go back to what you are used to - boom in first try. 🙂

Even if it’s turning over fast just like normal?  It’s spinning the engine fast as it normally does, it just does not start until after 3 or 4 tries.  I’ll have to try and capture a video next time!  

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On 10/17/2020 at 6:38 PM, dieseleveryday said:

 

wlong is it sitting between outings or startups?

If running pump gas I'd drain the float bowl if it's going to sit for more than a day or two all the junk that is in pump gas will start to oxidize sitting in the carb lowering flammability (yes even premium ethanol free)  we switched to 100LL back in the 90's and have seldom had mess with carburetors since other than jetting

One week in between rides, never been an issue before.

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Almost sounds like an ignition problem even though it runs good after starting. Just throwing things at the wall to see if it will stick, but I would check grounds at the coil, check the spark plug lead ei: cut off about an 1/8th inch and screw back on - but I think I would start with just replacing with a properly gapped plug.

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