Problems starting an XL600

I just bought an '83 XL600 and so far I love it. The only problem I am having is consistently starting it. When cold I can give it full choke and it will start in 4 kicks. But if it dies shortly after the cold start it takes quite a bit of work to get it started again. I can usually smell gas shortly after trying to restart it.

Also I dont know what the correct proccess is to after i dump or flood the bike.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Mine always starts right up....after I jetted it. They are very lean when stock.

Disconnect the auto decompression cable on the kickstarter. (leave the upper cable for the lever).

Now, close throttle and choke. Kick through a few times to clear the flooded condition. Kick slowly until you feel the compression stroke. grab the compression release and kick a tiny little bit to get the piston past TDC. Release lever. KICK HARD without touching the throttle. That should start it.

Warm up 1st for about a good 2-3 minutes on 1/2 choke, Then close choke, Then let it rip... It works for my '83 and '86 XL600r.

Starting an 83 XL600-

COLD:..........BEGIN with NEW SPARKPLUG!!!

1. DON'T TOUCH THE THROTTLE at all. Don't even think about it.

2. Pull decomp lever in and hold it while kicking the engine thru easily about 10 kicks (with ignition off at kill switch).You are cleansing the chamber.

3. Ign ON,choke on, release decomp lever and pull engine thru to TDC (hard spot), then go about 3 more hairs past TDC (use decomp lever if needed), now kick it HARD with follow thru. You have to have some SNAP to this kick for sure. You should hear thump,thump,thump,thump. Don't let it die!

4. If it didn't start, choke off, and repeat #2 with 5 cleansing kicks and then #3 again. If it hasn't started by now, ya just need to improve your kick.


1. No choke, no throttle. Just past TDC, KICK THE SNOT OUT OF IT. Thump, thump, thump, etc. Do not think you can get by with a wussy kick if the engine is warm. You can't! And if you wuss, you will flood it.


1. If it dies during warmup, all bets are off. Whatever works for YOUR bike is what works- each one is different. Immediate restart is usually real snarky.Recommend leaving it sit for 15 minutes, then use cold start proceedure.

2. Hot flood or dump: Fuel and ignition OFF.OPEN throttle. Pull decomp lever and cleanse w/ 10 strokes.IGN ON (don't forget).Just past TDC, HIT IT. *****WARNING****If you try cleansing with ignition ON, it WILL kick you back and usually backfire bigtime.

3. Do not bother to kick these bikes randomly! It only begets a really sore leg.ALWAYS,ALWAYS kick from just past TDC.

Good Luck. Let us know if it works for you. :)

Forget All That Crap. I Just Got My 83 Xl600r About A Month Ago And Had The Same Problems. Get Yourself A Clymers Manual On This Thing And Go Through Section THREE On Tune Up And Maintaince And Set Everything To The Factory Specs And It Will Fire Up On One Or Two Good Hard Kicks Every Time.been There Done That. YOU REALLY NEED TO GET THE DECOMPRESSION SETTINGS RIGHT ON THE KICKSTARTER CABLE AND THE DECOMPRESSION LEVER SET RIGHT ON.!! ALSO CHECK YOUR CHOKE CABLE AND LEVER ON THE CARB. MINE WAS STICKING HALFWAY CLOSED.

If You Dump It Pull The Decompression Lever And Kick Through A Few Times And Then Give About 1/8 Throttle And Kick Hard. Works Every Time.

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