Easy start methods...(or Blah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha....)

Long time lurker/first time poster says "Whats up" to the way-cool WR forum!!!

Anyway...just had to come off the sideline after seeing this...Doug Dubach's starting tips for 4-stroke Yam's. I don't know about you guys, but the 10% or so of the time my baby doesn't fire up first kick...its nothing short of black magic to get the fire going. It seems like I've read about a hundred "sure-fire" methods to lighting thumpers and they're all different. Whatever...I think (at least today) that I've got a routine down pat now that seems to work most every time. I thought maybe I'd volunteer myself first in the hopes that maybe we can all learn something or pick up some tricks.

Possible starting conditions:

1. Full cold or 1st start of day

2. Same as #1, got it fired, but killed it before it warmed up by opening throttle too soon.

3. Hot or after going down

4. on and on and on...

(Seems to me #2 is the one that still gets me)

Anyhow, what works for me is:

1. Gas on

(1a do not touch throttle)

2. Choke out

(2a do not touch throttle)

3. Compression in and kickover slow 4 times

(3a do not touch throttle)

4. Top out against "hard spot" of 5th kick

(4a do not touch throttle)

5. Baby-bleed compression to percieved TDC

(5a do not touch throttle)

6. Top kickstarter back out to highest spot

(6a do not touch throttle)

7. One kick baby....yeah...

(7a do not touch throttle until its warmed up)

8. Touch throttle...NICE!!!

Anyway, thats my idea, would love to hear what you do...ohh yea...DUH...guess I should paste Dubach's method here:

<the following copied from http://www.yamaha-motor.com/new/four_stroke2.html as described by Doug Dubach>


1. Make sure the bike has fuel, then turn on fuel petcock.

2. Pull out choke knob (black knob on left side of the carburetor).

3. Prime the engine by giving the throttle two full turns (only if the bike has not been started in a day or two).

4. Apply firm pressure to the kick-starter with your foot until you hit distinct resistance (this is the compression stroke/hard spot).

5. While keeping pressure on the kick-starter, pull in the compression release lever and push the kick-starter past the compression stroke/hard spot. The kick-starter needs to only move about 1 to 2 inches past the hard spot. That is all!

6. Release the compression release lever and return the kick-starter to the top

7. Now, kick to start. Do not touch the throttle, as the engine will start and idle on it's own

8. If the bike does not start, repeat steps 4 through 7 only until the engine starts.

<the precieding copied from http://www.yamaha-motor.com/new/four_stroke2.html as described by Doug Dubach>

Anyone, chime in at will and don't leave the newbie hangin'...THANKS!!



'99 WR400 with CA plates...ooooh yeah!!!

Doug's method is what I use. 1 or 2 kicks all the time.


'99 WZ/YR (you choose!) with ALL YZ mods, de-octopused, DSP Doug Henry airbox w/ velocity stack, FMF PowerBomb header, Stroker SX-1 silencer, SS front brake line, OEM YZ tank, IMS YZ seat.

I cant give my bike the two turns of the throttle even if it hasnt been run in days. Other than that I follow the Dubach routine. Once I quit giving my bike the throttle before tryin to start it it starts first or second kick every time.

Doug's method for sure.....5 kicks to start the beast.....Man If blue ever starts that crap it's off to E-bay and welcome back the Big Orange.....It's bad enough to have to reach down and pull the Hot Start button after a fall (Which will be remedied next weekend) but 4 clearing kicks and then a starting kick ? I know don't tell me...You couldn't afford a Stair Master machine Right?

Bonzai..... :)

I really don't see the problem w/ starting this motorcycle!!I have a 01 WR426 w/ approx. 1000-1200 miles,NO PROBLEMS W/ STARTING!! These bikes gets such a bad rap about this and I don't understand why! I kick it through slowly 2-3 times most and give it a swift kick! BLAM!! Cold or hot!Initial start, pull the choke when cold, have to take the choke off 15 sec. into warm up.NO PROBLEM!! If I have a fall, I pull the "Hot Start"(thats another thing, that "HOT START" is not very hard to find either!)Fires up!! I DON'T GET IT!!!! Yes there is no easier way to start a bike then the "little button". But I would never give this "TOTAL PACKAGE" of the WR up!(Fuel range/Suspension/POWER/oh yeah! The Looks, :) can't beat it!!!(my opinion of course)

See Ya!!!........Tim

Pul-leeeze! 1 or 2 kicks EVERY TIME.

Big G I do it the way you do, except I wait to turn the choke on until after the 3-4 decomp. kicks. Try that with a fresh plug and see if that 10% of your starting problem goes away. I do kick them through quickly, not slowly. Other than that, same drill. When hot, I just kind the sweet spot and kick.

I've had fouling problems in the distant past due to carb flooding or rich jetting.

After running the gas out of the bike before hauling and jetting the bike nearly perfectly, it's been over a year since I've had any starting problems or fouling :)

2000 WR, YZ timed w/ EKN needle.

I never touch the throttle, however many YZ guys use the 2 prime approach with success.

Seems to start first or second kick


Started my bike the first time in two weeks, yesterday. When I shut her down last, I had isolated the fuel, and had run the engine for a little bit, but did not run it dry. I flipped on the petcock, let the bowl fill up, gave it 3 full throttle rolls, and it fired off on the third kick.

Last year, I forgot the starting drill I learned from MXA. I defaulted to the drill my brother used on his 1980 Yamaha XT500. I kicked and kicked the crap out of the thing. I will say, I WAS ready to burn the bastard down to the ground. After a month of very frustrating starts, I RE-READ the MXA article, and have never forgotten it. My bike is quite a reliable starter.

I will say, however, if I dump it, and it does not fire by the second kick, the hot start has always bailed me out, usually on the first attempt.

I'm on my soapbox today. This is old question number 2 (or should be) in the archives.

Not to brag, but my bikes starts 1st or 2nd kick 99% of the time with this simple sequence, which I've learned from reading this forum over the years:

  1. <LI>Choke on
    <LI>Gas on
    <LI>Twist throttle once
    <LI>Kick through to where it gets hard to kick
    <LI>Let kickstarter return to the top of the stroke
    <LI>Pull in decomp lever and push kickstarter just past the resistance (an inch or two at most)
    <LI>Let kickstarter return to the top of the stroke
    <LI>Kick it all the way through, firmly
    <LI>Let it warm up

I think it's a waste of energy to go through the 4 decompression kicks if it's cold. To me, that would be a sign of a carb that's adjusted way too rich.

This is probably a huge generalization, but I have a theory that those of you who have starting problems are either twisting the throttle while kicking it, or your carb isn't adjusted properly. The first problem is easily solved, just put your right hand on the front brake reservoir while kicking. I've sat and watched new WR/YZ owners twist away at the throttle while trying to start their bikes and wonder why it won't start. The second cause may be a little trickier, but the idle speed setting makes a considerable difference in the ease (or lack of) in starting the bike. That, and the fuel screw setting. Those two adjustments can be made easily and results are instant.

If my bike can start first kick (almost) every time, anyone's can.

My bikes both start 1st time every time, when they're cold, or hot.

But when I have crashed, or dropped and stalled in a corner, then it can be a real bitch. My only sure fire way if is doesn't go first time using the hot start is this:-

1. Turn off petrol

2. Pull in decompression lever

3. OPEN THROTTLE & kick over 5-10 times.

4. Close throttle.

5. Normal starting procedure & we're away.

It's a complete pain during a race, but then again I shouldn't fall off.


01 YZ426

01 WR426

i don't use the choke, 2 twists, kick to hard spot, decompress about 1"-2" then it takes about 2-3 kicks, no sweat, if i kill it, no hot start, decompress ,no twist, starts 1-2 kicks, dumping's diff, that's all voodo black magic, but it ussualy gives me a chance to contemplate my error.ha!btw i forgott to mention i had a 78 XL250S, tlk about starting! sometimes,bing first kick,other times i just didn't ride that day!

[This message has been edited by sfc crash (edited 08-20-2001).]

I too usually never have a problem starting on 1st or 2nd kick :)I never twist the throttle when starting. Their has been a couple of times when I have kicked and kicked and kicked and #$%#@#%&^ Kicked :) I have found this usually only has happened after stopping on an incline front wheel facing down hill. Any ideas? My lazy friend I usually ride with (Ret Senior) says "whats the problem" as he pushes his little lazy ass black button! :D

First of all, my original reason for this post was in response to the method posted at Yamaha (by Dubach) for "easy starting". I laughed because cranking the throttle twice seemed like a good way to flood the thing. The last time I primed the WR like that, I was pulling tank 10 minutes later.

The other thing that I found interesting was pushing the piston into the power stroke for starting. Or maybe I'm just reading it that way, it says...

"5. While keeping pressure on the kick-starter, pull in the compression release lever and push the kick-starter past the compression stroke/hard spot. The kick-starter needs to only move about 1 to 2 inches past the hard spot. That is all!


I always thought the idea was to just creep up to TDC, but not past. But that was just sort of a "hmmm...that doesn't sound right" type of thing. Seems like going too far into this stroke never starts the bike, not going far enough just makes for a tough looking kick sometimes, but starts well otherwise...

But back to the subject, the idea of the 4 semi-slow decompression kicks was to get all the carb passages juiced up. I'm not sure where I picked that up, probably the way I used to start my old 490. Worked then, works now ...except, like I said, that one oddball time it decides that it ain't gonna start. If it takes more than 2 kicks, I start using combinations of choke, hot-start, gas on/off and other voodoo black magic...

This isn't flame-bait and and I'm not jumping on the e-start bandwagon, I was just hoping for solid advice from the people who know best. Heck, until now, I though that I was being kinda smart with my little 4-pre-kick fandango...I just wanted to share...Sorry if this subject is older than dirt.

By the way, I don't know if it effects this conversation, but the bike is a bone stock '99, octopus and all. The airbox lid, throttle stop and that vented muffler cork were all gone when I bought it. I put the Baja kit on, but havent touched the engine, timing, pipe, carb....yet.

I just figured thumpers were inherently harder to start, besides, it happened again Saturday, 8 kicks.

So far, much thanks to...

NH Kevin (care to post your MXA method??)

funktree (I agree!)

YAMAKAZE (you funny!!)



mcarp (will try your method...)

Rich in Orlando


sfc crash

Unkle Moose (will take note of hill orientation, haven't noticed that though...)

All other's welcome to chime in...later, Gary

My 400 in New Zealand must be cold blooded.

From cold in the morning

gas on

Choke on

6 (yes six) twists on the throttle

4 kicks with decompression on

Then ease over TDC

1 kick, and it starts every time. (every time)

I find if it coughs and dies just after starting, then it needs more gas. another couple of twists and it willstart and idle real sweet.

This goes against everything I have read, but has worked for 3 years??

Pete Galpin

New Zealand

98 WR400, Husky CR430

Big G, Dubach knows of which he speaks. I have been using that exact method on my three YZ4xxF's since '98 for COLD starting. They have all started on the first or second kick. For warm starting, no twist, just THE DRILL. For HOT starting, hot start button and THE DRILL.

It became so easy, that I could start it wearing sandals. I consider it even easier and more consistent than 250 2 smoke starting.

Good to see the responses guys...thanks. However, i'm still curious on one point. When you perform the decompressed TDC step, are you actually pushing past TDC??? From reading posts past and present, this seems to be what everyone says. I have always thought otherwise on this, traditionaly that is, not that I know. Heck, this may just be another old habit of starting a bike I don't own anymore.

Anyway, not to drill "THE DRILL" into the ground or anything, I just want to learn the right way at least once so that one day I too will know that of which I speak...



'99 WR400 with CA plates...ooooh yeah!!!

Man, I TOLD you the drill on the 19th :)


[This message has been edited by Rich in Orlando (edited August 28, 2001).]

i start my baby 250F the way doug says.

the real question is this:

HOW do you start your bike after you run into a tree? or fall in the mud? or it stalls on an uphill?

so far, i kick my leg off and watch other racers in my class go by and get more tired by the second. :)

Originally posted by peterg.mangahao:

...Then ease over TDC...

This is what I was looking for...thanks.


'99 WR400 with CA plates...ooooh yeah!!!

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