Easy Start 101 for Novices

Heard a lot about this 'big deal ??' since reading the site...my 2 'centimes' worth (I'm in Switzerland...)

So far HOT or COLD 90% success rate first kick, max 3 kicks. I use the hot & cold choke as appropriate.

I wont bore you with the whole procedure (which is oft repeated in the forum), but the difference the dealer/rider told me that I dont think I read in this forum is....

Either HOT or COLD just prior to the final KICK,

1) decompress and push the kick lever down JUST past the top of the stroke & hold position

2) Let go of the decompression lever

3) Kick down like hell

Oh yeah, turn the gas OFF when you finish riding.

don't be so cocky about starting it, mine starts easy in the heat of the battle but some mates of mine have had christ knows how much trouble starting theirs, i can usually get two laps up on them before they get it started. i've never had to use the hot start button either and my bikes been on its side and upside down and kicked first time. i asked my mechanic why mine starts and others don't and all he could say is don't argue about it

Leaky, I guess I should be more humble. I was expecting the worst from the horror stories on the forum, especially as...

a) I'm a novice at kickstart only bikes

:) my XL600LM had a RED button

:D my 600 thumper was a bitch to start when the red button failed.... which leads me to a funny story....e-start failed and I spent 20 minutes pushing the ******* thing around trying to find a hill to get a bump start going. I finally gave up, vented my frustration to the sky, kicked the &%"*% bike in the ass and sat down head in hands. When I looked up I just happened to be face to face with the kick start lever. I looked around to see if anyone was laughing, got on, kicked a couple of 10 times and was on my way!!

Anyhow, I guess each bike comes off the line a little different and its not really as simple as ABC to get em going. I guess a combo of good maintenance & set up and a DRILL helps. God help anyone who has a continual problem, I cant imagine anything worse.

I'll let you all know if I have to eat crow in the future !!!



The Missile

'99 WR400F

Well.....as I said I'd let you know if I had to eat crow.....

Didnt use my bike for about 2 weeks, meanwhile the weather got cold and humid. Had a BITCH of a time starting my bike cold. I had worked up quite a sweat by the time I got underway 15 - 20 kicks. When it was warmed up it was OK to start, even after a stall... first time every time. A couple of days later... also first time from cold.

Is there any trick to an easy start after the bike has been standing for a while?? I turn off the gas after each ride. Anything else I should do if I'm not going to be using the bike for a while ??

The Missile


The Missile

'99 WR400F

Airbox Lid - gone

Throttle Stop - shorty!

Plastics/Tank/Seat - One Industries

Street Legal

If it's below about 60F, a few squirts of throttle to prime it helps alot. Just remember it's easy to squirt another shot in, but it's aweful hard to take one out.

My bike sat for about 7 weeks (son broke his arm). Went to the track, turned on the fuel, let it sit for about 30 seconds, pulled the compression release, kicked it through twice, found TDC, CR in, moved kicker 1" (25.4 mms), back to the top, kicked it and it fired.

A clean carb and proper jetting will work wonders. My 14 year old (5'10", 120 #'s) can start my bike first kick also.



99 WR400f, YZ timed, MX-Tech suspension, Scotts steering damper, White Bros E-Series (12 discs), tapered header and a/f. Kouba T-handle for the fuel screw. Works Connection billet throttle tube and frame guards. Cycra Pro-Bend, triple clamp mount handguards. Thumper Racing rad guards, Renthal Jimmy Button highs, YZ Tank and IMS seat, YZ number plate, odo removed, de-octopussed (Thanks Clark) EKP #4, 50PJ, 175MJ, 100PAJ and 65 SJ at 500-1000' Thanks James Dean!

Originally posted by Bill:

A clean carb and proper jetting will work wonders.


Bill - you hit the nail on the head with that statement - I think this is more the "key" than whose "proceedure" works better.


Don't worry Missle, you're not alone. Even my baby gets stubborn every now and then. Thanks to info on the TT board, at least I know what to do if the first 5 first kicks don't do it. Personally, my bike seems to start much easier when cold. Wether it sits over night or 2 weeks, she fires first kick everytime.

Warm starts don't seem to bear the same luck for me though, as I think most of my trouble has been here. Its not that I have ever failed to get her lit, its just what method it liked that day, and can I remember exactly how I did it, what order,.... you get the point. Anyway, still a little voodoo magic needed on those days, could still be pilot error though... time will tell.


-- later...Gary

'99 WR400 w/CA plates

100% Support to Operation "Infinite Justice"

God Bless America

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