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Starting XR500

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Hello everyone, i have had a 84 xr500 for a couple of years and had no trouble with it, i am curious after reading some other posts what the "procedure" for starting these that everyone keeps talking about

thanks

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Fuel on, choke on. Pull decompression lever and kick engine over 4-5 times. Release decomp lever. Kick engine slowly until major resistance is felt (this is the compression stroke). Pull decomp lever and SLOWLY turn engine over a tiny bit more (just past compression stroke). Release decomp lever and kick hard with NO THROTTLE. Repeat as necessary, and practice makes perfect so ride as often as possible. (I'd say that no matter what we were talking about!) No choke needed after engine is warm. Mine is really dialed-in so it starts on the very first kick almost every time. It almost goes without saying, but correct jetting and correct valve clearances are important to easy starts. Also, some people say to turn the bars to the left when kicking - this way, your knee will not shatter if she kicks back. Good luck!

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By the way, as far as I know, this is the standard starting procedure for just about any thumper with a kick-start only and a compression release lever. If no lever, well, all you can do is kick kick kick! :thumbsup:

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I don't always pull the decomp lever, I push the kill button and kick over a few times and then do the above.

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I assume this will work for the XR250R. I just scored one and have had some difficulty starting, it has been 20 years since I last kicked a bike. It seems to take a long time to warm up - is this normal? Thanks

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Yeah, it's same ritual for just about any thumper. You could say the air-cooled XR's take a while to fully warm up. If you let it idle for a minute or two and circulate the oil, you can ride gently/slowly without worries and it will warm up faster than just idling. Full throttle usually bogs until the engine is fully warmed, but maybe that's just my bikes. But I know that engines warm up faster under a slight load rather than idling.

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Just curious, how much "seat-of-the-pants" difference is there between the older XR500 and the newer XR400's. Would a 500 engine fit in a 400 frame?

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The 400 revs higher than the 500 so they might be comparable in top end HP but the older 500's surely have more torque. Plus, the older 500 motors weigh more than the 400 so consider that as a performance downer. I seriously doubt that a 500 motor would fit into a 400 frame... someone crafty could probably shoehorn it but that sure would be a tight fit! I know the 500 motors pretty much bolt right into the 600 frames since that was the direct evolution of the big bore XR's, but the 400 was designed to be a tiny bit smaller overall so the frame dimensions are smaller.

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