Do you have trouble starting your XR4?.... I don't.!!!

I was going through some invoices for parts bought in the last couple of years and thought I might share some info. When I bought my bike new, it started like most stock XR's. If you own one you know what I mean. Anyhow, after being fed up with inconsistant starting I got a Carb Mod Kit from Baja Designs for it and once installed have been a happy boy ever since. To fire it up, I turn on the gas, put the choke all the way on, DON'T TOUCH THE THROTTLE, press the kill button and hold the decompression lever in, kick it through 6 to 10 times, then I take my thumb off of the kill button and let go of the decompression lever, get the kickstarter to the top of the compression stroke and STILL NOT TOUCHING THE THROTTLE, kick it through smoothly. 99% of the time, it lights up on the firstkick:thumbsup: I then put the choke in the middle position once it's started, go put on my helmet, gloves and goggles, turn off the choke, and roar(putt) off into the sunset. Something else I do when I'm done riding for the day is turn off the gas while the bike is still running and let it run until it dies. Then, if I don't ride that bike again for awhile, there's no gas left in the carb to evaporate and gum things up. I've used this proceedure for a couple of years now and always have consistant starting and no problems/cursing/cussing/frustration whatsoever. If you have a method that works for you with similar results and don't care for the way I do it stay with your method.

By the way, the Carb Mod Kit is part # 15-1003. When I bought it, it cost $26.15 and that was for the main, and pilot jet, and a different needle and clip. When you call them to order it they ask you if you have a California or 49 state bike and what modifications have been done to the engine and exhaust as well as the elevation that you usually ride at. For me this was one of the most satisfying and cheapest mods that can be done to a machine. Baja Designs can be reached at (760)560-BAJA:confused: That's 2252. I hope this helps some of you like it did me.

with the 6-10 kick throughs at the beginning, it seems you are starting it on the 7-11 kick.

Get a pumper and start on the first or second kick. And enjoy the performance increase also.

I don't kick through any more either, I find TDC and it's 1 and maybe 2 kicks everytime hot or cold. Pumper is the ticket.

Those kicks are almost without any compression whatsoever (remember the compression release part?). Even a little girl could do it. Basically it just puts some fuel in the cylinder. Correct me if I'm wrong but it's my understanding that for what those pumpers cost, you could send your suspension out to be revalved. And we all know that makes a huge difference in performance. For me, I guess I would rather spend less than $30 on jets and put my money on the stuff that I can feel. But, to each his own or, whatever lifts your skirt.

By the way thanks very much for the dialogue. Since you did mention a performance gain, would you mind elaborating? Are you talking horsepower, torque, fuel economy or what? I'm sure there are other XR owners who would like to know as well. All I was trying to do was share a low cost solution to a common problem.

First off, I agree that XR400s are hard to start. I keep a little can of starter fluid in my tool box. It does the trick every time. Once I get the bike started, first start of the day, it usually starts up well throughout the day (cold or hot).

I just checked the BD website and they still sell the kit for $26.15.

The description says "California XR400". Is the kit for Cali XR400's (that were built to meet California requirements)? If the kit is intended to 'uncork' a Cali bike, then I guess it makes sense. What if your bike is not a Cali bike?

Here is a pic of the kit from the BD website. What are these parts?

151003big.jpg

Doug

Those parts are main and pilot jet, needle and clip. The California bikes used a different needle than the 49 state bikes.

They are jetted from the factory somewhat lean and changing out the main and especially the pilot makes a big difference. Mine is a CA bike so that is the reason for the needle I guess. All I know is that it sure made a difference. BTW, I believe the needle is a A16.

Those kicks are almost without any compression whatsoever (remember the compression release part?). Even a little girl could do it. Basically it just puts some fuel in the cylinder. Correct me if I'm wrong but it's my understanding that for what those pumpers cost, you could send your suspension out to be revalved. And we all know that makes a huge difference in performance. For me, I guess I would rather spend less than $30 on jets and put my money on the stuff that I can feel. But, to each his own or, whatever lifts your skirt.

By the way thanks very much for the dialogue. Since you did mention a performance gain, would you mind elaborating? Are you talking horsepower, torque, fuel economy or what? I'm sure there are other XR owners who would like to know as well. All I was trying to do was share a low cost solution to a common problem.

Red Dog -

Putting a pumper carb on your machine will totally change the way you feel about your bike. If tweaking the jetting like you just did made you happy, a pumper will leave you with a permanent smile on your face. Not only will your bike start with ease, it will respond instantly to throttle input and make the front of your bike feel 25 pounds lighter. This may sound a bit inflammatory, but the stock XR carbs should be melted down and used as beer cans (not a bad demise I might add). The pumper is the way to go. See any new, hi-performance four strokes without a pumper? No you don't, and there is a reason for it. The pumper transforms the XR.

I put a pumper on my 02, and have a worse time starting it than I did with the stock carb. I'm at 3000 ft and running a 15, 130 jets. pilot out 2 3/4 out. I was not impressed with the carb

if you are not impressed, then you do not have it set up right.

Me either.

With the stock carb it started fine and with this new Mikuni, it starts fine.

I think most of the trouble comes from coming off a two stroke, like I did, you want to crank the throttle as you kick to go. The most valuable, and I think the key component, to starting these XRs is to keep your hand OFF the throttle when kicking to go. Turn the idle up a tad instead.

Edited to add:

All your page two belong to me.

if you are not impressed, then you do not have it set up right.

Agreed. The difference is night and day. If you're not impressed, then something is definately wrong with the setup.

Agreed. The difference is night and day. If you're not impressed, then something is definately wrong with the setup.

...or you don't know how to set up the stock carb.

Just a thought.

i went from a well tuned stock carb that was not hard to start to a edelbrock which is a bit easier to start and a bit more performance. still hard to say if it was worth it or not it was apretty $$$$ upgrade. im glad i have it but could have lived with out it too. my favorite things about it are the extended idle screw and the 5 second jetting adjustments for different temps.

i think a important thing with the stock carb as really with any fourstoke is once its set up correct is to run the idle at about twice as high as what a street bike type idle would be when riding in the woods. with a non pumper its important to keep the idle high to keep draft through the system up when you chop the throttle to some what eliminate that xr bog.

my bike started easy both ways just had different starting techinques. + when you run your idle high you never stall.

One of the points I tried to make was that with the stock carb jetted correctly it works quite well. And with the money you'ld save by not buying a pumper you could get some Gold Valves and or a fork brace and have a much better ride.

KJK wrote a pumper would make the front of the bike feel 25lb. lighter and put a permagrin on your face. PULEEZE that's a pile of hooey. My bike does and always has made me smile. XR400's rock!!!!!!!!!!!

I tried a number of things to solve the difficulties of starting my '98 XR400, as did a buddy who has an '01. Never tried a pumper carb, but despite all the jetting, pipes, advice and starting techniques used the bike was still a pain to fire when cold. I'd imagine it's a bit colder in the morning on average here than in Arizona so my problem was magnified, particularly while riding in Oct/Nov.

Finally solved the problem a couple of weeks ago when I unbolted the handguards from the XR, removed it and attached a 2001 Suzuki DRZ400E to them. :confused:

I tried a number of things to solve the difficulties of starting my '98 XR400, as did a buddy who has an '01. Never tried a pumper carb, but despite all the jetting, pipes, advice and starting techniques used the bike was still a pain to fire when cold. I'd imagine it's a bit colder in the morning on average here than in Arizona so my problem was magnified, particularly while riding in Oct/Nov.

Finally solved the problem a couple of weeks ago when I unbolted the handguards from the XR, removed it and attached a 2001 Suzuki DRZ400E to them. :confused:

i feel bad for you having to switch to a drz for lack of carb tuning ability, wait til you battery dies out in the woods on ya,,you'll wish you was kicking :excuseme: seen it with drz owners before and im sure ill see it again :excuseme:

stock carb or pumper its always been a 1 or 2 kick thing in flip-flops.

imo the stock suspension valving is pretty good and wouldnt spend $$ on gold valves either tho i do run a slightly heavier fork oil with proper springs so its kinda like a half arsed valving change. but i have been very happy with it as it and really the xr400 is the only bike ive ever owned that ive been happy with the fork valving in stock form

One of the points I tried to make was that with the stock carb jetted correctly it works quite well. And with the money you'ld save by not buying a pumper you could get some Gold Valves and or a fork brace and have a much better ride.

KJK wrote a pumper would make the front of the bike feel 25lb. lighter and put a permagrin on your face. PULEEZE that's a pile of hooey. My bike does and always has made me smile. XR400's rock!!!!!!!!!!!

Again - show me a modern performance machine that is not utilizing a pumper. A well tuned stock carb is OK at best for the obsolete piece of hardware that it is. Comparing a properly tuned stock carb to a pumper is like comparing apples to oranges - they are not even in the same league.

The pumper is a great mod, and it is a mod that does not change the reliability characteristics of the solid XR like a cam or hi-comp piston etc can.

The XR400 is an economical bike - and for a reason - the stock carb, the suspension, air cooled etc. But underneath the economical facade is a brahma bull raging to get out. Open your airbox, open up your exhaust, dump the air filter screen, install a pumper and enjoy the bike that you won't believe existed under that stock shell.

Additionally, if you are making other engine mods (440 kit, cam etc) and you're still running a stock carb, you are significantly missing out.

To each his own - no harm done.

best mod I have done is the pumper carb hands down, two kick start even in 20 degrees. I had the stock carb on for 7 years and argued that the pumper carb was a waste but one day I go the pumper and I must say it was night and day. I have issues with the counter shaft breaking because of the constant kicking with the stock carb but now 2 kicks and I am rolling. Everyone has there own preferance but I must say the pumper got me going without the sweat. :confused:

best mod I have done is the pumper carb hands down, two kick start even in 20 degrees. I had the stock carb on for 7 years and argued that the pumper carb was a waste but one day I go the pumper and I must say it was night and day. I have issues with the counter shaft breaking because of the constant kicking with the stock carb but now 2 kicks and I am rolling. Everyone has there own preferance but I must say the pumper got me going without the sweat. :confused:

Ditto, especially after you pick the bike up and have to start it when you are dead tired in the woods. You'll wish you had a pumper than. No comparison between stock and a pumper. Why do you think no pumpers are on ebay, but there are always 2 or 3 stock carbs up there? Thers'a s reason for that.

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