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Proper use of compression lever?

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hi guys, my main bike currently is a 1984 XR500 RFVC, to say it's a bitch to start is kind of an understatement, but it always gets going one way or another

what im curious as to though is what is the proper way to use the compression lever?

my routine usually is hold the compression lever in in neutral with the choke up, pump the kick about 7-9 times, then release the lever and kick it

if it doesnt go then, i will turn off the choke, pull the lever in again and pump 7-9 times, then kick it with no choke

usually this process eventually works, but it's still somewhat hit or miss

a friend told me your suppose to hold the lever in, and in the middle of the kick let it out so it builds compression?

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I had a '83 XR350. I only used the decompression lever following a crash. I would hold it in, and kick the bike ~10 times, no throttle. Then, release the lever and attempt to start normally.

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The starting drill goes like this:

1.) Kick the engine over slowly until you feel compression.

2.) Pull the compression release lever and slowly push the kicker until you feel top dead center.

3.) Let go of the comp release, and give it a good swift kick. Hopefully it starts.

When clearing a flooded engine, just hold the CR lever and kick the bike through several times or more as needed, then do the starting drill. Don't turn the choke on when clearing a flood.

Another thing to do is pull the plug when it's being hard to start. That way you can see if the plug is wet or dry and determine if it's getting too much or not enough fuel.

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Only way I've ever used it is these 3 ways: Cold starting, push the kick starter lever until you feel major resistance, pull the comp lever in and keep moving the kick starter until it moves past the resistance. Now you're over TDC and ready to have the best chance at getting momentum in the crank for good cold starting (with the choke on).

Hot start following a tip-over or minor crash. Pull the comp lever in, throttle wide open, no choke, kick it through half a dozen times, then follow the cold start procedure without choke.

"Bump" starting on a hill. Click into second gear, pull in the comp lever and clutch (tricky hand work required), roll down the hill until you've got some speed, let out the clutch and when the engine turns over let out the comp lever. Vroom, off you go!

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The starting drill goes like this:

1.) Kick the engine over slowly until you feel compression.

2.) Pull the compression release lever and slowly push the kicker until you feel top dead center.

3.) Let go of the comp release, and give it a good swift kick. Hopefully it starts.

Absolutely perfect description 🙂
When clearing a flooded engine, just hold the CR lever and kick the bike through several times or more as needed, then do the starting drill. Don't turn the choke on when clearing a flood.
And hold the throttle wide open when kicking the engine through. This allows the maximum amount of air to flow through the cylinder to dry it out. Also make sure the kill switch is off. :D

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Right, I forgot about holding the throttle open too. It not only moves more air through the engine to help dry it out, it also kills the vacuum signal in the carb that pulls fuel through the jets. It's a good idea to hold the kill switch as well, although I haven't had a bike fire in a situation like that, at least not yet.

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all of my xr's liked no choke pull decompression in kick 6 or 7 times find top dead ceter go past just a hair put on choke give good healthy kick. the trick is to find top dead center . even when bike is warm you want top dead center.

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