1998 YZ 400f Starting Sequence

I am having trouble starting my 1998 yz 400f both cold and hot. Since I am new to this bike, I have checked into and heard that there may be a strict starting sequence. If so, does anyone know what that might be. If this has already been posted I apologize, but did not find it through the search engine. Thanks!Q

Did you look in the Common Threads Sticky? You know, the one that says, "look here first"?

At the bottom of the page, there are links to two videos by Doug Dubach explaining the whole thing.

Thanks for your info and patience.

Something that you also want to be aware of is that even when "the drill" is properly executed, the YZF's, and YZ400's in particular, are exceptionally fussy about being properly tuned. Check the sticky for links regarding adjustment of the idle circuit (see Fuel System), and keep a fresh plug in it.


With regard to the plug, is there a brand that is more effective and more reliable?

and.... once you learn it, the are pretty easy, atleast mine was. I read on here somewhere, to learn the starting drill and practice it till you get it right. And that is easier to do on your own time frame, not when all your buddies have already left you at the truck. does yours still have a manual decomp lever??

My 400 still had the manual decomp when i bought it, and the main thing on it along with the starting ritual, was to keep your hand off the throttle. I started mine with my hand on the master cyl to keep away from any twist.

I flooded mine when i first got it home and kicked on it for hours.....

Once i got the drill down, and a new plug in it, 3 to 4 max kicks cold, 1 or 2 once warmed up.

With regard to the plug, is there a brand that is more effective and more reliable?

i always ran ngk's in mine... no problems but the first one when I did not know how to start it....

Its like 3-4 times you barley kick it down..make sure you hand is off the throttle..than have a big kick..it might take a couple of times..but it worked for my friend.

With regard to the plug, is there a brand that is more effective and more reliable?
The original NGK CR8E works fine. The CR8EIX iridium plug should help with starting, at least theoretically, and be slightly less prone to fouling.

I have found this to be correct.... the 400f and 250f both start much easier with the iridium plug

Just put the Iridium plug in. The bike seemed to spark much better and fire better. Thanks.

My 400 is easier to start than my 250f was :dunno:

But the biggest thing, is if you are coming from a two smoke, to a thumper you have to change your kick style. The two smokes take a fast aggressive kick. The thumpers take more of a smooth kick, slightly slower kick.

On my 400, if it is cold I pull out the cold choke, twist the throttle ONCE and ONLY ONCE, press the kick starter till I hit resistance, pull the decomp lever and push the kick starter just past TDC (the resistance) and kick smoothly. It usually will start on the first kick.

When warm, it will usually start the same way, but with NO choke (not cold or hot) and NO throttle pump.

When it is exceptionally hot, If it kick it once as above (when warm) and it doesnt start, I pull the hot start out and do the kick procedure NO THROTTLE twist, and it starts then.

So at worst, I make two kicks at any given time. If I have to kick twice, It usually is I rushed it.

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