85 350r Hard to start?

So, I just bough an 85 XR 350r and when could it is extremly hard to start. When warm one kick and it starts right up. Any ideas what I can do or where to start looking for issues. Bike seems to run strong, justs hates to start in the morning.

1. full choke

2. open throttle, pull in comp release and kick through 3-4 times, close throttle.

3. push kicker slowly until you feel compression.

4. pull comp release and push kicker 2-3 inches, bring kicker back to top of stroke.

5. let go of comp release and give it a healthy kick.

6 when engine fires, move choke to 1/2 position until the engine warms up.

If the engine is in good tune and the carb is jetted right, this works.

where do I find the "pull in comp release" I didnt know it had one?

where do I find the "pull in comp release" I didnt know it had one?

There should be a manual compression release lever on the left handlebar. It is connected to a cable that goes to the compression release mechanism lever on the right hand side of the cam cover.

there appears to be a lever that could be used to release the compress on the side of the cam cover. However this lever has a cable connecting it to the kick start not the handle bars.

I think the problem could be more like valves or something. Warm it starts in one kick, but cold it really takes 15min of kicking to get the motor warm enough to start.

If its the same as an XL350, it has a automatic compression release that engages when you move the kickstarter. Sounds like you need more choke? Get it to TDC on the compression stroke and give it a kick. I've found if you just kick at it you waste a lot of time and energy. Gotta be on the compression stroke!

So, I just bough an 85 XR 350r run strong, .

Are you sure that it is an '85? An '85 should have the compression release trigger on the handlebar. The '85 has a single carb, earlier models twin carbs. Also, the '85 engine is a dry sump, earlier is wet sump.

title says 85, has a single carb and what do you mean by wet sump. It has an oil reserve (the frame).

The only thing on the handle bar is the starter kill - its a momentary contact button, and the clutch. On the other side is a brake reservoir, throttle and brake.

However on the top of the engine above the logo on the side with the kick start is a spring lever with a cable connected to the kick start.I can get pictures if needed.







Wet sump is the older engine (pre-85) with the dipstick on the RH case cover and no frame reservoir. I have owned two '85 XR350Rs and both had the manual compression release trigger on the left handlebar which was connected by a cable to the spring loaded lever on the side of the cam cover. The release mechanism that has the cable attached to the kickstarter is an older design, maybe the early '85s still had that particular configuration. Your pics are great, very nice bike, brings back a lot of good memories.

Yep, that's definitely an automatic compression release. No need to worry about the compression lever because there isn't one on your bike. You can watch the mechanism at work when you move the kickstarted downwards. I start my bike cold with full choke, TDC comp stroke kick till it starts. Sometimes if it sputters and dies after a couple seconds, I take it down to half choke. This seems to get it going a lot faster than if I leave it at full. Hope this helps.

Thanks for the compliments. I hope to restore the bike to a like new condition. I just love the older stuff. I am currently rebuilding an 83 250r 3-wheeler that I have had for about 15 years.

So, do I need to do anything to the compress release lever?

If I had to guess I would say it is an early release, because everything else

indicates an 85. And I have checked the title it says 85.

Be sure the valves are adjusted for proper clearance, this will help a lot in the starting routine. By the pictures, the decompression cam on the head cover has a place for a manual decomp setup but your bike does not have one (?) -- anyway it should still start OK without it. You could put one on if you wanted but it is not necessary. I would recommend not touching the throttle even once until the engine is started, this is how most choke circuits are designed. Only open the throttle when starting if the carb is flooded. Nice bike.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now