VERY hard to start when cold...

..any ideas? A couple of weeks ago my bike has been a b$#ch to start. I have cleaned and blown out the carb. The valves are adjusted within spec. My air/fuel screw is 2 turns out. It starts perfectly once it is warm. The plug looks good also. Any ideas would be a great help. Thanks

Have you tried the throttle twist? I have found (and I think a lot of others too) that when its cold, turn the choke on, twist the throttle about 5-10 full times, then kick. Mine will usually try to start on about the first or second kick and then die. I just turn the throttle one more time, and then it will pop off on the next kick. Sometimes it takes a couple of times of that before it will stay running but then its good.

Let it run on choke for about a minute or two. This works for me. I don't know how cold it is where you live but for me its about mid 30's to 40's.

Mine was also difficult to light yesterday, 37'. Tried the normal 2 to 3 twist then choke, no go, kicked for about 20 times, let it sit, then a KTM buddy tried when I was puttin the gear on and it fired right off. Rest of day 1st or 2nd kick. Might have to put the Kouba on that I threw in a drawer or keep the KTM bud around for emergencies.

I concur with redracer 21. When it's cold, turn gas on, pull choke out, rock the throttle all the way open and closed about 6 times and kick. BABOOOOOM!!! Also, the Power Now seems to make it start easier, even under poor conditions. I'll really be surprised if these things don't do it. Good luck.

yes, i normally twist it about 4-5 times. i will try a little more. thanks

Do you really turn the throttle? I never turn mine before it is running! It is amazing how different rituals are needed for these bikes. If you turned my throttle 4-5 times I have a feeling you would be changing plugs before it started.

Sawdaddy do you run a Power Now? I do and I love it and couldnt agree with you more regarding starting ease with it.

Decompressor clearance?

was within specs also.

The colder it gets the more twists of the throttle. After twisting away, I kick through slowly once to move some of the gas into the cylinder. It always fires up on the next kick. Sometimes it coughs and dies, a couple more twists and the next kick will get it running for good. I let it warm up for at least 3 minutes with the choke on if it's cold out. I was afraid to touch the throttle after reading about YZF's for years, something is different on the Honda, because it likes a couple of squirts of gas from the accelerator pump!

Here is my routine. This lets me start on 2nd or 3rd kick.

1. Hold kill switch. Slowly kick 3 times or so to get the gas moving into carb and oil up in cylinder.

2. Pull choke out

3. Twist throttle 5 full times

4. Start

This method has worked very well for me.

5-10 twist, choke out, then kick it like a man!

Starts first kick for me. JEd

I was out at the track this weekend and was kicking my bike like hell. This was the worse case of no start I have ever had, I literaly must have kicked it over twenty times. My buddy comes over and lays the bike over like a two stroke until gas is comming out then twists the throttle twice and she fired right up.

If there is to much oil on your air filter it will take a long time to start. Chekc it and make sure there are no wet spots.

what with the 5-10 "pre-kick" twists? I've never done this? In fact I was told not to touch the trottle when kicking, because it may lead to flooding. Seems as though 10 twists before I kick may do this. Not bashing here just wondering. Isn't it the choke's job to put the necessary extra fuel in the cylinder?

BTW it's about 8 degree's here.


Even the owners manual says to give a few twists before starting in cold weather. I do it 6-8 times on chilly mornings. Mine won't start in the cold without the extra squirts of fuel. If yours does, good for you.

If you don't twist first and just try to crank with the choke on, it will eventually crank; that's the case with mine at least. However, the twist before the the kick seems to help in cold weather. I don't not twist in the summer when the temp is between 90 and 100 degrees.

If I were you, I'd try about 3 twist first and eventually work you way up to the right amount of twist for your bike. I'm sure they're all a little different.

Regarding flooding, I've never flooded or fouled a plug, yet. This bike is truly amazing when it comes to cranking and not fouling plugs. Plus, I've crashed hard, fell in turns, had bike upside down after a fall, and it always starts on the first kick using the hot start lever. Another amazing feature. JED


:):D :D :D

It's a trip that we still get this many replies.

Bring em on! more the better. Ya never know if your leaving something out.

Just one suggestion. Try search first.

Oh! One more thing. CRF450 or YZ450?

I know. But I never had any problems. It usually starts on the first kick. my bike started quicker than my buddies 02 cr. he got pissed and went and bought a crf. i rechecked all the valves and decomp. and also turned the mixture screw out 3 turns. i think it is better. i will wait until tomorrow morning when it is cold. i have been giving it a few twists before. now it seems like it wants a lot of twists. thanks for all the tips.

Pull your airboot off and check the squirt of the pump, maybe needs adjustment (BK mod) just a thought. Mine also needs several pumps more than usual cold starting.


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