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xr 400 questions

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Alright I just bought an xr 400 and im pretty new to riding and new to mechanics and know very little about it, but the other day I took out my spark plug with the magneto still on it and kicked it a few times to see if it would spark it and nothing happened I would get a spark maybe like every 10 kicks, and I was wondering is this normal? I always thought that it should spark every time that I kicked it, I know this is a very general question and I did search for it and it is so general that I couldn't sift through everything and if this is true what do you think may be wrong with it because I'm having a very hard time starting it, takes like 40 kicks.

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maybe the plug wire is bad? just a thought. u could test it with a ohm reader if u have one at your disposal or any auto zone has one wich you could use

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Can someone answer my question??? Should the spark plug spark everytime I kick it?

Yes, without question. The only reason it wouldn't spark everytime would be if it was not kicked (spinning the rotor) fast enough.

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Yes is should spark every time. Sometimes it is hard to see in bright light.

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Not to sure if you should see a spark every time. Not to mention using the kick starter and holding the spark plug by yourself must be pretty difficult. Try having someone hold the plug near the Head while kicking.

Are you using the starting procedure recommended? The xr has a unique startinng procedure that takes some practice. You can search this site for many tips on starting. I have found that mine is difficult to start if I have tried for awhile but normally it isn't a problem. Try the following.

If Cold:

-use full choke

-kick the engine completly thru 6 to 8 times with out the throttle. (use decomp lever if installed)

-Set to TDC (top dead center) You can find TDC by slowly kick (no decomp) until the engine gives you some resistance. Once you have found this position continue to push until you get just past the resistance. It will feel like a notch

-Return the Kick start to the top and give a good honest Kick. Continue the above until it starts. If this takes to many tries you may flood the bike. If you do open throttle fully and kick several times to clear the carb. Start process over.

-Once bike starts let it run for awhile on full choke. After a bit try going to half choke. If bike starts to run rough go back to full choke. Once bike is warm turn the choke of and rip it up!

Warm:

-Find TDC (no choke) and let er rip.

Hope this helps

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When you kick it the plug must be grounded hold the threads of the plug tightly against a head fin when you kick it.your problem is most likly fuel related the ignition is very reliable and usually just quit working completly no an intermitten problem.try sqirting some gas into the plug hole,like a tablespoon full install plug and kick it.proper jetting and the tdc ritual will make it easy to start.read everything under kevin and gordon info at the top of the xr400 page.good luck.xx

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after i drowned my xr250 i finally got it running and got it home. i drained the oil pulled them plug and air cleaner. i stuffed a rag into the air box/carb inlet so i could rinse the air box out and i forgot about it. after reinstalling everything this bike wouldnt start. i pulled the plug and grounded it but saw no spark. tore through all the electric on the bike and saw no problems. finally i realized that the rag was still in the breather!

my point is, i saw NO spark the entire time, it is extremely difficult the kick the bike and ensure you have a good ground and see the spark all at the same time.

try a new plug and research the starting technique, thats probably where your problem is. just dont assume becuse you dont "see" spark that you dont have spark.

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I agree, don't assume that just because you don't see a spark, you don't have one. Hold the end of the plug in your hand and kick the engine over. Get a jolt?

Learn proper start routine. Must kick from TDC. Make sure idle is not set too low. Make sure you're using the choke properly, all the way up on the lever being full choke.

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