Straight scoop on starting?

Hello all,

I'm considering buying a '98 through '00 WR 400. My only concern with the beast are the horror stories about starting them and how easy they are to stall. However, for every 10 horror stories there seems to be 1 story claiming they are like turning the key on a Cadillac. The big factor seems to be "the drill." My only concern is that the starting technique seems to be qualified by infinite subtleties, much like a moody woman.

Objectively, how are they to start?

Looking at both sides of the coin - your right. You do have to know the drill/procedure in order for it to start easily.

But it is something (once you get used to doing) you dont even have to think about once it becomes part of your normal starting routine. Im sure anyone on here will attest to that.

But its not a complicated drill.

On the flip side, if you drop the bike then yes, it is a bit harder,and it takes a bit longer to start. The key to getting it started within a reasonable amount of time is patience.

If your looking for smoother, more controlable power but you lack patience. Stay away.

Theres my 2 pennies for the day....

I think once you own the bike for a while you'll be able to start it no problem.

When I first got my YZ426 I looked like a german shepard with a bad kidney. I now almost always starts first kick.

The 03 will have the button.

The first time I rode mine after buying it, it stalled on me at the bottom of our hill and I had to push it all the way back up.......... I was pissed! I called the guy I purchased it from and he walked me through it and now it ALWAYS starts with one or two kicks. It really is easy once you get the process down.

This is retarded....not to be harsh, but you probably shouldn't buy it if you think you can't start it. Reason being is that your buying into lie. Some people didn't take the time to figure out how to start a thumper (whether is a Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, etc.), and then come out and say the suck to start. B.S.!!! I explained to a buddy of mine, who's never ridden a dirt bike mind you, how to start mine.........he turning it over first kick, go figure. If your willing to start it the way they were intended, and put a little leg behind it, you should have no trouble (baring any problems with the bike).


Dodger :):D

On Sunday my 426 fired on the second kick, then died right away. I kicked and kicked but nothing. I tried every trick and still nothing. The guy beside me with the two stroke told me how he has heard about how hard 4 strokes are to start. Not this one I said. It always starts first or second kick, except today. After several more minutes of kicking, I decided something must be wrong. I looked at the side of the bike, turned the fuel petcock from the OFF position to ON, and it fired right up!

Practice makes perfect....Right Woodzi :)

Man...I hate it when that happens....

Bonzai :D

You'll get the drill no problem.

then if you decide to improve the jetting like many of us have it will get even better.

Nobody will believe this but on one of my last test runs (from jetting) I was intentionally lugging it, and it stalled. Following the drill, I kicked to find TDC, but it fired up on the way :) . Mind you it only happened once and I don't expect it to happen again but, it doesn't get better than that!!

Originally posted by Dodger:

If your willing to start it the way they were intended, and put a little leg behind it, you should have no trouble (baring any problems with the bike

You know, really for the most part, I dont even have to kick mine that hard at all.

Its really pretty amazing how much compression is there before using the compression release and then how easy the engine turns over once you push past TDC and release the lever.

My first ride on my 99 was horrible. I was so excited and all my friends were ready to go except me. I could not light the beast. They were all laughing at me talking trash about how I bought a new bike that sucked because it wouldnt start.

I even had a friend (Im not sure if you call him a friend :) )video taping the whole thing.

So I loaded the bike up and went down to the local bike shop and told them my problem. They knew instantly that I had a fouled plug. (due to my friends twisting the throttle the night before) Replaced the plug and left it running on the trailor all the way back to the camp. LOL I wasnt taking any chances at this point.

But thats really the only "non-start" story I have.

[ August 14, 2002: Message edited by: MOmilkman ]

Once you get it down, it is really easy to fire the beast. Like the MOMilkman says, it doesn't even really take all that much force, once you know how to "channel your energies".

This weekend, my buddy was on his 2000 XR650R, and he was kicking and kicking and kicking. It wore him out. Mine fired on the first kick everytime.

That issue should not be considered a reason not to buy the bike.

My opinion.


Why don't you go to a local MX track and watch the guys on the YZF's???? You might be surprised. I've seen more people on two strokes kicking, kicking, kicking, than on YZFs.

In the last year, the only guys I've seen having trouble starting their bikes were newbies.

Anybody know if the hot-start knobs on the newer bikes help? I've heard different views.

They all have hot start buttons which is just an air passage to lean the mixture. I know on the 250F they enlarged the passage from 2001 to 2002.

If your bike is jetted well, you should rarely need the hot start. The bikes tend to have the snappiest throttle response off-idle if the jetting is slightly lean (a little popping on decel). If you are jetted like this, at least on my '01, I only need the hot start if I "flamed out" (throttle twisted at the same time you stalled). FOr all other hot-starts it's a single kick - or two kicks if someone is watching. :)

New bikes seem to have more trouble getting started than a "seasoned" bike. Unfortunately, a new bike usually means "new to 4-strokes" as well. That combo makes for some frustration.

When I bought my 426, the dealership had it fired up, showed me the drill, then loaded it up in the truck. I already knew all about "the drill" from reading ThumperTalk, so I wasn't worried. I made the 15 minute drive home, unloaded her, and commenced to kicking her for an hour. Talk about frustation. I finally pulled the hot start and she fired right up.

Since breaking it in and adjusting the carb, the only time I reach for the hot start is if I stall it under power. Then, pull hot start, pull decomp release, kick through a few time, then start right up. Most people see me start it 1st kick and say "I thought those were supposed to be hard to start!"

When I got my new '02 WR in February, I brought it home and commenced to kicking it over. Having talked to a friend with a YZ426F I thought I knew the routine. Right. Kicked it about 30 times with no luck. I went to Yamaha's web page and watched the Doug Dubach videos on how to start it. Went back down to the garage and fired it right up on the second kick. It's second nature now and I hope to not have to do much kicking anymore once my '03 gets here. :)

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