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Yamaha XT200 Starting Problems

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I'm working on a 1982 Yamaha Xt200 for a friend.. he bought the bike used which is in very clean condition but it's not wanting to start. When you kick it, it wants to kick back and if it does try to fire it doesn't sound like it's right.. Almost like it's trying to run backwards.. I checked for spark and it definitely has spark. Does the battery have to be fully charged to run? When I turn the key on none of the lights light up at all.. The carb was also dumping gas on the floor through the vent tube so I adjusted the floats and it stopped..

Any ideas what this can be? Timing? carb? wiring?

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I've narrowed this down to a carb problem.. If i squirt gas into the cylinder it will fire right away.. I've had the carb apart 3 times and everything looks good, not really worn out.. I cleaned it and hit it with air.. Float level is fine as well but still she doesn't want to fire.. there is no dirt in that carb so i'm not sure what to think.. I cleaned out the airbox as well so that's out of the equation.. I'm at my wits end with this thing, very frustrating.. Is there another carb I can swap onto this? like a Mikuni?

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I suggest rebuilding the carb, I know you said you've taken the carb apart 3 times, but did you do a really thorough cleaning, there are many small bits and pieces that seem to get overlooked a lot of times.

On my XT250 I had some weird stuff with the electrical which would give me spark at times. Some things to check would be plug cap, neutral switch and if it has a side stand switch. Last don't hesitate to change out the spark, even if it looks good!

Good luck.

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I agree with the last post. You probably have varnish in the various jets and tiny little holes. I have been down this road with both my XT200 and XT350. I would clean the carb and it still would not run. Then a trip to the shop for a soak in their ultrasonic cleaner and it would be good as new.

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