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xr650r starting worse now

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i bought a nice xr650r last fall that usually started on 2nd kick at worst. it had been uncorked and rejetted previously. i had the local shop check the valves which had never been checked since new (bike had perhaps 2k miles on it) and they said the valves were really tight and needed adjusting (had it in the shop for full suspension revalving etc - so i had them check the valves while there). i pulled the choke plate off at the same time due to some of the forum threads suggestions.

immediately it seemed like it took an extra kick or so to start - which did not originally bother me because the weather had gotten a lot colder, but the bike has seemed to get worse progressively on starting now when it is cold (not the weather but the bike) over the last month or so. jetting was not changed. when it fires it fires immediately and you can turn the choke off just as soon as it starts and it runs great (exactly like it did before any work was done). it feels different just kicking it - i get some resistance on some of the kicks at the bottom of the kick where it never used to do so - always had smooth follow through before and a quick start - now getting the resistance at the bottom of the stroke and no start for 6-8 kicks.

i'm going to recheck the valves to see if something is off there.

also checking the sparkplug and wire on the list.

then back to the choke plate? considering putting it back in if the starting does not improve...

any other throughts or observations...

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As far as I know, if you take the choke plate off you don't have choke anymore since there is nothing blocking the air intake to make the mixture rich for cold starting. If you took the plate off because you are afraid of the flap breaking off, buy one from XR's only without the plate.

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