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How do I keep from having to start my bike like this.

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Alright. I have to remove my air filter and place my hand over the hole to get my bike to start. What's up with this and how do I fix it?

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Sounds like you are manually choking your bike. I have had bikes that ran like crap off the choke and it turned out to be a fouled plug. A place to start.

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Alright. I have to remove my air filter and place my hand over the hole to get my bike to start. What's up with this and how do I fix it?

If it's not the plug, it's your carb or a vacuum, air leak. not getting enough fuel.

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Do you have to have your hand over the inlet for it to keep running, or just to start? If it is fine when it warms up, maybe your choke plate is broken, chokes not working, and you can start it by manually choking it

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Do you have to have your hand over the inlet for it to keep running, or just to start? If it is fine when it warms up, maybe your choke plate is broken, chokes not working, and you can start it by manually choking it

It is fine after it warms up, and I often only have to do that for the first start of the day.

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What year is the bike? Does it have a choke flap in the carb, are the "enricher circuit" type choke with a plunger? If it's got the plunger, maybe the circuit is stopped up and not letting it draw fuel. If it has the flap, or butterfly choke, make sure the flap is still in there and fastened to the shaft. That flap is there to do basically what you're doing with the hand, restrict the air at the back of the carb so it pulls more fuel through the jets.

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is the manual choke working?

May be a carb that needs to be cleaned out.

may be worthwhile to just dip the carb in carb dip and clean her all out!

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