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Bike Starts with Kicking, but not with Starter

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The title I think describes my issue pretty well. The battery is fully charged. The Starter definetly engages. Threw in a fresh plug. It's start on the 2nd or 3rd kick every time, but not often using the starter even when warmed up. Any hints?

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I'd vote weak battery too - might not be spinning the starter quite fast enough. Hook your bike's battery to your car battery (not running) with jumper cables and try it again. If the bike starts right up, that's the problem.

JayC

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Definitely vales, I had the exact same problem. If you haven't adjusted them ever go ahead and shim but plan on replacing the valves within 500 miles to save your motor.

Once the coating wears off the Ti valve the soft material just keeps getting pulled deeper and deeper into the seat.

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How much is is to get your valves replaced on these bikes? I'm wanting to do it as a preventive maintenance.. My bike has had trouble starting w/ the E start as well..

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It doesn't make sense that it would be the valves. It starts right up when I kick it, but not with the e start. So, why does it start when I kick it? If the valves are bad then the sympton should persist regardless of which method I choose to start the bike.

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Check the valve clearances. Only takes 30 minutes and always the first thing to do on an X with starting issues. If they are good, then start hunting other problems, but you HAVE TO eliminate that first.

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Trying to help a buddy out with his CRF250X - same problem. The bike starts right up under the kick start. When you try with the electric start, it just turns over and won't fire up. Almost like it isn't getting spark when you use the starter, but is fine with kick start. Folks are discussing the potential power draw, drop of voltage cased by engaged the stater, but it is the same when jumped from a car with a boatload of extra amps, so the draw shouldn't be an issue. Comments?? It seems like this is not an uncommon issue on these bikes.

Anyone seen something in the wiring where engaging the starter shorts the ignition?

J

Btw, fresh top end; valves, cam, piston, rings, cylinder, etc. Shouldn't be a top end/valve job issue. Pops right on with the kick start. Electric cranks over, but no ignition.

Edited by czycat

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Been a solid morning of fussing over the wiring, inspecting it, playing with this and that, an experiment has shown an interesting twist. If I hold the starter in, and then hold and release the kill switch while it is cranking over, upon release the kill switch the motor will start up with no issues. So somehow there is a short in the ignition occuring when the starter button is depressed, but somehow in correlation with the kill switch. Oddly enough, the kill switch and the clutch switch are running through the same section of wire harness & connector, however the starter switch has its own seperate seperate connector.

The kick starter still starts the bike normally. The kill switch still kills the running motor when depressed.

Any feedback? What in the world is going on there?

J

Edited by czycat

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When you kick it over, the motor rotates faster than when you use the E start. That is why when the valves are just starting to go out you can start it with a kick and not the E start. If it is valves, it will get worse and pretty soon you will only be able to start it by rolling it down a hill and bump start it. Valves are easy enough to check that I would check them anyway.

All that being said, I do not think that your valves are the issue in this case. I would check to see if you have a strong spark while cranking. I have seen a bad CDI cause this problem. Also check your battery connections. Even if your battery has 12 volts, that doesnt mean that 12 volts is getting to the rest of the system. During cranking the battery and system are electrically loaded and the voltage quickly drops to around 10 volts. Mix in some bad connections and or a weak battery, and you start to drop ignition volts down to where modules shut down or make a weak spark. I do no know why or how the kill switch can reset this. I do know that on my bike, if I am cranking it and it is not wanting to start, I push on the kill switch and release and it generally starts up. It has done this since new. My therory was when I hit the button, I was allowing more fuel to build up in the intake track and therefor allowing it to start due to a lean condition. That or the advanced ignition timing was causing the engine to bump back against starter during cranking, not allowing it to get enough cranking speed to start. It is common practice in some race cars to start cranking the engine before you turn on the ignition on to allow the engine to get to full cranking speed before the spark is brought it and allow it to start.

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Thanks Condor, pretty enlightening. I'm pretty surprised by the behaivior, especially that you have seen it since your bike was new; I've worked on hundreds of bikes, dirt & street, and haven't come across this one yet. Given that when cranking the engine over with a jump from a car at 14.2 volts, it still wasn't firing, I don't think a draw to the ignition system has anything to do with it. This is confirmed with the kill switch bump that suddenly allows it to start as it should normally. Interestingly enough, using the electric start even when it wouldn't fire still helps charge the cylinder and make the bike easier to kickstart cold. Which also tells me that it isn't a fueling problem. I reckon somehow hitting the electric start button is having an effect on the ignition like the kill switch, and when the kill switch gets thumbed, it somehow negates the effect and allows the ignition to work for a second. With your comments, and following a couple other posts, it seems that this problem exists for this model bike in some cases. The question now, does anyone know how to fix it?

Condor, have you tried replacing either the kill switch or starter button?

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valves are out of adjustment. probably zeroed out. do a search for valves and starting.

Bingo

It's an '04-'08...isn't it?

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I haven't tried replacing either. Mine may not have the same issue exactly as yours as most of the time, mine will start up with the e start. It is just every once in a while that it doesn't feel like starting till I hit the kill switch. The kill switch is just a momentary switch to ground. Honestly with yours, it sounds like a CDI problem. Perhaps if you have a buddy with a similar bike, you could swap out the CDI box and see if it starts. If you were local here in California, I would let you do it to mine. Come on down for a ride, (good excuse right). We can try the box off of my bike and see what happens.

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