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88 XR200R won't start - fixed!

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Hi all; been lurking for a while but finally needed to register to get some help. :-)

I've had this bike since March '08, and it's never taken more than 2 or 3 kicks to start, even after sitting in the garage for 5 months over winter. First of spring, turn the gas on, choke it, kick it 2 or 3 times, starts right up.

Not any more. :-( I kick it and kick it, no-go. I've even tried bump starting it...nope.

Here's what I've done to troubleshoot (after most of these I've put the bike back together and tried kicking it again, with no luck):

* Dumped the old gas, put fresh gas in

* Observed that the headlight flickers brightly while kicking it

* Bought a new spark plug and gapped it (BR8ES-L / 28gap); lay it alongside the fins while kicking and it sparks right up

* Checked that fuel flows correctly out of the petcock

* Checked that fuel gets to the float bowl

* Removed the carb and cleaned it. Removed the main and pilot jets (110 / 38); no gunk, but the pilot is a bit hard to see thru. Don't know if that's because it's plugged, or just because the hole is so small. Throttle (idle?)screw is 1.5 turns out, and pilot jet "screw" is 2 turns out. (Both have been at those settings for 3 years.) Needle in 3rd position.

* Removed the air filter altogether

* Adjusted the intake valve; somebody told me that it'll run .050 too loose, but won't run if it's .001 too tight, so I loosened it up a bit.

Still, she won't start.

After kicking it 20 or so times, I remove the plug and it's dry as a bone. No dirt, oil, nothing on it...looks brand new (because it is...). But lay it on the fins, and it sparks brightly.

:bonk:

Any more ideas I can try?

Thanks for any help!

Bill

<><

Edited by wilddoktor

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its either your pilot clogged (38pj hole is small but easily see light thru it) get a new one (4dollars). or/float needle isnt operating correctly

pull the plug squirt some gas in the jug see if it starts. im sure it will, the prob is dirty jet.

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Hey bill.

I have rebuilt a few of these now and by what you are saying I think you should try replacing that pilot jet. I know they are a small hole and that can be the difference between going and not.It would be worth it. It would almost be worth rekitting the carb. can make a big difference somtimes. I would, and just for interest sake, check there is a clearance gap between the cdi and rotor. I would also recheck the valves and set to clearences. check that the decomp lever is not interferring with the valves. But all that said it sounds like a fuel problem.

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Thanks guys; I also feel like it's the pilot jet...but the guy at the local shop looked thru it and said "it's fine", then told me about the valve thing.

So, I'm going to try dripping some gas in the jug, and I too bet that will get it to start. In which case, I'll go buy a pilot jet tomorrow...which will be a bit awkward, but oh well. :-)

I'll keep you posted!

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Well, that was...um...strange.

Dripped some gas in the jug and tried starting it, nothing. Checked the spark again; still good (dry plug...I think I didn't put enough gas in there).

Got frustrated and did the old CR500 trick: lay it down on it's left side til it weeps. But...it never dripped any gas. ??? Stood it back up, suddenly it started dripping out the right hand tube. ??? Never seen that before.

Decided to kick it again; about 4 kicks, full choke, and thump thump...she started running.

But...she was running at what felt like half throttle; turned off the choke and it *really* started racing. Finally had to hit the kill switch. Messed around with the throttle cable a bit; it works fine when the slider is out of the carb, but putting it back in the carb it doesn't seem to go as far down as it should? Ends up about 1/2 inch below the top of the cap, but the spring doesn't push the throttle more than halfway back. I have the "long" slot sliding down over the idle screw (right hand side of the bike). Strange.

Anyway, it fired up two more times; both times running really fast. Last time I tried to turn the idle screw and as the rpms came down a tiny bit it died.

So, sounds like I'm off to the shop for a pilot jet tomorrow!

BTW, probably a new thread and been answered a million times before, but here goes: as I've been kicking, the kickstarter "slips" a little more than normal. Anybody point me to a thread where that is discussed? Interestingly, the three times the bike started just now there was *no* slipping, and it kicked like it should. Strange...

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From memory the long slot is the locating slot that slides on a fixed nylon slide that is pressed into the side of the carb. It is also has a hole in the top of the slide for removing the cable. When sitting on the bike and looking down at the carb the slot should be on the left side. So this should not be on the idle screw and would explain why it is not going all the way down the carb throat. So long slot on press nylon locator pressed into carb and and short angled slot at the base is for idle adjustment and should be on the right hand side. this may also explain hard starting. Ensure the pressed in nylon locator is sliding freely, sometimes they wear and can stick in the locating slot making the entire slide hard to fit into the throat.

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GEOF, you were right; I had it in backwards. :-)

I got a pilot jet, installed it, she fired up on the 2nd kick. Sheesh...should have done that first and saved myself some stress!! Ah, well...live and learn.

In any case, she purrs very nicely now, and one or two half-hearted kicks with street shoes on will fire her up...like it used to be. Although I think I'll start another thread about the slipping kickstarter.

Thanks for the replies guys!

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The slipping kick starter is not such an easy fix. In all case I have come across you have to split the cases. Not a small job. The whole mechanism is internal. You will fin that the two internal meshing cogs will be worn. If you like I can post a picture of what they look like. In most cases it is hard to even see the wear. It will pay to purchase a new set.

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