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83 xt 550 won't start HELP!

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Hi,

First of all I have never ridden/started a motorcycle or dirt bike so I know nothing.

My bike now has a solid spark but it won't start, it doesn't even start to catch. Are there common things that could cause this carburetor I'm assuming? I feel like the kick start is difficult but from what I've read thats normal for the bike, but sometimes it only goes down halfway. Compression wrong here I don't know. Also there is a small white ball thing under the float chamber...what the heck is it!? it leaked once I hooked up the petcock.

If someone could also tell me how to start the bike..sad I know. So far I've been holding the clutch and kick starting. Should the starter plunger on the caburetor be in or out though? I assume out because it acts like a choke. Thanks

Jimmy

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If the plug is clean and dry[if it is'nt put a new one in ones that look fine can be bad also] spray some carb cleaner in the intake/into the air cleaner either one and try to start it .If it trys to you arent getting fuel then buy a repair manual and clean the carb [they have a lot of parts and some adjustments to be made during assembly. if it does'nt pop with the carb cleaner you may have a valve stuck open or some other mechanical issue the repair manual will help with that.

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I don’t recall any ball-thing in my ’83 XT550’s carb.

Do a search, there is a copy of the workshop manual floating around on the internet.

Biddyboo has some good advice.

Do you have fresh gas? The bike will not start on old gas. Since you have (probably) good compression and spark you probably have a fuelling problem. There is a drainscrew on the bottom of the carb, open it a little to confirm you have gasflow into the carb.

If gas flows out (and you have new gas in the tank) try this:

  1. Apply choke (plunger out)
  2. Leave the ignition off and prime the bike by kicking it slowly several times. No throttle.
  3. Switch the ignition on and push the kickstarter slowly until you feel resistance (compression).
  4. Kick the bike. No throttle.

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