01 WR 426 multiple starting issues

Thanks for reading. I did search, found separate answers about gas leaks, starting, but don't know how to apply the knowledge. I'm new to 426's. Just bought this used. I'm used to early XR600's which clear and start by holding compression release, throttle open, and kick 4-5 times. I think I flooded it by doing that. The previous owner could barely start it. When I test rode it it was spluttery, never "warmed up". It immediately leaked gas when turned the petcock on, then never leaked again. He said he couldn't start it and a shop did something to the carb, he's not sure what, but hurried it out to sell. Huh? He kick started it after 20-30 kicks. It had good power in upper RPM's, spluttery and popped a lot at low, and would never idle. It warm started easily after that test ride. I got it home and tried to start it (with "XR procedures") and could not. It doesn't leak anymore. Followed exact procedures noted all over here. Last night tried to tow-start it with zero response, which shocked the hell out of me, considering the previous owner could kick start it. Jetting may have been altered. It had been sitting for 2 years or so before sale.

Would a new plug help?

Would removing the plug, kicking it, letting it dry help?

Is it best to take it to a shop considering I don't really know the carb and don't want to work on that part?

I'm 51 and I couldn't sleep last night due to excitement/anxiety about getting this right. I'm dying to ride it.

This forum has helped me a lot. I tried to pay but I hate PayPal, and will not use them. Sorry. And Thanks.


Kick it till the kick starter is hardest, this is tdc. Then hold the decomp in at kick it 1 inch further on the kick starter. Release the decomp and get the kick starter back a the top, then kick it all way thru.

Dont twist the throttle, and be sure the idle isnt set to low.

I'm thinking if it's been sitting for 2+ years with old gas, the carb would have to be removed and cleaned properly. The advantage is that you'll get to see if all jets etc. are stock as well.

Once you learn the drill you'll never want to kick start an XR600 again lol :thumbsup:

If you are leaking fuel you need to clean the carb no matter what. Chances are you have a gummed up needle and seat--pretty common for a bike that has sat. Start there and inspect the throttle cables where they attach to the carb--they tend to fray in that area. When you're cleaning your carb make sure you spray carb cleaner through the pilot jet and see a stream of fuel spray into the throat of the carb (if that makes sense).

My best advice is write down what jet sizes you have! This way you will have a reference to fall back on. I found the stock pilot jet for the WR is way too lean for even for my altitude.

I struggled with mine when I first bought it. The PO had no idea how to start it, and the jetting was on the moon. At this point something is wrong if it doesn't start within 2 kicks cold and easily started it in my sandals this morning lol.

These are worth every single penny when tuning the FCR. I would highly recommend buying one: http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/44/54/213/1151/2860/13581/Tusk-Fuel-Mixture-Screw

Also check out the stickies there's a lot of useful information there too :thumbsup:

Thank you all for your replies.

1. I did do the starting technique. It was really helpful to read it elsewhere on here and thanks for the reminder. I'm looking forward to when the other carb (likely) problems get solved and I can actually start as opposed to losing a kicking match with a mule.

2. XR 600 (1986) was like butter. Not sure why. I'm guessing less compression, hence less horsepower per pound by a long shot. Never, ever had trouble starting and I did basic maintenance and a lot of riding on it.

3. MAINLY.... extremely encouraging to hear I'm not the only one and I'm not barking up the wrong tree.

4. Thanks Rot Box for the leak insight. I really have no carb logic. I'm going to take it to a shop and I'll let you guys know, hopefully being helpful, what the experts say.

I'm so looking forward to riding this mother. It's amazing what 50 lbs less weight (I compare everything to teh XR, it was the center of my 2 wheel universe for about 12 years) can feel like, with what, 10 more horsepower?

Thanks again for all your help. This place is invaluable and I look forward to posting back and more replies.

Good plan! having a shop look at it is probably a good idea. I appreciate a guy who knows his limitations.

It sounds like it just needs some attention paid to the fuel system, probably a good carb cleaning, and maybe replace the jets.

Have the shop check and if necessary, adjust the valve lash too. Out of spec valve clearances can cause hard starting.

I have the exact same bike, and it starts easily, usually on the first or second kick, hot or cold. Yours will too once you get it dialed in.

Edited by zlathim

Hey Thanks Zlathim. Good word, I appreciate it. I'm hoping that's what it is. I was wondering about the valves and gonna do that. I'm trying to get more info from the original owner on how it's been maintained, history, etc.

***Any other suggestions while it's in the shop?


I'm so looking forward to riding this mother. It's amazing what 50 lbs less weight (I compare everything to teh XR, it was the center of my 2 wheel universe for about 12 years) can feel like, with what, 10 more horsepower?

I love XR600's (my brother rides one) but when it boils down to it I'll choose the WR any day no questions asked because I ride it--It does not ride me haha :thumbsup:

I hope a good cleaning takes care of it, but I'd still recommend having your shop write down the current jets in your bike. That way if you do still have issues it will help everyone here help you troubleshoot it :thumbsup:

Edited by Rot Box

Please comment....

I will do that with the jets. I just got an email from the original owner of the following mods, tell me if you think they should affect jetting?

1. Cut grey wire

2. Baffle taken out of exhaust

3. Current jetting is not original (confusing, but sorry)

Yes, the XR does ride you, I agree, it's good in a straight line

Anybody know why I'm not getting email notifications of posts? I have that enabled on this thread.

HELP with starting

I finally got it back. This shop was a nightmare. He said he restored the pilot jet to stock and fixed some missing washers, bad o-rings, and set the float and needle slightly off of stock. Now, it starts perfectly, 1 kick, if previously tow started that day. But it will not start "cold" (garage 80 degrees or so). T

**The baffle is removed, the airbox is stock, no other mods done.

**The only way it starts when "warm" is using neither cold or hot start knobs. If I try to use those, it won't start.

IT RUNS PERFECTLY after tow started.


Edited by cb01wr426

Check the de-compression cable isn't snagging, mine was and caused similar issues.

Good luck.

Ok thanks budda. I'll let you know.

Edited by cb01wr426

From what I can tell, no problem with the decompression cable.

Then I tried starting on all different choke and hotstart options, beginning with standard choke on, no hotstart on. No pops, splutters, nothing. On an older bike I'd say the plug is fouled (no spark) because there's no combustion whatsoever. I don't know if that's accurate on this bike.

I am no good with jetting, and I can't rely on the last mechanic having restored it to stock. He was a screwball so I think I need to take it to an actual Yamaha shop and have them restore it to stock and get it right.

UPDATE on starting issue SOLVED

Basically? It needed the whole carbeurator rebuilt. Most seals, o-rings, and the "needle valve seat" were just worn out. Sorry, I may be off on that last one.

Now it starts on kick 1 or 2, idles perfectly, has way more power.

What a bike.

PS, I got it for 1050, and it has about 3 summers of trail riding on it. Not bad I think.

Thanks guys for all your help.


I'm glad to hear that the problem is solved. Now it's time to take it out and ride it like you stole it!

Thanks Zlathim. It's so freaking hot here in Oklahoma I haven't yet. I've taken it out to some fields and it really rocks. I miss the open spaces and trails and mountain sides of Colorado.

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