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katana94
01-12-2007, 11:53 PM
to fry now. I was going to try to lower the bike today but found out it wouldn't start. I bought the 94' Kat 600 last Sunday. I start it up last Monday and it started fine. Today, I wanted to warm it up and take it for a ride before trying to lower it but it wouldn't start.

The engine cranks but it would not start...sounded kind of like a bike that has flooded carbs. I play with the choke, petcock and throttle but still no start. Then I put it into the first gear and try to push start it but the bike was hard to roll even with the clutch pulled in. When it's in neutral, it roll just fine.

Anyone had similar situations? could it be letting the bike sit for the last 4 days in the cold (20-50 degrees)? Any ideas why it wouldn't start or why the bike was hard to roll while in first gear even with the clutch pulled in?

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks!

The CyberPoet
01-13-2007, 12:50 AM
Hard to roll in 1st gear when teh ambient temp is around freezing? Because the oil is thick as hell and induces drag on the clutch plates until it warms up some and thins out. A lighter weight synthetic will make it easier to roll (and thus easier to push-start), but won't necessarily make any difference in getting it started if there is another cause.

My guess is that when you started it on Monday, you ran it up on choke, let it run for a while and then shut it off (probably without riding it) without turning the choke off. If this is the case, you fouled up the spark plugs and replacing them will resolve your issues.

KNOW THIS:
Choke should be used for a maximum of 30 seconds under normal circumstances, and only as much as needed to get the bike to rev to 2k RPM (turn the choke down as the RPM's climb higher). After 30 seconds, keep it running using the throttle instead. The only exception to this is if the weather is truly around freezing AND you know you'll be riding the bike for over 15 miles, in which case you can leave the choke on a bit longer (up to a couple minutes), because the ride afterwards will clear off the fouling from the carbs.

The other possibility, depending on where it was parked, is that frost actually formed in some of the smaller carb passages, blocking them. Warming the bike up (bringing it into a warm garage, etc.) would resolve that issue fairly quickly.

Cheers,
=-= The CyberPoet

Mojoe
01-13-2007, 01:23 AM
I think before he goes and pulls the plugs and worrys about alot of other big things, he should stick a battery charger on it....or even better, give it a boost with jumper cables. You aren't used to the effects of 20 degree weather CP. Four days in those temps can weaken the battery enough that it will turn over, but not fire up. I have been there a gazillion times. that flooded carbs sound is likely just the "chugging" sound of an engine that is not spinning fast enough. I have a portable power pack I keep here at home just for this problem on colder days when the bike has been sitting. He could only be at 10-11 volts. At 11, my bike might start, or it might not. depends on how chilly it is and how thick the oil is, I guess. At 10 volts, I am not likely to start. My bike is fussy for that....so he should check this first in case. It is the easiet and cheapest thing.....so make it the first check. I am betting if he sticks his jumper cables on it and boosts it with his car (some say this is a no no, but I have done it dozens of times with no issues), it just might start.

If you do try to boost it, do it right from the start. don't try to start it on it's own first and choke the crap out of it. all you will do is flood it and make it more difficult to start if you do boost it.
Just let it sit overnight, then slap on the jumper cables, apply the choke, and push the start button. I am betting it fires up.

then you might want to consider a battery charger if you don't have one already....especially in those colder temperatures.

This is just a theory. you might have other problems, but I would check this one first so you can cross it off the list. check the simplest things first. they are usually the culprits.

and of course it is going to be hard to roll in 1st gear. the oil, especially if it is quite fresh, will be thick as molassess.....or however you spell it. It is the same thing as when you try to start a bike in gear when it is cold.....it will jump ahead. if it is grabbing enough to do that with someone on it, it is obviously going to be hard to push....no?

this is cold weather behavior. to some of us, it is completely normal.

The CyberPoet
01-13-2007, 01:50 AM
Oh, and you push start in 2nd...

Neutral, push to speed, snap into second, pop the clutch, as soon as it fires, yank the clutch back in and pop it back into neutral (while staying on the gas!). You'll kill yourself trying to push start it cold in first (and damn-near kill yourself around freezing even in 2nd).

Mojoe, do you just always forget that I rode in Germany for over a half a decade (kickstarting a 2-stroke in freezing weather can be a #$%#!).

Cheers,
=-= The CyberPoet

Mojoe
01-13-2007, 02:20 AM
Oh, and you push start in 2nd...

Neutral, push to speed, snap into second, pop the clutch, as soon as it fires, yank the clutch back in and pop it back into neutral (while staying on the gas!). You'll kill yourself trying to push start it cold in first (and damn-near kill yourself around freezing even in 2nd).

Mojoe, do you just always forget that I rode in Germany for over a half a decade (kickstarting a 2-stroke in freezing weather can be a #$%#!).

Cheers,
=-= The CyberPoet

I am telling ya now, if the battery is low, you can push until you are blue in the face, and it won't start. at least mine won't. was in that situation just last summer. left my switch on just long enough that it drained the battery to the point it would turn over, but not start. 3 of us took turns pushing/riding for a good 20 minutes in 90 degree weather. we were sweating like pigs. then it dawned on me......and I took the battery out of one of the other guys bike and set it in mine to start it, then removed it and stuck mine in. withing 10 minutes of riding, the altenator brought it back up to where it would start on it's own.

and ya cp....I can relate to kick starting a 2-stroke in cold weather. it sucks ass. and kickbacks are a bitch.

:evil:

md86
01-13-2007, 02:58 AM
Just to add ......
When my bike's cold , and I wanna move it in gear for whatever reason , I'll rock it back in forth in gear until the clutch plates "break free" . Then it'll push much like a warm bike . Makes push starts a little easier .

katana94
01-13-2007, 04:16 AM
Man, you guys are da men!!! I will try out the suggestions and hope it works. I haven't had a carberated bike in about 6 years so I couldn't remember if I left the choke on or not after I started on Monday but I remember turning the petcock to the 'PRI' position. Thanks again!

katana94
01-13-2007, 04:34 AM
Cyber poet or anyone else that may have other suggestions:

Re: oil thickening in freezing temps...can I push the bike as much as I can in gear to loosen it up?

Re: running the choke wide open...I remember now. It was at full choke when I initially start the bike but I push it back half way at about the 30 second mark then push it all the way back within the next 30 seconds or so and I let it idle for about a minute then shut it off. I'm pretty sure the choke was off when I parked the bike.

Re: frozen fuel lines...I don't have a garage so the freeze might've had some effect on it. Any chance I can warm up the fuel lines by using a hair dryer?

DreKat
01-13-2007, 07:10 AM
I had done all of those things. I find rolling down a hill in nuteral and putting it into second is the best. By I have used booster cables in the fall months. Even placed a space heater close to the bike to unthicken the oil. You can us a hair dryer but make sure it is yours and not someone elses (don't ask how I know this :lol: ) to unfreeze the gas lines. But I find if I park when the bike is going to get the first beam of sun, and if the bike is covered then you should have no problems starting on a "cool" day.

Mojoe
01-13-2007, 12:47 PM
Man, you guys are da men!!! I will try out the suggestions and hope it works. I haven't had a carberated bike in about 6 years so I couldn't remember if I left the choke on or not after I started on Monday but I remember turning the petcock to the 'PRI' position. Thanks again!

if you left it on prime, that could cause flooding, but not if it is left on choke. choke is the same as on......it won't take gas unless the engine is drawing it in while turning over. if your bike floods from sitting with the petcock in "run" position, then you have a problem with your petcock.

The CyberPoet
01-13-2007, 05:11 PM
Mojoe hit it on the PRIME (PRI) issue.

We used to put a motiv candle under the oil pan with a cover on the bike in Germany, to let the oil warm up. I don't think there's any amount of pushing it at freezing that will thin up the oil (try MD's suggestion); I always push in neutral and then pop into gear after I get up to a running speed, even in warm weather.

Pulling the plugs will also let the cylinders dry out if flooded with fuel from a fuel leak (which only happens if two things are occurring at the same time: petcock left in Prime AND one or more of the carb bowl floats are stuck or set wrong).

Cheers,
=-= The CyberPoet

Anonymous
01-13-2007, 06:46 PM
Watch Little Miss Sunshine

iwannadie
01-13-2007, 07:02 PM
i honestly never knew how thick oil got in the cold until today. my oil drain pan was full and didnt want to go drain it, so i used old coolant bottles as temp storage. the old oil was like syrup and it was prolly 40-50degrees F in my garage.

cant imagine what the oil is like at near freezing. of course my oil was 20w50.

katana94
01-13-2007, 07:08 PM
Thanks guys,

Got it start it today. Push the bike in neutral then shift to 2nd gear and pop out the clutch. Rode it for about 20 minutes (city and highway).

The bike feels pretty stable at freeway speeds (took it up to 110 mph :-)). However, it feels kind of squirly... like the rear of the bike is swaying a little while doing city speeds and turning in corners. Any ideas???

I will also post the issue in Mechanic 101 to see if there's any more suggestions, similar experiences and answers.

katana94
01-13-2007, 07:11 PM
Got it start it today. Push the bike in neutral then shift to 2nd gear and pop out the clutch. Rode it for about 20 minutes (city and highway).

The bike feels pretty stable at freeway speeds (took it up to 110 mph ). However, it feels kind of squirly... like the rear of the bike is swaying a little while doing city speeds and turning in corners. Any ideas???

Anonymous
01-13-2007, 07:16 PM
It can be MANY things.

to name a few...

Correct tire pressure
Bad tires
Unaligned rear wheel
Poor shock (and other suspension woes)
Poor Carb tune (making low speed accel. not smooth)

md86
01-13-2007, 07:19 PM
However, it feels kind of squirly... like the rear of the bike is swaying a little while doing city speeds and turning in corners. Any ideas???

Check your chain alignment .

The CyberPoet
01-13-2007, 08:07 PM
Correct tire pressure

This is the most likely culprit if it only felt wiggley in turns or if you shake your hips. Depending on your tire brand/make and your body weight, the rear tire pressure needs to be between a low of 33psi (Macadam & Dunlops with 140lb rider) to a high of around 40 psi (Pirelli's or Metzelers with a 250+ lb rider). Not knowing your size, tire type, etc., I'd suggest 36 - 37 psi as a general value.
You really need to get in the habit of checking both of your tire pressures as part of your pre-ride checklist (a cheap footpump with integrated tire pressure gauge runs about $12 at wally world [walmart], and is a good solution because measuring and adding are done in the same step). Any time the weather shifts 10 degrees, the cold tire pressure will vary sufficiently to need change.

Unaligned rear wheel

The common symptom of this one is a low-speed weave (less than once every second) even if you are driving absolutely straight on a flat road (note that most roads are crowned). A search here at KR for chain alignment or rear wheel alignment will net you everything you could possibly need to know about it.

Cheers,
=-= The CyberPoet

The CyberPoet
01-13-2007, 08:13 PM
Again, see your other post on the same subject for replies.

You really need to stop double-posting the same questions!
:lol:

Cheers,
=-= The CyberPoet

katana94
01-14-2007, 12:17 AM
Sorry about the double posts...will not happen again. The first thing I checked was the chain alignment and it was aligned according to the markers.

I will check the tire pressures tomorrow and go from there. Thanks again, you guys have been a great help.

Anonymous
01-14-2007, 12:36 AM
Sometimes the markers are not what you think. Measure (also) from the middle of the axle bolt to the end of the swingarm....down to the mm

The CyberPoet
01-14-2007, 01:21 AM
The chain adjuster marking plates are not to be trusted in general. Search for alignment and you'll find about half a dozen ways to more accurately check them, including the one JP just posted up above ;)

Cheers,
=-= The CyberPoet

Anonymous
01-14-2007, 01:28 AM
For me, slight mis-alignment means rubbing of the tire on the brake swing-arm (with the Post 98 Rim swapped in).

katana94
01-14-2007, 10:27 PM
Mojoe hit it on the PRIME (PRI) issue.

It's only been a day but it was hard to start again. The battery sounded weak so I hooked it up to a booster jumper...still wouldn't start even though the crank sounded alot stronger. Then I leave the booster jumper connected, put the bike in first gear and hit the start button while pushing it...that did the trick. Man, that oil must've froze again because it was pretty hard to move the bike in first gear.

Regarding 'PRIME', I've took it for a spin yesterday and again today so would that be enough to dry the fuel in the cylinder if it was flooded? or do I have to pull the plugs out still?






Depending on your tire brand/make and your body weight, the rear tire pressure needs to be between a low of 33psi (Macadam & Dunlops with 140lb rider) to a high of around 40 psi (Pirelli's or Metzelers with a 250+ lb rider). Not knowing your size, tire type, etc., I'd suggest 36 - 37 psi as a general value.

I can't recall the tire brand but the sizes are stock i.e., 140/80 rear and 110/80 front. I checked the air pressure today and it read 23 psi rear and 24 psi front. I'm about 200 lbs. so I air both tires to 36 psi and took it for a ride. It felt better but it still has a little sway so I guess the next step is to do some research on alignment and get the bike aligned and try again. BTW, the bike was dropped a couple of times by the previous owner so that could be a factor too.

Thanks to everyone for the assistance.

=-= The CyberPoet

The CyberPoet
01-14-2007, 10:45 PM
It's only been a day but it was hard to start again. The battery sounded weak so I hooked it up to a booster jumper...still wouldn't start even though the crank sounded alot stronger. Then I leave the booster jumper connected, put the bike in first gear and hit the start button while pushing it...that did the trick. Man, that oil must've froze again because it was pretty hard to move the bike in first gear.

Hit the starter while push-starting... hmmm... that's a new one on me! :lol:

Regarding 'PRIME', I've took it for a spin yesterday and again today so would that be enough to dry the fuel in the cylinder if it was flooded? or do I have to pull the plugs out still?


As long as it wasn't in Prime during the last several minutes of operation before shut-down (or after shutdown), flooding shouldn't be the culprit under most circumstances. This isn't to say that the carbs aren't necessasrily problematic, but if you got it to start by pushing/starter button, then it's not the spark plugs and there's no need to yank 'em.


I can't recall the tire brand but the sizes are stock i.e., 140/80 rear and 110/80 front. I checked the air pressure today and it read 23 psi rear and 24 psi front. I'm about 200 lbs. so I air both tires to 36 psi and took it for a ride. It felt better but it still has a little sway so I guess the next step is to do some research on alignment and get the bike aligned and try again. BTW, the bike was dropped a couple of times by the previous owner so that could be a factor too.

Try upping the rear to 38 and see if it improves. At this point is sounds like alignment, swingarm bearing slop (possible wreck damages) or simply tire-wear.

Cheers,
=-= The CyberPoet