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Starting cold

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  • Starting cold

    Another discussion prompted a question in my mind, but I didn't want to hijack the thread. I have to use the choke to get my Kat to start every morning. It doesn't matter how warm the night is, if I park it in the evening, I have to choke it the next morning. I usually have to leave it choked for about 15-30 seconds or it will die.

    It fires right up (without the choke) at lunch and when I leave work for the day. The engine turns over maybe two or three times and then fires.

    Others have told me that this is common with Katanas, but I'm sure this forum is a better source of information So, is this common?

  • #2 my experience it is. Seems most all the Jap bikes are cold natrured beasts, especially the Suzukis

    What you described is exactly what I tell everybody that buys a Kat from me: THIS is how you start it...................

    CyberPoet can explain why.................
    I've owned over 70 Katanas - you think I know anything about them?
    Is there such a thing as TOO MANY BIKES?
    Can you go TOO FAST on a bike?
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    • #3
      I start mine everyday with the choke on in the mornings. After the RPM builds up to 3500 to 4000, turn off the choke and she's good to go. Usually about half a minute. Never really tried to start her in the morning with no choke.
      In the evenings going home from work also, I give her choke for maybe 15 seconds or so. Its become a habit. Guess I will try to start her in the evening without the choke and see.
      - Sufyan.

      Wearing helmets is NOT a civil rights issue - it is a safety issue, period!

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      • #4
        Same here, always gota use the choke for the first start of the day, no matter what time of year.
        -89 Gixxer 1100 Engine
        -Stage 3 Jet Kit / KNN Pod Filters
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        -Various Other Mods


        • #5
          It depends on the weather (the ambient temp), the engine temp, and how long she's been sitting, but it's normal for most circumstances when the engine is cold to require some choke (which also increases the vacuum pull on fresh fuel from what I understand, thus refilling the carbs with fuel that hasn't lost it's aeromatic compounds overnight). The oil being cold also plays into it -- thicker, more pumping friction to overcome.

          The three big mistakes riders make are:
          1. Using full choke when they don't need to (on warm mornings, half or even 1/4 choke may be quite sufficient).
          2. Letting the choke run the RPM's up too high... you should only let it run up to 2k - 2500 max, and trim it back as necessary to keep it at that level. More than that, and you're loading up your plugs unnecessarily (plus running the engine RPM too high before the oil has coated everything properly);
          3. Leaving the choke on too long. You should only use it as long as needed to getting the bike to run stably without it -- in warm weather, that's often under 30 seconds, but it should never be over a minute or so (if it is, turn off the choke and use the throttle manually to keep it up).

          =-= The CyberPoet
          Remember The CyberPoet


          • #6
            thanks for the info TheCyberPoet
            fuk bambi


            • #7
              I noticed on my bike,
              if I dont choke it after its been sitting for 5 hours or more, it then becomes hard to start even with the choke..

              but i changed my battery, that fixed that problem, well i think it did, i never tried to start it without the choke nemore


              • #8
                Took my bike to the train station this morning for the first time.
                Gave it about 1/4 choke for like 15 seconds. The RPM's jumped up to 3k and I shut the choke off all together. It was like 45 degrees this morning and it ran without a problem.
                92 Katana 600 Project bike
                Some assembly required is my middle name!!!


                • #9
                  The battery plays into it heavily (how fast the starter can rotate the engine to "catch"), especially in conjunction with the valve clearances (a slow start with loose valve clearances permits more of the fuel-air mix to escape before sparking).

                  How heavy the oil is also plays into it, since the starter has to overcome pumping losses at start-up; synthetics can readily help in this sense, since they often flow easier at cool temps. Stick to Suzuki's recommendations for oil weights for the ambient temp your bike gets parked in...

                  Finally, remember also that "cold" is relative... What is cold to me is often still shorts & tshirt weather to a Canadian

                  =-= The CyberPoet
                  Remember The CyberPoet