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Idle/Start Problems

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  • Idle/Start Problems

    So I'm a relative newcomer to KatRiders, on-road motorcycling, and motorcycle maintenance in general. I've been doing my best to learn as much as possible but I'm currently worried about the status of my Kat. Let me go ahead and explain my work process and the status of the bike at each stage.

    1 (When I first got the bike). Difficult to start, once started needs choke or it dies -- If I let off the choke the idle starts going crazy..high low high low etc.
    --I figured the carbs were dirty and the spark plugs were I cleaned the carbs and replaced the spark plugs.

    2. Bike now idles properly (still needs choke) however when I turn the throttle I have to touch it lightly and keep it there until the rpms pick up at which point I can give it more throttle. Otherwise the engine floods and dies out.

    Also, cylinders 2 and 4 are not firing when the bike is started and at idle. If I rev the engine at a certain point the tone changes to a much more higher pitched one and all pipes start warming up. After the engine makes this switch, if I let off the throttle it idles pretty well, but after awhile it seems the 2 cylinders crap back out and stop running.
    --Figured carbs need I began by the standard 2 turns out.
    --I verified all four cylinders do something by spraying a tiny bit of starter fluid in each of the cylinders...each time the rpms raised so at least they each do -something-.

    3. Bike is a complete biotch to start and only runs on the first cylinder when it does...and only runs for a few seconds before it floods out.
    --Since I just cleaned the carbs I am now thinking spark. Checked spark at wires...wires 1 and 2 produce a kind of weak spark relative to wires 3 and 4 which make lightning bolts.

    So that's where I am at now. I want to pull the coils tomorrow and check the resistance (if anyone knows the appropriate ohms for an 89 kat 600 I'd appreciate it, otherwise I'll go dig through the manual/google it).

    Any thoughts? My main confusion is that these conflicts conflict eachother. It used to run fine (relatively speaking) now it barely wants to run at all...could the coilpack just go out like that? Or is it just a carb synch issue.

    My Thoughts at this point:
    -Bad ignition coils and/or spark plug wires
    -Carb synchronization (but even when not synched shouldnt it start?)
    -Complete guess: Bad pulse generator coil which to my understanding can cause problems. My tach doesn't work but I've been told this can be just from bad wires/bad tach. I've read that the tach runs off of one of the circuits (either 1-3 or 2-4) and if it doesn't work it can mean the pulse generator coil isnt properly adjusted.

    However...the thing that is at the back of my mind is - It worked before...why would everything break?

    I left the carbs with my girlfriend's dad who used to own a bike shop. He will be raping them tomorrow and then will try and troubleshoot with me on wednesday.

    I appreciate any help at all....thanks a lot.

    -Duo Maxwell

    **EDIT** Mods: move to mechanics 101 if needed...I thought you needed a post count to post there for some reason...sorry.
    Last edited by Duo Maxwell; 06-02-2009, 02:16 AM. Reason: Message to mods.
    Ride on, CyberPoet. You will be sorely missed.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Duo Maxwell View Post
    . Checked spark at wires...wires 1 and 2 produce a kind of weak spark relative to wires 3 and 4 which make lightning bolts.
    Odd . One coil is for 1/4 , other's for 2/3 . Got 'em wired up right ?
    I am a fluffy lil cuddly lovable bunny , dammit !

    Katrider's rally 2011 - md86


    • #3
      Originally posted by md86 View Post
      Odd . One coil is for 1/4 , other's for 2/3 . Got 'em wired up right ?
      *raises finger* AHH(flem)HAAAA! Good catch.
      The newest addition to the Family!
      stop by the garage for a better look!


      • #4
        If he didn't have them wired right it shouldn't make a difference in rpm when he shoots starting fluid in each carb. Sounds to me like the pilot jets or the passages inside the carbs they feed are still plugged. Another problem might be if the rubber plugs below the pilot jets are missing for some reason.
        '05 GSXR750, '86 FZX700 Fazer, wifes bike '02 R6


        • #5
          I'd start with coilpacks and go from there, especially if the spark is weak and it doesn't pick up until you wind up the trottle.

          Ohms on my '98 600 is between 2-4ohm on the primary coils (mine showed up at 3ohm when I checked them Saturday). I don't know if this helps as mines the facelift model?


          • #6
            Thanks everyone for all your replies and help. I cracked the carbs open and I found two incorrect things.

            1) The floats have O-rings at the ends where they connect...the thinner ones weren't sealed...just kind of in there. They were quite a snug fit...needed to hammer them in with a screw driver a little bit.

            2) The rubber stopper in carb#2 is a very loose fit...the little rubber rim is half missing. What is the official name for these? Rubber stopper plug? I've looked at the carb breakaway on bike bandit for the 89 kat 600 but I can't seem to find this.

            I will be putting the carbs on today and testing it out..will also be testing the coilpacks.

            Thanks again,
            -Duo Maxwell
            Ride on, CyberPoet. You will be sorely missed.


            • #7
              Clean out the gas tank while you have it off!

              I had problems with my Kat a while back. After I pulled the carbs and cleaned all the rust out of them it turns out when I drained the gas tank it concentrated all of the rust at the petcock, so when I reassembled everything the first rush of gas into the carb had a bunh of rust in it. It plugged up the jets and caused the whole 5 gallons of gas to drain into the crankcase (and driveway). I had the shop pick it up and when I got it back the same thing happened - the new guy that was supposed to clean the tank while the experienced guy was working on the carbs didn't. But after I got it back (again) from the shop that was the cleanest engine short of the factory, not a speck of dirt or dark oil in there!
              Check out the postings on cleaning and sealing the gas tank. It might save you lots of trouble.