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Help! It's spring time and my bike won't start!

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  • Help! It's spring time and my bike won't start!

    Here's a list of tips to try when your bike won't start, like in the spring.


    Help! It's spring time and my bike won't start!

    First, check the battery. Are the lights coming on? Are they strong? Is the starter motor enganging? Is it "clicking?" Obtain a Multi-Meter and test the battery. Is it reading 12-13v DC? If not... attach a battery tender OR attempt a jump start. To Jump start, get a car or truck with a 12v charging system. With the car or truck OFF attach jumper cables and attempt to start the bike.

    Charging system looks okay? What about fuel?
    Did you put stabilizer in the gas last fall? Turn the petcock to PRIME for 30-60 seconds to make sure you have gas in the bowls.
    You can check to be sure your bowls are filling by cracking the drain screws (with a rag under the carbs) to see that gas drips out.

    Still no luck? Huh? Time to dig in.

    From here, you can try a multitude of trouble shooting.
    Sparkplugs. Remove and inspect. Plugs should not be black, sooty, oily, or damaged.
    Coils. Check for spark. Be sure to use a good solid ground, laying the plug on the engine might note do it.
    All connections good?
    Wires. Wires aren't frayed or loose? Boots have good connections to plugs?
    Any questions about the plugs, install new ones.

    Petcock. Is it operating correctly? Flows fuel freely on prime?
    Airbox/Airfilter. Installed correctly and clean?

    Is it still too cold? Try heating the engine or the space the bike is in. But be careful of gas fumes!!

    If none of the above seem to be helping... then you likely have dirty carbs. If the bike will idle, but only with the choke on... the pilot circuit is dirty. Check out Carbs 101 and Carbs 102 in the wiki.

    Ugh... it's spewing gas everywhere! Out the puke tubes? Gas in the oil/crankcase? Check the petcock function. The diaphragm is probably bad and/or you have a stuck float. Sometimes to unstick a float, you can drain the bowl. Put a small container under the float bowl to catch the gas... and open the drain screw. Do this once or twice. This will usually flush sediment out.... but can be an indication of a bigger problem! Like rust/scale/dirt/junk in the tank.

    Hopefully others will come along and provide some additional sage advice. Please, don't post QUESTIONS here... post ANSWERS to problems.
    Last edited by Black_peter; 03-16-2010, 08:14 PM. Reason: Figured I'd just add to your's, hope you don't mind..
    -Steve


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  • #2
    Before you post a new thread about "Help it spring and my bike wont start," read this thread.

    Also dont forget to use the search to find your answers. Chances are if something is happening to your Kat, someone else on here has had the same problem.
    Originally posted by arsenic
    93 octane fuel and K&N pod filters rock.

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    • #3
      I would add one step before tearing in too deep

      If it is turning over give it a quick shot of starting fluid in the air cleaner

      if it doesnt start then carry on with plugs etc
      Blood , its in you to give! http://www.blood.ca/

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      • #4
        Warm weather

        No offense intended, but I want this thread to be kept on-topic with answers only.
        Last edited by steves; 03-07-2011, 02:16 PM.
        -Steve


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        • #5
          i just bought my 98 kat from a rich dude in savannah ga for $1800 with 20000 miles but its super clean amazing condition. the only issue is that it will run only with choke, onces i level it back to normal idle it dies..im guessing plugs are bad? carbs dirty? vacuum leak? need of a full tune up? if i do keep it reved up and while giving it gas idle it down and i ride it normal it runs fine but when i hit the clutch and not giving it gas it dies as well...
          -objects in mirror are losing- ---- ---- ----

          -98 GSXF 750 Kat-

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          • #6
            I also suggest buying a $20 trickle charger to keep your battery topped off over the winter if you're not riding it. Up north here, we get a solid 6 months of winter.
            Douglas Derby
            Sturgis ATV and Small Engine Repair

            '04 Suzy Kat 600

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            • #7
              If you do that, make sure it's a trickle/float charger that turns off the current when the battery is topped off.
              -Steve


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              • #8
                the most likely mechanical problem encountered after a bike has been sitting awhile is dirty carbs.

                cleaning the carbs out is a super easy process/ the links steves provided are very good.
                this is very preventable by simply running the carbs dry after adding in a little fuel stabilizer.
                2002 GSX600

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                • #9
                  sweet

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                  • #10
                    Its has been said to actually ride the bike in winter, not just start it. I would have thought either was good enuff.

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                    • #11
                      I also suggest buying a $20 outflow battery power charger to keep your battery power lead off over winter months season if you're not driving it. Up northern here, we get a strong 6 months of winter weather.
                      KatRiders

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                      • #12
                        Spring time
                        -Steve


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                        • #13
                          Piece of advice

                          I am in the process of getting my 98 Kat to start and I did so. First I would make sure that the battery has enough power and that I can hold a charge. The battery I had would never hold a charge for long and would not have enough juice to turn the bike over. DO NOT JUMP YOUR BIKE WITH YOUR CAR. It will screw up your bike and can fry stuff. Get a slow charger and a new battery. DO not make the same mistake I did. Make sure to charge your battery with the terminals open and then cap them.

                          Next I will check if you are getting spark from each spark plug. If one is not sparking, I would recommend to change all 4. Spark plugs are cheap.

                          Next I will do an Oil change.

                          Make sure that the hoses that are connected to your engine are plugged. They are located on the top left and right under your gas tank.

                          Also make sure the petcock vacuum line is covered and connected to the very last port (4) on your carbs...

                          If none of these helps you.. Now it is time to move onto your carbs. Best you follow carbs 101 if its an older Kat like mine. Very detailed. Also make sure to look at your bikes manual. Follow along and make sure you separate your pieces into 4 different containers. This will insure you from mix matching things. BE CAREFUL when you pull out the get needle. There is a tiny E ring. I lost mine when I pulled it off. ALso make sure you are using good tools when working on your carbs. You do not want to strip screws so use Snapon. IF not, really good craftsmen tools and to use the biggest screw driver possible. DO not use harbor freight tools on an operation like this because carb screws are important. Check and make sure the jets are clear, float bowls have no rust, and that your butterflys are slightly cracked open. Watch carbs 102, the gentleman takes apart the whole carb for you as a great reference.
                          MAke sure that your idle screw is in the right possession and that your throttle springs do not have great play.

                          Now if this does not help, you could have a blown out head gasket.

                          Hope this helps!

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