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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This bike is one week old to me and I am trying to get an idea of what a normal response on a cold start should be. Coming from a Suzuki Volusia and currently a Honda Goldwing both bikes were/are full choke roll throttle couple times and fire right up and continue to run. This Kaw is full choke roll throttle couple times start stall 4 or 5 times then start run for a few seconds and after a little bit of this will start and run. So can someone describe a normal start on their bike. Should I try some higher octane fuel and seafoam or do I need to take the carb apart or heaven for bid is this normal? 25k miles
Dave
Dayton, Ohio
 

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It shouldn't be that difficult. Mine is full choke and no throttle when it's cold. After it starts it will idle too high almost immediately on full choke so I have to push it in some to idle at a slower speed. When it's hot, no choke and I hold the throttle open a little bit until it fires up.

Since your bike is new to you, I'd cover all the basics first like new spark plugs, new air filter, new fuel filter and all the fluids. I'd also try some fresh gas. Once you've done that I'll bet the starting will improve. It would also be a good idea to check your battery. I know my bike will crank over good, but struggle to start when the battery is on the way out. Let us know how it goes.
 

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Wouldn't hurt to run some Seafoam through a tank of gas either.
 

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Good advice up above. ^^^

I underestimated the value of good fuel system cleaner for a long time. I figured most gas already has cleaning agents built in, so there's no need to buy a bottle of cleaner. I ran a bottle of sea foam through my van one time just for the heck of it and, to my surprise, there was a very noticeable difference in idle, acceleration, and power after just 1/2 a tank. Since then, I run a good cleaner through my vehicles about twice a year. It really works great to keep your carbs and injectors clean.
 

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First thing I'd check would be sure the "choke" is really fully applied. The linkage may need adjustment. On my 2002 1500 Classic, I pull the enrichment knob out ALL THE WAY. hit the starter without touching the throttle, and she starts right up and runs at high idle. If it's very cold, the enrichment knob needs to be partway out for a few miles to keep from stalling taking off from stops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I didn't like how slow the engine was cranking and have had it on a battery tender. I just ordered a battery and plan on replacing the fuel filter and removing plugs cleaning and re-gaping. I will put fresh fuel in then and will go from there. So what I am hearing is full choke no throttle and hit the starter?
 

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So what I am hearing is full choke no throttle and hit the starter?

Yes, because the "choke" isn't really a choke at all, it is an enricher that adds fuel into the carb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So far, I have replaced the battery and adjusted the warm(curb) idle speed which was originally set too high. This has helped so far but it is still having issues. I am getting ready to paint the tank so I will obviously drain the tank and put fresh fuel in with seafoam and replace the filter while the tank is off and see what happens then.
 

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I have the same issue. I think the idle circuit is set too lean. I plan on drilling out the cover for my idle mixture screw, running it all the way in, then out 3 to 3.5 turns. Its a common issue with carbed bikes of this era. The real fix is jet kit, intake, and exhaust. But that's further down the line for me.
 

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If you have not rejetted your carb, I'd leave the idle mix screw alone. It is unlikely to be the problem.

Where is your idle RPM set? These bikes are made to idle around 800-900 RPM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have it down to about 850 right now. It was near 1400 so I am thinking it was getting a little too much air on cold start.
 

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If the carb is not clogged its most likely the pilot/idle screw setting. A lot of people get confused as to what is a good screw setting. This is a good example. The bike should start with enrichment knob fully out and no throttle in the coldest weather you will experience fairly quickly and stay running with knob out until it can stay running with it pushed back in( usually only a min or two). If not then turn screw out an eighth or quarter turn. Repeat if necessary. The stock setting is 2 turns + or - quarter of a turn. At 2 turns my bike struggled just a bit below 45 degrees so I put it at 2 and 1/4th and its perfect for my needs. Factory always sets as lean as possible so at idle the bike will read low emisions for testing purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If the carb is not clogged its most likely the pilot/idle screw setting. A lot of people get confused as to what is a good screw setting. This is a good example. The bike should start with enrichment knob fully out and no throttle in the coldest weather you will experience fairly quickly and stay running with knob out until it can stay running with it pushed back in( usually only a min or two). If not then turn screw out an eighth or quarter turn. Repeat if necessary. The stock setting is 2 turns + or - quarter of a turn. At 2 turns my bike struggled just a bit below 45 degrees so I put it at 2 and 1/4th and its perfect for my needs. Factory always sets as lean as possible so at idle the bike will read low emisions for testing purposes.
Is this particular screw able to be accessed without removing or drilling plugs on carb?
 

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Is this particular screw able to be accessed without removing or drilling plugs on carb?
No. If it's running alright I'd leave it alone.
 

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I have the same issue. I think the idle circuit is set too lean. I plan on drilling out the cover for my idle mixture screw, running it all the way in, then out 3 to 3.5 turns. Its a common issue with carbed bikes of this era. The real fix is jet kit, intake, and exhaust. But that's further down the line for me.

If you have to run it out past 3 turns, your jets are too small.
 
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