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Bike wouldn't start over when cold...?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Grunge, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. Guys,

    Just came back home from work after trying to start my bike for abotu 15 mins, up until the point where the starter was draining the battery (lights were fading, starter was getting slower and slower.)

    Managed to start it by giving it a rolling/push start in 1st gear.

    abotu 5mins ago when I got home, I turned the engine off and tried to start it, and it had no problems at all. Of course the engine is now warm.

    The thing is, I've NEVER had a problem with starting the bike on a cold day since I've gotten it in May this year. I've had to try a couple of times but it'd always start.

    Can you guys give me any leads as to what I have to look at for this, as I don't want to always be having to push start the bike when this happens.

    Could it be the spark plugs? or anything else? I'm so clueless when it comes to mechanic stuff.

    Thanks y'all!
  2. Tired battery. Get a new one.
  3. Would charging it help?
    I mean.. I'm not sure how long batteries should last, about 2-3 years?
  4. Yeah take it out of the bike, check the electrolyte levels and recharge it. Remember they're small yet do a great job, 2-3 years is about what I get out of 'em. Remember when you charge it, it's not a car one so it won't need as much time to charge, also loosen the top filler caps before you charge it.

    The battery is the more easier thing to replace yourself - not the cheapest, but is often the cause of things such as this, especially if starting is getting worse over a period of time. Next would be plugs and service. Not sure if pulling the clutch in whilst in neautral before starting would help prolong battery life (less load on the engine), someone else know? Taking 15 mins to start is an issue my friend.
  5. Okies.. thanx dude.

    Pays to be mechanically minded I guess. :p
  6. Grunge, happen to me the other day and had very good advice from Pete..

    Possible causes:

    1. Battery is draining out.. You might need to get a smart charger to recharge your battery.. Test it with the multimeter if you have one.. if not, ride to my place on the weekend and I can test it for you with my multimeter.. give me a call first.

    2. Why do you think I changed my spark plugs 2 weeks ago? :LOL:

    I ended up charging my battery for a few hours and that sort of fix it for the time being..

    Also... give it a good rev...
  7. cash, yeap.. I might pop by Saturday arvo if it's okay.. I'm not sure how to test it out.

    I just checked the bike when it cooled down about 1 hour after I've arrived home, and it started okay... which is why I'm slightly confused.
    Prolly go and change the plugs. I'll have a chat to you about that. :)
  8. I had a bike that was a pain in the @##$% to start when it was cold. But it would play up every now and again. I had the battery tested and it was fine. Eventually I took it to my favourite bike shop and they told me about the CCA 'cold crank amperage' rating of the battery. They got me a new one with a higher rating, and hey presto! problem solved. Not saying this is your situation Grunge. I'm just throwing it in just in case.
  9. Okies... Well.. FYI for everyone I just went outside to try to start the bike and guess what...cold start no problems, I put some choke on and it started first time easy....

    I don't get it. But I will get the battery checked out. The only other thing I can think of is the spark plug... not sure how much of a possibility that is though.
  10. Yeah.. no problem.. I should be back after 3:00pm. give me a call first.. I might be heading to bikemart to get some stuff..

    The last time it happen to me was.. I had a couple of short ride and left it in the garage for more than 1 week.. and the next time I tried to start it.. couldn't start and drain the battery completely. Luckily I've got one of those jump start build in battery charger for the car and managed to start it.

    I might do some research this arvo, on top of my head, if it falls below 12.5v when idle, you might have problem starting it.. mine was like 12v when I had the problem..
  11. Engines with carburettors sometimes play silly buggers. I wouldn't stress out about it too much. Roll starting a floded engine is teh go, as cranking speed is much higher, allowing faster clearing of unburnt fuel.
    The best thing to do, if an engine won't start cold after a few good cranks, is to walk away from it for 5 minutes. It gives a flooded engine a chance to have the fuel vapourise, gives the starter and battery a rest, and gives you a rest! They usually start right up after leaving them sit if flooded, just initially use no choke, then choke after about 5 seconds.
    If it happens again, or happens regularly, look at stuck carb floats.

    Regards, Andrew.
  12. if you can crank over the engine for 15 minutes, i would be hesitant to renew the battery as that sounds like plenty of battery....
    what year model?
  13. Agreed there, if you can crank it for 15 minutes, its most likely not the battery.

    Check your terminals, are they on properly, had an issue with a Bandit 250, could crank it for days, and it wouldn't start. Loose terminals.

    Whats your cold start procedure?
    It should be...

    1) Do not touch the throttle....
    2) Pull Choke on full....
    3) Hit starter button....
    4) Listen for the bike to increase in revs...
    5) Turn off Choke
    6) Give the throttle a blip to make sure it doesn't just stall.
    7) Ride away.

    Twisting the throttle before starting it cold is a great way to flood it.

  14. Joel: it's a 89' zxr250A. Never had any problems since I got it in May.

    typhoon: you're prolly right.... it may be a flooded engine/carb. But then again these baby ninja's work on a vaccum suction as opposed to valve on/off, I'm not sure how it affects it.

    warden: My cold start procedure has me touching the throttle, that may be the reason, I give it a little 'flick' just after hitting the starter button. I'll try doing it without. see what happens. I"ve prolly flooded it with that I did.

    Cash: Yeap... will give you a call just to check the batt's. :] THanks dude...

    Thanks again all! :]
  15. sounds to me like the exciter coils.
    i had a gpz250 with very similar motor, and these are common to go bad and very hard to diagnose.
    the gpz would need to be push started some times, then most of the time and then all the time. hot starting didnt ever seem to be a problem
    this gives some info on what they do....


    of course it could be a number of things, just sounds like what the gpz used to do :)
  16. Well, we just had the battery tested @ cash's place, seems to be fine.. Just gonna go check the fluid levels.. Not sure what else I need to go about checking. How do you check for the exciter coils?
  17. i had a spare motor and just swapped the coils over, which fised the problem.
    take the side cover off, and you will see the little bugger in there. its the one that gets the pulse from the magnet.

    more info on whether they are working and how to test here
  18. Well... after 1 day later, I've decided it's prolly just me flooding the engine by flicking the throttle when trying to turn it on.
    I just rode back from a mate's place and it started EASY on a cold start with the choke on. I just didn't flick the throttle or anything until it was running. Only took 1 go on a cold start.

    I'll leave it for now and if it acts up again, start to look at other options.

    Thanx everyone for the advice tho'! :)
  19. You said Ninja. The Kawasaki vacuum petcocks have known faults. One is a leaking diaphragm, which allows fuel to be sucked down the vacuum hose. Anotehr is that they can stick in teh open position, potentially flooding a cylinder if a needle and seat sticks open. Both are fairly unusual but bear investigation if it happens again.

    You have the baby Ninja, I have the middle aged spread Ninja! :LOL: (GTR 1000 has detuned Ninja donk).

    Regards, Andrew.
  20. Kewl. I'll be on the look out for that. I reckon that sounds close to what's happening to me.. but only one way to find out, wait until it happens again. (Perhaps, but let's hope it doesn't.) :p