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Cold starting...and Winter is around the corner!!

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by mav, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. Yeah its me again.

    Anyone got any good tips to start a VTR250 on a cold morning, i'm usually trying to start it around 6.30am, western sydney, which means ice and fog in winter.

    atm had a few sporadic days of the bike not starting

    - have fuel
    - choke open
    - bike in neutral
    - battery is ok

    usually after the 3rd / 4th attempt of doing a running superman in the driveway and clutch starting in 2nd it will go, otherwise its a no-go until the outside temp warms up.

    any tips?

    is there anywere i can buy engine cover / warmer (i.e. similar to tyre warmers) that i can put over the bike during the -minus temperatures...?

  2. loungeroom?
  3. Fresh plugs can help. I used to change mine at the start of every winter, though recently switched to Iridiums to see if they work better.

    If the bike's parked out in the open putting a cover over it during the night will help (doesn't have to be heated, just keep the frost off).

    Other than that it's simply a case of working out exactly the right combination of choke and/or throttle to get it to fire, then allowing it to warm up for a while before riding (to reduce the chance of the carbs freezing). Bikes in Europe do often feature carb heaters, but there's really nowhere in this country that gets cold enough to justify that (where I am is certainly a lot colder than Western Sydney).
  4. get the carbies serviced. If you are having trouble already it's not going to be a nice winter.

    If the battery is going flat before you are getting it started then the battery could be on the way out too.
  5. get a battery with a higher CCA (cold crank amperage)

    Bit more expensive than your bog stock battery, but problem be gone!!!

  6. This is great advice, a premium battery will be problem solved in my experience.
  7. I had an old honda 400/4 that had the same problem. Took it to a guru and he solved it in a snap. I loved that guru, man he could get that little engine singing when he tuned it
  8. You can't leave us hanging like that! You gotta tell us what he did. None of the usual guru metaphysical/zen stuff either. Nuts and bolts. I have one of these I'll be doing up soon, so I need to do some homework.


    the douches stuffed up mine at my last service. Came back worse. i wont name them here cause its slander lol...


    To help you with your topic, i find that on a cold day my bike will start better if i set the fuel lever to prime.
  10. ok so i'm going to look into a bike cover, and an el-primo battery. thanks for the suggestions. didn't think that a bike cover made that much of a difference. i was under the impression that they encouraged mildew and moisture to build up on the bike in hard to reach places.

    yes i did forget to mention that although it is parked in a car port, it's pretty much in the open.

    wouldn't hurt to look for carbie warmers either...i mean yeah it doesnt snow here in winter, but i am not gonna be happy if it's a struggle every morning in winter.

    loungeroom was the best idea though :D pretty sure i could cut a hole in the wooden floors and make a DIY service pit next to the couch...
  11. Awesome little machine, i miss mine. He was the one that told me about the battery's ACC rating.

    I have no idea when i came to tuning the little darling, which is why i handed her over to him. I think it was his years of experience and a guru's touch that got the best out of her, he was just that good. He took his time and got the results.

    Not just an expensive battery though, one that has a higher Cold Crank Amperage ;)

    I'm going back years ago now, but that's what solved the problem for me.
  12. Better than having ice in hard to reach places.
  13. true

    i am asking because winter is not here yet and i am already starting to have a couple of cold starting problemns
  14. If new plugs + decent battery doesn't work the other thing to try is to switch to a winter oil. For example, if you're currently running a 10w-40 you could try a 5w-40 or 5w-30 instead.

    Should make it slightly easier to start, you just have to remember to switch back before the hot weather kicks in.
  15. A proper service and tune, including vacuum sync. Tell your mechanic about the cold start problem.
    New, better battery, with higher cold cranking amps.
    New plugs - should go with the service.
    Figure out what works, with throttle and choke, and always do that.

    Heated carbs usually have a pipe or channel through them, cast into the carb body itself, and hot water from the engine flows through it. That doesn't have any impact on starting, cold. And it isn't something you can buy and fit yourself.

    There are cans of aerosol engine start stuff, like AutoStart and Start-YaBastard and others... Some cold blooded engines will run fine once you get them turning, and a quick squirt of that stuff into the airbox can work wonders. But you shouldn't have to do that. If the thing is tuned and serviced properly, and the choke and everything is working right, then it should start just fine at anything down to about - 5C, and possibly lower. It gets colder in Japan than it does here...