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GS500F Starting problem

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by bulby, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Hi all,

    First of all, I'm totally new to motorcycling.
    Had my bike delivered last week. No problem starting it then. I took it for a few laps around the block and dropped it in slow motion while stopped. That somehow broke the clutch lever, so the bike hasn't been started since as it will only start with the clutch fully disengaged.

    I've just replaced the clutch lever but now I'm having troubles starting the bike :(
    When I try to start it, it seems to work. But then stalls after idling for 2-3 seconds.

    I tried with the choke on, it won't even start. Choke off, it starts, idles for 2-3 seconds and stalls again.

    It's still got half a tank of fuel.
    Fuel valve is set to ON.
    Kill switch is off.
    The bike's in Neutral.

    Is it possible that there's no fuel in the carb? If so, how long do I need to leave the fuel valve in "Prime"?

    Or is it a flat battery? Since the bike's been sitting in my garage for a whole week and all?

  2. sometimes they can be abit trick to start when cold. Did you try moving the petcock to prime? and also twisting the throttle when starting?

    I usually leave my fuel tap on pri while i put my gloves and helmet on, then set the choke to full, and while twisting the throttle (probably 1/3 of the way) i push the start button. starts fine even on the coldest of mornings.
    Just dont forget to switch the petcock back to on after its going.
  3. Tried that. Didn't work either.

    Just had another few tries. Now the bike won't even start no matter what I do.
  4. is the battery new? maybe you left the lights on. i did that once as well. maybe try push starting it or jump starting (with choke on etc. as per a cold start) the bike.
    ( Note that if you are going to jump it from a car that you are not supposed to turn the car on like when jump starting another car, the current in the battery should be sufficient to jump start the bike straight up).

    If it is the battery playing up it may be worth buying a multi stage trickle charger. my battery was poorly maintained when i got my bike. i topped the water up (demineralised water only) and left it on a 5 stage trickle charger for afew days as some chargers can partially repair bad batteries. My battery works like clockwork now and havent had any issues since :)
  5. #5 bulby, Jul 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    I'm not sure how old the battery is since I didn't buy the bike brand new and I didn't ask. The bike is a 2009 model with about 9000km on the odo.

    I have a habit of locking the steering column before removing my keys, so I doubt I left the lights on =]

    I'll try leaving the petcock at prime for a bit longer tonight.

    The bike is still under dealer warranty. But then again, I'm not sure if they would (or even should) do anything about this problem. My assumption would be no because I'm pretty much at fault. Or so I think anyway.
  6. Not sure of how you're exactly trying to start it buy with my GS500F I had, I would do the following:

    Cold Start:
    Turn choke just over 1/2 way (in winter a little less in summer) and just press the starter. Then it would start and after about 30 seconds I'd would lower it a little, take off then a block or two away turn choke all the way down.
    I would never turn the throttle before hand when cold as this would just tend to flood it..
    (yep, made that mistake a couple of times)

    Warm Start:
    No choke, turn throttle about half way then press the starter..

    Pretty much what the GS500 manual says except I never needed to have the choke fully, only half way even in the coldest stuff Melb has to offer..
    Hope this helps...

  7. #7 bulby, Jul 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    That's exactly how I did it last week.

    Good point @ flooding though. Might explain why it won't even start with throttle / choke.
  8. Nope... Bike won't start unless choke is fully off.

    After a few tries, I felt the engine turning, cracked the throttle while holding ignition button and engine came to life. It kept wanting to drop below 1000 rpm though. So I held throttle just enough to keep rev around 2k. That got my hopes up, but engine stalled again after about 5 secs.

    I'm giving up on trying to fix it myself :(
    Thanks for all the advices though. I totally appreciate it.
    Anyone has any bike doctor (a.k.a. mechanic) they'd recommend? Preferably someone who can come over to work on my bike since I got no car / truck and I'm on my L's for both bike and cage.

    p.s. I live in the Point Cook area.
  9. Check your spark plugs, drain the carbs to hopefully remove any detritus from the idle jets (very easy, ask if you don't know how), leave petcock on prime while starting.
    Helpful people and all the information you need (and a lot you don't!) are available here:http://gstwins.com/gsboard/
  10. They have an easy to access idle adjustment screw. Have a play around with that. Also i think the GS500 has a habit of the petcock failing and having similar issues. Try a direct bypass of the petcock to see if problem resolves.
  11. At the risk of stating the obvious....it's really difficult to judge how much fuel is in the tank...it might look half full, but be into the reserve.....try switching the petcock to reserve and trying to start it.
  12. That's a good point, actually. Just read somewhere today that the GS500's got a flat-based tank, making fuel level hard to judge just by peering into the tank. I'll give it a try tonight and let you guys know how it goes.

    Sadly, I have 0 experience whatsoever with anything mechanical, and I'm not exactly the most handy guy around. I can assemble Ikea furnitures, but that's about it... :nopity:

    So if switching to reserve doesn't work, I'm gunna have to take the bike to a workshop, or call in these guys: Rolling Motorcycle Repairs. Has anyone ever dealt with them? I found this thread, and that's about the only review I can find on these guys. They seem to be the only guys doing mobile bike repairs in VIC.

    High Octane quoted $150 for both pickup and delivery. 60 Degrees quoted me at around $180 each way.

    On a side note, I've just realised that the fairings seem to be a bit skewed. Windshield sits a bit to the left of the 2 gauges instead of directly in front of them when the handlebars are set straight. And I can smell petrol coming from the bike. Especially when sitting on it. The whole garange has a faint smell of petrol.

    I've noticed the petrol smell since day1, but then the Kymco I practiced with at StayUpright had that smell too. So I dismissed it as something common across most or all bikes.
  13. Sounds like the float levels are set too high or more likely ther is a leaking needle/seat causing a high fuel level in one carb.

    You should run it on 'prime' while trying to start it, to make sure you have enough fuel in the carbs, in which case it draws fuel from the bottom of the tank (reserve) anyway.
  14. Sounds like it is flooding. Try starting it with no choke and some throttle like you got it started before. Once it starts it will no longer be flooded and may need some choke to keep it idling until warm. If it has started it probably shouldn't be on prime any longer. Feel free to put it on reserve if there is any doubt about the tank being low, that won't hurt.

    If it is stalling when you turn back the throttle, try not turning back the throttle until it is warm. Then see what happens.

    Bottom line. If it was OK before then a small drop is not going to miraculously change carby settings.

    I am thinking it's more likely that in the week it wasn't running the bowls emptied making it harder to start and/or you flooded it trying.
  15. Just tried both on "reserve" and "prime" - no choke. Same result. It coughs once or twice, then I can hear rapid clicking. Sometimes I hear a "dud" (pretty sure the "dud"s came from the exhaust) before the clicks.

    I'll ring High Octane tomorrow.

    Anyways, thanks for all the advices and suggestions, everyone. They're much appreciated.

    Out of curiosity, how long do I need to leave the bike be if the it's flooded? (And what do you mean by "bowls"?)
  16. Leave it for five or 10 minutes if flooded.

    The float bowl is at the base of the Carburetor it acts as a local fuel reservoir for the Carburetor to draw from.

  17. Rapid clicking? Are you saying the motor is not turning over?
  18. Rapid clicking suggests to me that the battery has gone flat. Nothing wrong with the battery just to many attempts to start it. Charge it up and have another go.
  19. Battery could very well have gone flat after that many attempts.
    And when I dropped it, I couldn't pick it as it was on a slope - Basically the bike was lying on its side with the tyres slightly higher than the rest of the bike. I was trying for about 15-20 minutes and finally managed to lift it upright with help from a passer by.

    Could that have caused an issue? Maybe a sticky float or something like that?

    Anyhow, John from High Octane Motorcycles picked up the bike last night. Now I'm just waiting anxiously for their news.

    Again, thanks for all your suggestions and advices, everyone :)
    Hopefully I can get her back soon.