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Hornet 250 will not start - it did yesterday

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Glekichi, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. After several agonising weeks of waiting, my Hornet 250 finally arrived from an interstate dealer yesterday.

    As soon as I got it I ran it and, as mentioned in another thread, was a bit shy about letting it rev with the choke (at the time I thought it was revving too high - but it wasnt) and ended up having it bog down and die on me - 3 times - and then had the battery go flat.

    So I charged it up yesterday and thought I'd give it a fresh go tonight after work.

    Well... she turned just fine for close to 30 seconds without a single hint of coming to life. And by the second attempt the battery was flat yet again.

    I'd had enough by that stage and went for the jumpers. Hooked her up and she turned over nicely yet still not a single hint of firing.

    Yes, the fuel was on reserve.
    No, the engine cutoff was not on.

    Stale fuel was the next suspect so I pushed it to a nearby servo and filled her up with 98 octane. Only got 8 litres in but pushed her back home, drained the carbys, and tried the jumper leads again.

    Still plenty of energy in the turning over but no signs of life from the engine.

    Drained the carbys again - the bowls had refilled so its not a fuel starvation issue - I don't think.

    I'm stumped.

    Tried flicking the cutoff switch during the starter motoring of the engine - the switch is not faulty because when I hit it the starter cuts out.

    So, what could have happened between it slowly dying yesterday when I didn't use enough choke, and today, that it won't fire at all?

    It only ran for around 2 minutes yesterday before it died - so I would guess thats not enough time to foul the plugs up so bad that it won;'t start at all.

    Any ideas?
  2. When in doubt go back to basics ... does it have fuel, does it have spark , does it have air. Check, just in case there is a problem.

    However my guess is that having stalled it is simply taking a bit of cranking to restart and your battery sounds like it isn't much up to it.

    Bikes often need to be started in a particular way... one of my bikes won't start without throttle, the other won't start if I use any throttle. YOu need to find what works but you won't do that while your battery is running flat.

    Which raises the next issue... Some bikes won't start unless there is plenty of charge in the battery and if yours is dying ater a few cranks, then it sounds like your battery may be on its way out too. What voltage are you getting?

    So what were you doing when it started the first time? Were you giving it plenty of choke? Were you giving it throttle? Try to replicate this.
  3. Firstly, I'd suspect your start up procedure.

    My Hornet foods VERY EASILY. If I pull the throttle before or as I press the starter, it might not bite and becomes very hard to start thereafter. The trick is to press the starter first, wait for a moment until the engine starts to grab on, then open the throttle to get it going. One the engine is flooded, good luck getting it going.
    Also consider not using the choke in weather that isn't cold. As a imported bike, its probably set up to deal with the atmospheric conditions of Japan and you might expect the choke to behave unusually.

    Holding the starter button down for thirty seconds straight is a pretty bad idea for the motor itself. I'm sure another member can clarify, but my understanding is that the starter motor is designed to run in brief bursts, not to cope with the heat that builds up through sustained operation (which can burn it out).

    If your start-up procedure is sound, then start having a look at all the normal things that could cause running problems. Replacing the spark plugs should only cost $20 if you do it yourself. Pull the air filter out and see if its dirty and blocking air. Make sure the fuel line is not blocked. Its a good idea to do things like this anyway when buying a bike if you're not sure about its service history (change the oil too!).

    If that fails, consider contacting the dealership and asking them why it won't start.
  4. Thanks guys.
    I have been trying most of what you both have suggested, and even when connected to the car with plenty of juice it just turns and turns no matter what method I use.

    The day it arrived it started first go...

    I just dont understand how it can go from starting so easily to having not a single cylinder firing.

    Re the starter motor - yes I am fairly aware of the limitations. 30 seconds might have been a slight exaggeration and I have been allowing long cool down periods between start attempts.

    Plugs are next on the list. Would love to have her going today but work is 8 to 6 so not much sunlight left afterwards.
  5. Update:

    When looking at removing the fuel tank to get the plugs out, I disconnected the fuel line from the fuel tap.

    Out of curiosity I tried turning the tap to both reserve and to on - fuel did not flow in either case. There was fuel in the fuel line.

    There is a second line coming out of the rear of the fuel tap also. Is this some kind of a vacuum switch so that fuel does not flow in any setting when the engine is not turning?
  6. Another piece of information for the puzzle:

    It was transported with the fuel tap in the reserve position.
    I am starting to think that my choke misuse wasnt what caused in to stall at all. After all, it was certainly not cold and once it was running half choke really should have been just fine.
    Fuel starvation really fits in a lot better than a spark problem.
    But its my birthday and the damn thing still wont start for my first ride.... :-({|=
  7. We share a great day.
    As for the fuel issue get the hoses checked or replaced .
  8. Happy birthday smee!

    Fuel flows in both reserve and on positions when I suck on the vacuum line... so that aint the problem.....

    So... even though everything seems to be pointing to a fuel problem... plugs? The dealer says the plugs are only 12 months old because they are the ones that imported it 12 months ago and it had just been traded back in.
  9. undo the plugs have a look, if foulded clean them!! if they look crap replace!! $10 at most?
  10. Make sure the lines to on and reserve are on the right way. Not reversed.
    With the plugs; Tan is good. Black is rich, wet is no spark.
    So ignition on. Dial lights on. Kill switch to run. Fuel tap to run... or maybe even prime if it has it. In neutral. = should go.
    Faulty kill switch ?
    Faulty side stand switch ?
    Hard to say. Better to pull a plug and see what it is telling you. See if it sparks when you turn it over.
  11. If it is starved of fuel try some start-ya-bastard or the like. Quick spray in the air intake and see what happens. Even a small splash of fuel will do.

    If that causes it to fire, you weren't getting fuel or weren't getting it in the right mix.

    If it fires and cuts out, repeat up to a few times. Could be you've emptied the bowls and the pump is not sufficiently refilling them, while just cranking a short while

    Hmm Just re-read and realised you said the bowls had refilled, probably not that then.

    Kill switch is something I never use so always forget.
  12. Thanks again everyone for the replies.

    On the way home from work I stopped in at Honda World and picked up a new battery, a set of NGK Iridium plugs, and a plug wrench because the one in the bike toolkit didnt fit when I tried it thismorning!

    The plug I pulled was pitch black and a bit wet. Tried turning it over and it did spark. Replaced all four with iridium plugs..... and away we went! First go!

    Still had similar idling issues to the first day but I only had it die on me twice. Even when up to temperature it would not idle without the choke, but revved up to 3-4k with it.

    Started to get a bit worried but I thought fark it and went for a few laps around the block and by the 3rd corner it had cleared right up and idled beautifully.

    Don't know if it was a transport issue or just a combination of a stuffed battery and plugs that have done nothing but idle for months, but it seems to be fixed now.

    First real ride tomorrow!
  13. I doubt it's a switch problem, since his starter motor runs when he presses the ignition.

    EDIT: The OP beat me by 10 seconds.
  14. I take it your choke is an all on or all off type. otherwise when it hits 4K just take it off a bit to getr it back around 2K.

    Failing that if it dies with no choke our choices are give it choke and let it rev or switch off choke and control revs with some throttle until it warms
  15. That's sort of how I'm trying to do it but it's like balancing an egg sometimes. It either seems to keep revving up and up or if I move the choke back just a mm then it very slowly settles and dies.
    Will see how it goes today because I haven't ran it yet since I actually got it running and took I for that quick blast around the block last night.
    I'm kinda hoping I've cleared something and it will idle a bit better now.

    God it felt good revving through the gears!
  16. Most common problem that is over looked is Mercury balance the carbies as they seem to be running at different balances hence starting and idling issues, and if your keeping her definately do your valve clearances also once done these should be good go for years bar your standard servicing. Very common with bikes that sit for a while and also imports

    FX Powersports here to supports all riders that love that adrenalin flowing through their veins, ride hard and keep it on the black stuff!
  17. Sounds like it needs a tune up, However if it has been sitting for a while then maybe a god run may help to clear things and settle it down.
  18. 150km today and she didn't miss a beat!
    Now just need to work on my riding skills...
  19. Belatedly... cos I missed the origianl post.

    I know the problem is solved but just adding cos other people read..

    Bikes are wired differentlydifferent. Some won't turn over with the kill switch on. Others will turn over just fine. So depending on the bike, kill switch can be a possibility even if the starter is running.

    And I never use my kill switch so it should never be an issue.... but it has been.

    Bottom line. Always check the kill switch.

    Good to hear things are good now Glekichi
  20. Hi GreyBM. In this case I was sure that the starter motor is wired through the switches because I own a Hornet 250 as well, but it certainly was a good idea to point out that this doesn't apply universally.