Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Is it harder to start a bike in winter?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Sweeris, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. I am having this problem that has just started to occur when we start having very cold nights. In the morning or when the bike is very cold it's very hard to start it(for the first time of the day).

    My bike is in a garage but theres air running through the garage so it get cold when its cold outside. When I start it, it sounds like its about to fire up but then dies and doesnt start. Then I have to crank it again. I got it going a couple times with and with out choke.

    Is there anything wrong with the bike or something is about to go wrong? Any advice on what to do when starting a very cold bike.
    Thanks in advance....
  2. Hey.

    If all is healthy with your battery and your bike, starting it in very cold conditions shouldn't be all that different to warm conditions.

    Keeping it idling might be a different matter...

    How old is your oil? How thick is it? When it gets very cold and viscous, your bike has to spend a short while pumping comparatively thicker oil around its engine - this can be relatively hard work for the first minute or so until the oil thins, so settling into an idle can take a little while.

    How new are your plugs? Good, fat sparks help in any weather at all, but especially in cold weather when the induction charge can be dense and moist. Make sure they're nice and fresh.

    Apart from that....stick a blanket over it! Oh....but make sure you don't throw it over a stinking hot bike straight after a ride and burn down your garage....

  3. Not uncommon for any old engine to be a little reluctant to start in cold weather - sometimes there can be an "art" in working out just exactly what combination of throttle/choke/whatever is best to use (some refer to such engines as having "character"). However if you want something reliable then as mentioned above make sure everything is in good condition as far as electrics go - may also pay to make sure the carbs are clean and properly tuned/balanced.
  4. Id think the carbs r clean and balanced. As i serviced my bike abt 2500kms ago. It might b jus the electronics as its not really checked out yet. Everything else is in good nick.
  5. In that case the problem could lie with the sparkplugs - these don't last too long on a high-revving engine like a CBR250, good thing is they cost stuff all to replace. Of course plug leads break down over time too and a lot of grey imports will still have the originals - these unfortunately aren't always cheap especially if the leads are part of the coil pack(s) (not sure if this is the case with a CBR though).
  6. replace the battery with a sealed type. They crank harder for a given rating.

    And yes it's typical for older bikes to start differently, depending on the temp. You should be turning your idle up a little in winter. This will help it catch.
  7. That is a good point, lead acid batteries are less efficient in the cold, its a chemical reaction that slows down with temperature. A Gel battery is less affected by the cold, but in either case it needs to be very cold to make much difference.
  8. Prob another silly/noob question. Where is the battery? :p
  9. Under your seat :)

    My baby isn't harder to start in the cold, but I have to give her longer to warm up with the choke on.

    Mine likes to have the choke on full, press the start button and immediately give her a little rev (no need for throttle after this), then gradually reduce the choke to rev a little less, then when she idles at higher revs again, reduce the choke some more. Keep doing that until she sounds like she's about to stall - push the choke in completely and her revs will rise so she's just perfect :wink: .

    Of course, she'll also cope if you leave the choke on high for the full warm up, but I don't want to rev her too hard when I'm not even playing. Maybe I'm a little over protective.
  10. Choke. Full choke/ no throttle till it starts and is running, then ease off choke whilst maintaining revs with throttle.

    Regards, Andrew.
  11. I had no luck with that. So then I tried choke off with abit of throttle and it starts.

    But most of the time she starts like u said....