Cold weather is coming..how do you start your airhead?

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by louky, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. louky

    louky Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    louisville kentucky
    My 92 bumblebee (20k) runs and starts perfectly when warm. As the weather starts to chill each year, I am reminded that I haven't found the magic pattern to start this bike readily in cold weather.....So how do you do yours? Half or full choke, throttle opened, closed, or halfway, etc?

    p.s. Plugs are current and valves are adjusted

    Thanks
    #1
  2. jimmyjam

    jimmyjam Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    91
    I usually do full choke, and blip the throttle while hitting the starter button, and then leave the throttle cracked for a few seconds.

    There are two differences between your setup and mine.

    First, I have a nippondenso starter, which spins my engine effortlessly.

    Second, I live in California. :rofl
    #2
  3. jdiaz

    jdiaz .

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    I live in the Chicago area, and my primary Airhead is an R65 with small battery. I have stock jetting except for a pilot jet which is one step richer. I am also using the Panasonic battery.

    No matter what the time of year, my bike gets full choke and the throttle slighly cracked to start cold. Usually lights off within one or two tries.

    Jon
    #3
  4. Team Dennis

    Team Dennis Certified Troublemaker

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    While I am fairly new to the R100RS I recently bought, so far the drill has been full choke and throttle slightly cracked. I also upgraded to the Nippon Denso starter conversion, and it has an Odyssey battery.
    #4
  5. Eurobiker

    Eurobiker Vintage Cat Herder

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    92 Bumbmle here, too and a difficult starter. I'm at 5800 ft, so YMMV. In cool weather, full choke, warmer weather 1/2 choke. I don't blip the throttle until started. I keep the valves adjusted and carbs balanced, but it dosent seem to matter. I guess they're just cold natured. I had a 76 R90/6 that was an instant starter, hot/ cold, whatever. :dunno
    #5
  6. Airhead

    Airhead More human than human

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    Here's the drill, learned after much discussion with Oak at airheads.org, and a lot of practice. Full choke...no need to crank the throttle, since the CV carbs have no accelerator pump. Press the starter with the throttle FULLY CLOSED. The way the the choke works on this bike, if you open the throttle the choke is bypassed. This is why, even if you leave the choke wide open, the bike will run OK with the throttle open. As soon as the bike fires, open the throttle a little bit. If the bike does not fire up, close the throttle again, and wait for it to fire before reopening the throttle.

    It takes some practice, but if you follow this proceedure the bike should start fairly easily. I know, because I rode an '89 GS for 5 years, and I live in Maine...once I got the steps down, the bike would start fine, even in 20 degree weather. Before I figured it out, though, the things was difficult to start at 4o or below.
    #6
  7. Gringo

    Gringo simple by nature

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    I've had my 92 GSPD for 12 years, ride nearly year-round in Massachusetts, and I've always done pretty much what Airhead just described. As long as the battery is reasonably charged it almost always fires immediately; if it's sat for a month in winter it may take 2 or 3 tries but it usually goes pretty quickly. I always use full choke if the bike hasn't been running yet that day, even in hot weather. If it's run within the past hour it fires with no choke, more time or cool weather and I need at least half choke. It actually starts better dead-cold, full-choke, than in these halfway-warm situations where I don't give it enough choke.

    make sure your choke cables are set right - look at the exposed ends of the cables when the choke is off and make sure they have the same slight degree of slackness, and when you move the choke lever, the corresponding choke arm on the outside of both carbs should start moving immediately and in unison. When I first got my bike it ran real rough on choke; then as I learned to synch my own carbs I started paying attention to the choke cables as well and it got much nicer.
    #7
  8. hogmolly

    hogmolly Dude

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    Everything they said plus I pull in the clutch.
    #8
  9. Rubber Cow

    Rubber Cow GS Dork

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    If you can store the bike under a cover it helps. Wrapping a warm -NOT HOT- motor with a reflective blanket/ground cloth makes a big difference as well. These bikes are stubborn when the motors are cold-soaked. I used to camp out a lot in the Fall in the Ca Sierras where it can get below freezing at night. I carried a space blanket just to wrap the bike up with and I tried to park it under pine branches to help reduce the heat loss. It makes a difference for my '92.
    I also made the conversion to a WestCo sealed battery last year. It had to be shoe-horned into the battery space but it is a wonderful feeling to hit the starter button now compared to when I ran the wet cell BMW batteries.
    Hope this helps,.
    Cheers,
    Jorge
    #9
  10. louky

    louky Adventurer

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    Thanks to all whom replied. The consensus is that no throttle is needed when first starting (and this is {of course} exactly what I was doing wrong). I have had some success using full choke and little/no throttle so far, awaiting the really cold weather to finalize the theory :D
    #10
  11. BoHunkus

    BoHunkus Sho 'nuff

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    I pull the covers over her head and fart :evil
    #11
  12. Eurobiker

    Eurobiker Vintage Cat Herder

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    Choke? :oscar
    #12