Help diagnosing problem with CRF230L

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by thumpergirl, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. thumpergirl

    thumpergirl Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Texas
    I'm hoping someone can throw some ideas my way. I don't know much about the mechanics of a bike, but it's time to learn. :D

    I have a 2008 CRF230L, only about 9XX miles on it (some of those are pretty hard miles in some tough/rocky terrain, so the bike has been dropped a lot at speeds up to 25mph - I say that just in case it might have something to do with diagnosing the problem).

    I was riding the other morning and suddenly the bike lost power. It didn't die immediately. When I hit the throttle nothing happened. So I kept downshifting as the bike went slower, and finally in first gear it died and we came to a stop. The battery seemed fine - horn works fine, blinkers, lights, etc.. No sign of any problem there. When I hit the starter - nothing. Nothing at all, not even a single turn over. No clicking noise, either.

    I took the panels off to get to the battery just to make sure that wasn't it - cables were tight. There was some fuse above the battery; I pulled out the plastic piece that contained it and checked the fuse, it was fine. Still wouldn't start. Put everything back together. Was about ready to push it home (I was about 2 miles from house). Gave it one last whirl. Fired right up, and no problems since. Rode it 250 miles that day.

    It's working fine now, but obviously there is a problem brewing somewhere. I want to know what it might be in case this happens again so that I am prepared and not left stranded.

    Any ideas on what happened?
    #1
  2. scapegoat

    scapegoat Pushin forward back

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,005
    Location:
    The Left side
    Electrical gremlins can be a buzzard sometimes as they only seem to fail when you nowhere near tools or at home., Id start by checking every ground connection,the battery leads,starter leads,plug on the back of the ignition switch, that sorta thing. Kinda odd that the lights etc worked but no starter and it died, so its not in the lighting circuit anywhere I say. Just for the hell of it try to reproduce the stalling by letting it run and turning the bars lock to lock, its possible a wire in the main harness is broken of breaking, also as its idling gently poke and pull the loom where its accessible to see if it dies. Give that a try and report back.
    #2
  3. 3DChief

    3DChief "Moto therapist"

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    412
    Location:
    Montana
    Also could be clutch or kickstand safety switch. My KLR250 had the same symptoms when the kickstand safety switch got sticky. Bypassed it and problem gone.

    Tim
    #3
  4. SnowMule

    SnowMule [angry moth noises]

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    20,310
    Location:
    I LIVE IN A GIANT BUCKET
    Safety switches and grounds... yep, first two things to check.

    The button on teh bars, too. Those don't last forever. Fly Racing has an anodized kill switch you could use as a start switch that's held up real well on my sled and the abuse it gets put through.

    Any chance you tried kickstarting it? Will it run if you kick it?
    #4
  5. thumpergirl

    thumpergirl Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Texas
    No kickstart, the 230L doesn't have it.

    I haven't been able to reproduce the problem. Seems like the kickstand safety switch could be a real possibility because that area took several hits on rocks.

    Thank you guys for your suggestions. I'll keep these with me next time it happens (I wish it would do it again and just quit so I don't have to worry about being stranded!).

    scapegoat - i did try turning the bars side to side, no love. also tired pulling, poking, prodding on the cables. still no love.

    thanks again! I'll post back here if it happens again.
    #5
  6. underkill

    underkill Horsepower Junkie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,710
    Location:
    Port Orchard, WA
    Interesting (and shitty!)! I had almost that same problem the other day... I was going down the highway on the KLX and it jsut stopped going forward, I pulled over and had to rev the piss out of it to get it to move to the onramp, ended up lurching around in first and second to get to a parking lot. Got off and stared at it, then it started right back up and I rode another 30 minutes home. :huh bike had been running perfect all day.

    I think I'l do that kickstand switch thing as a precaution.. I'm pretty sure i'll break that off soon enough anyway... FWIW we think my issue was gas tank venting/vacuum related.
    #6
  7. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,782
    Location:
    THE exact center of California/Bass lake/Yosemite
    How often do you clean your airfilter... it could be a carb or tank vent issue, clogged, dirty or worn carb can cause issues and a faulty gas cap vent can cause vapor locking and not allow gas to get to the carb.. what about your plug.. has it been changed in a while.. remember FUEL,AIR,SPARK... Maybe a time for you to learn how to disassmble your bike for a diagnosis.. with the adv collective im sure we can help.
    #7
  8. hoboarchery

    hoboarchery n00b

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Agawam MAss
    Can you please tell me what the carb heater does? I have an 08 CRF230L with many mods and and miles, around 9K.
    Well today at 35 degrees she quit on me. Good spark, full tank of gas, but the plug was dry. I was climbing a rocky uphill in second gear, hopping and bopping then quiet, like it ran out of gas. I have full flow at the petcock.
    Took it all apart and she was clean inside, blew through the gas intake and worked the float by hand and it was turning on and off. Ok get it all back together and it idled long enough for me to get dressed again and then dies 10' from the car.
    The wires going to the carb have me wondering what they do. Like you guys I will lose sleep till I get it going again. Thanks Tom from MA
    #8
  9. ObiJohn

    ObiJohn Screaming Banshee

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    692
    Location:
    Seattle suburbia
    Kickstand safety switch would be my first guess. Sometimes crud gets in there. Even letting the kickstand slam back and forth a few times can get the crud out, and that's probably what you inadvertently did.
    #9