LC4 Starting Tricks?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by mybeamishboy, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. mybeamishboy

    mybeamishboy My Beamish Boy

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    May 8, 2006
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    I have a 2006 KTM 640 Adventure that runs fine and starts fine .... unless it has sat for more than a week or so.

    Since it's not my daily rider, I find myself dreading to ride it because it will take 30 minutes (seat removal, jumping the battery, reassembly, etc). Once running everything will be fine until it sits again.

    Is there something I should know about before I fry a starter?

    FWIW, I have 8 bikes; KLR650, Triumph S4, A couple of Ducati's, etc ... and have ridden since the late 1960's ... so I think :jjen I know the basics of cranking a bike (even my old BSA).

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
    #1
  2. arcgotic

    arcgotic Adventurer

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    Hi man,
    i don't know about temps in your area, i live in romania, now there is 3Celsius outside. I started my '98 LC4, last started 1month ago, with help from a break-disk cleaner spray. Just spraied a little on the air filter, and the bike started on first kick (no batery/electric starter here). There are special sprays for starting engines at cold, but any spray high-flamable will do the trick.
    Hope this help!

    Cheers,
    Dani
    #2
  3. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

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    It's got a kick starter as well, ya know. A lot faster than taking the seat off.

    :hide



    How does it "not start?" Not Crank? Crank over endlessly without firing?
    #3
  4. nfranco

    nfranco over macho grande?

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    #4
  5. Laromonster

    Laromonster Vesperado !

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    When mine has been sitting a few weeks (rare) i find it easier to start if i engage the choke, hold in the decomp and kick it a few times.. then release decomp and give the button a stab.
    Usually fires right up
    #5
  6. sherpa

    sherpa ...Robert

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    Not sure what you are saying exactly.

    Is the battery dead when you go to start it or does it crank over fine at first but because it doesn't fire up you end up draining the battery cranking it over for so long?
    #6
  7. Zerodog

    Zerodog Long timer

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    There was another dude with the same kind of issues you are saying last week. There are a few things to remember.

    When using the choke do not touch the throttle until the bike fires. It defeats the choke circuit.

    It is cold. You probably need to open your fuel screw a bit to make the bike richer on the bottom end. It will make cold starting a lot easier.

    Another thing is this. Your float could be a bit stuck. Leaning the bike over until you get gas to puke out of the overflow first ensures your float bowl is full before you try to start it.

    Little batteries get their asses kicked by the cold. If you don't get it fired quick you might run out of juice. A battery tender helps. But you should get your bike started quick if it is jetted right.
    #7
  8. idahoskiguy

    idahoskiguy Long timer

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    Most likely your battery is on the way out and needs to be replaced, suggest a good AGM type battery for about $100.00. They are worth the $$$s and hold up to the vibes. My 2001 640ADV can kill a cheap battery in 500 miles of DS riding, have not had any trouble since installing the AGM type battery, and it can sit for weeks without discharging.

    +1 for battery tender, but your battery should not discharge in a week so you may want to check for a current drain somewhere in the system.

    :freaky
    #8
  9. mybeamishboy

    mybeamishboy My Beamish Boy

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    Thanks guys. I think I can address a few of the issues brought up:

    1) Not that cold. I am in Atlanta and the bike is in a heater garage. Cold definitely not the problem. Besides the issue existed in the summer.

    2) Bike turns over .... and over .... and over.... until the battery gasps and dies.

    3) I do already keep a battery tender on the bike (pigtail extension, the works).

    4) I have not reason to think its a fuel problem .. although a stuck float is possible.

    5) I should mention that after the third or fourth episode of this nonsense I added some Sea Foam to the gas ... didn't make a difference.

    6) I have gone at it (with a full battery) without first touching the throttle. Zip.

    7) i don't believe in Motorcycle Voodoo (my 1971 BSA convinced me that any bike can be conquered with enough determination, blood, and money). I know there is some silly something I am not seeing.

    Or ..... I could trade up for a 950 Adventure ... hmmmm.
    #9
  10. AusStealth

    AusStealth Bohican

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    This is a long shot, and before anyone rubbishes the idea, its based on a sequence of events with my 06.

    From new I couldn't work out why it stalled for no apparent reason some times, usually in a snotty bit of track! Over time, starting after a week or two of no use became harder. After about 9 months, one day it no longer started at all. Fuel..OK Cranking speed...OK Spark..NOT OK.

    The ignition trigger unit on the motor had failed. Once replaced all of the above issues have gone.

    So, just a chance that yours is on its way out too.
    #10
  11. Seikkailu_R

    Seikkailu_R Been here awhile

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    Too warm?
    Lighter parts of fuel slowly evaporates -> Hard to ignite.

    Drain float bowl and fill with fresh fuel.
    #11
  12. ediehl

    ediehl Been here awhile

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    I've got a recemtly acquired '01 LC4 with a brand new battery (and rejetted for an SXC pipe), and it's reluctant to start when cold. I use a battery tender. One interesting thing I've noticed is that it seems to be more inclined to start if I turn the choke all or partially off. Seems counterintuitive. I wonder if the choke mechanism isn't functioning properly, or if maybe the carb is overly rich on the low speed jet? It almost seems easier to kick start when it's cold (well, I don't know about easier (for me)---maybe I should say the engine is more inclined to fire up when kick-started when cold)

    Eric
    #12
  13. mo' tarded

    mo' tarded Turnip Truck Driver

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    How many miles are on the bike?

    KTM's with the HIGH flow head have been known to be hard to start if the valves are out of spec.

    You may also need to give the carb a good once over with carb cleaner. Sounds like a clogged or partially clogged circuit/jet.

    Have you done the BST mods?
    #13
  14. boney

    boney Ride > Post

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    Perhaps it's flooded. If your needle valve doesn't seat correctly it's possible that you've got raw fuel in the cylinder and choking it only makes it worse.

    Try starting it without the choke or even opening the throttle a bit.

    If you don't turn off the petcock when you park it for long periods, try that and see if it makes a difference.
    #14
  15. idahoskiguy

    idahoskiguy Long timer

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    With the new information you provided, it sounds like you need to start with the basics. Air, fuel and spark.

    Is the air cleaner clogged?

    Do you have spark?

    Fuel - too little or too much or contaminated with water? You are turning the petcock off - right? Leaving it on WILL flood the engine.

    Valves adjusted properly?

    The LC4 is a simple engine, so start by taking to factory spec for all the systems and your problem will be solved.

    The devil is in the details:deal
    #15
  16. myblubeemer

    myblubeemer MOA, IBA

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    Mine does the same thing....Try choke full on, don't touch throttle until it fires.....when it first starts to catch....then use throttle.
    Works for me....good luck.

    Jwat



    #16
  17. Zerodog

    Zerodog Long timer

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    I would say jetting ,valves, air cleaner or sea foam is the problem. It is a pretty new bike. So there shouldn't be big problems.
    #17
  18. mybeamishboy

    mybeamishboy My Beamish Boy

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    The magic answer was to turn the fuel cock off, drain the carb bowl, charge the battery, open the fuel cock, apply choke and it started.

    I think the problem is that I have not been turning off the fuel. With my KLRs that has not been a problem but maybe the KTM has other opinions on the matter.

    I ran the bike for a while then turn the fuel off and let it run out. We'll see if that helps next time I try to crank it.

    Again, thanks for all the guidance.:clap
    #18
  19. Fustercluck

    Fustercluck Been here awhile

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    Check your operator's manual as it states you have to drain the bowl that way if it sits for over a week.
    #19
  20. boyscout

    boyscout sittin' down

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    KLR's have a vacuum actuated petcock. No fuel flows unless the engine is turning over. I find it annoying but I suppose in this case it is beneficial.
    #20