Myth: hard starting Sherpa's

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by PBOB, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. PBOB

    PBOB MOTO NUT

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    320
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    East coast
    I'm new so if this looks sorry that's my excuse...
    I've read post here for quite a while, especially before I buy a bike.
    Now the topic, Kawasaki Super Sherpa.
    I've read a lot about forever warm up times, hard starting, stalling etc...
    And the remedies, jetting etc...
    I've had mine for a while. It used to be very difficult to start and stay running before it was completely warm.
    But I did something novel, I read the manual. It seemed to address the hard start.
    Mine never takes forever to warm up regardless of temp outside. This is what I do and did:
    1. Tighten the choke knob at handlebar by twisting base so it stays on choke, directions in factory manual.
    2. Make sure idle is set at proper rpm, in manual too, I think it was 1,200 rpm.
    3. Before starting turn gas tab valve to prime, wait 10 seconds, so it can drain in carb and break vacuum in tank
    4. Pull choke out
    5. Press start, let it make a couple cycles of compression, no more than 5 seconds
    6. A tad of gas when it fires. It will idle high with choke out
    7. Pump throttle a few times, half choke, pump throttle gently, wait a couple sec, put helmet and gloves on
    8. No choke, throttle a tad... It should sound good not like it's dying
    9. Put fuel tap to on. Ride!
    A note, after a motocycle mechanic of 35 yrs told me to only use 93 oct gas on small engines I always do in my bikes.
    Also, when bike sits for more than a week or two I add stabil to tank and drain carb. When winters over, the Sherpa starts first time, warm up is never anymore than a min, regardless of temp.
    I'm not a motorcycle engineer. My personal opinion is you gotta put that tank on prime when starting and break vacuum and have choke all the way out.
    :D
    I hope this helps those out there that want to keep bike stock and wonder why it won't stay running until its been 10 min.
    #1
  2. Sleeper

    Sleeper Adventurer

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    Yes, this was my experience as well. I watched the previous owner trying to start the bike when I bought it and he was complaining about it. I read the book. Problem solved.
    #2
  3. Supersal

    Supersal n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
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    I've only had my Sherpa for a few months and it stays in the NC mountains. Yes I have had problems starting it and was reading all the messages about it being hard to start etc. I found you post and followed your instructions...she started every time! The mornings have not been too cold high 40's but I feel sure she will start!
    Thank you so much for "reading the manual!"
    Do you still have your Sherpa?
    #3
  4. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    And it it gets really hard to start, adjust the valves!
    #4
  5. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    ya well not mine... fuel to prime, full choke, grind until it starts. any use of throttle prolongs the process. I have to leave the choke on full for a couple minutes or it will die with application of throttle. bleed off choke over the first 5 minutes of riding.

    I forgot to add.... before engaging starter, check that the kill switch is "on" because unlike most bikes, it will turn the starter with the CDI on kill
    #5
  6. old-n-slow

    old-n-slow Been here awhile

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    I re-jetted mine, problems solved. Also, it runs smoothly with none of the occasional hiccups it used to have from the lean jetting. But you're absolutely correct about RTFM!
    #6
  7. PBOB

    PBOB MOTO NUT

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    Thanks. The reason for the post was just get people to take notice that all motorcycles are engineered pro pros much smarter than the average joe. If we were smarter than them, they wouldn't have job....
    But as far as starting the Sherpa, it's a carbeurated bike... There's a art and zen to it. Carb bike have to equalize and fill up and pull fuel threw ports.....
    The manual knows a noob or somebody who thinks they know better will garfunkle with it for an hr and finally decide to re engineer, therefore the directions.
    But as far a jetting and re-engineering, sometimes there done right and some times for good reason bc the govt has strict EPA laws. And sometime bike performance suffers a tad....
    I just prefer it was original...
    And yes I still have the Sherpa!
    In fact retighten all ur exhaust bolts..,
    Friday night I was riding it, and my muffler fell off!!!!
    I have no clue how that happened....
    Replacement msrp is $400.
    Got used one for $67 on eBay....
    #7
  8. Ivyleague

    Ivyleague Been here awhile

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    #8
  9. 1stgenfarmboy

    1stgenfarmboy The Sherpa Man

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    OK so what if doing all this suggested cold start procedure does not work quite like you say.
    #9
  10. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    assuming good fuel flow to the carb, and the choke is operating correctly (it's actually an enricher circuit), the pilot jet may be plugged up. this is common if the bike sits a lot. even if the fuel has been stabilized. it is especially true is there is alcohol in the fuel.

    in any case, re-jetting helps... all the carbed bikes built in the last 2 decades (or more) are set as lean as possible from the factory. often they pound a plug over the idle (pilot) mix screw as well

    using a higher octane rated fuel makes no difference (you do need to run the fuel the engine requires). higher rated fuels may have more alcohol or MTBE, etc in them... thats how they make the performance number go up without having to actually raise the percent of octane in the mix (octane/heptane ratio)

    engineers are not necessarily smarter.... just better trained in some specific area. there is a difference.
    #10