Help starting XR650R.

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Help starting XR650R.

Post  Nm767 on Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:32 am

I recently acquired a 2001 XR650R and I really struggle to get it started. I have been able to but it literally can take an extensive period of time.

I've watched every YouTube video and read everything I can on how to start and still no luck.

My father also has a XR650R and he struggles to start mine as well, though he has been off his for quite awhile.

Does anyone possibly live in the Stockton / valley springs CA area that can check my bike to see if it's just me or if it's a problem with the bike. I figure an experienced XR owner who knows the "dance" to start them should be able to start mine if it's in working order.
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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  Mauser on Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:18 am

Hi sounds like you need to do some bike checks before starting....
Have you serviced the bike ? valves within spec and new plug ?....is the fuel good not over 3 months old.
Whats the bikes history ? whats been done to the carb ?.
These bikes are ridiculously easy to start...I can walk up to mine any time...
I start mine as follows.
!. Turn fuel On
2. Full Choke On
3. No Throttle
4. Slowly Press Down On Kick Start & Turn Her Over Till She Starts To Hit Top Dead Centre
5. Once The Kick Start Goes Hard I Pull In The De-Compressor Lever & Press Further Down On The Kick Starter...Only Slightly.
6. Release The De-Compressor & Then Kick Her All The Way Down...Not Fast Just Nice & Steady & She Bursts Into Life.
Leave Here For A Few Seconds Then Drop Choke To Half Open & Ride Off....Fully Open Choke A Mile Or So Down The Road.
Hope that helps, but you really need to check your piggy is set right before kicking her to death.

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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  Nm767 on Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:57 pm

Story I was given on the bike is that the valves were just recently checked and the carbs were re jetted. Carb rebuild out and jet out came with the bike. Bike has 600 miles according to prior owner and the bike looks like that is correct. I will check the valves again as that seems simple enough. I'm def no mechanic lol
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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  BuRP on Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:54 pm

"I'm def no mechanic"

And that might become either a problem or expensive...
Then again, it you can check the valves that's a good beginning, and a full on meccie you don't need to be or become, just don't be too afraid to pig in.
This bike has an auto-decompression system (which lifts an exh-valve on reversing rotation!) so do NOT allow it to rotate backwards - zilch, nothing! The easiest way to do this is, after taking seat & tank + valvecaps off, also take the plug out! Put it on a stand, in 5th gear, and simply rotate the backwheel forward.
With a straw (don't use metal parts!) feel where the piston is, and when around at the top plus both valves closed then that is the position in which to measure the valve clearance/play.

But hey, if you can do this - then you can also set the correct play if it's out! Trial & error is normal, we've all been there! Sparkling clean tools eh?  BRP smile 
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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  Nm767 on Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:07 pm

I'm no mechanic but luckily my father is. He was with me when I got the bike as well. We will be checking the valves and doing all the general maintenance soon. I have a basic mechanical knowledge "I've owned VWs, you learn lol" but I'll wait for my father to open it up. Seems fairly simple though.
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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  Hew on Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:54 pm

How did it start when you went to see it?
Does it start easier when hot or cold or no difference?

The golden rule is not to touch the throttle when starting the bike unless you know it will be flooded after being on its side.
This means closing the throttle and gripping the brake lever with your hand to prevent accidentally twisting it
Twisting the throttle as you kick will cause the bike not to start no matter how hard and long you kick.

When you get the bike running make sure that the tick over is set right. As you are not using any throttle this needs to be right so that the bike will hook up once it fires.

If the bike has been standing I usually put the choke on. Pull the decomp lever in give it a few kicks through to prime it.
Then as Mauser posted bring it to top, use the decomp to ease it over, let the kickstart back to top then a full strong kick through the full stroke. Kicking a firm full stroke is more important than speed. Very different to a two stroke.

I'm sure you will crack it especially if it was running fine when you got it.
Good luck
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starting problems

Post  temporary kiwi on Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:09 am

i echo the other sentiments on starting procedure, i rarely have to use the choke to start, but i suspect that the carbie is the cause off your starting problems, rejetted you say..., so someone has been fiddling for some reason, like.... maybe starting issues, get your dad to fully clean the carb, then take note of the jets installed, read the spark plug colour after running at or as close to idling speed for 5-10mins[ clean it first], slowly recheck after riding at higher throttle positions till you can see what the mtr is having to deal with, mixture wise, the stock carb is float level sensitive, so set this on the lower side of recommended figure, let us know how you get on

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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  Mauser on Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:32 am

Hew made an important point which I forgot the tick over, as stated if its not advanced enough the bike won't start...reach in and screw the knurled adjuster screw inwards about 1 turn...you can always back it out after she starts.... listen up 

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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  AURORA on Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:06 am

What does the sparkplug look like?
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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  bigkuri on Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:08 pm

Nm767 wrote:I'm no mechanic but luckily my father is. He was with me when I got the bike as well. We will be checking the valves and doing all the general maintenance soon. I have a basic mechanical knowledge "I've owned VWs, you learn lol" but I'll wait for my father to open it up. Seems fairly simple though.

My bet is inlet valves out.... Makes starting it a real bitch.

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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  SkidMark on Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:10 pm

I just found out that it's really hard to start if you put diesel in it...
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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  Mauser on Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:28 pm

SkidMark wrote:I just found out that it's really hard to start if you put diesel in it...  
Really !!! you do surprise me  Bump 

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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  SkidMark on Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:53 am

Long story......

I surprise myself to......
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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  BuRP on Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:21 am

SkidMark wrote:I just found out that it's really hard to start if you put diesel in it...  

KEEP it in, it'll never rust!!!





Oh wait, it's an alu engine.......... nah, take it out  Bump 
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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  AURORA on Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:48 pm

Does the carb piss out fuel when your try to kick start the bike?
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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  AURORA on Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:50 pm

Nm767 wrote:Story I was given on the bike is that the valves were just recently checked and the carbs were re jetted. Carb rebuild out and jet out came with the bike. Bike has 600 miles according to prior owner and the bike looks like that is correct. I will check the valves again as that seems simple enough. I'm def no mechanic lol

When people rebuild the carb they usually dont replace the float needle valve or adjust the float to the proper height.
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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  binned_it on Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:02 pm

Check there is fuel in the float bowl by opening the drain screw.

Mine was difficult to start because the float valve was sticking, fuel wasn't getting through. For a while I would tap the float bowl with a screw driver handle to release it. Stripping, cleaning and a reset of the float level was the proper fix, and easy too. Most things are easy to fix on this bike IMHO.

But the common cause of poor starting incorrect is valve gap as mentioned by others.
Replacing the plug is a no brainer too, cheap part.

Don't get brutal kicking it over, you can damage the kick start mechanism, and the kick start lever.

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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  Nm767 on Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:46 am

I took the bike to my fathers house (about 1000 feet less ) and the bike starts 1st or 2nd kick with no problem. But now it runs really rich. Checked the valves and found the right exhaust valve loose. Fixed that. Checked the jets and here's what I found.

170 main
68s pilot
FMF needle 3rd clip

The main jet is a FMF power up jet and not factory honda.

The spark plug was wet to the touch and dark. The bike pops at idol/ and deceleration. And backfires ( actually an afterfire ) on deceleration.

Jetting is set correct according to guides. I live at 1200 feet and most riding will be between 1000-4000 feet.


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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  bigkuri on Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:55 am

Air filter clean and airbox de-corked?

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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  Nm767 on Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:05 pm

Yes and yes
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Re: Help starting XR650R.

Post  bigkuri on Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:54 am

Using the choke the right way?
Horizontal (up) is full choke
Vertical (down) is off

Just throwing in ideas for everything! Smile

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Re: Help starting XR650R.

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