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Discussion Starter #1
Hi SVrider.

I stored the bike away outside for the winter, about 4-5 months with fuel stabilizer. It had a tune-up before. I took it out to start it and the bike won't fire. After awhile of trying to start it while hooked up to a car, it won't even crank. Not a sound. Just the lights turn on. I checked the plugs, they were wet and black, but I don't think it was that bad. There isn't any sparks now. Did I burn something?

I'm pretty new to maintenance and anything with electricals I get afraid. I would bring it in but it won't even start. Thanks in advance for the help.

Long
 

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By 'won't fire' do you mean the starter will not operate (turn over) or that the starter operates but the motor won't fire?


Chances are high that the battery is discharged or dead from sitting all winter without being charged or tended by a battery tender and then the subsequent attempt to start.


The lights coming on with the key really only tell you that there is some charge remaining in the battery, not whether or not there is sufficient charge to operate the starter. Do you have access to a trickle charger or battery tender? Either should have a rudimentary charge indicator/gauge to give you a general idea of the battery charge condition. It would be a worthwhile investment (~$15-40) to purchase one; I own and use a very basic trickle charger (cost ~$20 from Wal-Mart) that charges at 2 or 6 amps for a 12 volt battery and I use the 2 amp 'trickle charge' rate exclusively. Try giving the battery a slow full charge and then attempting to start again if the battery takes the charge.



The spark plugs being 'wet' and 'black' could result from flooding during the attempted start up, in which case you could simply wait an hour or so and retry. Did you smell a strong odor of fuel from the plug(s) when you removed?



Chances are extremely good you haven't done any damage thus far: the battery, if old or fully discharged, may not accept a full charge and can be replaced for ~$50. My hunch is with a full charge, your bike will fire right up, although it may run roughly for a few minutes.



The more information you can provide, the better will be any help you receiver here: the exact nature of the problem, any conditions such as the winterization technique you outlined, possibly your location, all will help subsequent posters help you. As always, a good service manual is worth its weight in gold; they can be downloaded for free or purchased at a bookstore.


HTH
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick reply. For clarification, the starter initially turned over but the engine won't fire.

My winterization technique was using fuel stabilizer and putting the bike under a bike cover + a roof without walls (outside)

I believe there was a fuel smell from the plug, but I am not positive.

I am afraid it is an electrical problem because I do not think the battery was the problem. I removed it and put it under a battery tender most of the winter. It did drain completely during the initial starting process though, so I hooked the bike to the car battery directly because I didn't want to drain the bike's battery again.

After some tries on the car battery, there is no noticeable activity from the bike when I try to start it. A friend suggested that the engine might be flooded and pressure built up in the combustion chamber so I removed the plugs and retried. Again, no activity at all.

i did download the manual but I'm not sure how to go about it. I'm afraid it's electrical in which case I would be stumped without directions. Thanks again!
 

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It's possible that your bike is flooded.. is it a carb or fuel injection? normally carbs require for the fuel to be off *fuel intake valve* but if its fuel injection, normally there isn't a fuel intake valve knob. Due to cold weather it can be a variety of reasons, but don't panic. My zx6r went through the same thing but it was totaled, my problem was the flooding and no starter response. Grab a voltmeter and check your wirings to make sure everything is connected correctly and also check for grounding. Hopefully your manual should give you a basic schematic of the bike. Another solution is drain some of your fuel and take a look at the quality of the fuel you have. You know motorcycles are racing machines and picky as heck, FUEL IS THE BLOOD OF YOUR MACHINE. Like the other people in this forum also mentioned the charging and battery, might be possible. Check for rusting or acid leaks. Its cranking so rusting and acid leaks shouldn't be present but check anyways. Once your bike starts *im sure it will somewhere and somehow* Listen to the engine, if its skipping or making weird junk yard car noises, I promise you that the bike is flooded. To fix that just drain the bikes fuels and oils completely by leaning the bike nicely to the side and letting the bike sit carefully leaning a little to the side, but not to the point its on the floor thats a no-no. And motor oil, are you using a heavy weight or light weight oil? Kind of a dumb solution but it happens in cars where if you use a heavy oil during the cold season it will circulate throughout the car slowly and not lubricate properly. Same in motorcycles. These are just some ideas that I wanted to throw out to you. Could be one of these solution or none of them. Just throwing in some solutions I used in the past. Oh one more thing is that if there are any add-ons like a digital gear indicator or special electrical lighting/miscellaneous object that was added that didn't come with the bike stock, try removing those things. Check the fuses too.
 

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eieckro,


Thanks for the additional info. :)


Here's what I would do given the info presented (disclaimer: I am not a mechanic or even mechanically minded, but I've owned and maintained it exclusively myself for over 8 years/100+K miles):


Charge battery, double check connections to battery posts.
Pull plugs and inspect, clean, re-gap if necessary and re-install.
Check air filter for visual obstructions: dust, leaves, acorns or other crap indicating a varmint nested in the bike; also check bottom of air filter housing for oil overflow, which could be choking off the air flow.
Check engine oil level: at or lower than full on the sight glass.
Check all obvious electrical connections for tightness, rust, or evidence of varmint interference.
Check muffler for varmint induced obstructions.
Open the gas tank filler cap and inspect for water condensation.
Add the prescribed amount of Sea-Foam to the fuel tank.


Try starting: the warmer the ambient air temp and drier, the better your odds of an instant fire upon start-up. Crack the throttle once before starting, but do NOT open the throttle once you engage the starter--use the choke (enrichener, actually) at 3/4 to full choke. Once the motor catches and coughs, I drop to 1/4 choke and a slight opening of the throttle, re-start if necessary, and then use primarily the choke to keep the idle speed at ~2500 rpm, no higher than 3000 rpm. Normally within a minute, I can ease off the choke and motor will idle near normally at ~1500 rpm; I usually then use the throttle (goose it) and listen to gauge how 'clean' it is running.


If you've already done most or all of the above steps and the motor will continue to turn over and not catch, you may have to deeper into the fuel delivery system to find the culprit (a malfunctioning carb float, for example). Might even want to drain the tank and start with a tank of fresh fuel. I still think that with a few basic visual inspections and procedures and a fully charged functioning battery, your bike will fire right up.


The only thing I would keep in mind is the result of hooking your bike battery up to a (running ?) car: I have heard/read/been told that there is a possibility of popping some electrical bits if this is done, but you should be able to rule this out with an inspection of the main fuse block which is under the seat on top of the battery. If the bike will not turn over with a fully charged battery, possible causes are safety switch (sidestand, clutch) malfunction, electrical fault (chewed wire, loose connection) and some others that escape my attention at the moment.




Do the basics, be patient, I think you'll be fine. Good luck...
 

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Yamaha and Honda have recently sent bulletins to dealers stating that fuel stabilizers are not working many of the new 10% ethanol fuels. They claim that some of these fuels are causing problems in 4-6 weeks. They recommend non ethanol fuels when possible. You may want to drain the carbs if it is a generation 1 model. They have allen head screws in float bowls to do this which you losen and do not have to remove. They are hard to get to, but it is possible. At least do a smell test and if the fuels smells like turpetine or paint remover it is bad. A dealer trick is to poor carb cleaner in the carbs through the fuel lines and then drain them after 24 hours. Good luck!
 

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You may want to drain the carbs if it is a generation 1 model. They have allen head screws in float bowls to do this which you losen and do not have to remove. They are hard to get to, but it is possible. At least do a smell test and if the fuels smells like turpetine or paint remover it is bad. A dealer trick is to poor carb cleaner in the carbs through the fuel lines and then drain them after 24 hours. Good luck!
+1. Also, if the bike was not run after the fuel stabilizer was added to the gas tank, it may not have made it into the carburetors.
 

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You bike needs three things to run:

1. air
2. spark
3. fuel

Air is easy to check (if you can't then just have someone else fix your bike). To check for spark, pull one of the spark plugs and hold it's body against the engine while hitting the starter; it should spark. Be careful not to zap yourself though.

If you have air and spark, then it's down to fuel. If your tank wasn't full when you stored it, there's probably water in it now from condensation. If there is, then it's probably been sucked into the carb bowls, at which point you need to drain your bowls (look for the small allen screw) and drain some fuel out of your tank (with the tank in the down position). Once that's done, try it again. To get it running the first time after draining the bowls, some starter fluid helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's been awhile and I neglected to update. I tried many of the tipss given here without success. I gave it to the shop and they got it working. It seems every spring I have to bring it in and they get it working and say nothing is wrong with the bike besides changing spark plugs. It seems there's something wrong with my startup procedure. Thanks all for your help!

VStormer, I'll remember the stabilizer tip. Thanks.
 

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+1. Also, if the bike was not run after the fuel stabilizer was added to the gas tank, it may not have made it into the carburetors.
This has to be the #1 cause of carb problems after tank treatment -- gotta get treated fuel into the bowls and circuits, people... never heard of any that refused to catch after even a half-year in blazing AZ with Sta-Bil and correct prep, on Sea-Doos as well (which must be fogged and summer-ized). More than a month, and I'd fog cylinders, too.

Chubblebeek's reccie is the most concise diag proc, and the one I'd follow. Problem with prepping a winterized bike, is no one seems to remember all the steps, esp the varmint part (up here in WA state, not plugging all access is asking for an entire weekend cleaning up dead rodents and their little chewings-on).

Always write down a list of what needs to be done, do them thoroughly, then save the list for resurrection time. You can then undo via the list, and get to miles of smiles in less than a day. :)
 

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would the above suggestions help a K5 SV650 with hard starts?
Basically, what happens to me is sometimes after riding for a while (whether in city or in the twisties) and I either shut the engine off or I newbishly stall the engine, the engine seems difficult to start up. The engine turns over and cranks "strong", but it doesn't start the engine up to run.

Sometimes I'll have to twist the throttle as it's cranking to get the motor running... is this ok?

I've got enough oil, the air filter seems ok, and I keep up on my oil changes.
maybe I've need plugs? I haven't changed plugs for 10K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I brought the bike into the shop again, a different one. It seems that the other shop did a cruddy job and ruined some rubber component in the carbs. It's a good thing they're out of business now. They charged an arm and a leg too. So frustrating. Thanks all for your help. I'll be sure to do the cleaning for next spring.
 
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