Hard starting - must drain fuel bowl(s) to start

All,

I am curious to see if anyone else experiences this issue:

If I let any of my bikes sit longer than a few days, I have a real bitch of a time starting them up.

If I reach under and drain the fuel bowl, it starts a couple of kicks later.

This is happening on my 2-stokes as well as my WR450 (2003).

I run pump gas and always use the highest (92+) octane available.

I use several different 2T premixes in the other bikes and it happens regardless of the brand.

I've had these bikes for many years, but this issue just started (no pun intended) late last year.

For instance, my KTM used to start 3rd kick when cold and the KDX always turned over 1st/2nd kick.

The WR was always a bit harder to start, but not by much.

I'm guessing it may be the additives in the fuel, but I just got done completely cleaning 2 of the carbs - one of which is the WR.

Just curious -

Steve

All,

I am curious to see if anyone else experiences this issue:

If I let any of my bikes sit longer than a few days, I have a real bitch of a time starting them up.

If I reach under and drain the fuel bowl, it starts a couple of kicks later.

This is happening on my 2-stokes as well as my WR450 (2003).

I run pump gas and always use the highest (92+) octane available.

I use several different 2T premixes in the other bikes and it happens regardless of the brand.

I've had these bikes for many years, but this issue just started (no pun intended) late last year.

For instance, my KTM used to start 3rd kick when cold and the KDX always turned over 1st/2nd kick.

The WR was always a bit harder to start, but not by much.

I'm guessing it may be the additives in the fuel, but I just got done completely cleaning 2 of the carbs - one of which is the WR.

Just curious -

Steve

Check the float needle valve O-ring, it could be leaking. Otherwise you have sh!t in your needle valve.

Or you need to revise the float level.

Fuel quality now days is very suspect. It doesn't take long at all for it to go bad and to cause starting issues.

IMHO, your specific issue should not be caused by any of the above, accept float level, or fuel/air screw adjustment which would be tough to happen on all bikes at once, unless you have had a strong change in weather (specifically air pressure or humidity) during this period.

The only thing draining the float bowl would do is un-cover the main jet, or lean out your mixture temporarily.

That, or, you are now getting fuel with significantly more Ethanol than before. Ethanol separates and collects moisture when exposed to air.

Try some performance Ethanol fuel treatment (Torco, Maxima, etc).

I use marine grade Stabil in my fuel.

The WR gas tank is plastic and porous so the fuel goes bad quickly.

Using a metal gas can isn't a bad idea either.

Thanks to all for the replies. I'm going to try a fuel stabilizer and see what happens.

Are you getting it from the ame station? Maybe try a different one. Probably not that but wouldn't hurt to try.

Mike

IMHO, your specific issue should not be caused by any of the above, accept float level, or fuel/air screw adjustment which would be tough to happen on all bikes at once, unless you have had a strong change in weather (specifically air pressure or humidity) during this period.

The only thing draining the float bowl would do is un-cover the main jet, or lean out your mixture temporarily.

That, or, you are now getting fuel with significantly more Ethanol than before. Ethanol separates and collects moisture when exposed to air.

Try some performance Ethanol fuel treatment (Torco, Maxima, etc).

How do you figure?

If they float needle has sh!t in it, it will flood the engine. Also if the float needle valve O-ring is perished it will do the same the as float level.

Are you getting it from the ame station? Maybe try a different one. Probably not that but wouldn't hurt to try.

Mike

There's a good chance that all of my gas may have come from the same pump.

I have trouble believing that its float or needle valve related. After this started happening I cleaned and inspected the carbs. Besides, that would also mean that 3 floats had simultaneous issues on 3 different bikes.

Again, I value all the responses and the thoughts behind them.

How do you figure?

If they float needle has sh!t in it, it will flood the engine. Also if the float needle valve O-ring is perished it will do the same the as float level.

You can't 'flood the engine' by just having the float bowl over fill.

Excess gas will go out the over flow tube

Now, if the overflow is pinched or clogged, that could flood the engine.

You can't 'flood the engine' by just having the float bowl over fill.

Excess gas will go out the over flow tube

Now, if the overflow is pinched or clogged, that could flood the engine.

Well I see it different as I have had flooded engines in the past from the float level too high. Once you go to start it that fuel that gets pushed up into the vent tubes goes into the engine.

Oh, to save the argument, maybe you should read THIS THREAD....

http://www.thumperta...-after-stalled/

Edited by Barra8

Well I see it different as I have had flooded engines in the past from the float level too high. Once you go to start it that fuel that gets pushed up into the vent tubes goes into the engine.

Oh, to save the argument, maybe you should read THIS THREAD....

http://www.thumperta...-after-stalled/

No, I agree. But the bike would run so poorly with the float that high, that you would be hard pressed to not tear the carb apart to fix it before you had the flooding issue....

the exact same issue started with my and my dads bikes in the last couple years, so far all signs point to the fuel now.

we can usually only get a year to 18months out of stored cans anymore as opposed to 5-7 years prior to "green" fuels

http://pure-gas.org/

we switched to ethanol free gas and have had zero issues with fuel anymore

To begin with, the OP made no mention of there being any flooding, gas out the carb, or any such thing, so to suggest that anything like that is happening is to assume facts not in evidence.

Secondly, it happens to all of his bikes, however many that is. Not very likely that all of them have a needle/seat problem, is it?

The more likely problem here is the fuel itself. Gasoline quality and blend varies quite a bit by region, and I've seen fuel become almost entirely non-flammable in a week's time, depending on what it was and where it came from. The fact that he has to drain and refill the bowl is further evidence.

I'v Had to drain the carby's to get them to start for a few years now.

Two strokes seem to be more prone to this than four strokes.

I just lean the bike over and let the fuel drain out the overflow pipes,on the two strokes I wait until the fuel has gone from a dirty yellow to an almost clear yellow.

The kids Honda qr50's are the same but they have a little drain screw on the bowl.

It's a habit now.

I feel sorry for all you American's etc.. We have 96-98 ethanol free fuel here.

Oh, if the fuel quality is that bad over there, wouldn't it gum your carb up (needle and seat etc.).

Your 96-98 Research octane fuel would rate about 92-94 on gas pumps in the US. Any gasoline will leave a varnish film here and there if you allow it to dry in the carb. US fuels won't "gum" anything,... usually.

Your 96-98 Research octane fuel would rate about 92-94 on gas pumps in the US. Any gasoline will leave a varnish film here and there if you allow it to dry in the carb. US fuels won't "gum" anything,... usually.

Fuel research done...

United States: in the US octane rating is displayed in AKI. In the Rocky Mountain (high elevation) states, 85 AKI (90 RON) is the minimum octane, and 91 AKI (95 RON) is the maximum octane available in fuel[citation needed]. The reason for this is that in higher-elevation areas, a typical naturally aspirated engine draws in less air mass per cycle because of the reduced density of the atmosphere. This directly translates to less fuel and reduced absolute compression in the cylinder, therefore deterring knock. It is safe to fill a carbureted car that normally takes 87 AKI fuel at sea level with 85 AKI fuel in the mountains, but at sea level the fuel may cause damage to the engine. A disadvantage to this strategy is that most turbocharged vehicles are unable to produce full power, even when using the "premium" 91 AKI fuel. In some east coast states, up to 94 AKI (98 RON) is available.[26] As of January, 2011, over 40 states and a total of over 2500 stations offer ethanol-based E-85 fuel with 105 AKI.[27] Often, filling stations near US racing tracks will offer higher octane levels such as 100 AKI[citation needed].

Colorado: State of Colorado is among a group of states where regular unleaded gasoline has a lower octane level (85) than is normal elsewhere in the country (87). Ref: http://www.aaa.com/aaa/006/EnCompass/2007/mar/mar_AutoTalk.htm

Australia: "regular" unleaded fuel is 91 RON, "premium" unleaded with 95 RON is widely available, and 98 RON fuel is also reasonably common. Shell used to sell 100 RON petrol (5% ethanol content) from a small number of service stations, most of which are located in major cities (stopped in August 2008).[18] United Petroleum sells 100 RON unleaded fuel (10% ethanol content) at a small number of its service stations (originally only two, but it has now expanded to 67 outlets nationwide).[19][20] All fuel in Australia is unleaded

United States

The federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) effectively requires refiners and blenders to blend renewable biofuels (mostly ethanol) with gasoline, sufficient to meet a growing annual target of total gallons blended. Although the mandate does not require a specific percentage of ethanol, annual increases in the target combined with declining gasoline consumption has caused the typical ethanol content in gasoline to approach 10%. Most fuel pumps display a sticker stating the fuel may contain up to 10% ethanol, an intentional disparity which reflects the varying actual percentage. Until late 2010, fuels retailers were only authorized to sell fuel containing up to 10 percent ethanol (E10), and most vehicle warranties (except for flexible fuel vehicles) authorize fuels that contain no more than 10 percent ethanol.[12] In parts of the United States, ethanol is sometimes added to gasoline without an indication that it is a component.

Australia

Legislation requires retailers to label fuels containing ethanol on the dispenser, and limits ethanol use to 10% of gasoline in Australia. Such gasoline is commonly called E10 by major brands, and it is cheaper than regular unleaded gasoline.

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