XL600R starting questions

Howdy folks,

First time user here and proud owner of a very nice '86 XL600R with about 14k miles. The guy I bought the bike from didn't know much about its history and it wasn't until I got it home and checked out the manual that I noticed a few things missing/different from stock:

The choke system is completely removed; no bar mount lever, no cable. Carb has mount for cable.

The decompression cable from the engine mounted thingi to the kickstarter thingi is also gone.

P.O. showed me how to start the bike: gas on, ignition on, find tdc, pull de-compression lever (which is mounted with the clutch), kick down a couple of inches, release de-compression lever, let kickstarter come up and kick it hard. It will start, even with oldish gas, but requires many kicks and is frustrating. Seems to me I should attempt to find choke parts and re-install them. Would blipping the throttle achieve the same effect as the enrichner choke?

As this is my first post, please let me know if I've breached any etiquette or rules. For what it's worth, the bike came with Thumpertalk stickers on both sides of the front fender.

Looking forward to many happy years with the "fat pig".

Oliver

Hitting the throttle does NOT do the same thing as a choke would. Chokes cut off the air intake, or open a port that allows more gas in...either way, they richen up the air/gas mixture for cold starting. Opening the throttle increases the gas and air proportionately, which increases engine RPM. They're two different functions for sure.

Old bike, plenty of screws have been turned no doubt...I'd say start at the top of the checklist and work your way down (gas, air, spark, etc.). Make sure everything is clean, fresh, and as it should be. When a bike's carb is mixed and jetted correct for your altitude, you won't even use the choke to start it much of the time.

Etiquette shmetiquette. Welcome to the dual sporters bible my friend.

RE: throttle vs. choke. Of course the mixture would be different, I didn't think it all the way through. I've had bikes with both air choke, CB550, and enrichener, BMW GS's.

My next question would be whether or not I should replace the choke system. I will be riding this bike in Las Vegas, and for all I know the PO only rode when it was 60 plus degrees. After living in NYC for many years and riding year 'round, I know I can't start a bike in the snow when it's 10 degrees without a choke. To choke or not to choke?

Oliver

It certainly wont hurt :prof:

See my suggestion on "another pig cant get started". I've been in very cold weather and I never use the chocke.

I've heard of some guys also mounting a primer kit from a jetski or something similar to replace the choke.

I've heard of it done on other bikes, but I dunno how well it would work on an XL.

Time for a new stator?

RE: throttle vs. choke. Of course the mixture would be different, I didn't think it all the way through. I've had bikes with both air choke, CB550, and enrichener, BMW GS's.

My next question would be whether or not I should replace the choke system. I will be riding this bike in Las Vegas, and for all I know the PO only rode when it was 60 plus degrees. After living in NYC for many years and riding year 'round, I know I can't start a bike in the snow when it's 10 degrees without a choke. To choke or not to choke?

Oliver

If the bike were mine, I'd replace the choke and make the whole bike (functionally, if not cosmetically) oem. It'll bring more if & when you should ever decide to sell it.

as with almost all older bikes, someone along the line had a better idea than the OEM setup and has butchered your bike. The BIG XL will NEVER start easily without a choke, I don't care what strarting drill he showed you, the chucklehead should of left teh stock choke and decompession systems on it, but alas, now what to do to fix it! BUY PARTS. E-bay, Bike Bandit, Honda Online sources. I know the OEM choke cable is still available from honda as is the lever etc, as I bought one for my XL600R (1986). I suggest that you also cntact Dynojet and order a stage one kit for it, it will include new needles and main jets, bump the pilot jet up to a 65 and run the fuel air screw about 2 turns out from bottom. Use a Uni air filter and it's nice to have a free flowing pipe, I found the FMF powercore 4 from the XR600R fits and runs well on the bike. You have to modify the right side cover to fit over the pipe though, thinking of using a XR600 sidecover and or a 650L as it needs a bulge. I am also replacing my CDI, coil and stator - not becuase they are bad at all, rather for the utmost in reliability and to alleviate any bad actors that may influenence starting in any way.

The XL600R was NEVER an easy bike to start, it is what it is a BIG single and it is persnickety at times. Do all you can to make life easier with the mods I mentioned above. It will run strong as a XR650L, maybe even a little more, I also have 14K on mine and it runs sweet. It's a brute for sure and lotsa fun!

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