04 CRF250 HARD to start cold

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Nov 24, 2002
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#1
It's probably hard enough to get jetting advice on this brand new model but throw in that I live in the Denver (mile high) area and it will probably be more challenging.
The bike seems to run good after I finally get it to start but starting cold is dreaded task. Warm starting is usually 1st kick.
It's been aroud 40º to 50º when this problem starts It came with a 160MJ, 155 is standard according to the book. I put a 155 in, clip#4 &pilot #40, both stock. I choke it (no hrottle), it doesnt even fire, so I twist the throttle 2 or 3 times, it pops but doesnt start, I pull in the hot start and sometimes with choke, but more often without choke it finally starts. Other times I take out the plug and it's always wet, dry it and then it mysteriously starts. There does'nt seem to be any consistent way to start it . The Honda shops havent even sold many and none that I have found have worked on the CRF250 yet. Any help or jetting ideas would be appreciated
 

biglou

#2
Sounds rich if it is starting with the hot start pulled and without the choke mostly. I'm not familiar with 250F jetting, but if a 40 pilot is stock, I'd think dropping to a 38 or even a 35 wouldn't be too far fetched at 5k'. 40-50 degrees doesn't seem to be that cold to offset the altitude with denser air. I'd try the 38 pilot and 1-1/4 turns out on the pilot screw. If it still starts with the hot start pulled, I'd drop the pilot to 35 and try it. You definitely won't hurt anything swapping brass and tweaking the pilot screw trying to find the sweet spot for cold starting.
 
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#3
I turn the idle up first on my 04 VRF450R and after it starts I turn it back down. It seems to help for me and I in omaha, Ne
 
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#4
Thanks guys. The plug definitly gets wet but the first thing I've been doing on a cold morning is choke it. I talked to the svc. dept. at the Honda dealer and I'm not sure if they were any help, but he said to never use the choke. if it does'nt start twist the throttle once or twice but no choke. I guess I'll try it. Strangely he turned my pilot ( fuel) screw out another 1/2 turn making it richer. If this does'nt work I'll try to go leaner on the pilot.
Burchdog that turning the idle up a little sounds like a good idea.
I used to do and love the enduros they used to have in Chadron and Crawford Ne. befor my son got so into MX. Did you ever ride there? Did I hear that they have'nt been having them lately?
 

biglou

#5
I could be wrong, but it seems incorrect that it "should" start without the choke when cold. If that were the case, it would be rich when warmed up. At least that's how I interpret things. The only time I have any 2 or 3 kick starts with my 426 is when it is at some mystery temp after being ridden and then sitting for some time. Ambient air temp, wind, etc. really play a big part in what it takes to get her started. If she's hot, hot start. If she's cold, choke. But like I said, occasionally she's somewhere in between and may not like either being pulled. Just takes a little trial and error. It shouldn't ever take more than a couple to five kicks to start one of these high-strung thumpers, IMO. That's my theory on the hot/cold circuits, anyway!
 
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#6
Lou, this is what the probably $10 per hr mechanic at the Honda shop told me. I have all 3 bikes on the trailer and cant get to the kickstarter so I'll have to see if it works. They are jetted a little rich now cause we're going to Glen Helen , Mon. We also have a new YZ250F, knock on wood but it's been starting good but it never has liked the choke much
 
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#7
My starting procedure when engine is cold: choke on, fully open throttle 3-4 times (up to 10 times when it's cold cold cold...like snowing out), hand off throttle and for sure off the hot start, then kick. Most of the time it starts 1st kick. Sometime it'll just fire then die but it always stays going with the 2nd.

Hopefully that helps :thumb:
 

Yogurt

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#8
Motosquid, we live in pretty much the same area and climates. What jetting have you done for this cold weather? What's worked for you? Mine's all stock right now so far, and I don't know if I'll even start it up anytime soon. But who knows. Mine is in a winter slumber. I was just gonna richin it up all the way around.
 
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#9
CRSpeedy: My son does most of the racing in the family and that is in Ashland NE at White Sands. He will be moving up to the 80cc class after he gets his xmas present(CR85)!
 
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#10
I'm on the injury list so I have done nothing to the jetting and very little to the bike. Heck I've only got 40 some minutes on the tiny tach, all of which is around the parking lot/fields at work :( Probably shouldn't ride until March.....
 
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#11
Funny what the mechanic told you but i have found some truth to it. When it is really cold i cant get her to fire up with the choke. Blip the throttle a couple of times and kick has been the best bet. When the choke is on it idles really high and it wont stay lit. Kind of weird but it seems like theres not enough fuel to allow for the high idle that the choke provides. If its like 40F out it will fire up on the choke but any less and you kick and kick. I started it last week in upper 20's and it was a nightmare. I must have kicked 943 times. Funny thing was i could only get it to catch with the choke off. Wouldnt even hiccup with it on. Definately wanted some more fuel.
 
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#12
hey Malden, Well at least I now know that I'm not alone with some starting problems with the CRF250. Some times that thing just doennt like anything, choke, throttle blips, hot start. And after I wear my self out a friend kicks it once or twice and it fires up some times but I cant find the consistent way that it should like. What the mechanic told me didnt work either. my son and I both wore ourselves out getting it started at Glen Helen all 3 mornings but it eventually started. A honda factory support mechanic told me to go richer on the pilot jet. I just put a 42 in it today. It started good but that wasnt the 1st time it started today. I'll find out tomorrow morning. It seemed to run rich at Glen Helen with a 155 main. (real sooty exhaust) I'm back in Denver now and put a 145 main in, but havent ridden it yet. I know its weird, seeems to be too lean on the bottom and too rich at top.
I think it's gonna be a great bike once I find what it likes. PS those green cases looked really cool before it was ridden but they get ugly fast, don't they?
 
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#13
glad to see there's a problem.i thought i was doing something wrong. just bought my first dirt bike, 2003 xr 250. the book says to go full choke, no throttle, to start, but doesn't hit a lick. it then says if it doesn't start to pull in the decompresser, open the throttle fully, and use the kickstarter a few times. then turn the choke off and try it. after a few times it starts. pain in the butt. if i try it first with no choke, nothing. there has to be a better way. live in florida.
 
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#14
I have not been able to experiment with a pilot change because riding is over here until spring. It is an odd thing, i just cant find a standard procedure for starting.
 
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#15
i live in ohio a lowr elevation than u do , but i put a ti-4 pipe on & a power now device , pro curcuit told me to use 162 main 42 pilot needle clip on 3 this pipe opens it up but i havent had a prolem wit the stock settings starting but remember most of these bikes are lean when they sell them so if u change any thing change fuel setting on the bottum of carb ty davis makes a nice screw type extender for it, also if u change jetts try only main jett first i suggest 165 main let me kno if this helped ya if it did send me a check ....just kiddin good luck