Sep 5, 1999
A friend just got a news DRZ400 and is having a hard time starting
it, I know ya'll guys have the answer's. I think he's having trouble
with cold and hot starts and think i had read a thread on someone
that had a shure way to get it started every time?


Jan 8, 2001
Tell your buddy NOT to touch the throttle when trying to start, it will flood in a heartbeat. And if on a warm day he might not need the choke to start it up.
After i got used to not giving it any gas when trying to start, it has started on no more than two kicks everytime.
Other than that, i've never had a problem starting my DRZ. Only had to use the hot start when i put it on it's side or something less dramatic. LOL


May 3, 2001
Comming over from a 2-stroke to a 4-stroke I had the same thing. So heres whats works for me.

1. When cold use the choke and open the throttle 3-4 times.
2 .Use the decompression lever to find the fire stroke. Pull the lever in and slow push the kickstarter down when the lever releases it is in the fire stroke.
3. Let the kick starter come all the way back up.
4. Give it a firm boot and it should light.

When hot use step 2 then pull the blue button on the carb.
and give it a firm boot and it should light.

He may have to repeat #2 and #4 several times but it should work.


Apr 7, 2001
I agree with the above post. I too have never had a tough time getting my beast started. I have dropped it a few times and it is hot so I just pull the blue button on the left side and use the decompression lever and she fires right up. If I am going out for the first ride of the day I use the choke and decompression lever with one twist of the throttle and kick she fires immediately. I use the choke just to kick it and I close it and let it warm up for a few minutes. Great bike.....

Good luck


May 9, 2001
I follow the same type of starting drill FlynBryn listed & it starts first or second kick hot or cold. They key is to remember to do the drill every time - If you hop on and start flailing away at the kick starter, it won't go. I'd also suggest looking at pilot jetting. I just got one of these a couple months ago - it came jetted with a lean pilot from the factory [sputtering off idle, hard to start], going bigger helped initial throttle response as well as starting.


Apr 29, 2001
My buddy starts his new DRZ with a button!!! After I dump my bike several times on a long ride and about kill myself kicking it over, he just smiles and taps his happy button...I'm so jealous!:think



Nov 27, 2000
Mine kicker is normally very easy to start. BUT a couple of
times when I have got stuck in a mud hole with water up
over the footpegs it has been _impossible_ to start.
Only after first getting it out from the water, it would start.



Dec 6, 2000
You must use the decompression lever to get it to light. It's too easy with this bike: Pull the lever in and it should "stick" in, then let go of the lever. Push the kickstart lever slowly, until the lever pops back out, but no further. Lift the kickstart lever back to the top of the stroke and give a healthy but smooth kick. If the decompression lever does not stay in when you pull it, then the piston is already where it needs to be, and you just kick it. If the bike is cold, choke out, 1 quick twist of the throttle (but don't ever repeat). If hot then pull the hot-start button, no throttle. When slightly warm, no choke, no hot-start, no throttle. My bike is the easiest starting 4-stroke I've ever had. 1 or 2 kicks at the most. Many people don't realize the decompression lever works this way on the DRZ. The dumb-@$$ salesman told me someone stole part of the lever, and thats why it would stick when pulled. jeez.


'01 YZ250F
'00 DRZ400


Sponsoring Member
Nov 27, 2000
Thanks for the info

bashn, thanks, I will have to try this now, mine always starts cold 1-2 kicks, but hot or after a Stall, forget it. I will try this the next time. :D
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