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XR250 won't start

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Jun 2, 2003
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#1
It is a 2003. I had a friend come over tonight to start it to run the gas out of the carb since it will sit for a while until my broken leg heals. He could never get it started. I have had difficultty starting the bike since day one. When the sales man was showing me all the workings of the bike before I left the dealership, i remember him telling me the bike starts real easy and then it took him a few trys to start it. I have never seen it start on the first try.

I have read my owners manual several times and have no clue. Once the bike is fired up it seems to run great. I have had several others start it and it has taken several kicks.

Any ideas? the bike has 100 miles on it.

Thanks
 

Danman

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#2
How are you starting it? There is a drill and for strokes don't realy start well without it.

Mine likes a good tug or 2 on the throttle. A few slow kicks while holding the decomp lever ( since i my engine needs freshing up I realy don't do this step much as I can kick it without the decomp lever). Then release the lever and slowly kick it until it pops out. Once your there you return the kick starter to the top and the kick it like you mean it all the way to the bottom. Usually lights buy the second good kick.

If it has been siting long I might suggest you clean out the pilot jet and the carb bowl. Start with some fresh gas. Is the filter dirty?
 

Patman

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#3
From dead cold my drill is like this.
1. Choke on full
2. Compression release lever in and 12 easy kicks
3. Compression release lever out.
4. Find TDC
5. Good solid kick all the way through.
6. Repeat 4 thru 5 up to four times before going back to 1.

Once warmed it's pretty much a one or two kick ordeal from TDC.

This is on a XR284 with high compression running straight C12.
 

KDXfile

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#5
First thing I would do is install a new spark plug.
While it's out, crank it over a few times to air the cylinder out.
Could be a simple thing as a plug going bad.
 
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#6
Make sure the bike isn't running to lean or the idle is set to low. Usually the Stock XR 250's are easy starters. I'm surprised your having problems.
I would also go with Patman's drill and see if it helps out. Also if it only has 100 miles on it, it's not even broke in yet, once it's broke in it might start a little easier.
 
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#7
I pulled the plug and it was fouled and an extreme odor of gas came out.

Can I clean the plug or is it better to throw it away and buy a new one?

Do local auto parts stores carry plugs for XR's?

I went ahead and unscrewed the bolt under the carb to drain the gas which is what I should have done in the first place.
 

Patman

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#8
I don't know about easier to start but it sure keeps it from detonating itself to a pile of parts. My engine was built around the premis of using C12 or something equal. When lighting up a brush pile race gas does indeed seem to really ignite easier though. :scream:

BTW pick up a 4 pack of plugs and you should have pretty much a lifetime supply ;)
 
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#9
Sounds to me like she's flooding. I kick mine with the choke on until it pops even once then shut the choke off, and always from TDC. Bump starting always seems to do the trick, even when it absolutely will not start. By all means get a hot start kit.
 
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#10
George,

What is a hot start kit and who sells them?

I checked the plug gap and it was .025 when the factory recommends .031 to .035
 
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#11
Set your plug by the manual.If you don't have the service manual get one even if you have the owners manual. You can reuse a fouled plug if it's from gas,just let it dry out.Make sure it's the plug recommended by your owners manual.Some car parts stores carry NGK plugs,I get mine at Checkers and there cheaper.The advice above looks good to me.If you choke and it starts to go but dies turn off the choke and kick it again.Some bikes,if you live in hot weather don't need to be choked.Or instead of full choke pull the choke lever up 1/2 way instead of all the way and try that.You'll have to determine which drill works for your enviornment and bike but there's only a couple of ways to try to get it.Your plug gap might have been the problem.Usually you don't need to move the throttle at all before you start it and don't twist it while your kicking.It's not hard to unintentionally do that.
 
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#12
A hot start kit is simply a small valve attached to your handlebars with a tube that runs down to a fitting installed on the intake manifold (between the carb and cylinder). This allows fresh air directly into the combustion chamber when the valve is open, effectively leaning out the flooded chamber. They are really worth the price and pretty easy to install. Xr's can be very hard to start after a fall or if stalled when hot. Another trick for starting cold is to increase the idle speed about 1/2 or 3/4 turn, then lower it again once the motor starts to warm up. Some more tips for flooded engine: hold in the decomp lever while kicking about 10 times to help 'pump out' the chamber, drain the carb (the screw all the way at the bottom of the carb, just above the hose) turn off the fuel from the gas tank until it gets running. Bump starting in 2nd or 3rd gear has always worked for me, even when everything else failed to start the bike.
 

drxr

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#13
easy one....get a new spark plug and kick it one time to start...

trust me, i know from experience...
 
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Apr 12, 2003
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#14
I have the same exact bike and I had the same exact problem. So let me fill you in on what to do. What everyone said is true and good info. But keep in mind every bike is just a little different. Here is what got mine to start in one or two kicks when cold.
First go buy a new plug, then gap it at .033 or as close to that as possible. Your have two problems when starting, one is the dealers fault, the plug gap was wrong. It was like that on mine also. The second problem is what you do when you try and start it. Make sure you are running 91 or higher octane gas.
Now starting the bike. Contrary to what some may say, it is not how hard you kick the bike. With a 4 stroke you just need to make sure you kick the entire stroke and NOT real fast or hard.
Now hold in the compession lever and kick the bike slow about 4 or 5 times. Now let off the lever and find top dead center. You will feel it catch, you will know when it's there by feel. Now this is the most important part. Hold the throttle open 1/4 a turn, then kick the bike one full stroke. If it doesn't start on the first kick, give it another kick or two.
My bike starts in one or two kicks now. I hope this helps you. Good luck and let me know if this worked for you.
 
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#15
Stingray...

No kidding? 91 octane?...I guess it does make sense because of the high compression.

It will be a while before I can try this again. My Dr. just gave me permission on Thursday to put 50% pressure on my leg again. If I can get my friend over here again, I'll have him try what you say.

Thanks for the reply.

BTW...Noticed your from OK...I have family in Chelsea and I normally take my XR up there when I visit. There are some good places around there to ride.