Ineffective Choke/can't hold idle on start up - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Ineffective Choke/can't hold idle on start up

Hopefully you guys can help narrow this down for me. Any advice is appreciated.

I've had my 04 for about 2 years and 8k miles now. The bike has PC, full sato, and 18k miles. I DD it 3 days a week year round so it needs to function. As of 2 months ago it began giving me a minor starting issue; even though the choke was pulled the bike couldn't quite hold idle unless I gave it a little throttle on start-up. Once I did, it would settle at ~2k just like it should (with choke on) and run great.

It only needed that 'special treatment' once every 5-6 starts and usually only when it was below room temperature outside. I went out to start it earlier today when it was 50 degrees and it took three tries before it started and held idle. I had the trip reset issue and that combined with the weak start motivated me to buy a new (160$!!??!!) battery 2 months ago. It didn't really make a difference so that and the terminals/ground are not to blame.

The first winter I had my bike, with full choke it would forcefully start up. I don't know if it is a weak starter, the rectifier, or what the hell it is. I don't mind buying parts and installing them but I really do not A) want to get stuck at school/work with a busted bike or B) drop it off at a shop and have them charge me hundreds to determine "nothing is wrong."

I searched but couldn't find similar symptoms. Thanks guys.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 07:23 PM
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My bike kinda does the same thing on those cold morning. Last winter was pretty mild here in Mi and I was riding almost all winter. First start up on a 30 deg morning sometimes took me three times on the button while having the choke/start lever pulled open. That was a normal thing of 2-3 bumps on any morning colder than 40 deg.
Fast forward to this past summer and I had zero problems staring on first bump with lever pulled. Same battery same plugs same everything.
Fast forward a little more to the last two weeks... Its getting cold and I'm still riding to work on my Rc.
Yep the 2-3 bump of the button is the routine. After about 10 sec I can push in the lever and it will idle fine and the bike will be flawless up till the next old start.

No Novels!

Fricken GOLD battery!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 08:39 PM
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really isnt a choke,just a fast idle. your doing the same thing by holding the throttle a little open.check that when you pull it theres movement on the other end. for ref my 01 takes a little time to get going on the cold mornings as well. its been in the high 20s low 30s lately and takes a few to kick over.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mark32786 View Post
really isnt a choke,just a fast idle. your doing the same thing by holding the throttle a little open.check that when you pull it theres movement on the other end. for ref my 01 takes a little time to get going on the cold mornings as well. its been in the high 20s low 30s lately and takes a few to kick over.

Yep its not really a choke. All the pull lever does is open the throttle butterflies a little bit when you pull the lever out.
For me its hard to get past the choke term. All these years of vintage bikes and what's the first thing I would do before starting? Pull the choke!
"Dad... Dad! Daaaad! the bike won't start" Did you pull the choke? Oh.. no I forgot....

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Fricken GOLD battery!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by 2strokersmoker View Post
Yep its not really a choke. All the pull lever does is open the throttle butterflies a little bit when you pull the lever out.
For me its hard to get past the choke term. All these years of vintage bikes and what's the first thing I would do before starting? Pull the choke!
"Dad... Dad! Daaaad! the bike won't start" Did you pull the choke? Oh.. no I forgot....
LMAO, certainly been there!
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Originally Posted by mark32786 View Post
really isnt a choke,just a fast idle. your doing the same thing by holding the throttle a little open.check that when you pull it theres movement on the other end. for ref my 01 takes a little time to get going on the cold mornings as well. its been in the high 20s low 30s lately and takes a few to kick over.
According to the SvcMan, the starter valves should control the air volume to richen the mixture when the cable is pulled out. These starter valves are apparently factory set and not adjustable, unless you replace them. The Manual gives instructions to synchronize the front starter valve with the rear one, with the rear one being fixed as a baseline.
I'm having the same lag with my choke in cold weather, I'm wondering if the starter valves need attention?

John, 2000 RC51 #000100

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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LMAO, certainly been there!

According to the SvcMan, the starter valves should control the air volume to richen the mixture when the cable is pulled out. These starter valves are apparently factory set and not adjustable, unless you replace them. The Manual gives instructions to synchronize the front starter valve with the rear one, with the rear one being fixed as a baseline.
I'm having the same lag with my choke in cold weather, I'm wondering if the starter valves need attention?
That is as good of a guess as I've heard thus far. Started up like a champ this morning and it was definitely chilly. Gave it 1/16th throttle or so and BOOM my whole apartment complex got a wake up call at 7AM from the full sato race exhaust. Do miss passenger pegs for taking the ladies around the block occasionally.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 10:15 AM
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That is as good of a guess as I've heard thus far. Started up like a champ this morning and it was definitely chilly. Gave it 1/16th throttle or so and BOOM my whole apartment complex got a wake up call at 7AM from the full sato race exhaust. Do miss passenger pegs for taking the ladies around the block occasionally.


Mine does that too. If it dies within a second or so of the initial start-up, then when I restart it, POW, she jumps to life with a very impressive boom like you said. I love that sound.

John, 2000 RC51 #000100

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 10:27 AM
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I always thought this was normal. For me it was two try's and prrrs, unless I pulled the hooha, that was always once. The most was probably 4 try's, but that happened a long time ago.


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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I always thought this was normal. For me it was two try's and prrrs, unless I pulled the hooha, that was always once. The most was probably 4 try's, but that happened a long time ago.


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This thread makes me think we all bought Ducati's instead of Hondas. I expect any japanese bike to start up without issue, regardless of temperature outside of the extreme. Guess I'll just keep at it until something gernades which is not what my engineering background prescribes.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 06:48 PM
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I should also state that this only happens during the initial start of the day, pulling the choke starts my bike up just fine, but if I did that every day I started her up I'd loose an easy 15 mile range, perhaps one can hone in on this, that was the pattern I noticed, so I just don't bother pulling it. I also had the same characteristics with my super hawk. Now with the newer parallel twins and perhaps I4's, 05 & up, you shouldn't have that "problem" with start up. I didn't in all the years I had my 650r 45k mi on her too. My dads 750ninja was a different story....


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