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1500 won't cold start

2635 Views 16 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  FM
Well, I let the 95 1500 sit for a couple weeks, been cold at night, maybe high 20's low 30's a few nights.
Went out to ride this morning and she spun well on starter but even with full choke NOTHING!
Not a pant, puff, or huff!
Yes, kill switch is ON, and flipping on off changes the dash lights so I expect nothing wrong there.
About 30-35 F here now.
Shows near 1/2 tank of gas so should be more than 1/2 in there, shows only 88 miles since last filled.

Well this bites! Now I have a dead battery, was fine but trying to start over a period of time I got her pretty low, and the always on headlight of course does not help in times like these!

My battery charger recently quit working and I not got a new one yet either.
So here I am all dressed nice and warm ready for a 35F morning ride and stranded at the house!
Probably try to get the jeep running and go buy a charger today I guess and maybe a can of starting fluid too.
Ran down the spare big 12v battery and used up the fluid on a junk truck last week getting it running to drag a van with flat out of woods that wouldn't start.
I think a Rodent ate the starter wire on the van parked on a flat in woods, hit starter and nothing at all on it. Now where I can work on it.

Of course it's a dreary gloomy looking day today so the solar panels won't do much or I'd just hook them up to the batteries to charge up a bit.
No wind so can forget that too.

I got it all, grid 120v ac, solar panels, wind generator, gas generator, and no way to charge a danged battery! I knew I shoud have finished building that bicycle wheel generator but I didn't! LOL

Anyway no idea at this time why 95 won't start. Not getting gas is my bet but could be no spark just as well?
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1st, did you keep a battery tender on the bike while it was not being ridden?
1500s need to be able to hold the battery's terminal voltage up as high as possible for really cold starts.

2nd, very recent discussions seem to agree that the best method to cold start the 1500 is to always use full 'choke', twist the throttle fully open and release letting the throttle close again.

Then hit the starter button. There needs to be a puff of fuel sprayed into the carbs to help it get going.

but, if the battery did not have a battery tender on it, it is just about impossible to get a 1500 going in 20-30 degree weather after a 3 week non-use period.

Rereading your post seems to indicate no battery tender was in use.

At this point, after you get the battery recharged, I would use the method I described above and try it again.

I would give the throttle one twist, hit the starter about 3-4 seconds and release. If engine don't fire, then I would repeat this a couple of times.

Just be aware that if you foul the plugs with fuel it will be very difficult to get it going again in cold weather.
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Maybe God kept you from hitting another bambi! Give thanks!

I agree w/John. Battery tender especially if left sitting in the cold "dreary "days and nights you have left it. It needs lots of lovin' now. Tell it it'll all be good and you won't leave it cold so long again! Put a nice blanket on it at night! LOL!
Get that charger and keep it up to snuff. And remember, tenders are different than chargers. Tender once fully charged to keep the charge up to snuff.
Got a wet cell battery? They need refilling every month or if a cell goes dry...dead battery.
Thanks Guys.

No I did not have a tender on it. It just got cold last couple days otherwise mostly in 40-50F nights. Also I had not planned to park it, just haven't got out to ride recently.

This morning was more like 8AM not my 4am ride LOL
She had a good charge it seemed, volt gauge reading high and she spun over great, just never fired. I ran the battery low trying to start though.
Later I went out, battery came back up a bit on it's own, was a little warmer, she cranked and started but stalled after a minute, then just cranked again but not start.

I had wife pick up a charger on way home from work. A few minutes at 6amps and she spun over and started. I shut her down and started a few times on just battery and now she starts fine so I let her warm up good and started on the 1100.

1100 also would not start this morning when 1500 would not. 1100 turned slow with weak battery, but then about noon when things were a little warmer she turned over a bit better when I tired and fired up. After I let her run for a minute or so she would not start again either.
After about 2 minutes on charger 1100 spun over and started fine.

Well, 2amp charging 1100 for now, before dark I'll put the charger on 1500 and 2 amp over night.

I've got 2 or 3 battery tenders around here, time to dig them out I guess.

Still not certain why 95 did not start at first, it was allot colder then but she spun like she had a new battery in her.
My best guess is she was in shock because of the cold. After all she is a California bike and probably never seen 30F before LOL
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OH, normally I do have a battery charger around but just had one die and had not replaced it yet.
Well not until tonight LOL
Just remember it won't start during the cranking, it is after you release the button that it fires off.
Thanks Guys.

Still not certain why 95 did not start at first, it was allot colder then but she spun like she had a new battery in her.
My best guess is she was in shock because of the cold. After all she is a California bike and probably never seen 30F before LOL
Yup. Put a blankie on it and give it lotsa lovin'. San Jose doesn't get much below 40° too often.
Is your vacuum petcock leaking? Stains around it in the fuel tray?
I was letting off the button, just lots of cranking in short bursts and not enough to over heat the starter.

Ya Stu, I found the electric blanket daughter left here so might tuck her in nice at night, but not found an extra pillow yet LOL
I'll take a look at the pet **** area tomorrow.

Might try to ride out a couple tanks of gas and seafoam her also in case any water in gas from condensation or such with these temp changes here.
It looks like the classic cool battery cranking a cold engine and while cranking the battery voltage drops below what the ignition requires to fire.
Funny sometimes how words can be wrongly filtered LOL
Pet C O C K

A pet male chicken LOL
Guess I had misspelled it?

Thanks for the tip on starting. Supposedly down to 24F last night and only about 32F now at 8AM, frost still everywhere and thick too.

Full choke, 1 twist of throttle, hit starter and she fired right up the first time! I don't think yesterday was a battery problem, I think I just did not know how to get her cold started maybe.
Needs full choke for a short time, back off to about 1/2 choke too soon and she stalled. Did that a couple times this morning. To restart had to use full choke and 1 twist of throttle again. This one needs to warm up a bit!

I guess the 95 1500 is more cold natured than the 88 1500 was. I was used to just giving the 88 a quick push with about 1/2-3/4 choke pop clutch and she'd fire right up then I could back the 88 to about 1/4 choke right away.

1100 has a weak battery still this morning. Should have had enough charge to not freeze but was not full charged last night since I only had 1 charger and it was on the 95.

I might run up to HF or SEARS in next couple days and get a couple real chargers, not this wal-mart JUNK. I don't like this charger so I'll probably return it or toss it on a shelf to use as a spare when I need an extra.
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...Full choke, 1 twist of throttle, hit starter and she fired right up the first time!...
It works even better if you Pause ~1/2-minute after the Twist of the Throttle (eg Full-open, then close), then hit the starter... I'm guessing that the squirt of fuel is better-vaporized this way. I use that lag time to put on my helmet and gloves.

Furthermore, after the initial sucessful firing of the cylinders, get the rpm's up as fast as you can (> 3k) by another quick opening of the throttle... At that point, the carb bowls will quickly fill, and the engine will run as normal.

yep, that bike's always been VERY cold blooded. glad you broke the code :)
And glad you let me buy it. Still loving it!
Battery float charger.

Chromo,I have a couple of wings so sometimes one of them sits longer than it should. I had the same problem you did. So I bought one of these float chargers from Harbor Freight.

They have good parking lot sales every so often. I paid $5.99 if I remember correctly. I added a Heavy duty 12v cigarette lighter style socket in the trunk of the least used bike. I put a male cigarette lighter plug on the float charger. Very easy to open the trunk and plug it in. Be sure to wire it directly to the battery but through a fuse. Also don't do what I did once. I forgot to unplug it and drove away. :? The float charger stayed in the garage and I went out for a ride. The wire was the only thing that broke and it was easily repaired. Now I am looking for another heavy duty female socket to mount in the other bikes trunk. That way one will always be on charge.

Another benefit, I use the socket to charge my laptop when I am traveling.
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That's a good idea using the 12V socket and plugs. I've got a few plugs I've cut off stuff like those 3 outlet box units when I wire them direct (on a fuse) to batteries.

FM had sent me a PM which jogged my brain a bit.
I had about 10 or so chargers LOL
12V-14V DC power supplies from old laptops, printers, scanners, and all kinds of stuff!
Then I thought, yep and I have extra solar panel charge controllers too which are good for about 4 amps. I could have used anything from 12V-22V dc power packs as power input!
These charge controllers are also good for battery health, they pulse charge which helps dissolve built up sulfates on the plates also.

I had thought of just connecting my 55watt solar panel but it was too gloomy out so would not have made much power, never thought about the controllers and power packs DUH!
. . . glad I'm still good for something.

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