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First off, I understand that these old bikes don't take kindly to cold weather, but I think I've got some issues that make cold weather starting even more difficult.....I think I might have a choke problem. You see, I've tried starting the bike in a variety of different ways. From the research I've done here on this forum, an accepted method is to engage the choke and hit the starter button. Well, when I do this, it revs for just about 2 seconds and then shuts off. Then, it will not fire again until I completely return the choke to the "off" position...and then it fires for another couple of seconds and shuts off...I let it sit for a second or two, twist the throttle just a bit, and it fires for another couple of seconds... With each attempt, it runs just a little longer each time...After several attempts at doing this, it coughs and sputters, and finally starts to run...albeit very erratically..until sufficient engine temperature allows for smooth running... After that, I have no problems what so ever.. The engine runs smoothly...no lag..no hesitation...But it is quite the ordeal to get it started. I also noted that on SOME occasions, a significant amount of smoke will billow out of the exhaust pipes...I can't really tell, but it looks like white smoke..but the 'smoking" thing is not consistent...sometimes it smokes, sometimes it doesn't. I thought it might be leaky valves seals, but now I"m thinking it has something to do with the fuel mixture...or maybe it's both..

The only other thing that seems to be confusing me is the idle...I've been fooling around with the idle now for a couple of weeks, and just can't seem to get it right. I will warm the bike up to 3 or 4 bars, and set the idle at 950 rpms.. After I get it out on the road and ride for a bit, I'll notice that when I come to a stop, the idle starts hanging around the 1140-1160 rpm mark...thinking that I've set the idle tohigh..So, when I get back to the barn, I'll lower it back down to 950 rpms, only to find that the next day the bike only wants to idle at around 850 rpms after I get 2 to 3 bars of temperature.

I've checked my choke linkage and everything seems to be ok..All 4 of the plungers are sliding when I engage the choke.. I"m no mechanic, so I don't necessarily understand how all of this works, but I have been able to take the carbs apart and put them back together...I was wondering, does this sound like an air cut-off valve problem??

Any and all responses would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Chester Gunn/Chula, GA
 

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An idle that is hanging up and then drops down is usually an indication of a lean condition. I run my pilot screws a little richer and it helps to keep the idle fairly close wheither its hot or just off choke. I'm prpbably around 4 turns out.

It's been my experience on my 77 that the idle does change a little bit from when its hot to when it will idle off choke. With the long runners these carbs have it doesn't suprise me. Get it set where it runs OK and leave it. 50 RPM one way or the other is not going to matter.

I find on mine if I let it sit without running it for about a month it is really hard to start. I start mine periodically through the winter and yesterday I went out started the bike and it was hard to start. After trying for a while I pulled one of the plugs to see if it was getting gas and the plug wasn't wet. Tried a little longer and then bike started but run crappy until it ran for a little while. My theory is that for what ever reason it takes awhile for the gas to get to where it has to be. These have a pretty low volume fuel pump and when starting after a lay up it takes several revolutions of the motor to fill the carbs.

If memory serves me correct I read somewhere on one of these sites where a person had put a outboard motor bulb in his gasline line to cure this type of problem.
 

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My 85 Interstate hated the cold, but my 85 LTD fired almost instantly, and didn't miss a beat, the only thing being different than a hot engine, was a bit faster idle, till warmed up. About like any injected engine.

Did you try quickly twisting the throttle about 4 times, with 3/4 enrichener? That made a pretty big difference on my Interstate. It always was cold-blooded till totally warmed up. That thing ran good, otherwise. But, yours sounds like a bigger problem than I had.

Are you using 87 octane? Anything above that is a waste, and may contribute somewhat to your problem. Also, very high humidity, at low temps may turn into ice in the low speed circuits, and mess up the idle. (inconsistent) How does it do on a warm day? Also, Randakk (I think) has/had a blurb about carb. leaks into engine while sitting. Never a good thing.
Another thing, try letting it sit with less than a half tank, and see if that makes any difference on smoking. And, you're probably aware of side-stand overnight smoke result.
 

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200,000 +miles on my 82 and it starts just fine :baffled:

Good battery, good starter brushes & newspark-n pluggs = :action:



Try anew set of spark plugs 1st

Adjust the valve lash, sync the carbs and run a bit of Seafoam if you see a day and night diffrence after changing the pluggs
 
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