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View Full Version : Whats your daily starting routine..?


beardedsk8er
1st February 2011, 11:55
Probably sounds like a silly or "everyone knows" type question but just wanted to compare notes with others and survey to find out what others daily bike starting routines are.

I have a 2003 883 and since I've owned it (2 1/2 yrs), it has always started by fully pulling out the choke and cranking it. Unless it was cold outside it would start up. Otherwise I might also have to try cranking it over a couple times before it would start.

My mechanic, Ive been getting it serviced at, however, told me I shouldn't have to use the choke, and shouldn't at all, as it will foul the plugs and to pull the throttle back a little while starting my bike, on a cold start. When he tried to demonstrate this to me however it took him a couple tries to get it started but he didn't use the choke on a cold start.

Then I just recently got my bike serviced at a Harley dealer and they adjusted my bike so it naturally idles a lot lower. So low in fact that when I first start it up it will stall at the first couple lights unless I hold the throttle on a little. Didn't go back to ask about this but this is a little annoying as previously when my bike was started, and warmed up a little, when I turned it off it would start back up instantly and beautifully. Now if it stalls it wont start right back up and Im sitting there in the middle of the intersection trying to crank it over and get it started..

Anyway, then it eventually seems to be fine after being warmed up but idles so low I constantly think its going to stall and is super quiet compared to the way it had been.

Anyway, now if I pull the choke out fully on a cold start it doesn't start and I have to try 3 or 4 times, sliding the choke in and out to get it to start...

What is considered the exact routine on this or does everyone have their own or have to piddle around like this..

Not sure if my bike is now properly adjusted and Im just not used to it and have to adjust my routine a little, but w/ the new adjustment it seems very tempermental...

rwrunski
1st February 2011, 12:06
after its warmed up turn up the idle screw a little untill it idles a little faster

beardedsk8er
1st February 2011, 12:15
after its warmed up turn up the idle screw a little untill it idles a little faster

Ok, so it sounds to you like the idle was turned down too low..

Do you cold start w/ your choke..?

rwrunski
1st February 2011, 12:28
allways thats why its there

davev1954
1st February 2011, 14:04
I have a 2003 883 and since I've owned it (2 1/2 yrs), it has always started by fully pulling out the choke and cranking it. Unless it was cold outside it would start up. Otherwise I might also have to try cranking it over a couple times before it would start.

My mechanic, Ive been getting it serviced at, however, told me I shouldn't have to use the choke, and shouldn't at all, as it will foul the plugs ..

Do the '03's have a choke or an enrichener?

wilkin4
1st February 2011, 14:15
Normally I give the throttle a twist and pull the enricher all the way out, once it starts control the idle speed with the enricher. Ride a few blocks and then push the enricher all the way in, this is with a cold start. Warm start, just push the starter.

xllent01
1st February 2011, 14:30
Normally I give the throttle a twist and pull the enricher all the way out, once it starts control the idle speed with the enricher. Ride a few blocks and then push the enricher all the way in, this is with a cold start. Warm start, just push the starter.


+100

Thats the same procedure I follow..works just fine even with cold or warm starts..Ride Safe!!

radeschultz
1st February 2011, 14:36
Normally I give the throttle a twist and pull the enricher all the way out, once it starts control the idle speed with the enricher. Ride a few blocks and then push the enricher all the way in, this is with a cold start. Warm start, just push the starter.

+1 That's how I start mine as well...

Big-Ed
1st February 2011, 14:44
Normally I give the throttle a twist and pull the enricher all the way out, once it starts control the idle speed with the enricher. Ride a few blocks and then push the enricher all the way in, this is with a cold start. Warm start, just push the starter.

+1 Thats the same way I start mine... Works for me, I just gauge when the choke needs to go in, if you leave the choke out too long, thats when you will foul the plugs!..

I can normally ride about a quarter/half a mile & thats the engine warm enough to put the choke full off & idle correctly at lights.. & thats at around 12 degree Celsius (53 degree Fahrenheit)...

Airbozo
1st February 2011, 14:54
This is my routine:

Insert key and turn ignition on. Check
Turn run switch on. Check
Depress front pressure relief valve. Check
Depress rear pressure relief valve. Check
While pulling choke knob out, press start button. Check
Wait for bike to start (one or two revolutions after pressure valves close). Check
Simultaneously twist throttle to maintain idle while closing choke. Check
Use cheater lever to hold throttle at low but even idle. Check
Finish putting on gear. Check
Release cheater lever and ride on! Check!


LOL!

can you tell I am bored this morning...


EDIT: BTW, for the first couple of years that I owned my sporty, I thought the choke pull was automatic and it would shut itself off when the bike was warm enough. My mechanic laughed when I told him this one day but as he was playing with my setup, he noticed that I was partially right. When my engine warms up, my choke knob will not stay open. It will also close if I accelerate hard.

mlan12
1st February 2011, 14:57
+1 for Wilkin4

sportsterpaul
1st February 2011, 15:04
I usually smack the alarm clock, get up, scratch myself, go pee,and head for the coffee....oh, I forgot, pass gas!

freeidaho
1st February 2011, 15:57
As the consensus shows, Harley put the enrichener on the bike to be used. I use mine, and have started it as cold as 30 degrees. I just started it this weekend after it had sit for two months. It was 38 degrees. Anytime the motor has sit for a few hours I use the enrichener at least a bit, and full on for lower temps.

However, I never ride off until the engine is warmed up, (cylinders hot to the touch). If you have ever measured internal engine parts when they are cold, it becomes clear that putting the motor under load when it is cold is not such a good idea and shortens their life. When cold the pistons are actually oval shaped. And most oils do not work as well when cold. Even the synthetics have a minimum recommended operating temp.

But like all other topics here, YMMVAPD,

kr

halfdrive
1st February 2011, 16:14
I usually smack the alarm clock, get up, scratch myself, go pee,and head for the coffee....

Mines very similar except between smack alrm and get up I also have

1. snuggle up to wife
2. catch breath from elbow to ribs

:smoke

thatbikerguy
1st February 2011, 16:32
I always use the choke when bike is cold!

Big-Ed
1st February 2011, 16:46
I usually smack the alarm clock, get up, scratch myself, go pee,and head for the coffee....


+1 Good one!!

tmack-1
1st February 2011, 18:38
Do the '03's have a choke or an enrichener?

The stock Keihin CV carbs have an enrichener but the knob is labeled Choke.

---------------------------------------------------------

My '86 has the stock BH Keihin (non-CV) carb (similar to an S&S). The first click on the choke knob is only a fast idle with no movement of the choke plate (and the fast idle speed has an adjustment screw). The choke plate (butterfly plate?) doesn't move until you get past the first notch. Very handy.

I do have to use a little of the choke below 60 deg F for a bit. Full choke below the mid Fifty deg F range , but only for a few seconds, then fast idle it for a few minutes.

wilbur
1st February 2011, 19:31
...I have a 2003 883 and since I've owned it (2 1/2 yrs), it has always started by fully pulling out the choke and cranking it. Unless it was cold outside it would start up. Otherwise I might also have to try cranking it over a couple times before it would start.

My mechanic, Ive been getting it serviced at, however, told me I shouldn't have to use the choke, and shouldn't at all, as it will foul the plugs and to pull the throttle back a little while starting my bike, on a cold start. When he tried to demonstrate this to me however it took him a couple tries to get it started but he didn't use the choke on a cold start.

Then I just recently got my bike serviced at a Harley dealer and they adjusted my bike so it naturally idles a lot lower. So low in fact that when I first start it up it will stall at the first couple lights unless I hold the throttle on a little. Didn't go back to ask about this but this is a little annoying as previously when my bike was started, and warmed up a little, when I turned it off it would start back up instantly and beautifully. Now if it stalls it wont start right back up and Im sitting there in the middle of the intersection trying to crank it over and get it started..

Anyway, then it eventually seems to be fine after being warmed up but idles so low I constantly think its going to stall and is super quiet compared to the way it had been.

Anyway, now if I pull the choke out fully on a cold start it doesn't start and I have to try 3 or 4 times, sliding the choke in and out to get it to start...

What is considered the exact routine on this or does everyone have their own or have to piddle around like this..

Not sure if my bike is now properly adjusted and Im just not used to it and have to adjust my routine a little, but w/ the new adjustment it seems very tempermental...

In stock form, the procedure would be to use the enrichener knob when cold, as this is how the carb is tuned from the factory. Since you are not the original owner, it would help to know what changes have been made to it.

The engine should idle around 1000 RPM normally.

redi2ride
1st February 2011, 19:33
I pull the choke,start, idle about 5-10 minutes, push in choke and go. I was told starting with the choke out to start and warm up was ok. Riding with the choke out is BAD! that's why I do a warm up then ride. I did ride one day about 2 miles, light on the throttle. The bike acted up alot after that. now I have a funny lil gallop after the bike is on off position.
MY 2 cents.

Skunk
1st February 2011, 22:46
Couple throttle twists, turn on ignition, lift enrichener lever, and hit start. Works even at 18 degrees F. I do have a problem tho, as my enrichener lever on my S&S won't stay up at all. Can't figure it out.

Bob F
1st February 2011, 23:20
Whats your daily starting routine..?

Wake up, comb hair, take pills, apply deodorant. Pee and brush teeth.

Coffee and jelly bread, check the XLForum, second coffee, check Craigslist then poop.

That's my daily starting deal.

unfiguroutable
1st February 2011, 23:32
Probably sounds like a silly or "everyone knows" type question...

no it doesn't. this one pops up quite a bit actually. and you will get as many opinions as answers. the short answer is if your bike is bone stock follow the users manual if it has been midfied at all and tuned by "you" shake the beads and rattle the bones. in other words find what works for you

beardedsk8er
2nd February 2011, 00:04
Wake up, comb hair, take pills, apply deodorant. Pee and brush teeth.

Coffee and jelly bread, check the XLForum, second coffee, check Craigslist then poop.

That's my daily starting deal.

...ha.ha.. ..thanks.. you guys are awesome..:smoke

..knew id get some good advice here..

..seriously though,.. it was also interesting to hear people warm up their bikes.. ..i was told from a "reputable mechanic" that theres no more oil really going to be circulated in a crank case than after the first few seconds so it was an ole wives tale to sit and let your engine warm up..

CharlieB
2nd February 2011, 01:36
Cold start - weather warm enough for no jacket on ME - one twist on the throttle, start, pull the enrichener as needed to fast idle, wait maybe 10-15 seconds, ride for 1/2 mile or so, then no enrichener

Warm start - any weather - twist throttle and start, apply enrichener if needed

REALLY cold start - those 36 degree mornings here - full enrichener, three twists on the throttle and start. Apply additional throttle if needed for a few seconds. Warm engine at fast idle 30 seconds by the second hand on my watch, then ride keeping enrichener as it was set for fast idle. Finally after a mile or so, disengage the enrichener.

Basically - richen things up as needed for smooth operation during that first few moments of starting and riding.

NEVER race or gun the engine. NEVER load up the engine heavily until its all warmed up. Never rev past normal shift points, and use easy acceleration until fully warmed up (or you have a nice chance of blowing base gaskets)

Rock
2nd February 2011, 02:41
EFI.... 1. Hit the starter. 2. Go

radeschultz
2nd February 2011, 03:15
EFI.... 1. Hit the starter. 2. Go

See, there seems no challenge or soul to that... My neighbor and friend has efi... he starts and goes... Nice I'm sure, but not me, I gotta get fired up and idling for a minute or three, I like to feel some warmth finding its way into the heads before I roll. I'm sure ALL my neighbors appreciate the 7am alarm clock, but for me, I feel its more satisfying to take a minute and listen to my scoot say morning as she yawns and gets ready... I'll stay with my carb thank you....

JacksBrother
2nd February 2011, 05:54
Then I just recently got my bike serviced at a Harley dealer and they adjusted my bike so it naturally idles a lot lower. So low in fact that when I first start it up it will stall at the first couple lights unless I hold the throttle on a little. Didn't go back to ask about this but this is a little annoying as previously when my bike was started, and warmed up a little, when I turned it off it would start back up instantly and beautifully. Now if it stalls it wont start right back up and Im sitting there in the middle of the intersection trying to crank it over and get it started..

Anyway, then it eventually seems to be fine after being warmed up but idles so low I constantly think its going to stall and is super quiet compared to the way it had been.


A couple of throttle twists, apply the enrichener, start the engine, let it idle with the enrichener (choke) on for about 30 seconds, then turn choke off and let bike warm up at normal idle. About the idle, if it idles so low that it seems to be in constant danger of stalling, I would definitely increase the idle. EVO motors can be damaged by the low oil flow at the extremely low idle speeds.

mooseye
3rd February 2011, 00:59
+100 on raising the idle. The Sportster does not oil properly below 900rpm and damage can result. Second, find a new dealer. The low idle sound is not worth the hassle and possibility of engine damage.
I am supervised that it was not until the last reply that this was mentioned.
Use the choke, that's what it is for. Set your idle to about 1000rpm when engine is fully at operating temp. It may sound high to the ear,but that is the way they are designed.

beardedsk8er
6th February 2011, 06:40
well, I now give the throttle a little tug, pull the choke all the way out and dont push it all the way back in and she seems to start and run like a champ....:tour

sportsterpaul
6th February 2011, 17:53
F.W.I.W., the enrichener works great even at sub-zero temperatures,(-20 was the most to date), just wished the starter worked as well! Might be something to do with the oil viscocity? You think! Anyhow an electric heater placed next to the engine cases seems to solve that issue.