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Carburetors SUCK!

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I own a 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 250 that I now have a love/hate relationship with. On one hand it is a fantastic bike and it is my first bike. On the other hand, in even the slightest cold weather, this thing will not start for me, no matter what I do.

Yesterday even though there was still some snow on the ground, it was a beautiful 60 degree or so day, warm enough to ride, but not warm enough for this thing to want to start.

So now my bike sits on craigslist as I search for something that is fuel injected. I am leaning towards a Suzuki GSXR 600, if I can get this bike sold soon enough, I can put a decent down payment on one from a dealership or get a loan from my bank to buy one from a private seller.

After my car accident my bike has been idle for close to 3 months and I did not get the chance to winterize it, so I feel that I need to clean the gunk out of the Carb and maybe I could get it started. Bleh....


  1. FauxPas's Avatar
    Good news! decided to give it one more go, got it started, but it took awhile. But at least it started.
  2. quattrus's Avatar
    Is it a bikes thing that carburated engines are so hard to start?

    I'm no expert on two-wheels but I'm a classic car enthusiast and even in the coldest weather if the engine is fine and the carburetor is too, and you correctly dose the choke, the car starts as easily as a brand-new fuel injected one.
  3. ozbub's Avatar
    Haha... love the double entendre...... yes they do suck (gas and air lol) oh just like us though, breathing can be difficult if there's gunk in the way. Sadly this can mean a rebuild or at least a good clean.. good luck, bikes are meant for cruising.
  4. foxkits's Avatar
    Put a set of platinum plugs that will help it start plus some seafoam in the tank .
    That may help a lot.
  5. Geno's Avatar
    Re-build the carb or take it off and clean it. Yeah it takes a bit, but not that bad of a job if its on that end. Or Spray some starting fluid in it and run a can of sea foam through the tank. That's how we brought my buddies bike back from the dead.

    Shit gas laying idle in the tank for 3 months in whatever weather ain't the best.
  6. FauxPas's Avatar
    I read about seafoam earlier today, I'll give it a shot, I'm gona start it up again tomorrow and if it's nice enough, ride it a bit, try to burn as much gas as possible, it's half a tank now.
  7. acorn's Avatar
    According to the kracker forums they are lean running bikes and as such predisposed to be bad cold weather starters.

    Three months is a bit short for the carb jets to varnish. My first thought would be the battery that first digit after the decimal point is important. Second would be to drain out the old summer petrol entirely, make sure the new fuel is getting to the carbs. Third check the air inlet filter and integrity of ducting to carbs, the exhaust is not blocked. Fourth check the spark plugs if you know how to do this safely and clean and reset them. After that think about a carbs stripdown.

    Lastly, glad you got it started, but you know this blog should have been a thread.
  8. Zoran's Avatar
    I'm not an expert in bikes either but I wonder if you got a California model. The EPA and especially CARB are so stupid that they make things run stupidly lean and there are so many things I wish I could get but.... Not available in California and if it is it is $50-$100 more just to comply because of the hippies. not to mention pint sized diesel engines will never be available here.
  9. Marka's Avatar
    Actually...carburetors aspirate...

    When I had this much difficulty starting my turned out to be a burned exhaust-valve...something more likely, if you are running too lean, and much throttle over a compression, and a leak-down test on her...

    There at the end, I would dang near run the battery down cranking it, then kick-start for all I was worth for several more minutes...spark, fuel...but still no go at first...

  10. FauxPas's Avatar
    The thing is a 2011, I'm guessing it's nothing major, just a lack of wanting to start in cold temps. I got it a second time yesterday and was able to take it out for a ride. Worked great it felt like it wanted to die on me a couple times sitting at a light, but overall stayed strong and alive
  11. Marka's Avatar
    Can you adjust the carb settings? Do you know how?
  12. ade's Avatar
    How a carburetor works: Carbs explained - Ninja250Wiki

    make sure that the carbs are both within specification and balanced (you have two on this bike, don't you?).
    clean all fuel filters (there may be more than just the one in the tank/fuelline) and also the air filter.
    if things aren't to spec, you'll just be chasing your tail. and bear in mind that motor engines aren't really intended/designed for starting (nor stopping), they're designed to run within their optimum operational conditions. anything other is a strain and a wear.

    also, a good investment would be a Colortune spark plug, Morgan Carbtune - carburetor synchronizer for balancing motorcycle carbs. and a carb balancing kit.
    once you've set the carb(s) up to run good in normal conditions, you'll then have a better idea of where any problems lie.

    carburettors ROCK!!!! - the Adult Baby / Diaper Lover / Incontinence Support Community. is designed to be viewed in Firefox, with a resolution of at least 1280 x 1024.