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Discussion Starter #1
i am having problems starting my bike.... it is cold.... plus i haven't started it in about 2 months or so... i know that isn't good... anyway... it is turning over it just isn't firing. obviously i have the choke on and doing everything right.... just not catching any spark. anyone have any ideas?
 

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norqui,

Have you observed that there is no spark? I mean by pulling the spark plug from the head, inserting it into the plug wire receptacle and laying the plug case against an engine metal part, while cranking the engine? You should be able to see some spark at the anode-to-electrode gap. Check both plugs that way. If no spark on either then it may not be the plugs, but do the easiest thing first ... get new plugs. If that doesn't work, there are several things to check. But first, change the plugs.

I may be assuming too much here. How many cylinders and how many plugs per cylinder does the bike have? We really need to know more about the bike to help much beyond "check for fire at the plug".

What brand, model and year bike is this? When was the last time any repair work was done on it and what was that repair? When was the last time any routine maintenance was performed and what was that maintenance?


Let's determine if you're really not getting fire before going to fuel, etc.
 

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hey norqui, I have run into the same problem recently on my Monster. It's real dang cold here, and that makes starting a chore- first step is to check for spark as suggested above. The next thing I would do is hook a multimeter to the battery while starting. While the battery may have enough juice to spin the motor, it probably won't have enough (especially cold) to fire it. So, you'll think it's cranking trying to start but it's really not strong enough to start. I found out my battery reading 15 volts was really only delivering about 9 volts after a couple seconds of cranking. Give the battery a full charge on a trickle charger for about 8 hours and try again, you'd be surprised at the results. It's also a good idea to find a battery tender for the winter months. Also, is the bike carbed? A lot of times the bowls will dry out and will need to crank over many times to get the fuel flowing into the bowls.

Good luck
 

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Norqui- The answers given above are both real good, but you didn't say what your experience is as a mechanic. The problem is that there are a few things that could be wrong, although as the guys said above the battery is most likely "run down" because you haven't run the bike in a while. Cold temps and an old battery/charging system make this even more likely. Bike batteries can also fail in time just like car batteries.

Do you know how to get to your bikes battery, and how to jump it?
 

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Hey, the battery is the BEST thing to check first! A "dead" battery can show 12V until it is loaded. A meter won't load the battery, but a headlight will. Most bikes these days bring the headlight on during cranking. Will the battery light the headlights prior to cranking?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i was/am thinking that it might still be a spark issue, but i will try the battery thing first. you know how it is.... process of elimination. i wrote to see if by chance i was just missing something. i used to work on and race cars... and engine mechanics are engine mechanics, but this is my first bike and i just wanted to make sure.
i have a '98 suzuki intruder 1400.
 

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Well, a failed coil is not exactly rare on motorcycles. If you have lost fire on both cylinders (plugs) and you have a common coil that could be the fault. Same logic as on cars and trucks. Let us know what you find.
 
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