Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Newark, DE, USA
what's the trick to a cold start
My garage lies other side of the wall behind our hearth in the TV room. On cold nights like this we always toast by the fire, and so the back side of the chimney knocks the chill off my bikes. So when I came out this morning, even though it was 17 degrees, Ocelot fired right up.
But after parking all day outside the office in 20 mph winds on a day which never exceeded 22 degrees that was one damn chilly brick. VERY reluctant to start. Round and round she went with just a weak cough now and then. Had to go back inside and let her dry out and let the battery rest. Then I went out and cranked the crap out of her. Took me maybe fifteen minutes to get on the road.
Now here's the deal: I am a lifelong rounder. Riding Season is a myth. This is Dull-Aware; not the Yukon. I am not going to walk to work. That means this type of behavior is entirely unacceptable. If she cannot start down to five degrees like all my other bikes, then she is gonna be out of here come Spring.
Luckily, Ocelot is a 1990 K75C with no ABS; so she has the giant battery, and it's brand new. Juice was not an issue. The brain enriched the mix, I know that because she smelled like a gas station. I know the "choke" lever is in good shape, because it sends the idle up.
I am thinking there has got to be a cold weather trick. I know with all my Hondas it was always full choke, absolutely zero throttle, and crank. Annie my R1200CLC beemer likewise wants me to not touch the throttle, but she wants me to stab the starter. Biffy my KLR wants full choke and crack the throttle at first cough. Had one bike, if it didn't catch on the first try, you turned the key off and walked around for a bit, because more cranking would just flood the thing. Had a kickstart R69 many many years ago that a Dane taught me the old country way: Light a newspaper, throw it under the pan, count to five, then start kicking. Idea was to warm up the air in the intake.
So I am looking for advice from a rounder up North. Some brick jockey from the land of cheese and skeeters, or some crazy Canuck from the land of taxes. What's the trick? How do you start the thing in the teens? Crack it open? Keep it shut? Stab? Crank?
And while we're at it, what's with the "choke" lever? I find there's a notch at about half way. What's the purpose of this notch?
Unmitigated risk aversion is the new Puritanism, complete with witch hunts, funny outfits, and solemn preachers thundering doom. The name of God is changed to Safety; the name of Satan is changed to Lawyer; but the object remains the same: to suck all the life out of life and make you live on the husk.