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Old April 2nd, 2010, 10:31 AM   #1
billybobjoeiv
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HELP. Cant get bike to start

I have a 2005 ninja 250. rode it last weekend just fine. tried to start it today and the engine wont start. when i push the starter, i can hear it trying to start, but the panel lights (neutral and oil pressure) dim a little. I talked to my cousin and she said she thought it might be the battery, but i just got a new one a few months ago and i can hear it trying to start, so idk if thats it. any ideas? need help!
Thanks!
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 10:53 AM   #2
krbreton
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Nathan-

How fast is it turning over? It sounds like a battery issue, particularly if it is turning over slower than normal. If you just replaced the battery recently and you're having problems, do you have anything draining the power at night - an outlet with a short, a gps with a standby current, etc?

Try jumping it to test the battery issue. If that fixes it, time to pull out that multimeter and check for leakage while the bike is off.

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Old April 2nd, 2010, 11:15 AM   #3
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First off, thank you for responding!
It sounds like it's turning over like normal. I dont have any external electronics on the bike (gps, etc). Ill jump the battery soon and see if that works. Ill let you know if that works.
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 11:20 AM   #4
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*Careful with the jump - be sure you know how the cables connect. Too many people get hurt just connecting Black/Black, Red/Red.*

If the jump doesn't work - next thing to check in the debugging chain is fuel delivery. If it's not catching at all, check the petcock (we've all made that mistake), then drain a little gas from the carb bowls (use a small piece of tubing so you don't drain it right onto the engine). If the carb bowl is dry (or close to it), you aren't getting fuel into the engine.

A clear inline fuel filter is a godsend here - you can easily check if fuel is flowing while you try to crank it.
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 11:23 AM   #5
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http://faq.ninja250.org/wiki/How_to_...ike_from_a_car
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 11:26 AM   #6
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I was looking online about the jump. I dont have another motorcycle to jump it. Is it alright to use a car or truck to jump it, as long as the car is off? I dont wanna fry my wiring
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 11:27 AM   #7
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guess you just answered my question haha. thanks
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 12:57 PM   #8
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Was about to try to push start it before i jumped it. Ended up getting it started after putting it in first gear (still with clutch), putting choke on full, and giving it just a little bit of throttle. So I got it started, but the bike definitely aint in tip top shape. And it wont idle without choke until ive ridden it about a minute. Do you know by any means what that could be? carburetor problems maybe?
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 01:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by billybobjoeiv View Post
carburetor problems maybe?
most likely.

try draining the gas out of the tank and refilling with some fresh gas. also, you can try adding some seafoam to the fresh gas and hopefully it will dissolve whatever is causing your problem of the pilot jet blockage in the carbs your bike seems to be suffering from.
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 02:11 PM   #10
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Sorry im new to motorcycle maintenance. what exactly does draining the fuel do? i looked inside the tank and it looks clear. also, i had added 2 bottles of Red Line fuel additive over the last thousand miles to my fuel. its supposed to have cleaned out the system. is that the same type of thing as the seafoam?
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 02:17 PM   #11
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"And it wont idle without choke until ive ridden it about a minute. Do you know by any means what that could be? carburetor problems maybe? "

Use the choke to start the engine if it hasn't been started in a while. Let the bike idle at about 2500 rpm or more for a minute or so 'till it warms up then slowly turn the choke down. Don't shut off the choke as soon as the engine starts. These bikes like a little choke 'till they are completely warmed up, so that it normal. Put an ounce/gal of Seafoam or Berryman's B12 Chemtool in the gas if you want to make sure the whole system is clean, but learn how your bike works and read the owner's manual. Don't start tearing apart your carbs, you are going to make your problem worse. The choke is there for a reason and it's meant to be used.
You may have gotten a new battery recently but make sure it is fully charged by putting it on a 2 amp charger for 6-8 hrs. The starter may turn over but they bike will not start with a poorly charged battery. If you bought a new AGM battery, those have to be put on a charger before first use to fully charge them up (regardless of what the dealer tells you if he gives it to you and says it's good to go) or they will never charge to full capacity again and will die fairly quickly after starting the bike a few times.
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 04:14 PM   #12
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All of this is good advice (including the don't pull your carbs apart part). I've spent enough hours cleaning and rebuilding carbs to tell you, it ain't a lot of fun :-)

If it's just running a litle rough, try the old "Italian tune-up" - get to a straight, safe area (like an uncrowded freeway), and whack the throttle full open at 10 or 11K for a little while. Clears up stuck dirt and minor problems like a jiffy

Hope everything goes well.

Keep the rubber down,

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Old April 2nd, 2010, 04:50 PM   #13
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Nathan you have the classic spring Ninja virus - low battery and possible gas contamination. Sooner or later you want to get a "Battery Tender" to put on your battery during the non-ridiing season. Do that and store the bike with some SeaFoam or Stabil in the tank and you will be in the best position to ride when the season starts. Also, as you have found, Ninja's are set lean from the factory which usually requires some choke on start when the temps are <50. Even when you are into the season you will need a little warm up before you take off. In the morning on the way to work I usually roll the bike out of the garage, do my leak inspection, start, pre-ride inspection (turn signals, brakes lights, etc), put the helmet and gloves on and by that time she ready and so am I.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 08:04 PM   #14
billybobjoeiv
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Been busy for a while, just got back online. As far as starting it with the choke, even if I let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes with choke at 3k rpms, it will die when i finally inch the choke down to nothing, so im pretty sure its warmed up by then. With the battery, i forget what brand it is. when i bought it, i installed it and then rode it for a half hour or so, hoping that the alternator would charge it up enough. guess it didnt work haha. ill have to invest in a battery tender then. How often do i hook up the battery on it? just whenever its acting up? im currently riding. been warm enough in florida since january haha.
Thanks for all the replies!
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Old April 6th, 2010, 08:13 PM   #15
billybobjoeiv
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also. before i go buy something for my fuel i just wanna make sure im looking at the right thing for seafoam. is this it?
http://ccspecialties.org/seafoam.jpg
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Old April 6th, 2010, 08:15 PM   #16
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yes

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