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 Post subject: Starting Problems
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 1:48 pm
Posts: 3286
Location: Gainsborough
There appears to be a lot of posts on the topic of "starting problems" recently. Guess what?............Mine wouldn't start the other day and has steadfastly refused to fire up since. For information that might be useful to others I have compiled a list of things I checked to get it running.

1) Is there fuel in the tank?
The last time I was out I knew the tank was running low but didn't fill up and it looks like the bike had run onto reserve just as I got home.

Solution - Try switching to reserve or top the tank up from a can.

2) Are the fuel and vacuum pipes attached?
Older vacuum pipes can get loose and slip down off the pipe from the fuel tap.

Solution - Check both pipes are firmly connected to fuel tap.

3) Is the choke working properly?
Choke slider can be bent when removing/replacing tank.

Solution - Check the choke slider on the front of the carbs is opening and closing properly and hasn't come off the pins at either end.

4) Is the breather pipe blocked or kinked?
The breather pipe is terrible for getting kinked or coming off when removing/replacing tank.

Solution - Spray some WD40 down the breather hole under the petrol cap and check if it is coming out the bottom of the breather pipe if it doesn't run through then remove the tank and check it isn't kinked or hasn't fallen off. If it is okay then I would push some thin wire down the breather hole to see if it is blocked there, alternative is an air line blast.

5) Have you flooded the plugs?
It seems far too easy some days to flood the Hornet engine if you aren't concentrating.

Solution - Remove number 1 or number 4 plug and check for excess petrol (Use 1 or 4 as they are the easiest to get to). If there is an excess of petrol then dry the plugs off, give them a clean and recheck the gaps. Replace HT lead and place plug against frame to check for a spark. Repeat process with 2 & 3 plugs. Alternatively replace the plugs if they have been in the bike for a while. Remember new plugs aren't always guaranteed to be working properly.

6) Battery too weak to start bike?
Even a new battery can have charging problems or run down quickly when trying to start a flooded bike. Even if you use an Optimate or similar you might have forgotten to connect it to the bike.

Solution - Charge battery or use jump leads to a running vehicle. Don't leave jump leads on too long from a running vehicle or use thick gloves to remove them or you could burn your hands (the cables can get very hot- Lesson learned today).

So which one was it with your bike I hear you ask?

All of the above.

Hope this helps.

Another issue for those using Optimate chargers and having problems starting could be that, on the connector for the Optimate wires, the two contact prongs inside the connector close together through prolonged use and don't provide a decent contact. Simply prise them apart gently with a non-metallic object and it should work.


Being old doesn't make you knowledgeable. It only makes you think you are.

 Post subject: Re: Starting Problems
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:15 pm 
Knob Magnet
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 9:38 pm
Posts: 9749
Location: Catterick, North Yorkshire
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