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I have a 1986 Eliminator 600 it is very hard to start below 45 degrees. I use the choke it revs to 3000 Rpms then dies. After about 20 min of trying it wil start up well,the other morning I was going to take it to work. I knew it would be impossible at 32 degrees so I got the wife's hairdryer out and pointed it at the carbs and nothing else in about 7 min it cranks up on the first try. What area based on this should I look at? One last thing it can sit for 2 weeks or so and as long as it is warm crank on the first hit. Thanks for any help.
 

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You don't elaborate on how you "use the choke" but gas does not burn unless it vaporizes and cold gas does not vaporize very well. The colder the engine, the harder it is to get the gas to vaporize....thus, you need a richer than normal fuel mixture to get it to start from the cold.
You get it to run after 20 minutes of trying because the action of turning the engine over repeatedly and the starting and stopping eventually warms up the engine enough to get enough vaporization. Obviously the hair dryer trick does the same thing.
When you use the choke and it starts, open up the throttle a little when it feels like it's going to die on you. That works for me. Older bikes tend to be cold blooded.
 

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If the chokes not doing it for you then you may have an air leak thats letting it get too much air or a choke thats not working properly.
 

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My bike won't crank cold with choke alone. I have to blip the throttle as I hit the starter to get it to turn over. If the temp is anything more than 50 degrees I don't even need choke.
 

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I have the exact same issue on 1988 Eliminator EL 250. Sometimes if it is too cold, the engine wont turn over at all even with the choke engaged. I have to wait until it gets warmer outside. I have been experimenting with leaving the choke engaged when I park the bike and that seems to work, although I don't know why. Anyone have any thoughts? Also, how bad is it to ride for a few minutes with the choke engaged halfway? I often do this to help warm the bike up so the engine wont die on me at stop signs/lights.
 

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My bike is a 1984 Ninja 900.
It starts fine at temps. below 30 with a strong, well maintained battery.
I engage the choke 100%, hit the starter button and within 3-5 seconds of cranking over typically fires up. I do NOT touch the throttle as this interfears with the choke plungers doing their job.

If your battery is weak, or your plugs are old and weak, or you high tension wires are getting old then these will factor in with a harder starting procedure in colder weather.
If you apply throttle inputs during cranking then you will have a harder time getting the bike started.

If you still have issues getting the bike to start after trying for a bit, pull the lugs and examine them. If they are wet then you may have a weak spark condition or a weak battery. Just because the battery cranks the bike over does not mean it has enough juice to "light" the engine.

How long to keep the choke on for? The least amount of time possible is best. Cooler weather starts have me start the bike with 100% choke, and then I tap it back a bit for the idle to settle down to about 1500rpms on mine. I then put my jacket on, helmet and gloves and get on the bike. I tap the choke almost off and work the throttle a bit to get us moving a bit. Once I'm 100 yards down the road the choke is off. This process keeps the bike using the choke for about 1 minute at most.
 
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