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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got an 88 zx600r with 35,000 miles on it. It's 40 degrees outside right now, and i barely got it running. Had to work the starter a couple of times, let it spin. Is it because i have bad compression and the cold just shrinks the piston and makes it worse? Im running regular cheap plugs on it since the summer. Should i be switching to a hot plug when the weather drops to like below 55? It runs fine once it warms up, but it also takes it a loooong time to warm up. Oh and im also running kick *** lucas oil which is probably it still runs at all:)
 

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i had similar problem with my 91 zx11. except when it was cold outside it would start after i drain the battery down to almost nothing. i cleaned my carbs and put hotter spark plugs in her and she fires up everytime now no matter how cold it gets
 

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You ARE using choke to start the bike, right? It seems lately a lot of people don't understand that when a bike is cold, you use the choke.

Hot plugs are only a band-aid to a bigger problem. If your plugs are fouling there's a reason for it, either oil or running too rich.

If you think it's a compression problem get a compression tester. You can probably borrow/rent one from a local autozone type of store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, im using the choke, lol. All the way too. I replaced the clutch on this thing btw, so im not a total newbie. Carbs might be the problem. The guy who sold it to me told me he had em done for like $500, cuz the bike has been in storage before for 5 years. Thing is, he got em done at this notoriously terrible bike shop and the carbs leak yellow fuel (i think yellow means it's old, so the leak isnt bad). But i put like 2200 miles on it, and it runs decent. Just not in cold weather.
 

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Yes, im using the choke, lol. All the way too. I replaced the clutch on this thing btw, so im not a total newbie. Carbs might be the problem. The guy who sold it to me told me he had em done for like $500, cuz the bike has been in storage before for 5 years. Thing is, he got em done at this notoriously terrible bike shop and the carbs leak yellow fuel (i think yellow means it's old, so the leak isnt bad). But i put like 2200 miles on it, and it runs decent. Just not in cold weather.
Do you blip the throttle when you choke to start? My EX won't catch if I just use the starter and choke.

Before you tear into the carbs I'd run a can of seafoam through the tank and see if anything changes.

And I actually didn't mean to seem like an ***, but you'd be surprised what some people do... ;)
 

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It just takes a little while to start a bike when it's cold outside. It was in the upper 30's up here in Massachusetts last Sunday and it took a while to start my bike. I'm going riding today and I know it's going to take some time, but it starts.

What the condition of your battery? Have it checked. I have to checking my battery soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My battery is terrible. It's old and oxidized, and had a bunch of it's fluid leaked out when my bike was dropped. That wouldnt cause the engine to die at idle though.
 

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Take it to a professional motorcycle mechanic and have it checked out.
 

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Speaking of that, I live near Concord, Mass. Do you know any good mechanics you could recomend?
It's an '88, correct? I had trouble finding a shop willing to work on my bike. I finally found a shop, GP Cycles in Chelsea, MA that worked on my bike. (I don't know if you want to drive all the way to Chelsea). Look in the Yellow pages to try to find a shop closer to you. (Don't get discouraged, I had Kawasaki dealers tell me they wouldn't do a tuneup on my '82 KZ because it was too old. It's only got a little over 18k original miles on it).
 
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