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Old 01-02-2009, 04:24 AM   #1
Dr_Sprocket
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Question Cold start issues

I have an '08 Buell Ulysses. When the weather is warm, the bike starts right up without hesitation. As the temps drop, it takes several attempts to start. This is what I've experienced:

Above 60: starts right up
40-50 degrees: requires two attempts
30-40 degrees: requires three tries
Below 30: four attempts

That's not to say the bike won't start - it will. It will just die out, requiring another attempt. The number of attempts is what it takes before the bike will actually run on its own and idle.

Is this "normal"? What happens when other Harley or Buell riders start their bikes in cold temps? I ask because my old carburated Honda Nighthawk would only need one (or two when it was really cold) attempts to idle. Of course, my Honda had a enrichner lever and the Buell is fuel injected.
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:27 AM   #2
longride
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I have a 2001 E-Glide and it starts first time, every time from 90 degrees to 0 degrees. It sounds like the temp sensor on the FI is not working correctly. On a cold morning it should start instantly and the idle should be up around 1500 RPM or more and then it should slowly lower itself as the motor warms. If it doesn't do this, I'd have the FI sensors checked.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:14 AM   #3
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Put a carburetor on it.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:31 AM   #4
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Maybe it has the 'Don't ride, you dumb@ss! It's too cold outside!' warning option.

Seriously though, have you modified the bike, including the FI map? It may be set too lean at its 'cold' setting.

Maybe the octane of the fuel has dropped, either through original formulation, or time in the tank.

But I'm with LR. It sounds like you are not getting the proper temperature signal to the ECM. Or the ECM is not sending the right signal to the throttle body. Or, the actuator in the TB is not stroking fully. Or, or, or...

Makes me think; when was the last time anyone used ether? Man, there are some stories there...
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:03 AM   #5
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Buell's have tricky TPS (throttle position sensors) and cold start gizmos in the ECM (engine control module). Take it back to the shop and have them check the TPS settings, along with the cold start mapping. My XB9SX had just the opposite, way too rich that fouled plugs and eventually ruined the top ends.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:22 AM   #6
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My Strom likes a little manual throttle opening when it's cold. The EFI is supposed to do it for you, but I find a little extra helps.

Cuddy is probably right on the TPS; although you may be able to set that yourself if you get the shop manual. It's pretty easy on some bikes; mine can be set via the LED display without tools.

The other thing is TBS, or throttle body sync. Large-cc twins are particulary sensitive about having both throttle bodies sucking equally. It might be that the denser cold air is amplifying the effect of out of sync TBs. It's do-able at home if you get the vacuum meter, but it's not simple.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:33 AM   #7
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Setting the TPS on a Buell requires a laptop, an adapter, and some special software. See Buell Motorcycle Forums, Information, Tech Support, Photos, Performance Parts, & Advice - BadWeB for info.

I haven't tackled it yet on my XB9S. My bike takes a few attempts when it's cold, as well. I have a race ECU that I haven't tried yet.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:45 AM   #8
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What is this "cold" you speak about?
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzglyd View Post
What is this "cold" you speak about?
I'm not sure, but I think it's when you don't have to run the air conditioner.
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth_Moore View Post
I'm not sure, but I think it's when you don't have to run the air conditioner.
It's when you see people wearing something called a "jacket". That's an outer garment that fits over normal clothing on the torso and is used to retain body heat. Maybe you've seen movies with people wearing this garment. Remember that's a "jacket". You can find them north of Georgia.
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