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  #1  
Old 26 Apr 2005
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640 Adventure - doesn't want to start

Hi,

I am stuck at the moment in Uganda and have a problem with my 2001 Adventure R. I have tried a couple of local mechanics and none seem to be able to diagnose the problem.

In short, I can't start the bloody thing or even get the engine to crank, either with the electric start, kick-starter, rolling start or jumper leads.

I first re-charged the battery and with a full charge it still wouldn't start. Tried a new battery and no joy. Cleaned the spark plugs, cleaned all the points, drained the carb etc, but no luck.

When the starter button is pressed it makes a horrendous clacking noise, although when I pull in the decompression lever, it seems to sound ok, but still will not start.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what the problem could be? I had thought it may be the CDI, but not being mechanically minded enough, I do not have a fool-proof way of determining if this is the cause of the problem.

Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.

cheers
Matt Roach
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  #2  
Old 27 Apr 2005
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Matt,

Nothing obvious springs to mind, so I've pulled out my manual and had a look at the troubleshooting section.
Bear with me here if I'm telling you to suck eggs, or some of the things seem obvious, but maybe something here will help.
I'm going to assume that you're happy with your fuel supply, so will skip that section.
The book suggests checking some of the following:
defective fuel pump, defective spark plug connector, socekt connector on CDI unit, pulse generator or ignition coil oxidised, water in the carb or jets, carb not correctly mounted to intake flange.

I'll forward this thread onto a few other Adventure owners and see if they have any suggestions. In the meantime, keep us posted.

Geoff
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  #3  
Old 27 Apr 2005
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Matt-I had a very similiar problem with my '02 640.After several hours of searching(very carefully),the problem turned out to be a broken electrical spade connection from the CDI box.The spade connections are covered with clear plastic tubes(a cheap attempt at weather proofing).With casual inspection the connections look sound,so you need to check by pulling the clear tubes off.Before failing to start all together,my bike would run fine until I made a left hand turn,at which time the engine would sputter and then stop.It turns out that the spade connecter had broken,and was being held together loosely by the clear tube.The electrical systems on the 640's are notoriously bad.The clacking noise may be the decompression valve moving up and down.I hope that you can get back on the road soon.
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  #4  
Old 27 Apr 2005
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The clacking noise would be coming from the automatic decompression. If the auto-decompression is somehow "jammed" on then you wouldn't be able to start the bike (you wouldn't achieve compression for turnover).

Try disconnecting all the "extra" electrical loads like headlight, taillight etc before trying to kick it. Check that there is power reaching your spark plug when you kick the motor (uplug the lead and look for spark when the engine is turned). If there is spark then your electrical problem could be the result of either the rectifier or generator.

I had a problem with the rectifier failing on a LC4 400 previously. The symptoms were:
- Engine almost impossible to start using electric start
- Very difficult to start using kickstart
- Battery failed to charge
- Headlight lost brightness
- Wiring harness overheated (resulted in the insulation going brittle and shrinking back which allowed an intermitent short on the headlight connections and partially melted the plug connection).

I found that I could kick start much easier if I disconnected the headlight. Try disconnecting as much of the non-essential electrics so that the power is only used where it is needed.

To test the rectifier you will have to get the bike running and measure the voltage across the battery terminals. It should read over 12V (up to bout 14V depending on revs).

Replacing it is just a plug and play excersize but make sure you also replace/repair the wiring harness if it has burnt the insulation so you don't get other electrical issues popping up.

If you still have no luck I'd suggest calling Swampy at Marsh Performance. His knowledge of the LC4 motor is vast to say the very least - I'm sure he could point you in the right direction very quickly. He is based in UK +44(0)7855464922.
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  #5  
Old 27 Apr 2005
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I had the same situtaion in Vladivostok, and it was actually diagnosed as a fried CDI on my 2000 ADV, so I had to order a new one.

The clack is NORMAL - if you're not hearing it anymore and the bike is not starting, check to see if the decompression cable is not keeping the exhaust valve open. You can look on the right side of the cylinder head where the cable connects to the arm. The arm should be resting firmly on the stand for it. If it is rising above it without you pulling in the cable, then you have to adjust it.

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  #6  
Old 28 Apr 2005
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Some further adivce from a friend ...

This may help:



If there is absolutely no way of being able to crank/turn over the motor - there is probably a seizure somewhere (bearing or piston) - this is serious and will need the engine to be split.



I had a worn starter motor bearing on my '98 Adventure - the bearing is a one directional engaging bearing which the starter motor drives - it slips when it's worn resulting in the motor not turning and causing a really terrible clacking noise (like 100 hammers in the motor) - a fairly common problem I was told and can be caused by excessive wear on a bike that's difficult to start. If this is the case - you should still be able to kickstart the bike.



....If not.....



Try identifying the problem by doing the following:

Take the spark plug out & try to turn over the motor by kicking it a few times. If the motor is free & turns it's not seized, put the spark plug in its cap, turn the ignition on & hold the plug end against an earth (motor or frame) turn the motor over (kickstart) and check for a spark. If there is a spark it should be OK, put the plug back & try kick starting again.....using the decompression lever!



If you still can't kick start, take the plug out again & check whether it's wet (ie. getting fuel), if it is - you may have a problem with your CDI and the spark may be too weak to burn the fuel, if not - check your fuel system.

Good Luck!

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  #7  
Old 28 Apr 2005
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a friend of mine suggested this on here

http://www.visordown.com/forums/show...33#post2801533

could be a few things
possibly some bad earth points.

My first question is will it kick over? some adventurers did have kick starts as well so has he tried kicking it into life?

next up is check all the earth points, also check the solenoid. If that is sticking then it could cause starting problems.

to rule out the CDI take the plug out and connect to the HT lead as you would then turn the bike over and you should get a spark, hold the plug close to the head or frame(earth point) and check for sparks, if you got sparks it aint the CDI for now. With these symptoms i'd doubt CDI anyway.

next up like tiepin said could well be the starter clutch, they are known for going and can make horrible noises when they are their way out.

he needs to try kicking it into life, or failing that with lots of help see if it will bump into life, maybe get himself a tow or push from a car and get up to speed and see what happens, again if it comes to life then its not a non runner, just a non starter off the button
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  #8  
Old 29 Apr 2005
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Thank you all for your input and advice.

Well the good news is the bike has now finally started....the bad news is I have got malaria while hanging around trying to fix it!

Still not entirely sure what the problem was. I replaced the spark plug, cleaned all the valves and cleaned every single electrical connection on the bike and then put it all back together, and it finally started after a very long bump start.

I suspect it may have been a combination of factors, but I can't put my finger on exactly which one.

Thanks again

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  #9  
Old 30 Apr 2005
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God Poor bloody You! Malaria - what's that like?? Anyway, a couple of v good resources for future ref - www.advrider.com go to Thumpers subforum or www.ktmtalk.com mainly US guys but a wealth of people amd knowledge who will willing (!) help you around any biking probs especially LC4 related on the former.

Good luck
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  #10  
Old 3 May 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by overlandr:
God Poor bloody You! Malaria - what's that like??
In my experience, like a very, very bad hangover combined with the effect of a week's sleep deprivation. Hope you have a speedy recovery Matt.

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  #11  
Old 3 May 2005
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Very nicely put, Ian.

Just imagine the worst hangover you have ever had, quadruple it and make it last for several days and you are just about there.

There has been one positive to come out of this whole stay in Kampala. For those people heading north on the Cape to Cairo route, Kampala is the EASIEST place to get a Sudanese visa. Unlike the horror stories I have heard coming out of Addis of six to eight week waits, I managed to get my visa here in just over a fortnight for about US$33. I will post the details separately in the sub saharan section for future reference.

cheers
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  #12  
Old 4 May 2005
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That does not sound very nice. I hope you're feeling better now.

Re KTM in nairobi-

from what you say you may get the same thing happening again...

I met a chap called Simon Cox in nairobi who also had 2001 adventure. He is very knowledgeable and rebuilds many people's lc4s.

It might be worth talking to him if youre going that way.

I'm afraid i dont have his email/number anymore. He is a professional photographer and works in nairobi and a great bloke.

Im sure duncan at ktm will know him.

good luck.
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  #13  
Old 5 May 2005
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Matt,
If you haven't left for Kenya yet, can I recommend that if you're looking for a good route through to Kenya, enter Kenya at the Suam border post, just north of Mt Elgon.
It's about 80km of heavily rutted dirt-road riding, but well worth it for the amazing views and scenery.
You can then head towards Nairobi or Isiolo via the Kerio valley, which is pretty amazing as well.
Email me if you'd like more details on the route.

Geoff
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