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Old 30 Mar 2009
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Yamaha XT600e damp running problems

I have a 2003 XT600e with wet weather problems. Whenever it rains or is particularly damp, the bike runs poorly and backfires or won't even start at all. I have replaced the spark plug and cap and have removed tank and seat to check wiring and coils which all seemed fine. I have sprayed water all of the bike with a hose to see if I can isolate the problem with no luck.

Does anybody have any ideas as I am due to use the bike for the Lands End trial next week. All will be fine providing it doesn't rain!!!!


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Old 30 Mar 2009
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Hi Giles, Same bike as me - It does sound like an electrical fault - I'd start by spraying some silicone water displacement spray ( on all/any exposed electrical connectors, coil/ht, plug cap, side stand switch, starter relay where the main fuse is, possibly even contacts on the regulator/rectifier under the plastic fairing behind the seat - also the switchgear on the handlebars ( especially the kill switch ). Also worth checking battery connections and earth connections. I'd look very closely at the HT cap - mine runs thru water no problem but if it was split/cracked it could give you those symptoms. Do the lights on the dash go out or flicker when you have problems ?

Let us know how you get on and Good Luck Mike
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Old 30 Mar 2009
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Mine did excatly this,

Myy cure which has lasted since october (about 3000 miles) was,

Pull the ht lead out of the cap and coil,
Put a blob of grease ( i used water pump grease) around the lead.
Then push back in and smooth off with your finger the excess,


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Old 30 Mar 2009
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Frozen carb?

Hi Giles,

Dunno if the weather on your side of the planet is particularly cold this time of year, but I had the same problem a couple of times while riding..

Suddenly the bike starts gasping for air, it stops doing what it's supposed to do and won't start for a rather agonizing long time? Frozen carburettor may be your problem, as the high water concentration in the incoming air may begin to settle inside your carbs and start to freeze there. Nasty thing, still...

Hope this helps ya!

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Old 31 Mar 2009
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Carb icing (caused by the moisture in the fuel/air mix freezing as it passes the venturi in the carb) is a common problem with some bikes, but I don't think it is common with the XT600. I had it a lot on my Bandit (well-known issue with them) and it led to loss of power and stalling. No backfires. And it only occurred on damp and cold, clammy days. Strangely, it never happened in the rain.

The backfiring suggests unburnt fuel is being passed through the engine and igniting in the headers, which does suggest something is amiss with the spark - timing, or perhaps coil/HT problems.
2006 XT660R daily ride, 1994 XT600E about to be reborn, Blog: http://goingfastgettingnowhere.blogspot.com/
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Old 3 Apr 2009
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How funny.....not. My 4PT doing similar. After the usual ride, the next morning just didn't want to fire up. Several times that happened!! Each time, had the tank off and wiped coil, lead etc then she fired up. Anyway, replaced coil last night and this morning finally managed to ride to work. Hoorah.
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Old 4 Apr 2009
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I've had this sort of problem with mine also. Luckily the cure's pretty simple.

Buy a roll of self amalgamating tape. (different than electrical insulating tape).
Wrap it over the end of the coil and HT lead. Do the plug cap too where the HT lead enters it.
The rubber boots are not enough to keep the damp out, it needs to be completly waterproof.

No more misfires - bad starting - no matter how damp the weather
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