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Old 03-21-2010, 02:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default When to use the "Choke" and how long?

I've searched around the net and have gotten mixed results... I was told the choke is bad for the engine and should only be used on extremely cold days.. like 40 degree temp. days. Then I read online that the choke should be used whenever your starting the bike for the first time in a while, no matter the temp. but only keep the choke on till the rpm's start to sky rocket... whats the proper way?
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Old 03-21-2010, 04:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I use it on cold days when the bike won't stay on or struggles to keep running because the engine is cold. I try to lower the choke to keep my idle under 3k until it can run with no choke. Once it can run with no choke, I leave it at idle until it's warm.
The choke isn't necessarily bad except that it increases RPM at start which can only be bad because the engine is moving more before oil is able to circulate to lube all the parts.
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The choke isn't necessarily bad except that it increases RPM at start which can only be bad because the engine is moving more before oil is able to circulate to lube all the parts.
actually at idle the oil pump barely works. starting the bike and letting it run until warm at idle is worse for the bike than blipping the throttle(to like 3500 max) a few times when you start your bike and then holding the RPM at around 3000 for a few seconds after that will force the oil pump to work better resulting in better oil flow to the head.
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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what does the manual say?
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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actually at idle the oil pump barely works. starting the bike and letting it run until warm at idle is worse for the bike than blipping the throttle(to like 3500 max) a few times when you start your bike and then holding the RPM at around 3000 for a few seconds after that will force the oil pump to work better resulting in better oil flow to the head.
Not entirely convinced by that. Anyway, the oil flow to the head is not really very important while the bikes just sitting idling. It does need the pressure built up on the mains and big ends before riding off though. That only takes a few seconds. Letting it warm a bit at idle does minimise the amount of acid from the cold start rich mixture that's blasted past the rings (the seal is less than perfect on a cold motor) to contaminate the oil.

That apart, use as much choke as your bike needs to start and idle, and ease it off as it warms. Too much choke as it warms and you'll find the bike won't rev clean or pull.

Ride around all the time on choke and you'll have a very short lived engine. Use the choke but take it off as the motor warms, and don't do a lot of cold start short trips and it's fine to use. The cold start oil contamination is largely burned off when the oil comes up to full working temperature. That takes about 10 miles or so.

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Old 03-22-2010, 05:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i'll trust the AMA SBK/WSBK/GP guys. never once seen them just let it idle to warm up.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I trust my engineering knowledge. These are the same guys who tell you to use the kill switch to turn off the engine?

Rob
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My understanding is the choke simply does what it "says on the tin" e.g. chokes / cuts the air and thus richens the air/fuel mixture, enabling you to start the bike when cold.

As others have said, I add enough choke to get it started, then adjust it to keep the revs at roughly idle (perhaps slightly higher) until it'll run without.

Running the choke unnecessarily will foul the plugs as per running rich, which is basically what you're doing.

PS I'm not a fan of blipping the throttle on a cold bike myself - it annoys the neighbours. Plus, don't those MotoGP/WSBK boys rebuild their engines after every race?
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Most race bikes don't like to idle. They're rough as fuck at idle revs and tend to stall. The motors are usually built with a bit more tolerance as well - makes them mechanically noisy but they can stand a bit more abuse cold than most road bikes.

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Old 03-23-2010, 05:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I trust my engineering knowledge. These are the same guys who tell you to use the kill switch to turn off the engine?

Rob
never had anyone suggest that actually.
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