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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello everyone,

im new to the forums. i just picked up an 04 ninja 250 with 3500 miles on it with a friend on the boards here recently. heres the situation: from what he knows, the bike is in really great condition physically and mechanically. it was previously owned by a female rider. the bike has never been dropped to our knowledge. its purely bone stock. so last night before purchasing, the bike started up fine the first time, but afterwards, the second time gave us some trouble. so the friend tried some method that i wasnt too sure about that started up the bike, and said it was fine. he also mentioned that these ninjas often times have trouble doing cold starts. after purchasing, we brought it back, and we took it for a short spin with no problems starting up. so this morning, i decide to start her up to get ready to ride, but she wont start. now ive gone through the "FIND-C" method from msf, and triple checked to make sure the procedure was to planned, but the bike wont start up. i moved the choke from none to full and revved + even wide open throttle and still nothing. all its doing is constantly trying to turn over with the igniting. only a few hours ago i was able to somehow magically get it started again. i left the choke on full for about a min after it started, putting the idle at around 3-4krpm. after a min or 2, i moved the choke down to 80% of full, and it ran fine as well.. waited for another min or so before it suddenly started to struggle with rpms dropping. i quickly try to roll on the throttle to keep the engine running, but it had already stalled. i tried starting it up again, but i get the same result. it hasnt started since, and i mustve tried to start her today for at least 20 times at different hours.


so to summarize:

bike magically started once out of the whole day in the late afternoon, but would never start during the other times of the day in my many attempts. i gave it wide open throttle and full choke upon igniting. gas was fairly full, about 60-70% tank full. gas switch was tried on reserve and "on".


i hope to pick up some advice from all of you knowledgable people out there. i need to be able to get this thing going so that i may commutte to campus instead of taking the hour long bus ride.

thanks to all in advance!
 

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WOT+full choke = flooded motor. i don't think this is your problem but choke is most effectively used with very little throttle. since your in California (and so am i) i would suspect your "cold" start isn't any less then around 55 degrees. i have to tell you that my 1987 ex250 starts up very easily every day and i almost never have to choke it. on your bike since its new to you, you have to assume that there has never been any maintenance done to it unless you have proof otherwise. ill list things you can do in order of difficulty because I'm assuming your a beginner

1. clean your air filter
2. install an in-line clear fuel filter. you can look at it and tell for sure if you are getting fuel
3. inspect the spark plugs, or just replace them since they are so cheap
4. check the valves, this may be difficult for you if you don't have any automotive experience. find a friend or bring it to a shop if you don't think you can handle it

get some engine starting fluid at an auto parts store, it may help you in your diagnostics.
 

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Two things to try. One, set the choke to about 3/4 on and try starting it with the bike in 1st gear and the clutch in.

Two, turn your idle up using the knob on the left side under the seat.
 

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if you do install an in-line clear fuel filter, try diesel filter as well, I had problems with the flow with a normal fuel filter..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hey everybody,

thanks for all the quick replies!

i have a decent amount of experience with maintaining cars and knowing where things are and what things does what. however, it would seem like only half of that knowledge transfers over to motorcycles. since i am a bit new to carbureted engines, im not quite as familiar with the diagnostics. i cant say that i know where some of this stuff is, which is why i need some pointers. im not confident in myself in say... cracking open the fairing(??) to do work on it. if its not too much trouble, could some of you walk me through the above suggested maitenence?

also, just yesterday afternoon, i tried starting it up again in the shade... didnt work... however, after moving it into the sun (i know this shouldnt make a difference), i tried starting her up with the tank on reserve first and it worked!!! but the thing is, even after warming it up for a while on full choke... say about 3-5 mins, i tried riding it around for a bit. i gave it a good amount of riding in the parking lot. avg i hit about 4-5krpm before shifting, since i wanted to keep it kinda slow and not too loud (neighbors). when i came to a cruise and parked it and left it to idle... i notice it started to die out again out of nowhere. so i quickly blip the throttle on it a little to keep the rpms up. can anyone tell me why this is happening? and another time, i was in neutral (for sure) and while holding the clutch lever in, it stalled!!! and another time, i put it in neutral, held clutch in, kicked into first, and it stalled without me even letting go of the clutch lever. luckily i was able to start her right up again after that. im totally lost in why this is happening.

any more input on this is really appreciated. i hope this narrowed down some of the things that could possibly be wrong with my bike.

and thanks to all of you for responding!
 

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Did you try my advice? After your last post, I think that will help you. What is happening is that the clutch plates are sticking together. When the engine tried to crank, it has the added rotation of the clutch and the transmission input shaft to crank over, making it harder to start.

If you put it in first, hold the clutch and the brake, choke it, and turn it over, it should try to lurch forward a few times. After a couple of cranks, the clutch plates should brake free and the bike should start. Kick it into neutral and adjust the choke, then take off.

This is a common thing with the 250s. It gave me hell until I went to starting it with this method. Switching to synthetic oil should help this problem. I always start with it in first now, and it never gives me problems beyond that first lurch.
 

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dont do WOT, it makes it so it wont want to start. My bike I have to close the throttle kinda hard for it to start. kinda weird but dont turn the throttle till it is actually firing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i just wanted to say thanks to everyone that gave me feedback. as of right now, the bike seems to run fine. i dont know exactly what it is, but it just started to work out after riding it a little more often. i didnt need to check/switch out any spark plugs or anything like that. all i did was ride it around a bit more often and there i have it; a working bike. ill come back and post if i have future problems, but for now, ill enjoy the fact that im able to ride again.

again i would like to thank everyone out there for being so helpful!
 

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Don't use any throttle when you start it. Just us the choke and press the button. Use the choke to adjust the revs. Get it to about 2-3 k and let it run there for a minute or two and then adjust the revs down lower. After a few minutes for us in southern CA you can shut the choke off.
 

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What is the air temp and are you in the sun?

I live and Canada and it was rather tricky getting my bike going on the colder days of the season.

If you can't start the bike at all after 3 or 4 tries with full choke, you do need to turn up your idle.

You should give your bike some time before you ride it on cold days. It's best to get the choke closed all the way before you ride it. You might have to pin the gas a little bit on stops until you are really warm.

Currently my bikes idle will run at about 3,000 RPM when half hot, and this will give me just what I need to start the bike. When summer comes around you can turn it down alot so you are looking at more like 1,000RPM.

The 250 can be really tricky when it comes to controling the idle. Every little factor will effect it.
 

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I fixed 2 things to my EX500 that got it starting in about a second every time and off choke in half a minute. Starts quickly in 50 degree weather here. Maybe your 250 will benefit from the same?

Drain the carb bowls! The right bowl was full of good gas, the left smelled kinda funky. The bike was sitting for a couple months, moisture got in and made bad gas that wasn't going away quickly.

Open the idle mixture screws, the gang at the 500 boards recommended 2 1/2 turns from full closed. You'll have to check with the 250 gurus about accessing these hidden screws (EPA has them blocked off at the factory) and how far out to turn them. That really made the bike run like it should up to 6k where the mains kick in.

California law will definately need to be considered if you mess with the mixture screws though, better ask around.

Criticism encouraged, I don't have a 250 to try this on...
 

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"California law will definately need to be considered if you mess with the mixture screws though, better ask around."

I've yet to see a CHP cop driving around with a gas spectrometer measuring exhaust...0
 

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i know this is a dead/dying thread. but i recently had similiar probs with a 2002 250. 1 cyl wasnt firing at all. it was being fouled with fuel. needle/seat was stuck open.
i had to pull the carbs and clean them. only to discover DRILL SHAVINGS!! from manufacturing of the bike. not small either like 1/4" and some smaller. cleaned it well, and its working alot better. but still has some idle probs...:( u might want to think about pulling the carbs, just to have a look.
 
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