Hard starting...Solutions?

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by desertbiker, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. desertbiker

    desertbiker Member

    So I just got my 03 softail and like most big twins...it doesn't start easy when its cold. And by cold, I dont mean very cold, I live in San Diego. What can I do to make my bike fire up easier? Do I need to clean the carb? New spark plugs? Different cams? Any advice is appreciated!
  2. R. Lewis

    R. Lewis Senior Member Retired Moderators

    Was it sitting for awhile before you got it , how old of a battery in it , is it getting enough amps,ohms and volts where it's supposed to ,how long have you had it and what have you done to it , ???????? ?????????? ?
  3. gunnut

    gunnut Junior Member

    my glide is a pig to start,but only after I dont ride for over a week,pretty much regardless of temperature.But tweeking the throttle to "prime" the carb does the trick.Kinda like the old days when there was a little "button"on the bottom of the carb to do the same job.But I guess yours, by the year,might be injection,and my buddies with that dont have a problem,at least not one thier willing to talk about:D
  4. glider

    glider Veteran Member


    State of tune like plugs, wires and air cleaner cleanliness will effect the way it starts. There's also a routine that will teach you how the bike starts best that can be done by trying different ways. Never give it throttle when cranking on fuel injected bikes and always prime on carbed bikes and use the choke when starting cold after giving the throttle a twist or two.
  5. jaxdwg

    jaxdwg Active Member

    I have an 02 wideglide with 97k mi., carbed and I twist the throttle one time and pull on the enricher then hit the starter without any throttle and it fires almost instantly. If you have the platinum tipped plugs you might want to put in the original type regular old plugs. I've fixed more than one start/run problem on peoples scoots by just going back to the original stock plugs because the platinums have such a small electrode they can foul easily and cause you to have to crank longer to get it to fire up---jack
  6. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    The carbed bikes all seem to be different ive 3 carbed bikes and they are all different on what to do to get the best start out of them
    but as a basic rule of thumb turn on the fuel at the tank leave for a few seconds,snap the throttle open between 2 and 4 times pull out the enricher control and press the starter button
    if it only fire once or twice then stops snap throttle open twice then press starter button again
    snapping the throttle open causes the accelerator pump in the carb to squirt neat fuel into the throat of the carb giving an initial ritch mixture which will burn better

  7. desertbiker

    desertbiker Member

    Thanks a lot everyone! It had been sitting for about 5 days when I tried to start it. I am not sureof the service history on it. It is carburated and I guess that hard starting is something Im just going to have to get used to every now and then.

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Quite the contrary, if you have a carbureted bike and in "mild" SoCal...something is not quite right...our version of cold is nothing like what riders in the Mountain, Central or East coast time zones endure...so I would say that you may have a jetting or enrichener issue. On my '04 I only have to have the choke on for starting, and maybe 1/2 for 1 minute, I shut it off and use descent throttle control for a block or two and things are fine. Take a look in the Self Help Tips regarding Carbs, Jetting and how the ckts interact...JMHO.