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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:54 pm 
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Location: Burlington, WI
I picked up a 1990 DR650 for a good price. As soon as I got it off of the trailer bringing it home the first time the compression release cable broke. I do not take this as bad karma; I just took this as motivation to clean-up, tune-up and check-out everything before I actually put it on the road. I put about 10 miles on it before putting it on the lift. I have parts on order.
I have a service manual that came with it but no owner's manual so I am figuring out some things as I go. You with more experience with early 90's DR's, can you enlighten me?

* Starting...What are the tricks/adjustments to making this the easiest to start?
* What is the best starting procedure? With choke on, no throttle, it is taking about 10 kicks to go. Is that normal? Stop laughing.
Since posting this same question I actually cracked the service manual open and was surprised to see some suggestions for hard starting in the troubleshooting section. It looks like a pretty well written manual. How come BMW couldn't do that for my airheads? But besides "troubleshooting" I was looking for your advice and experience.

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2007 DR650 [Blue Mule]
1980 BMW R100T
1968 Gilera 124 5V
1993 Suzuki DR350 [no-o-o-o, it's gone! I want another one again soon!]


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:05 am 
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Location: SJ CA
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Prime (cold)
Key off, petcock to prime, hold comp lever, 6 kicks, choke on.

Key on, petcock to normal.

Start up (primed or warm)
Push kick starter til it stops (TDC), kickstarter to top, pull comp lever and release,
Kick it over, repeat, it should start now.

In short 6 priming kicks, 2 start kicks when cold.
2 kicks no choke when warmed up.

Works everytime.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:23 pm 
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tractorking wrote:
Prime (cold)
Key off, petcock to prime, hold comp lever, 6 kicks, choke on.

Key on, petcock to normal.

Start up (primed or warm)
Push kick starter til it stops (TDC), kickstarter to top, pull comp lever and release,
Kick it over, repeat, it should start now.

In short 6 priming kicks, 2 start kicks when cold.
2 kicks no choke when warmed up.

Works everytime.


That sounds believable and practical except for the part about the compression release. Isn't it pull the lever, push the kick start slowly until the lever resets, then top the kick start and haul on it?

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2007 DR650 [Blue Mule]
1980 BMW R100T
1968 Gilera 124 5V
1993 Suzuki DR350 [no-o-o-o, it's gone! I want another one again soon!]


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:30 pm 
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I guess u could do it that way but u won't get as much stroke as you would if you were toset the piston on compression side of the stroke.. you'd end up past tdc with a shorter kick.

Once the dcomp lever clicks its not engaged anymore.

Someone else may also have a suggestion on this..

I've had my '92DR650 since '93, used it for courier work and commute on it still unless I'm riding the KLR. Just put the 20th registration sticker on the plate.

I've also heard something similar to what you said.
But I've had 19 reliable years doing it the way I described, and it works everytime.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:43 pm 
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Location: Kars Ontario Canada
Someone else may also have a suggestion on this..


Hey kstoo. You don't live in Ottawa by any chance do ya? I saw my old DR for sale last week on line.
I heard the new owner gave the bike an " Italian Tune Up" to help it start better?

An Italian Tune Up being, a gallon of gas and a match but the bike looked to be in nice shape so I guess he did not burn it down to the ground after all.

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2001 DR 650 with Lots of farkles !!!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:17 pm 
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tractorking wrote:
I guess u could do it that way but u won't get as much stroke as you would if you were toset the piston on compression side of the stroke.. you'd end up past tdc with a shorter kick.

Once the dcomp lever clicks its not engaged anymore.

Someone else may also have a suggestion on this..

I've had my '92DR650 since '93, used it for courier work and commute on it still unless I'm riding the KLR. Just put the 20th registration sticker on the plate.

I've also heard something similar to what you said.
But I've had 19 reliable years doing it the way I described, and it works everytime.


I don't know, that is why I am asking. I don't have the owner's manual so I don't know how this thing works. The PO told me that this is how it is done but it took him a good 10 to get this started and I don't want to do that.
No, I don't live in Canadia. I live in Wisconsin which is like Canada in some ways.

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2007 DR650 [Blue Mule]
1980 BMW R100T
1968 Gilera 124 5V
1993 Suzuki DR350 [no-o-o-o, it's gone! I want another one again soon!]


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:44 am 
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I never had the manual either.
I went to hell and back kicking the thing when I first got it.
It took a lot of patients to dial it in. A lot of people can't start
The DR's at first. My older brother who's a moto mechanic couldn't
Start it when I loaned it to him, I tinkered with it for 2mins and got it
Started, he thought the thing was done for.

I've ridden other DR's as well and can reliably start them with the method
Above.

Don't crack the throttle, don't use the choke unless its cold, be sure the idle
Screw is set right (you won't know till its running...1500-1600rpm) if its turned
In too much it won't be on the idle curcuit and won't start. I have my mixture
Screw set at 2turns out. Also, be sure the choke cable has play when its off,
if its too tight it can stop the engine if you turn the bars.

Most of all, be patient. You'll get it figured out after some time.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:33 pm 
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Moved for easier search function.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:09 pm 
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On my 90' I pull the decompretion level kick slowly untill level clicks and goes back up, bring kick lever back up, give good solid kick, starts 2nd kick EVERYTIME!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:08 am 
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Iv always started mine the same way as millis90. If i kick it over with out the comp release and stop at TDC like in tractorkings video i dont have to use the comp release at all. It kicks over easy and starts right up.

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