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Aging & Worn
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Discussion Starter #1
It's a cold morning............45ºF. That'll mean 35ºF for riding "feel."

I have the Choke fully out (manual) and because I maintain my bike, she starts right up when I press the starter button. No need to hold it, just a quick touch and she engages.

The roads I take to work are etched in my mind. All the tar snakes, manhole covers; the speeds I need to use around certain corners........all of that.

Usually I'll let the motor warm for just a minute or so, even on these cold mornings, because my departure is so calm, low speed and gradual, (I'm in no hurry) that I am not asking too much of the bike too soon.

It'll be about 5 minutes of short road hops, before I get to the longer stretch where there are no Stop Signs or lights; nothing to keep me from staying on the throttle.

It's on this longer stretch that I reach down and push the manual choke back in, knowing that by the time I get to the next "Stop," the motor will be fully warmed up and will idle fine.

Made me wonder..........when do YOU decide to dis-engage YOUR Choke? What criteria do YOU use to determine when that "right time" is? The behavior of the throttle/response? The stretch of road that allows for it?

-Soupy
 

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Havent had to use the choke but once this week. I usually only keep it on for a few minutes till shes warmwd up. I thought that you shouldnt use the throttle and the choke at the same time? I thought that caused flooding issues. But I could be wrong...
 

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American Legion Rider
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Don't have to on my present ride but my VTX never had to use it until in the 30's. But even then it was pushed completely off as soon as I started moving.
 

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Aging & Worn
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Discussion Starter #4
There's a difference between the Manual Choke used on my 1998, and the newer bike's, correct?

Aren't the "newer" bike Chokes electrical?

May make a difference in the "how" of it.

-Soupy
 

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American Legion Rider
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Fuel injected versus carb'ed.
 

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Our '99 Virago 1100 has a carb & manual choke. We start it from cold using the choke, gradually tapering it off as fast as the weather permits. Basically maintaining an idle just above 1000rpm. Normally we don't leave the driveway until the choke is fully off.

My newer '09 Star Raider has EFI. Fortunately no choke to fiddle with! However it too doesn't leave the driveway until the idle has settled down to normal.
 

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With the Sportster I no longer have, I could tell by the sound when it was time to push the choke in, and by the sound I could tell when to stop pushing it in. From all the way out to all the way in, it never took more than 2 min, if that long.

You need to get up a little earlier to give your bike time to warm up.
 

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Gone.
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"Basically maintaining an idle just above 1000rpm."

^^^ This.

I usually start the bike, close the garage door, hop on the bike and start down the driveway. Half a block down the road I push the choke off and we're good to go. I'd say about 2 minutes, give or take.

If you leave it on too long it can help to foul out your plugs earlier then normal.
 

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no choke on my bike, just high idle (fuel injected) same with the Suzuki I had....as it is, I do wait for a few before I take off to make sure the oil warms up enough to flow right....take off too soon and the thick, cold oil won't reach the upper end of the motor (at least that's what I was told a long time ago)
 

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I push the Shadow out of the garage, apply some choke - how much depends on how cold it is - and start it up. By the time I close the garage door, button my jacket, put on my helmet and gloves, and check my lights the bike has had a chance to move the oil around inside and start to warm up. But then it is choke off and GO.
 

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Pale Rider
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I'd recommend a full synthetic oil in your engine: I ran a full synthetic in my car, which was parked in a ramp at work, all day (9+ hours), in temperatures with a high of (-10) F. When I started it after work, she spun over like it was +80 F, in July! With the same brand of conventional oil (almost the same weight: 10W-40 conventional; 5W-40 synthetic), it barely turned over in similar temperatures! I am sold on full synthetic oils after those experiences (tempertures were sub-Zero F, for over a week straight, in SE Tropical Minnesota!), and I run the same oil in my bike (no friction modifiers in it... 5W-40 viscosity, so it is slightly thinner than OEM recommendation, which is 10W-40). With conventional oil in the car's engine, I had to wait 10 minutes for it to stop making odd noises, and it wouldn't move, either, as the engine/transmission were too stiff; with the full synthetic oil in, I could start it rolling down the ramp levels immediately, and it idled making normal sounds, not the oil-starved noises the conventional oils caused. As the conventional oils thinned out/warmed up, the engine would idle smoother, and make less noise. It was a no-brainer for me as to what a difference the synthetic oil made in those extreme conditions.

With regards to the choke, I turn it down listening/watching the idle rate: as the engine warms up, it speeds up, so I push it in to maintain the idle around 1,000 RPM, turning it off as soon as we move down the driveway. Leaving the choke on too long will make it super-rich, washing off the oil film on the inside of the cylinder walls, as well as the piston rings... Choke only as much as you need, until the engine is warmed up, and your engine will thank you for it by providing many thousands of (s)miles. Cheers!
:coffee:
 

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Eye_m_no_angel said:
If you leave it on too long it can help to foul out your plugs earlier then normal.
Or at least ride long enough(like more than 20 miles) to burn them clean again. No?
 

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Nightfly
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I use the enricher on my Sportster just enough to get it started on a cold day. I immediately push it in, and keep just enough pulled out to keep it running at a crisp idle. I don't believe in letting it sit and idle for longer than 20 seconds, then I'm off. Always driving slow so everything warms at the same pace. As soon as I hit cruising speed of 35 to 45 the enricher is pushed all the way in. Three to four miles down the road I'm ready for interstate speeds if necessary.
 

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Eating GSXRs, Sh***ing CBRs
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ZX9R- Start it up with choke at full, let it idle for 2-4 minutes and turn choke off when the temp gauge starts to come up.

1984 XV1000- Never have used the choke. Not once. Even pulling it out in 35F temps after sitting in a garage for 6 months. Push the button, no choke, and it fires up and idles perfect.
 

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My last choke was on my '07 Yamaha. I would start the bike and wait maybe a minute before taking off around a third of the choke. I pulled out and rode a mile or so and removed another third, then I got on my long stretch to work and shut it off the last bit. Mine was a pull out style, not a lever, so I could actually judge where it was by feel. I never did refine it that much on my older bikes with the lever type choke.
 

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Very few, if any, 'modern' bikes - those made since the mid-80's, have an actual choke, which is a plate in the carb intake that closes off the intake air. Most, if not all, have an enrichment circuit, which basically increases the amount of fuel mixture through the idle circuit. That means that it has very little effect when the throttle is open more than a little. It also means that the bike will start better with your hand off the throttle during cranking, and not run over-rich if you forget to close it until it sputters at the next stop. I think the CARB had a hand in eliminating the real choke plates in engines, because of how dirty they would make an engine run.

My old '70 CB450 engine starts, but won't run, with the choke on, so I have to open the choke as soon as it fires, or it will flood out. Of course, it won't idle until after it warms a while, which is where the throttle lock comes in handy.
 

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Aging & Worn
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Our '99 Virago 1100 has a carb & manual choke. We start it from cold using the choke, gradually tapering it off as fast as the weather permits. Basically maintaining an idle just above 1000rpm. Normally we don't leave the driveway until the choke is fully off.

My newer '09 Star Raider has EFI. Fortunately no choke to fiddle with! However it too doesn't leave the driveway until the idle has settled down to normal.
NrodicMan: Waiting for the warm up must chew up a good amount of cumulative gas, no?

Oldman47: Yeah, mine's a "pull out" style as well.

-Soupy
 
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