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Old 03-24-2011, 09:00 AM   #1
thumpergirl OP
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Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Texas
Oddometer: 90
Help diagnosing problem with CRF230L

I'm hoping someone can throw some ideas my way. I don't know much about the mechanics of a bike, but it's time to learn.

I have a 2008 CRF230L, only about 9XX miles on it (some of those are pretty hard miles in some tough/rocky terrain, so the bike has been dropped a lot at speeds up to 25mph - I say that just in case it might have something to do with diagnosing the problem).

I was riding the other morning and suddenly the bike lost power. It didn't die immediately. When I hit the throttle nothing happened. So I kept downshifting as the bike went slower, and finally in first gear it died and we came to a stop. The battery seemed fine - horn works fine, blinkers, lights, etc.. No sign of any problem there. When I hit the starter - nothing. Nothing at all, not even a single turn over. No clicking noise, either.

I took the panels off to get to the battery just to make sure that wasn't it - cables were tight. There was some fuse above the battery; I pulled out the plastic piece that contained it and checked the fuse, it was fine. Still wouldn't start. Put everything back together. Was about ready to push it home (I was about 2 miles from house). Gave it one last whirl. Fired right up, and no problems since. Rode it 250 miles that day.

It's working fine now, but obviously there is a problem brewing somewhere. I want to know what it might be in case this happens again so that I am prepared and not left stranded.

Any ideas on what happened?
'06 f650gs
'08 wr250r
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:37 AM   #2
Pushin forward back
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Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Out west.....somewhere
Oddometer: 2,905
Electrical gremlins can be a buzzard sometimes as they only seem to fail when you nowhere near tools or at home., Id start by checking every ground connection,the battery leads,starter leads,plug on the back of the ignition switch, that sorta thing. Kinda odd that the lights etc worked but no starter and it died, so its not in the lighting circuit anywhere I say. Just for the hell of it try to reproduce the stalling by letting it run and turning the bars lock to lock, its possible a wire in the main harness is broken of breaking, also as its idling gently poke and pull the loom where its accessible to see if it dies. Give that a try and report back.
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:07 PM   #3
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Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Montana
Oddometer: 412
Also could be clutch or kickstand safety switch. My KLR250 had the same symptoms when the kickstand safety switch got sticky. Bypassed it and problem gone.

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Old 03-24-2011, 06:16 PM   #4
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Joined: Jul 2009
Oddometer: 18,910
Safety switches and grounds... yep, first two things to check.

The button on teh bars, too. Those don't last forever. Fly Racing has an anodized kill switch you could use as a start switch that's held up real well on my sled and the abuse it gets put through.

Any chance you tried kickstarting it? Will it run if you kick it?
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:08 AM   #5
thumpergirl OP
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Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Texas
Oddometer: 90
No kickstart, the 230L doesn't have it.

I haven't been able to reproduce the problem. Seems like the kickstand safety switch could be a real possibility because that area took several hits on rocks.

Thank you guys for your suggestions. I'll keep these with me next time it happens (I wish it would do it again and just quit so I don't have to worry about being stranded!).

scapegoat - i did try turning the bars side to side, no love. also tired pulling, poking, prodding on the cables. still no love.

thanks again! I'll post back here if it happens again.
'06 f650gs
'08 wr250r
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:52 AM   #6
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Port Orchard, WA
Oddometer: 1,710
Interesting (and shitty!)! I had almost that same problem the other day... I was going down the highway on the KLX and it jsut stopped going forward, I pulled over and had to rev the piss out of it to get it to move to the onramp, ended up lurching around in first and second to get to a parking lot. Got off and stared at it, then it started right back up and I rode another 30 minutes home. bike had been running perfect all day.

I think I'l do that kickstand switch thing as a precaution.. I'm pretty sure i'll break that off soon enough anyway... FWIW we think my issue was gas tank venting/vacuum related.
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:14 PM   #7
on the gas or brakes
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: THE exact center of California/Bass lake/Yosemite
Oddometer: 6,951
How often do you clean your airfilter... it could be a carb or tank vent issue, clogged, dirty or worn carb can cause issues and a faulty gas cap vent can cause vapor locking and not allow gas to get to the carb.. what about your plug.. has it been changed in a while.. remember FUEL,AIR,SPARK... Maybe a time for you to learn how to disassmble your bike for a diagnosis.. with the adv collective im sure we can help.
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:37 PM   #8
Joined: May 2012
Oddometer: 1
Carb Heater

Can you please tell me what the carb heater does? I have an 08 CRF230L with many mods and and miles, around 9K.
Well today at 35 degrees she quit on me. Good spark, full tank of gas, but the plug was dry. I was climbing a rocky uphill in second gear, hopping and bopping then quiet, like it ran out of gas. I have full flow at the petcock.
Took it all apart and she was clean inside, blew through the gas intake and worked the float by hand and it was turning on and off. Ok get it all back together and it idled long enough for me to get dressed again and then dies 10' from the car.
The wires going to the carb have me wondering what they do. Like you guys I will lose sleep till I get it going again. Thanks Tom from MA
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