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Old 09-06-2013, 05:47 PM   #1
Joined: Sep 2013
Oddometer: 9
Honda CRF230 stalling at idle.. any help appreciated

Hey Guys,

New member here.. I just picked up my first bike, a 2009 Honda CRF230L with 180 miles on it.. We took it for my first ride this weekend in Eastern, WA and noticed a problem at certain points. When either i would clutch in and come to stop the bike would idle low and sometimes stall.. Also, when at a stop, if i turned the bars to the left for example it would kill it every time unless i gave it a touch of gas. Before going on the trip we installed risers to the stock handle bars that were 1.6" tall. The stock cables seem a bit tight but the bars still turn. I have read from other peoples situations that the throttle cable / choke cable and others could be causing it to stall because they are too tight with the risers and that i should try rerouting the cables.. I also read about uping the idle a touch w/ the fuel adjustment screw (not sure where this is) so it doesn't idle as low at neutral.. Any tips would be really appreciated as i am completely new to this and I just want the bike to run as smooth as possible. That said, i had still the best time ever up in the Mountains of WA.. Ripped the bike all over the place, including the highway and trails..

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Old 09-07-2013, 01:44 AM   #2
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Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Oxford, UK
Oddometer: 5,226
Look for the throttle pulley on the carb, the idle adjuster should be connected to it.

If the engine cuts out when you turn the bars, there's an electrical connection being pulled apart because the harness is being stretched.
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:16 AM   #3
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: SW Florida / Western NC
Oddometer: 2,436
If you can keep it running at idle when you turn the bars by blipping the throttle, it's probably not an electrical issue. Did you have the poor idle BEFORE you did the risers? Does it idle better if you leave the choke on a bit? The risers / cables may be a fluke. I've found these small bikes like yours, the Ninja 250's etc,, are really prone to contamination of the pilot jet / idle circuit, poor gas, sitting too long, I have an 09 230L that just started acting the same way, it doesn't get ridden enough and even with fuel stabilizer the pilot's prolly messed up. One of my projects for the is weekend if its raining too much to ride.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:46 AM   #4
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Spacecoaster FL
Oddometer: 7,389
Turning the bars could be pulling on the choke or throttle cable. Or it could be pulling on an electrical connection. Rule them out, one by one. The risers make these the prime suspects.

Your idle is controlled by idle speed adjustment, and by idle-mix adjustment. At higher altitudes, you may want to lean your idle mix a little and maybe turn up the idle speed a bit too. To check if you need to lean the mix, try removing the airbox door to let it breathe a little easier. Just make sure that the airfilter is NOT being bypassed by doing this. Be careful not to lose any screws or nuts too.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:57 AM   #5
Joined: Sep 2013
Oddometer: 9
thanks for the replies everyone... I will be seeing my bike tomorrow and will go over these things to try and rule things out. The bike didn't seem to have any issues before the bar risers which leads me to think that something is being affected by them.. Since im new to this, is it easy to locate the idle adjustment screw just so i know where it is. Also, if it turns out to be the a cable, is there generally extra slack tucked away, or is rerouting often an option?
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:50 PM   #6
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Smokies and Flatistan
Oddometer: 39
Don,t know if this will help but... I had a 230 and had a similar issue. When cold, I always had to raise the idle some when using the choke to get the bike started and then with the engine warmed up, would have to back the idle back down again or it was too fast for a normal idle. Then the next day when I went to start it...would have to raise the idle again until the engine warmed again. Otherwise the bike was awesome and ran great.
I had an 06 and the idle screw actually had a knob and cable arrangement reached from the left side of the bike with the left hand like they knew you would have to be fiddling with it a lot. BTW I also had Renthal riser bars
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:24 AM   #7
Joined: Sep 2013
Oddometer: 9

So i just wanted to let people know i solved the problem.. it was indeed the choke cable being to tight.. when i turned the bars it would pull on the choke cable (could see it pulling) I ended up disconnecting the cable at the handle bar lever and routing it on the backside of the fork / suspension (as oppose to the front side) and zip tied it down. Gained about two inches of slack and completely solved the problem .. Just thought i would share in case others run into the same issue. Oh and i found where the idle adjustment screw was and set the idle just a hair higher (seemed too low before).. Running great!
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:52 AM   #8
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Brooklyn
Oddometer: 29
choke cable question

Hi. I have exactly the same problem as you with my choke cable. i am going to need to reroute the choke cable as well as the throttle cables.

could you explain how to disconnect the choke cable at the bar end? i am unsure of how to do it, and there is no explanation in the factory service manual. i just havent worked with disconnecting the cables yet, so want to make sure i do not mess anything up.

I would appreciate any information you can share.
2011 Suzuki DR650
2008 Honda CRF230L
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