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Old 04-20-2013, 04:16 PM   #1
Collybus OP
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Unwaterproof Motorcycle

It's not unreasonable for me to expect my 1983 Suzuki SP250 to get cranky, considering it's age. But it actually starts up with one or two kicks of the stick pretty reliably, except after I've washed it. It simply will not start if it's been washed down, even lightly. Let it sit for several hours, and it'll start right up.

Why do you think this is? What part would be getting wet and putting up the roadblock to firing up?

I know, I could simply stop washing it, but obviously, my concern is getting stranded for hours if it rains or I go through a big puddle. I'd appreciate your thoughts....

Bob
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:36 PM   #2
joexr
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If it's running and you douse it with a hose will it stall? Maybe do this carefully with the hose and see what you are wetting .
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:57 PM   #3
hpsVFR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Collybus View Post
It's not unreasonable for me to expect my 1983 Suzuki SP250 to get cranky, considering it's age. But it actually starts up with one or two kicks of the stick pretty reliably, except after I've washed it. It simply will not start if it's been washed down, even lightly. Let it sit for several hours, and it'll start right up.

Why do you think this is? What part would be getting wet and putting up the roadblock to firing up?

I know, I could simply stop washing it, but obviously, my concern is getting stranded for hours if it rains or I go through a big puddle. I'd appreciate your thoughts....

Bob
It's usually an electrical issue when these symptoms occur. Start by cleaning and applying dielectric grease/anti-ox compound to every connection in your wiring harness. Most of those connections won't stop the bike from running if they're corroded, but they will heat up, and draw down your system voltage, which are both bad things.

Next, check the condition of your spark plugs, caps, and wires. Even if they look fine visually, try spraying them (and only them) with water, and see if the bike still starts.

There's other possibilities (e.g. ignition switch, kill switch, side-stand switch), but getting your connectors cleaned and verifying your spark is a good first step.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:22 PM   #4
Collybus OP
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Okay, thank you. I forgot to mention a symptom that might be meaningful; after it's gotten wet and I try kicking it over a few times, further attempts often result in a single backfire. Next kick, another backfire. And so on. This is when I stop trying, which is fine when I'm home. Wouldn't be so good if I was somewhere else.

Side stand switch? I don't think anyone was thinking of those when this thing was built. It still has the headlight on/off switch.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:16 PM   #5
k-moe
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In that case I would suspect cracked coil housings or cracked ignition wires. If it's the coils you can coat the outside of them with epoxy, after cleaning them, if you can't afford or find new replacements.

Many bikes built in the '80's have sidestand switches.
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