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R1 is AWESOME, but has issues
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Discussion Starter #1
I know this horse has been fairly well beaten, but none of the situations seem applicable to my bike's problem.

Namely, when it's recently unridden, and thermally cold (e.g. sitting in my garage overnight, or it's parked after work), it really does not want to start. It starts a BIT easier in summer, but not much easier.

I've replaced the Reg/Rect with an OEM replacement, gapped/replaced the plugs myself, checked the fuses and leads, and replaced the batt with a 390 CCA lithium batt. It cranks well, but does not "catch."

I read about the R1 having a too-rich mix to start quickly (the exhaust does smell like gas when it starts), and I usually do the "cheat" I read about (start fails, so turn key off, then kill switch off, wait 5 seconds, key on, start as usual), and that works but, even then, it still takes 5-8 seconds of cranking.

All of my previous bikes started in 2-3 seconds (4 on a rare bad day). My R1 killed the previous batt more than once, and I dislike cranking it for more than ten seconds. Ten seems way out of line.
 

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this sounds more like valve adjustment issue to be honest then the normal no start. jump it off your car and if it sparks right up then it may be the starter drawing a lot of power away from the ignition but if it still takes long to start then i would say valves
 

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R1 is AWESOME, but has issues
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
this sounds more like valve adjustment issue to be honest then the normal no start. jump it off your car and if it sparks right up then it may be the starter drawing a lot of power away from the ignition but if it still takes long to start then i would say valves
Once I jumped it off my father's F150. It had the same hard-starting issue.

So it seems I need to do a valve-job on it. This will be fun. Advice/suggestions for when I do it?
 

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Most of the time when I see this issue as you describe it it's either a power issue where the starter is taking too much power and there isn't enough left for the ignition either low battery or starter is faulty but if you say it did that when you jumped it as well then that sounds unlikely especially with the lithium ion battery. The next cause is tight valves, when cold There isn't enough clearance so they aren't making proper compression or vacuum and sucking in fuel. It's odd that your would be out of spec at a low milage like that but it does happen.

I think there's writeups for setting them but basically you need to measure all the clearances with the lobes facing away from the valve with a set of feeler gauges. Then zip tie the cam gears to the cam chain and with a grease pen marks the chain link and the crank sprocket so that it all can go back on easy how it was it's much easier then resetting it from scratch. Once you have the cams out you measure the shims with a micrometer or vernier and you can usually swap some back and forth to get it right but if you need a few take the ones you don't need to a shop and trade em for the ones you need. Usually your old shim and a few bucks. Write down your clearances then write what shim came out as your taking them out. Do the math on what you need and it's easier to swap them around. I can't stress enough write it all down as your doing it.
 

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“Rhinestone Cowboy” MF Doom
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What mods are on the bike. Aftermarket fuel controller?

I know the valve thing sounds crazy but I'm sure my exhaust valves #3 were tight from factory. I did my first valve job at 30,000 miles but will do the next one at a sooner interval. Maybe 10,000 to 15,000 miles.
 

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R1 is AWESOME, but has issues
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
What mods are on the bike. Aftermarket fuel controller?

I know the valve thing sounds crazy but I'm sure my exhaust valves #3 were tight from factory. I did my first valve job at 30,000 miles but will do the next one at a sooner interval. Maybe 10,000 to 15,000 miles.
No mods (yet). The one previous owner added a new turn/brake light in the tail. I think that's it.
 

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I've read that some people with this issue see improved results after installing a manual CCT, including myself. I removed my starter, cleaned it up making it look like new, replaced the plugs and rectifier like you did. Same issue. putting in a Speedcell helped, but after putting in a manual CCT, it has greatly improved.
 

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if there's nothing wrong with your cct i wouldn't change it.
wasn't there a problem with the early models with the CCT failing? I had a 2009 and it had a manual CCT when I got it but that Engine blew so I replaced it with a stock 2014 engine and I still have the automatic CCT but I hate how rattly it is on start up before the oil pressure has built up. I am debating putting a manual one back on.
 

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Both my previous 2012 R1 and my current 2013 R1 have done this same thing. I've done many things to try to get to the bottom of it and nothing seems to help.

I had a FTECU Flashtuner on both of them and I tried messing with all sorts of things that would impact startup, and nothing has fixed it. My battery is strong, and I've even started it while plugged into a booster pack just to make sure it wasn't dropping voltage, yet the same thing happens. I had my 2012 for about 4 years and owned it from 650 to just under 11K miles on it, and it did this in cold weather during that entire time. I Just got my 2013 a little under 2 years ago with 300 miles on it, and it starts terrible in cold weather as well with only 3200 miles on it now. Both bikes basically behaved exactly the same.... Start progressively worse the colder it gets below around 48 or so degrees. Generally when it gets to 30 degrees, it's 50/50 whether or not it will ever start before the battery dies.

I've been left stranded at work at least 5 or 6 times at night when temps dipped down lower and way than they were supposed to and my bike wouldn't start. I keep a battery charger in my desk now just in case as well as a booster pack, but mostly i try to just play it safe and avoid riding to work on days where it's going to be that cold at night and put me at risk of not being able to get the bike running.

So 2 different R1's that I owned... various mileage, anywhere from about 1400 miles up to almost 11k when they first saw cold weather, and both had the same problem despite having a tune on them.

The only thing that helps is holding the throttle open a bit while cranking, but that still won't work when the temps are in the 20's. I still usually crack the throttle a bit right off the bat when trying to cold start the bike in temps under 40.
 

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Exact conclusion as partyman66, I've had my 2011 thru summer,winter and spring seasons and have no doubt it is AIR TEMP related.Anything below 10 degree celcius takes several attemps to start.Temps above this- and it starts instantly.AIR FUEL RATIO is so crutial for initial start up.
 

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Exact conclusion as partyman66, I've had my 2011 thru summer,winter and spring seasons and have no doubt it is AIR TEMP related.Anything below 10 degree celcius takes several attemps to start.Temps above this- and it starts instantly.AIR FUEL RATIO is so crutial for initial start up.
It's actually the temperature of the motor that matters from what ive found, not the current temp of the air. If the air is super cold and the bike is not completely stone cold, it will start. It Will also struggle to start in the early afternoon when it's in the low 50s after being outside on a super cold night that was down to the low 20s or teens with a cover on the bike and under a porch where no sun shines directly on it.

I imagine it has something to do with coolant temperature sensing and associated air\fuel compensation... But it seems to be something that we can't tune out with FTECU until the bike is running.
 

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Hi partyman66, the three last words in my post is the problem I have, I agree with you that when the engine block is above ambient temp it will start as normal.As with all bikes I have owned,the INITIAL START UP can be difficult to get right.The good old manual choke gave you some control on cold starts.
 
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