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Proper use of cold start lever.


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I have a 1998 1100rt, and I find the explanation in the manual a bit vague.


The lever goes to a certain point, then meets resistance, but can be pushed with your thumb a bit farther beyond that point. If you release the thumb pressure, it will go back to the original full "choked" setting.


Question is, should I push the level past it's farthest setting for initial starting, or is this not right? I will say, that when I do push it past that point, the bike starts much easier and faster. I'm just worried that by pushing past the point of initial resistance is doing some kind of damage to the linkage.



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for my 2004RT the dance to start is as follows:


-gear in neutral

-pull clutch, and pull cold start lever all the way up

-start the engine

-let cold start lever drop to midpoint, slightly higher rpms than idle at this point, but less than all the way up

-pop in gear, ride 230' down driveway...no sitting and warming up

-upon exiting driveway the cold start is pushed off and away we go.

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I pull it full back for starting, once it fires up I hold it for a couple of seconds then let it fall back to the detent position. I immediately then ride a block or so and put it to the "off" position. By that time the bike can usually idle smoothly on its own at the various stop signs in my immediate neighborhood.



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I have mine adjusted for 1500 RPM all the way up COLD and 1200 at detent. This is about 2200 RPM hot and 1500 at the detent. I never let bike warm up, and I am never stuck in traffic. I ride year round, and this gives me the best starting and running.


Second use, when doing Parking lot maneuvers and u-turns and the like, I set on the detent (center) position and then control speed with rear brake, so very easy.


Third use, in the rain or below freezing I leave it up so there is not as much compression braking, after all, ABS will not work on compression braking.


Works for me.



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If you release the thumb pressure, it will go back to the original full "choked" setting.

That may be part of the confusion -- the detent position is not the "full choke" position. The "hold-it with your thumb" position is full choke.


After starting and holding for a few seconds (I use 4~5 sec), releasing the lever drops it back to the intermediate choke position for the rest of the warm-up.

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rgraham, keep in mind the cold start lever (they call it a choke) is really nothing more than a fast idle control.. It is NOT a choke & adds no extra fuel for starting.. It is the VERY SAME as holding the twist grip open a little during starting (that is all it does)


If you want to see what it does on a warm idling engine just set it to the point it will stay (just before the added resistance point) the look at the engine RPM.. Then push it all the way to end of travel then look at the engine RPM..


Try staring your engine with it set to the point it will stay by itself (that is usually good for warm to slightly cool weather starting) if it starts & stays running there just use that position.. In real cold weather you might have to push it to end or travel for a few seconds to allow the engine to stay running cold..


Personally I always just used the position it would stay by itself then if more was needed in real cold weather I would just hold the twist grip open slightly (that does the same thing only easier to use & hold)..




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Most of the time I forget to use it... but then I haven't tried to start my bike on a cold morning yet...


When I forget to use it, I do give it a little more throttle to move out... but it warms up fast...


And the times that I do remember to use it, I have it shut off before I even get out of my subdivision... if not out of my drive...


Regards -


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I never use the cold start lever. I keep the rpm's up manually and by the time I back out of the shed and turn around it's warm enough to ride off. I do keep the lever working as it can serve as an emergency throttle if the main throttle cable ever breaks on the road.

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I never use the cold start lever. I keep the rpm's up manually .....


But why?




I never use mine either on my 1100rt, it needs looked at, as with it on the bike revs to 3k, and it sticks untill you fiddle with it, so I dont bother, must have a look at it someday, I do use it on my 1150gs, tickover is set at 1000rpm, but I have a habit of forgeting to switch it of, so its a good job that it only increases the idle.

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I don't use the cold start lever because for a few reasons.

I don't start the bike until I'm fully dressed and sitting on it. RTs have caught on fire by leaving the bike unattened to warm up.

If I don't use the lever I won't forget to turn it off miles down the road.

I like having my hand on the throttle while it warms up as it gives me 20 seconds to connect with bike's sounds and vibrations.


Unlike my buddy's Sportster, my routine is start it and ride off.

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Wow - I'd better go find my manual for the 1150RT and read that cold start section ONE MORE TIME - - I ALWAYS use it until I get one hot bar on the Rider Info Display.... I have extra bar mount mirrors and the lever touches the mirror stalk base, so I can't seem to find a middle position - I go lever full up, ride till I get one bar, then flick it off...

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- - I ALWAYS use it until I get one hot bar on the Rider Info Display....snip...ride till I get one bar, then flick it off...


Same here. My base idle is low and choppy on a cold start unless I use the lever. As soon as I see one bar it gets flicked off. (usually a mile or less)

I can't see how anyone would forget to shut it off, the fast idle is a pretty good reminder.


There is no middle detent, only one. You can push it beyond the detent for a faster idle but it will spring back to the detent when released.

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