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Debugging a DRZ that refuses to start

I don’t believe that I’ve had mechanical problems the first week of the trip.  Though that is why I’m doing this long USA portion– to prove the bike.

The fun starts here:

  • Checked to make sure FINEC (you took the MSF class, right?) was all good — Fuel, Ignition, Neutral, Engine, Choke

No luck.

  • Drained the carb to make sure float valve wasn’t stuck
  • Sprayed the carb with carb cleaner

Nothing..but I did manage to crank the battery into submission.  We then tried to push start it a couple of times with equal success.

  • Pull tank and pull the plug and inspect

It looked great

  • Check for spark by grounding the plug on the engine head and looking for a bring blue spark

Tons of spark@#$%@#$%  ARghhh.. At this point I’m very frustrated so…

  • Connect battery to charger and eat an excellent lunch of chicken burritos and green chili sauce
  • Drink beer
  • Learn to like ultrahoppy beer

Then comes the strangest thing.  I talked to my friend Gary back in Austin who is my greatest motorcycle resource and he suggested that I pull the plug and check to make sure it is moist with fuel.  So I reconnected the tank and fuel line and hit the starter very briefly and the bike fired right up.  #$%@#$%  I just tapped the starter and it took off!

I have no idea what was the problem.  Maybe something was some impedance in the fuel system.  Who knows.  I reconnected everything, fought with the seat for 30 mins to get the bike together… and celebrated by going to the Avery Brewery where my riding buddy Chuck’s son works.

Mike, Geri, and I at the Avery Brewery

The next morning I get an early start and start to learn about the joys of summer construction in snowy areas.  I have to make it to LA in 3 days.

Summer construction season in the mountains


  1. Ken says:

    Sorry about the troubles, but any day on the road that ends at a brew pub, not matter how much trouble, surely is worth it!!!!

  2. daveg says:

    heheh Ken. I know! Plus it only furthers the thought of having the best experiences when you’re broken down. I think it has something to do with the no joy without pain idea.


    Good luck down the road.

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