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bike won't start after heavy rain

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kingrico
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PostPosted: 12:40 - 14 May 2009    Post subject: bike won't start after heavy rain Reply with quote

Couple of weeks ago i left my bike standing outside all night in the rain, uncovered. Went to start it up the next morning and wouldn't start! I could hear the ignition noise but the engine was reluctant to get going at all. After about 10 mins of trying it suddenly burst into life. Miracle? Has anyone else had the same problem? I generally don't make a habit of leaving my wheels in the rain but I was under the impression that a 'little' rain wouldn't hurt. How wrong was I... Laughing
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Thom
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PostPosted: 12:50 - 14 May 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest the GPX i had did this, it was left outside at night but even when dry and warm you'd keep having to hit the starter in the hope it would finally turn over, it did of course, every time. i ended up putting it down to a very low battery.
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Kwaks
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PostPosted: 12:51 - 14 May 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

By rain you mean this night?
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Acemastr
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PostPosted: 13:33 - 14 May 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

left mine out last night(as i do everynight) came to it this morning, pressed starter button and nothing, no lights no nothing, took battery cover off, pressed the wires/terminals and it starts first time. no idea how that happened.
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kingrico
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PostPosted: 13:35 - 14 May 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmm i wouldn't say the rain was THAT bad Thumbs Up the heavy rain i experienced is made to look like a mild drizzle compared to that! Hmm i know what you mean metalforever i get that occasionally ( i have a 10 year old er-5) but it did sound as if the underlying cause of the problem was to do with water; i believe the battery is okay because it usually starts first time without a problem if it has been a dry day and left outside. Possibly water in the fuel mixture?/ water interfering with the ignition spark?
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Rob
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PostPosted: 13:39 - 14 May 2009    Post subject: Re: bike won't start after heavy rain Reply with quote

kingrico wrote:
Couple of weeks ago i left my bike standing outside all night in the rain, uncovered. Went to start it up the next morning and wouldn't start! I could hear the ignition noise but the engine was reluctant to get going at all. After about 10 mins of trying it suddenly burst into life. Miracle? Has anyone else had the same problem? I generally don't make a habit of leaving my wheels in the rain but I was under the impression that a 'little' rain wouldn't hurt. How wrong was I... Laughing


Water getting onto your sparkplugs? If you look at the top of a lot of engines there is almost a little 'tray' along the line of where the plugs go, so rainwater can gather and if the seal isn't very good drip down onto the plugs... after a few goes to start it the water may dry which allows it to start! Bit of bathroom sealant should do the trick!! Wink Thumbs Up
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kingrico
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PostPosted: 13:51 - 14 May 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

that does seem logical rob, thanks. I think i will make a habit of placing a cover over my bike if and when it rains as well as looking at the weather forecast, something i have never bothered to do Laughing
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Pernig
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PostPosted: 14:13 - 14 May 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many bikes are renowned for this. Being more exposed than cars, the bike's electrics are prone to corrosion from damp. Some common places are the starter switch/killswitch, side stand switch, coils (on old bikes like mine the ignition coils apparently develop tiny cracks which only lets in water in mist or heavy rain), and the spark plug caps.

I'd say that, unless you have a single, the condition of the spark plug caps shouldn't stop the bike starting completely, rather just make it run like crap until the engine is warm and the water has evaporated.

My GPZ did exactly what you described in a heavy downpour. Wouldn't start for 5 or 10 minutes then suddenly it burst into life. A quick spray of WD40 round all the usual places made sure it didn't happen again.
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robbieguy2003
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PostPosted: 14:56 - 14 May 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wouldnt say just old bikes either.

My RR7 does a similar thing after really heavy rain. Sometimes it just wont start (all electrics and starter motor sound fine) but just no go from the engine.

Normally starts after a few minutes.

Its only generally if i'm riding in heavy rain, I think the ram-air in the nosecone (right between the headlights) takes in lots of water which screws it up.

I've found running it for a few minutes after stopping does tend to help though.

In nearly all circumstances after heavy rain it feels boggy and down on power for the first 10-15 miles of riding.

My RR3 never done this and the air intake vents were a little less exposed being under the headlights.
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mooserx
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PostPosted: 19:17 - 14 May 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

My old cbr used to be a real tw@ to start after rain or even a heavy mist, and that was after being left under a cover overnight. Once it got going it was alright after it had dried out a bit.
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TheFoxyDuke
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PostPosted: 10:00 - 15 May 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spray of WD40 might help to displace some water if its having a tough time cranking over.

There used to be a spray which formed a kind of plasticky seal over plugs/etc available from Halrfauds (Dampstart IIRC). Used it on an old Mini Cooper I used to have. Kept the moisture out instead of having to remove it when already in.

FoxyD
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Blackwolf
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PostPosted: 10:04 - 15 May 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheFoxyDuke wrote:
Spray of WD40 might help to displace some water if its having a tough time cranking over.

There used to be a spray which formed a kind of plasticky seal over plugs/etc available from Halrfauds (Dampstart IIRC). Used it on an old Mini Cooper I used to have. Kept the moisture out instead of having to remove it when already in.

FoxyD


Do you mean ACF 50?
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Mark65
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PostPosted: 10:21 - 15 May 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheFoxyDuke wrote:
Spray of WD40 might help to displace some water if its having a tough time cranking over.

There used to be a spray which formed a kind of plasticky seal over plugs/etc available from Halrfauds (Dampstart IIRC). Used it on an old Mini Cooper I used to have. Kept the moisture out instead of having to remove it when already in.

FoxyD


I remember that stuff, it was great, spray on and it dried to a semi flexible coating, too much if i remember and after a while it started to crack, still good stuff though.

Mark
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kingrico
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PostPosted: 10:24 - 15 May 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

WD40? Got some in the garage I will give it a try and see if it works next time it rains an ocean on my bike Thumbs Up
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temeluchus
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PostPosted: 13:23 - 15 May 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

indeed, when it gets wet, douse liberally in WD40 and all ye water based maladies should disappear!

Holts Damp Start Autoplast is the best for old electrics. Whilst the bike is dry, whip the tank off and give the electrics agood spray with contact cleaner to remove grease and crap, allow the spray to evaporate then spray liberally with the autoplast, this forms aplastic coating that keeps the damp up, great stuff!

Also give your coils and HT leads a coating. make sure the HT caps are ON the plugs then give them a dousing too. If you have the caps off you can get some inside and coat the contact thus preventing a spark Smile
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kingrico
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PostPosted: 18:24 - 17 May 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely HACKED it down today for atleast 2 or so hours today. Was at work all day and when I went to start the bike after my shift it started first time without as much as a cough. The night before I had sprayed my bike in all the suspect areas with plenty of WD40. Cheers for the advice all!
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