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2009 V-Strom hard to start, then black puff of smoke

854 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  KOGLOBAL
I've done a search, and didn't see anything that resembled this problem. My 2009 V-Strom with only 1900 miles on it(I purchased it 2 months ago, original owner only put 1100 miles on it in 1.5 yrs, so maybe that has something to do with it?) , has been hard to start the last two times I've ridden. The starter sounds like it wants to do its thing, but just won't catch and start. Took about 7 times pushing the starter, and finally working the throttle a bit to start it, and when it finally did, it blew a small puff of black smoke out. After it was running, and I was at highway speeds, it seemed to be underpowered and a bit "groggy" for lack of a better term. Anyone have any ideas? It still has 3 more years on the extended warranty, maybe I should just take it in to the dealership?
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That "working the throttle a bit" is the clue. Heat from the sun, the air and sometimes the engine can cause a problem with modern emissions controls. All those can raise the temperature of the fuel and cause vapors to leave the vent, go through the charcoal canister in greater amounts than it can absorb and migrate to the intake tract causing flooding. The fix is to open the throttle to let more air in to compensate during the starting process. If the engine doesn't start right away, open the throttle until it is letting enough air in to start firing instead of just cranking. Don't "work" it but just open it until it fires up then ease it back down once it catches.

The underpowered part is a different thing entirely but we need more details to get a better idea of what is going on. The usual suspect is the very lean condition the engine runs in for emissions reasons. The 2500-3500rpm range is usually the worst part of the problem. Keeping the revs up and getting a proper sync for the two throttle bodies usually goes a long way toward improving things. Adjusting the fuel map is a popular fix but will raise the emissions which may or may not be a legal problem with dealers so many won't even mention the possibility.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Greywolf, thank you for the fast response. What you explained makes perfect sense as far as the heat, and what to do to remedy it. I will read up more on mapping, as the rpm level you stated is exactly where the problem seems to be. The "groggy" feeling I tried to describe is a lack of power feeling the bike has, the "pep" seems to be at about 75% of what it has felt like it was in the past. Once again, thanks for your help.
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