Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
Hello from the cold, wet north of the 49th parallel. Long-time subscribers up here, three generations, and still have a pile of Dirt Bike mags from the ’70s from my old man, and my son is now reading my well-worn-out pages. Keep up the great work!
Enough of the chit-chat and onto the important stuff. We have a ’08 KX65 for my son. Second ride out and it seized the crank rod onto the crankshaft. I put a Wrench Rabbit rebuild kit in it, top and bottom end, the full works (was a great kit from my perspective), so now the bike runs great, been ripping around for a year without a worry, just normal maintenance. The one issue I have is cold starts. It takes a good 15 kicks to fire up, then after it’s been started it’s good for the rest of the day, even when it has cooled again. First kick every time seems like fuel to me, and I have played with the jetting (pilot) to richen it up a bit but it doesn’t seem to matter. It’s not a showstopper, but it’s bugging me. My YZ250 starts second kick when it is stone cold, as has most of my two-smokers in the past. Is there something I’m missing? Oh, and stock jetting, 0–2000 feet, wet and cold 10 months a year!
Appreciate any advice, and thanks for the great read!
A long-time reader
Via [email protected]

Dear “Long-Term,” stop playing with the jetting to fix cold starts. If it starts well hot and runs clean, the jetting is certainly in a good place. If you do fiddle with the carburetor, make sure that the choke circuit is working correctly, and that none of the air or fuel passages it employs are plugged. Finally, I would make sure that you store the KX with the fuel shut off and the carburetor drained. You can do that the precise way by removing the float-bowl drain. The quick and dirty method is to turn the fuel tap off and lay the bike down until fuel stops running out through the overflow tubes on the carburetor. A KX65 kick-starter has a design flaw in that it allows your boot to hit the footpeg, which limits a full kick. Remember, the choke on a two-stroke is bypassed when you open the throttle. When the choke is on kick, the bike with the throttle closed. Hopefully these steps will help, now get kicking!


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