Question about Harley Davidson FLSTS Heritage Springer Motorcycles

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New to me 98 HD Springer, any tricks to starting in colder weather? Manual says not to give gas, what do the experts say?

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"Manual says not to give it gas". This is correct. If your bike is equipped with fuel injection, the electronics control the fuel in a cold weather start.

In the event your bike is equipped with a carb, you must allow the enricher (choke) to do what it is designed to do. Allow me to explain how it works on a carburetor equipped bike.

A choke and an enricher circuit do the same thing, start a cold engine with an over-rich fuel mixture. But, they way they accomplish this is completely different. The choke is a plate in the mouth of the carb that limits the air intake of the carb making the fuel mixture rich. An enricher is a completely separate circuit within the carb. It has it's own venturi that runs parallel to the main venturi. When you pull the enricher, it opens this venturi and a fuel port that comes directly out of the float bowl. This supplies the air and the fuel to start the engine. But, it will only do that if the vacuum is pulling air through this venturi. If you "give it gas" or open the main venturi, the vacuum pulls the air through the main venturi rather than the enricher venturi and the engine does not want to start.

So, this is how I tell people to start their engine when it's cold. First turn on the fuel at the petcock. Then twist the throttle grip twice and go back to full close. Pull the enricher out, turn the switch on and use you index finger to push the start button. Do not open the throttle (give it gas) at all. The bike should start up and go to a high idle when it does start. The point is, when starting a cold engine with the enricher, do not crack the throttle open at all. Leave it shut. If you open it the lest little bit, it renders the enricher circuit inoperative. Leave that throttle shut.

Good Luck

Posted on Apr 10, 2011


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