Partzilla Live Q&A with John Talley – May 22, 2020

John Talley returns to the Partzilla garage after being stuck at home for weeks because of the quarantine to continue his ongoing live Q&A series, answering your motorcycle and ATV repair questions

As usual, a variety of repair topics were discussed, including several questions about dirt bikes, which are highlighted below. Check out these highlights from John Talley’s seventh live Q&A, and tune into our YouTube and Facebook channels every Friday at 3pm Eastern for the next Partzilla live Q&A.

Repair questions answered live Partzilla

Partzilla Live Q&A Highlights – Dirt Bikes

Kawasaki Dirt Bike

I have a 2015 Kawasaki KLX 110 that will only start with the kickstart. When I push the electric start button, it just makes a slight buzzing noise. I replaced the battery, and the switch in the wiring harness, so what could it be? Stator? Starter motor? 

John Talley: Well, if you’re actually pushing the button and it’s making some type of noise, that tells me that it’s not going to be one of the fuses. You’re telling me you just put a battery in there, and that should be enough to kick it over, but it’s not sending enough amperage in there to make the connection inside that starter solenoid, so that’s probably the direction I would want to go next. It sounds to me like you know you’ve got a good battery, you know you’ve got a good start button, but that contactor is not fully making the connection in there, it’s just straining to make the connection in between those two posts. One goes to your battery and the other one to your starter, and it’s just sitting there buzzing, so I would aim for the starter solenoid next. 

Yamaha Dirt Bike

My niece has an older Yamaha PW80 two-stroke that will only run with the choke on. We cleaned the main and pilot jet, and we still can’t seem to get it idle without choke. Any ideas? 

John Talley: The pilot jet, especially on something as small as a PW80, is going to be tiny. You can let it sit in carb cleaner for a day and if it’s really stopped up, it can’t clean out a passage because it’s so small. Typically a pilot jet diameter is the same diameter as a cleaning brush bristle, it’s that small. And the chances of being able to clean it once it’s really gummed up is zero. So I would say go ahead and invest just a few bucks for a new pilot jet and you should be good to go. 

Honda Dirt Bike

I put too much oil in my 2000 XR100R and now it smokes and lost compression. Any ideas? 

John Talley: That’s odd that it would lose compression, and having too much oil, that usually causes problems down the bottom end. It actually foams up the oil because there’s too much down there, and I guess it could’ve hydro-locked and they do lose compression on the rings. But at any rate, if you’re sure that it’s lost compression, and you’ve ridden it enough to where it should’ve settled down with the additional oil, let’s say 10 or 15 miles after you extracted the right amount of oil out, then it’s probably time for a top end job. You can probably get away with just doing rings on it, honestly, but do measure the walls of the piston to make sure they aren’t worn out as well.  

Want to see more live repair questions answered? Watch the next edition of Partzilla Q&A below or see all of John’s Live Q&A sessions here.  

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