Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Learning how to do cold starts on the Airhead

Brigitta, my 1987 R80 Beemer Airhead motorcycle didn't come into my possession with an owner's manual. The information I had was Pete Homan's brief instructions re using the choke during cold starts and his admonishment to keep the idle speed up until she'd warm up and hold steady idle.

A few cold starts under my belt now and I think I have it figured out.

Use full choke setting on initial start, leave it there while using the throttle to keep the rpm's around 1500 for perhaps 30-45 seconds.

Then move the choke lever to low setting and start riding slowly out of my neighborhood or workplace. Still use the throttle to ensure she's idling at around 1000 rpm, if not, she'll tend to be idling around 6-800 rpm.

Once on main roads, I click off the choke and take it easy for a few blocks. So far, the engine has warmed up fast and I'm at "steady idling" by the time I've covered a mile or so of riding.

Before, I'd leave the choke on full and ride until she'd jerk a bit under acceleration and THEN turn off the choke, I believe now that was not proper procedure for a 21 year old airhead!

Luckily, I finally noticed how she would go into the prefered smooth idling mode right after I turned off the choke and I experimented turning it off sooner and sooner till I arrived at the above procedure.

Every day I ride it, I learn to like her a bit more. :)

12JUL08 Update: Really, a turn to half choke is usually enough to fire her up when starting her without choke doesn't do the trick. A few seconds with it in half choke and then turn it off and ride....

No comments: