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As we soon transition back into the riding season, this reminder is definitely worth reviewing... DO NOT USE YOUR CHOKE! The choke on the 1300 is not the standard kind of choke, and basically just serves as an enricher, dumping raw fuel into the mix. Using the choke on the VTX 1300 will foul your spark plugs!

The bike CAN be started without the choke, even in the coldest of conditions... With practice. Here is how I do it:


  1. Roll the throttle, all the way to full. If extra cold, do it twice.
  2. Roll the throttle to about 1/2 and hold
  3. Push the starter
  4. Begin moving the throttle as if you were revving your engine (vroom, vroom, vroom) in very short bursts
  5. The bike will start, but for the first several seconds, will also pop and require the quick throttle revs to stay running. Once you feel that the constant rev bursts are no longer needed, keep the RPMs high enough for the bike to stay running.
  6. Sit like this for ~10 seconds, until you see that you can idle down enough to ride away
  7. Ride away, with maintaining a higher than usual idle on the bike, using your throttle. After a few blocks of riding, the bike will behave normally
This whole process takes 30-60 seconds, and then you can begin riding away. At first, this will seem impossible... But, I can assure you, it is definitely possible (I was a skeptic too, at first). With practice, you will become a master, and maintain the performance of your spark plugs. My plugs have never been fouled, since I bought my bike in 2007. I was lucky enough to have read about this tip right off the bat.

If your bike is running rougher than it used to, is often harder to keep running than it used to, and you haven't changed/adjusted any of your engine components, it's likely that your plugs are fouled. Replace them, and vow to never use your choke again.

Personally, I'm a recovering cold weather choke-user. Been on the wagon a few days now, but now will face each cold weather start one day at a time.

www.GreatLakesRoadRiders.org

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