Before each ride make sure all scheduled maintenance has been performed. Check all gas and oil levels are at sufficient quantities for ride. Inspect tires, brakes and shocks for condition. Check that all lights and turn signals are functioning properly.
When topping off fluids take care to not use dirty or contaminated funnels. Use care to not introduce dirt, water or other contaminates into the fuel, engine or drive component reservoirs.
Starting the Engine
Make sure the gear box is in neutral before starting. Avoid having the handle bars fully turned to one side or the other as the throttle cable ferrule(s) can slip out of the 1-to-2 splitter causing a high rpm start.
With the ignition key "On" , the green "Neutral" annunciator light should be illuminated. Caution as the "Neutral" light also illuminates when the gear box is in the "Reverse" gear too. Year model 2007 and up, reverse does not activate the "Neutral" lamp. Roll the motorcycle back and forth slightly to assure the gear box is in neutral.
Open the fuel petcock, turn the Kill switch to the "Run" position and use one of the following methods as conditions warrant.
Cold Engine, Warm Day (above 60F/15C)
If the engine has been not run for several hours or overnight, use of the enricheners most likely will not be needed. Crack open the throttle slightly and press the Starter button or use the kick start lever to fire the engine. A properly tuned engine should start within 1 to 3 kicks. Do not engage the electric starter for more than 5 seconds. If the engine does not start. Wait 20 to 30 seconds before using the starter again. Continuous use of the electric starter will deplete the battery and possible damage the starter. The engine is sufficiently warmed up for use when there is no sputtering or popping with application of the throttle.
Cold Engine, Cool Day (between 40F/4C & 60F/15C)
Pull out both carburetor enricheners. Use the electric or kick starter to engage engine. When the engine starts, push in (off) both enricheners immediately. Use the throttle to hold a rpm slightly higher than idle for 10 to 30 seconds. The idle will increase to a peak at which time you can release the throttle. Occasionally, the throttle will need to be "blipped" (revved open and closed slightly and rapidly) for a couple of minutes to warm the engine so it can hold idle on its own. Again, the engine is sufficiently warmed up for use when there is no sputtering or popping with application of the throttle.
Cold Weather Starting (below 40F/4C)
With the ignition kill switch off, give the engine 5 to 10 (depending on the temperature) priming kicks with the kick starter. Pull open the enricheners on each carburetor and use the electric starter or the kick starter to engage the engine. Near freezing, it will take 3 to 5 seconds of starter/kick starting to fire the engine. As soon as the engine is running push the enricheners off. Allow the engine to warm up before driving so the oil becomes warm enough to perform.
Note: Do not run the enricheners for a prolonged period of time. As soon as the engine can sustain itself without the use of the enricheners, turn them off. The plugs can become fouled rapidly with use of the enricheners (when not needed) causing poor performance. Severe fouling can lead to running on one cylinder which can quickly lead to valve and cylinder damage on the operating cylinder. Shut down immediately if you suspect you are running on one cylinder. Clean or replace the plugs and re-start.
Shutting Down Engine
Under normal conditions, the motorcycle should be in 1st or neutral gear; use the "Kill" switch to shut the engine down and then turn off the ignition. Set the parking brake if needed before getting off the motorcycle.
Many things can contribute to an overheated engine, high ambient temperatures, high humidity, prolong slow speeds, heavily loaded and long steep ascents to mention a few. When overheated, the engine can backfire or detonate while operating or when being shut down. To avoid damage if this occurs, immediately pull both enricheners out. This will allow the engine to stall without any knocks or backfire. After the engine stops, turn off the Kill switch and ignition.