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Motorcycle Repair/1981 Yamaha XT250


I have a 1981 Yamaha XT250 with 1200 original miles. The bike is immaculate. If I squirt starting fluid into the spark plug hole it will start right up and purr like a kitten and run all day. Once it is shut off it will not start whether hot or cold with out starting fluid. I had the carb rebuilt with an NOS kit, new plug specified in the manual and fresh premium gas. Why won't this bike start with out starting fluid..

Hello Dan,

Assuming the carb is properly tuned, try closing the spark-plug gap to 0.5mm.
If this works, then your problem my friend is, weak ignition.

It can be due to defective main switch, kill-switch and/or spark-plug cap.

Ignition coil at the stator is also prone to malfunction on this bike, but yours has very low mileage.

If the above don't help, turn mixture screw one turn out, and try again.

Get back to me to let me know how it went.

Best regards,

P.S. Have you checked compression pressure?

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Lazaros Ampatzidis


I can help you on EVERY issue involving POST-1980 Japanese Motorcycles plus KTM and Husaberg. My field of expertise includes Engine, Transmission, Fuel system (carburation & EFI),Electrics and Electronics. Maintenance, repair and tuning. Road and off-road suspension tuning. Please don't ask me about non-Japanese Motorcycle, especially American built on which I have low to zero experience.


I'm a rider and hobbyist since childhood. 25 years motorcycle workshop mechanic.15 years motorcycle racing mechanic. In order of experience high to low:Kawasaki,Suzuki,Honda,Yamaha,KTM,Husaberg.

Hellenic (Greek) Technical School.Internal Combustion Engines Engineer. Automotive Electronics.

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