I'm having trouble getting the engine to start and idle


New Member
Feb 22, 2014
Scottsdale, AZ
Hello everyone, I just purchased a two stroke Schwinn Stingray OCC off of a gentleman this week. It's used and has been through three owners so far but the last guy didn't ride it as much as he fixed it from the previous owner.

I am completely new to motorized bikes so I really don't know any of the technical terms other than the throttle, clutch, and choke... but I want to learn

Now, hopefully I can get some help from you guys or at least some guidance.

The engine is a Star Fire Gen 1-A, it's a 58cc and I believe from looking around at various websites it has a speed carb on it.

When I viewed the bike the owner demonstrated how to use it and to show that it worked, he also quickly taught me how to use it and let me test drive it. Its took me a little while to figure it out but it seemed to be working fine. Now, that I've brought it home it will start up and run for about 30 seconds then die.

I noticed that the clutch was very hard to pull, like two hands required kind of pull. So I tried giving it a little oil since there seemed to be a lot of friction with pulling it and I was hearing a strain when it would be pulling in. The clutch is still a little tough but not nearly as bad as it was.

When I start it up it doesn't start right away and will take a few times of me pedaling and releasing the clutch while pedaling to get the engine started. I've run out of breath quite a bit because of this process and I don't think it should be this hard. But when it does get going I can go about 200 feet and reach 18mph so far, I installed a wireless odometer to monitor the speed. But once I let up on the throttle the engine will slow down then die all together. I don't believe it idles at all either, I've gotten it to slow down before dying when I came to a stop sign but then it just shut off. It seems as though it will only give me a good 5 minutes of drive time for every 40 I put into trying to start it up. I have to start the bike out with the choke lever all the way up and I can only get it about halfway down before the bike dies again.

Is there anything I can check to see if it will work better? I know there is an idle screw which I believe was lost by the original owner and replaced with another screw by the last owner. I'm not very mechanically inclined but I do want to learn so if you can be patient with me that would be great or if you have any links or pictures that would help a lot too.



Gutter Rider
May 26, 2011
Left coast
It's probably gonna require learning about mechanics to resolve the problems.
...good idea to read through a whole bunch of the threads.

A good place to start would be to replace the sparkplug if it is smudged at all.

carb is most likely plugged with something... should probably be cleaned out.
a fuel filter is very important.

..There's a bunch of riders over there in AZ... I'll bet they will help you! :)



LORD VADER Moderator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2008
pampa texas
What is your fuel mix?
I run 40 to 1 syn. oil and plain ol cheap regular gasoline.

There is a bunch of guys in your area you need to get with them, it's easier if you have someone that is knowledgeable to help you hands on.


New Member
Feb 22, 2014
Scottsdale, AZ
I'm using the fuel that was still in it but the guy was using a 40 or 45:1. I'm going to mix up some new fuel today and drain the old and see if that makes any difference.


Old, Fat, and still faster than you
Oct 8, 2011
memphis Tn
Sounds like a carb or fuel supply issue of some sort. Clean the float bowl and make sure the jet is not unscrewed. Also check the fuel shutoff is not clogged. Gas cap can also cause issues. Will it run with the cap loose?
Worse case would be a replacement NT carb for about $15-20 bucks of ebay.
Might be easier to start fresh with an unbuggered fuel system...
Other peoples problems and all that.


Staff member
Sep 15, 2008
Littleton, Colorado
Sir, it appears from your first post that you have much to learn about motorized bicycles. However you indicated that you want to learn so I will suggest that you start by using the search feature, type in keyword/s and look for information. There is a lot of it here.
Your problems are common and have been discussed and covered numerous times and I'm sure you can find some help if you search for it.

That said, let's see if we can at least get you headed in the right direction. From your description it sounds as if you have ignition. That's one of the three things necessary for the engine to run. The other two are air and fuel in the proper quantities. You can check for fuel flow to the carburetor from the tank by disconnecting the fuel line from the carb, opening the fuel petcock and seeing if fuel flows in a steady stream from the fuel line. If not, your problem might be a clogged fuel inlet inside the tank. This is common and why we recommend an in-line fuel filter between the tank and carburetor.

You'll want to make sure the fuel tank cap is venting properly. A cap that doesn't vent will stop the fuel flow after a few moments of running. Try running the bike with the cap loose to see if that could be part of your problem.

Clutch operation. You need to hold the clutch lever in, clutch disengaged, until you have pedaled up to about 10mph before releasing it. When coming to a stop, or slowing below about 10mph you must disengage the clutch (squeeze the handlebar lever) and hold it until the bike is again exceeding 10mph. The engine will not idle or run with the clutch engaged and the bike slowing or stopped.

Use the choke if necessary to get the engine running but then it should be off (open, lever down) after a few seconds. If the engine will not run with the choke open this might be an indication of a large air (vacuum) leak somewhere downstream of the carburetor or a severe lack of fuel.

Hard clutch pull can sometimes be the result of the clutch cable being routed where it has sharp bends or kinks. It must have large, sweeping curves and not be tied to the frame or other places too tightly. The clutch actuating mechanism inside the cover where the engine sprocket is must be lubricated. Oil won't do it. There is a cam, a steel pin called a bucking bar and a ball bearing inside that cover. They all need lubrication with a good grade of bearing grease. The cable itself will also benefit from lubrication.

Idle speed screw. They are a special screw and can not be replaced by a standard machine screw. The original has a small diameter pin protruding from the end of the threads. That pin engages a ramp on the throttle barrel and determines idle speed by blocking the barrel travel. A standard screw will either not reach far enough or too far and jamb the barrel from moving properly.

I hope some of these suggestions offer you some direction. Let us know how you're doing and if you make any progress.

Last edited: