4 Common Kawasaki Bayou 220 Problems (Should You Buy It?)

The Kawasaki Bayou 220 is a superstar in its own right when it comes to ATVs. Since its introduction in 1988, this four-wheel-drive vehicle has set the standard for professional and dependable 4x4s. 

The Kawasaki Bayou 220, which has been in production for more than three decades, just like any other machine, is not free from problems.

Kawasaki Bayou 220 Common Problems include the followings: 

  • Starter problems
  • Carburetor problems
  • Idle problems
  • Transmission problems

This article will dive deep into the most common problems Kawasaki Bayou 220 owners encountered and their common solutions. 

Therefore, buckle up, and let’s start fixing your Kawasaki Bayou 220!

Kawasaki Bayou 220 Problems 

Here are the most common problems with the Kawasaki Bayou 220 and how to fix them quickly and easily is described below: 

Kawasaki Bayou 220 Problems

1. Carburetor Problems

The Kawasaki Bayou ATV carburetor is known to develop some issues as it ages. 

The problem is crud buildup in the enrichment circuit

The ATV bogs down when given its throttle, and the improvement with choking and gradually pressing the gas lever may indicate a problem with the fuel/air mixture. 

It could be that the carburetor is not delivering the right amount of fuel to the engine when you first give it a throttle, causing it to bog down.

The Fix:

If you are experiencing carburetor problems with your Kawasaki ATV, there are a few things you can do to fix the issue. 

  • The first step is to carefully clean every jet and passage carefully, ensuring the slide is not sticking. 
  • You should also consider rebuilding the carburetor, which may be fouled or gummed up. 
  • Additionally, it is important to check and recheck all adjustments and don’t forget to clean the die-cast port in the carb bowl. Passing a soft wire through each jet is also crucial, as simply soaking them may not be enough to clear any blockages. 

2. Idle Problems

The Bayou 220 has irregular issues with the idle, requiring constant throttle adjustments to keep it running. Additionally, it backfires and sputters while idling. 

This ATV has other idle problems after running for a while. When the engine warms up when put into neutral, it has a high idle. 

On the other hand, it won’t idle after rebuilding, and the idle speed increases by itself.

The Bayou 220 ATV starts and runs fine on the choke but sputters and dies when you turn off the choke. It could be a sign of a lean condition at idle. 

This means the engine is not getting enough fuel to sustain combustion at low rpm. Common causes of this issue include clogged or dirty carburetor jets, air leaks in the intake system, or incorrect idle mixture adjustment.

The Fix:

To fix idle issues, follow the steps given below:

  • Clean the carburetor and the slow-speed jet/needle circuit. 
  • Check the float needle and ensure there are no air leaks. 
  • It is important to adjust the idle so that it barely idles. The objective is to allow the engine to idle at the lowest possible RPM to prevent the engine from operating roughly or stalling with the activation of power-consuming accessories.
  • Use spray silicon to seal any small leaks.

3. Electrical Start Issues

Common electrical start problems with the Bayou 220 include a faulty starter solenoid, a weak or dead battery, and a malfunctioning neutral safety switch

The starter solenoid can vibrate and fail to engage the starter motor, while a weak or dead battery can prevent the starter motor from turning over.

A malfunctioning neutral safety switch can also prevent the starter motor from engaging, as it requires the transmission to be in neutral or the brake to be engaged before the engine can start.

The Fix:

Fix the starting problem of a Bayou 220 by following the steps below: 

  • First, check the battery to ensure it is fully charged and in good condition. 
  • Next, inspect the starter solenoid for any signs of damage or corrosion, and replace it if necessary. 
  • If the neutral switch is the problem, it may need to be replaced, which could require opening the engine. However, it may also be possible to bypass the switch. 
  • Finally, check the fuse holder for any corrosion and clean or replace it as needed.

4. Choke Problems

The choke plunger on a Kawasaki Bayou 220 can sometimes get stuck or be difficult to move, causing issues with the engine idle. 

If the plunger is too tight, it may need to be sanded down or lubricated with machine oil to move freely. 

Additionally, if the engine only runs on a choke and will not idle, it could be an issue with the air pilot jet screw needing to be adjusted to a higher setting.

The Fix: 

  • The possible fixes for choke issues with a Kawasaki Bayou 220 ATV include checking for a plugged jet and soaking the carburetor in carb and choke cleaner or Pine-Sol, blasting it with air, and checking throttle cable tension. 
  • It is also important to adjust the throttle cable adjuster and lock nut and check for air leaks by spraying carb cleaner around the carb and its intake to the head. 
  • If a rubber O-ring is missing at the top of the spring with a little metal washer, this could cause an air leak and need replacement.

Is it Worth Buying a Kawasaki Bayou 220?

Since 1988, the Kawasaki Bayou 220 has been a popular ATV in production. It is a versatile ATV that can be used for both work and recreation. 

Here are some characteristics and features of the Kawasaki Bayou 220 are given below:

  • Engine: The Bayou 220’s engine is a 215cc, four-stroke, air-cooled unit that provides good power and torque for its stature. This engine is dependable and simple to maintain and repair.
  • Transmission: The Bayou 220 has a five-speed reverse gear transmission, providing excellent off-road cycling flexibility and control.
  • Suspension: The suspension system of the Bayou 220 is uncomplicated yet effective, providing a comfortable ride over rough terrain. It has a front suspension with a single A-arm and a rear suspension with dual shocks.
  • Brakes: The Bayou 220’s front and rear drum brakes are mechanical and provide excellent stopping force and control.
  • Utility features: The Bayou 220 has a front and rear cargo rack, providing excellent utility for work or transporting equipment.

Because of its superior qualities, the Kawasaki Bayou 220 is an ATV that can be relied upon for work and pleasure. 

This vehicle has been the go-to of ATV fans for decades due to its durability and low maintenance needs.

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