Motorcycle Repair: cold starting, starter switch, starter motor

Chris, I have a 2003 V-Star 650 which runs great but is difficult to start. With the choke wide open it will start immediately but will not stay running. The choke seems to be operating correctly and I've tried different choke settings. I usually end up starting it at least 4 or 5 times before I can get it to smooth into an idle. Plugs, idle rpm's and carb sync are all OK. I'm concerned about wear on starter/switch and battery. Is this anything to be worried about or do you know anything I can try? Thanks, any help would be appreciated.  

Hi Chris.

 When you say cold starting, what temperature range are you talking about?  For Floridians, cold starting is usually anything from 80 degrees to 40 degrees while folks up north have cold starting temps from 70 - 0 degrees.  It could just be too cold for that motor to stay running right away at the temp that you are in.
 Unfortunately, it will produce a bit of extra wear and tear on the starter motor.  If it is a typical Yamaha starter motor, though, the brushes should be easy enough to replace and much cheaper than a new motor.

If the temp range that you are starting it in is below 60, then try wrapping an engine heater blanket around the motor in the evening when you know you will be riding it the next day.  That may help.

Good luck and ride safe.