One off starter failure - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2010, 4:28 pm Thread Starter
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One off starter failure

Other day pulled into fuel station after 1 1/2 hrs on the motorway to fill up. Went to start her up and the starter motor made a sound and then nothing. Tried again same result. Sounded just like flat battery, not enough juice to turn it over . Although i know the battery is on the way out figured it must be a charging side failure after having had a long spell at motorway speeds. Rang recovery service to get us home and strip her down. While waiting for recovery vehicle tried a bump start, unloaded luggage and think i must have rocked her in gear fractionally and for some absent minded reason tried the starter motor. Starter spun up normally and motor fired, followed by quick call to cancel recovery.

Since then have used her for a couple of days without problems. Am going to replace the battery anyway but that does not explain the failure. I guessing its a sign the starter motor may be one the way out.

Anybody else with useful ideas, or similar experience

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2010, 4:55 pm
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could be just connection problems....tighten all your battery connections
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2010, 8:13 pm
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Check your starter brushes. Those start to go, things get weird.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2010, 8:30 pm
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Pushed mine behind the gas station a few times trying to get a restart. I don't know why but it just sort of hesitated starting once hot, and it wasn't even a year old. I could let it cool down and it would fire right up, just not when I wanted it too and the slow cranks were pretty bad at times.

I dumped the stock battery and went to the Odyssey PC680MJ and all's been well ever since. Sort of embarrassing when it happens in front of a bunch of Harley riders. BMW's Exide batteries aren't on my list of favorable things.

You could put a voltmeter on it and see how much the voltage drops once cranking it hot and compare that to cold. Mine resides 24/7 on a Battery Tender Bank Charger too.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2010, 9:43 pm
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Um, if you already think the battery is going, there's part of your answer. If the connections at the battery have been untouched since the battery went in, there's a very high probability that's the rest of the answer. Brushes... well, I suppose, but go with Occam's Razor: the simplest answer is the most likely answer.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2010, 10:35 pm
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More about connections on batteries. Light sanding of the wire terminals and battery terminals, to remove oxides and crud, is a must. Where possible, use ring terminals of the correct size (the ring's ID should match the battery terminal bolt size) and gauge (no point in putting 18 AWG wire in a 12 AWG terminal or vice versa), crimped with a good wire crimper (no crushing the terminal with pliers!!!). I know some folks swear that the wire ends should be tinned but I disagree - it creates a hard spot to encourage wire failure due to vibration, and it creates a strong chance for electrolytic corrosion. Go with a good crimp and call it a day. Once everything is bolted together, a healthy spraying of Boeshield all over the terminals will seal the connection with a thin but effective Teflon grease barrier. I use this procedure for the battery wiring on my boat (two banks of Trojan T105's), which goes offshore (Bahamas). The connections stay tight and clean even in a strong salt air environment.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2010, 12:03 pm
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Looks like you may eventually need this! That is if you do not want to tear half the bike apart to get at the starter.

http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showth...tarter+removal

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2010, 8:32 pm
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Don't play replace it, fix it. That's too expensive. Just do as recommended and check the cables and connections. If it's a regular battery it will turn slower, the newer sealed stuff has a tendency to fail right out, then test fine and then work until you are 100 miles from anywhere. I had a battery fail on a mechanic test riding it. It tested ok, then the owner was near bumf*ck and it died. Had enough to run the electrics so they were able to bump. Low voltage means even a bump may not work; technology is like that. A real bitch.

Depending on your miles it won't be hard to see how worn the brushes are. Best to rectify this now instead of dealing with a tow when you don't have the cash. Brushes are cheap, windings usually last a long time unless some abuse went down at some point. Easy stuff to do on your own. Just don't buy a starter unless someone can prove it cannot be saved. Work a plan and don't drink until the work is done. Hell, even salvage parts can help you solve things cheaply. Dealer != Cheap

Hell if you are never far from home you can even ride it until it hard fails. But by then you'd be so pissed off you may end up buying a new Honda.

Last edited by beavtm; Jul 8th, 2010 at 8:38 pm.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2010, 7:06 am
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Same thing happened to me. 3 year old battery starting to put up the ABS lights on startup. Then when hot the starter turned over to the first TDC compression and stopped. Did it a couple of times sluggishly, but eventually started.

I knew my starter relay, brushes and Sprague clutch were ok. Put in an Odyssee battery and everything is now fine.

I think these new type battery constructions don't fail gracefully like the old solid lead plate types. You don't get much warning.



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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2010, 4:24 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeldav
Am going to replace the battery anyway, starter may be one the way out.
Low battery starts or poorly functioning battery will cause a starter failure. Do you keep your bike on a trickle charge?

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