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Thread: Intermittent Starting Problems 1150RT

  1. #1
    moenko
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    Question Intermittent Starting Problems 1150RT

    2004 Model year, 40k miles

    Last year on a hot day and after a brief stop, I tried to start her up and all I heard was a dull "click" and the entire electric circuit cut out for a second or so (clock reset, no lights, etc.). All came back within about 2 seconds. Waited a few minutes, tried again, same thing. Tried a few more times until she finally started up again. At that time, I thought I had the problem traced to a somewhat loose battery connection and tightened everything and added some spring washers.

    Today I'm riding and again, it was warm. After a Dunkin' coffee stop, it happened again... starter - "click" - momentary loss of entire power circuit, then start on the second attempt. Always seems to happen when the ambient temps are in the 80s or higher. Battery is barely a year old, I've tested it and it checks out fine. Starter is strong every time.

    Any suggestions at all? Thanks. Moe

  2. #2
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Suggest pulling the starter out and checking to see if the bendix gear is all jammed up with clutch dust and sticking. If it seems to move in and out as it should then it is highly likely the starter motor itself is dragging.

    There have been a lot of reports and plenty of threads here on the poor construction of the early Valeo starters. The magnets on the housing let go and the symptoms you describe are the exact result.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  3. #3
    moenko
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    Much appreciated, thank you Sir! Is there a newer (recommended) starter model? I'm not much of a tinkerer, would rather just swap old for new. This one doesn't owe my anything anymore. Thank you again. Moe

    Edit: Never mind, I found your suggestion for model D6RA-75, going to look into buying one.

  4. #4
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Wanderer View Post
    There have been a lot of reports and plenty of threads here on the poor construction of the early Valeo starters. The magnets on the housing let go and the symptoms you describe are the exact result.
    I have an '04 1150 GS and experienced the exact same symptoms at 17,000 miles. I had initially misdiagnosed it as bad battery, but it was the starter. I replaced the starter with one from Euro Motoelectric (http://www.euromotoelectrics.com/) and purchased a new body with magnets glued on correctly to fix my old starter so I'd have a spare. Currently at 49,000 miles on the new replacement starter without incident.

  5. #5
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    I second the pulling the starter recommendation. The same problem occurred on a 2004 RT where the bike would not start on a long trip. Had to jump the bike one morning to get it to fire. Each time the clock would reset itself. Pulled the starter and removed the nose piece (4 Torque screws) and cleaned the shaft and gears in the nose of the starter. Lubed the starter with silicone grease.

    Put everything back together and the bike fires like new with minimal draw on the battery.

    I would try this first before buying a new starter,

  6. #6
    moenko
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    I think I would do that to have a spare, but this procedure would not remedy the problem with the magnets coming loose I suppose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keystone View Post
    I second the pulling the starter recommendation. The same problem occurred on a 2004 RT where the bike would not start on a long trip. Had to jump the bike one morning to get it to fire. Each time the clock would reset itself. Pulled the starter and removed the nose piece (4 Torque screws) and cleaned the shaft and gears in the nose of the starter. Lubed the starter with silicone grease.

    Put everything back together and the bike fires like new with minimal draw on the battery.

    I would try this first before buying a new starter,

  7. #7
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moenko View Post
    I think I would do that to have a spare, but this procedure would not remedy the problem with the magnets coming loose I suppose?
    No it won't. They are two separate issues which show similar symptoms. Just like PetDoc I put a new battery in my bike while on a road trip only to find out the next day and a few hundred miles away from my original battery that I still had a starting problem.

    The thing is if it is just a contaminated bendix assembly that is very easy to clean and fix. A can of brake cleaner and a very light oiling will do the trick. I do not grease the nose gear since it just attracts more dirt and clutch dust and you end up with the same problem. A dry lubricant or a very light oil is what you need here.

    If it still won't start reliably and is dragging the battery voltage way down when it cranks... it is most likely the magnet issue. There are a few people who have successfully fixed this. In my case I took it to a Valeo dealer and they epoxied the magnets back on with industrial strength stuff and less than a month later they came off again... So I got the new updated starter from Euromotoelectrics which has fixed this problem with retaining tabs in the housing along with other improvements and that starter has yet to fail. A new owner is still using it two years later.

    Again, the bad ones part number ends in -55 and the updated ones end in -75 is what I observed.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  8. #8
    moenko
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    That is amazing information, thank you again, Wanderer! I will pull the puppy and check the S/N on it and do as you and others proposed IF it isn't the -55 series. Otherwise, as a "light tinkerer", my time is worth more than spending hours to clean and hope for the best... a brand new one for under $200 is not a bad deal. I might still retain the original one, clean it when time allows, just to have a spare.

    Thank you all again for your valuable input, I truly appreciate it. Happy Memorial Day to all

  9. #9
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    No problem. That is what the forum is here for. I think it's great so many folks here help others get through problems they have already seen. It is amazing how much information and collective knowledge there is on how to service your own bike.

    I forgot to mention that if you have some jumper cables it is pretty easy to floor test your starter. Or clamp it into a vise if you have one large enough on a work bench. Simply ground the starter housing anywhere you can get a good clamp on it and touch the positive side to the (+) copper cable bolt. It should pop the bendix gear out front and spin quickly. This is really only a go/no go test and does not mean the starter will work well under load. To test that you need a multimeter and some knowledge about voltage drops and where to look.

    There's some other threads here on that as well. I hope you get it sorted without too much trouble. I have to admit in the end my solution was also a new unit. That fixed it _real_ good!
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  10. #10
    moenko
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    I hear you on the "new" solution. Time is such a valuable commodity these days, I confine work on the bike to things that would cost me an arm and a leg at a dealer (the next dealer is 85 miles away from me). If I find something with the old starter, I'm sure to share it. Thanks again

  11. #11
    moenko
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    Small update: Pulled the starter yesterday. It is a -75 series. There was a some amount of sud and dirt visible which I cleaned up with some brake cleaner spray. Just used a bit of graphite powder for lubrication and cleaned the copper contacts up. Of course it started right up but that was expected since the "failure" has so far only occurred when the engine was very warm. Now we have to see if the problem occurs again, at which point I might have to look into an electrical issue (bad ground somewhere?). Thank you all again for the helpful tips!

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