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Thread: 75/5 starter problem

  1. #1
    rssllkaplan
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    75/5 starter problem

    When I insert ignition key, 3 lights in headlight go on. Plenty of battery. When I push starter button, click and all the lights go out. No cranking or anything. I must remove and reinsert key and lights go back on. I can kick start the bike OK.

    Is there an easy way to check whether problem is in the starter button before I go to the starter & solenoid, as that is a bigger job.

    thanx

  2. #2
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    You may have a starter relay issue...it's under the tank....I doubt the problem is the switch, but could be. Look through this website for a very thorough guide on troubleshooting:

    http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/startingprobs.htm

    It might be overwhelming, but there's good info on that site.

    Be sure and read the section on the /5 "cricket" problem...this might affect you.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    When I insert ignition key, 3 lights in headlight go on. Plenty of battery. When I push starter button, click and all the lights go out.
    When you wrote "click" and the lights go out, do you actually hear a sound; a "light" tinny click (starter relay), or a heavier and louder click (starter solenoid)?

    Just because the instrument lights go on, and you can kick start the machine, does not necessarily mean you have "plenty of battery". Loading the battery with the starter may be enough to draw down the lights if the battery is failing, and you might hear the relay/starter click. How old is it?

    The easiest test would be to "jump start" the bike by hooking up to the battery. Be careful, and make sure to apply the ( - ) to the frame or engine/transmission NOT the negative battery anode. If the starter spins, it's more than likely that your battery is shot. It it just sits there.. . .. back to square one.
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  4. #4
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    A lesson learned

    If you haven't done so in a while I would make sure that all of your battery cables, ground straps and starter wires are in good shape and have tight & clean connections.

    I have in my stable 9 airheads and all of them had a loose starter cable at the starter when I got them at various times and conditions. I also chased and defeted a K-bike gremlin that was found to be a bad ground issue.

    The ground attachment to the speedometer anchor bolt is a weak spot.

    Also don't rely on your kick starter to much as it is necessarily designed for constant use.

  5. #5
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    Also don't rely on your kick starter to much as it is necessarily designed for constant use.
    (???) Perhaps you meant; Also don't rely on your kick starter to much as it is not necessarily designed for constant use. (???)
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  6. #6
    James.A
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69ZEFF65 View Post
    If you haven't done so in a while I would make sure that all of your battery cables, ground straps and starter wires are in good shape and have tight & clean connections.
    My first thought was that a poor connection has done this to me in the past. Start with the easy stuff first.

  7. #7
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    Thank you for fixing my Boo Boo

    Thank you Lew, I often surprise myself when I fail to proof read but your correction is correct I did mean "not" for constant use.

  8. #8
    Monza Blue 1974 R90/6
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    I agree with all above. Check with another battery first. Weird that lights would go out if it was starter relay. Maybe, but not sure why. I would think the relay would click away, but have no effect on lights if it was the relay. A failed battery would have enough voltage to initially illuminate the lamps, but after first press of starter button have nothing.

    If battery is proven good, and there are no obviously loose connections, starter relays are cheap to replace (Motorrad Elektrik is a good source, but there are others).

    Finally, for my own clarification, I thought that the /5 four speeds were ok to kick start because mechanism is robust. Problem with kick starts is with the /6 and later five speeds because mechanism was redesigned and not strong enough for constant use?

    Barron

  9. #9
    R100GS, '89 Guenther's Avatar
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    Nromally the indicator lights do not go out when pushing the starter button. Your headlight does go out - thanks to the little starter relais.

    If you indicator lights go out it is either a bad battery caused by a high internal resistance or, it's a bad ground connection (which in fact IS a high resistance). With the higher resistance there are still enough electrons which make it through to light the indicator lamps and the ignition. But the starter only laughs about that trickle of electrons he sees. Typically so low that the solenoid on the starter cannot even push the sprocket onto the flywheel.

    About a battery building up higher internal resistance also means that it takes less and less charge ... a typical heads-up sign of a failing battery.

    /Guenther

  10. #10
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    I thought that the /5 four speeds were ok to kick start because mechanism is robust. Problem with kick starts is with the /6 and later five speeds because mechanism was redesigned and not strong enough for constant use?
    That's my understanding as well, although it does tend to get hung up on the left-side foot peg rubber. :-/
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  11. #11
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barron_williams View Post
    Finally, for my own clarification, I thought that the /5 four speeds were ok to kick start because mechanism is robust. Problem with kick starts is with the /6 and later five speeds because mechanism was redesigned and not strong enough for constant use?
    What I've heard is that it went downhill beginning with the /5. How much, I don't know...with the electric start, seems that the kicker would only be necessary in emergency situations. So, why not save a few grams (and some Deutsche Marks) by reducing the weight of things in the transmission.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  12. #12
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    A lite click upon pressing starter button is usually bad battery or bad connections:
    a) between battery and ground wire
    b) between battery ground wire and transmission at speedo cable (do not over torque)
    c) between battery and pos lead to starter (big black wire)
    d) between battery and pos lead to other bike functions (smaller red wire) leading into harness
    actually you have confirmed this is ok if bike runs with kick start

    check/wiggle/clean all these if any doubt

    If after above you still no start and you suspect starter or starter relay:
    Lets be logical here and eliminate what we can easily first

    1) Park bike in neutral with key removed
    2) Remove gas tank
    3) Locate starter protection relay on left side of frame backbone near where front of the tank was
    4) Remove Black wire from starter relay (back right terminal on my 72 bike - back and right being from rider's point of view facing forward) this is the wire that when energised will engage the starter (terminal 87 on the starter protection relay)
    5) Connect a jumper wire to this black wire (4 above) lamp cord or most anything will do here - just shove some into the exposed female connecter
    6) ***SAFETY ISSUE*** confirm again that the bike is in neutral
    7) Momentarily touch the other end of your jumper wire (5 above) to the battery positive terminal - The starter should crank the bike but not start it
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If the starter cranks the bike in this way you have confirmed that
    w) The battery is good enough to start the bike
    X) The starter is good enough to start the bike
    Y) The big black wire connection to the battery pos terminal is fine
    Z) The problem is:
    1) the connections to or condition of the starter protection relay
    2) between the starter protection relay and the starter switch
    3) the red wire connection to battery positive - d) above - actually already confirmed it bike runs with kick start
    4) bad starter switch (handlebar button)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    report back
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    And yes I can confirm the 4sp trans for /5 bikes kickstart is very robust much like the /2
    Many years of use of these trans in /2conversions with 900cc and 1000cc engines and batteries too small to
    crank these engines in any but fully warmed up conditions

    Kick starting needs good technique
    be deliberate

    feel for engagement of ratchet mechanism before power stroke

    feel for position at beginning of compression stroke

    don't let pedal snap back up after stroke

    don't get mad and just stomp away on these things and they will last longer than you will

  13. #13
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    I did find some notes by Snowbum...he definitely says that the 1974 kickstarts were weak but felt that after that, they were better but might still be considered emergency items only. Probably a good idea to pull in the clutch lever when using the kicker.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  14. #14
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    Probably a good idea to pull in the clutch lever when using the kicker.
    mmmmm m m, wouldn't that disengage the engine from the transmission? (rhetorical question)
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  15. #15
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lmo1131 View Post
    mmmmm m m, wouldn't that disengage the engine from the transmission? (rhetorical question)
    Well now that you mention it. I might have been thinking about using the electric start and reducing the drag.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

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