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Thread: 1999 R1100S starting issue will bump start, but no starter using start button

  1. #1
    Jeff
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    Exclamation 1999 R1100S starting issue will bump start, but no starter using start button

    Its been working great til this AM. Went for short ride, and pulled in for gas. When I tried to start it, all the lights looked good, it sounded like the starter made a click like it does, then nothing... It looked like I had good power based on light brightness, turn signals winking, etc.. Just no start. So, I rolled it a bit, jumped on clicked it into 2nd gear, and it fired right up and I made it back to the house.

    Got home, put it back on the battery tender, after a few minutes light goes green... Turn on the key, hit the starter button, lights dim, hear the starter clicked.... then that is all she wrote, no start...

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    There is ZERO relationship between a battery's ability to light light bulbs and its ability to run a starter motor.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  3. #3
    Jeff
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    So, a new battery would be a good place to start?

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    Quote Originally Posted by badge502 View Post
    So, a new battery would be a good place to start?
    I've never been a big fan of the "throw parts at it until it works" system of diagnostics.

    could be a dragging starter motor, but bad batt is a likely culprit as well. pull the batt and have it load tested at an auto parts store. also, pretty easy to pull starter motor to have it looked at as well.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  5. #5
    Jeff
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    I've never been a big fan of the "throw parts at it until it works" system of diagnostics.

    could be a dragging starter motor, but bad batt is a likely culprit as well. pull the batt and have it load tested at an auto parts store. also, pretty easy to pull starter motor to have it looked at as well.
    UPDATE*
    I went out and hit the starter button, no start, but you could hear the initial "bump" from the starter motor. I hit the starter button two more times, same thing... Then I hit the starter button, and it fired right off no problem, and has continued to start every time Ive tried...

    The battery appears to be relatively new (This bike is a recent purchase.)

  6. #6
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    Check the cable connections at the battery and at the starter looking for corrosion and for tight connections. Be very careful that when you loosen or tighten the connections you do not touch any other steel parts as you turn the wrench.

  7. #7
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    Hi badge502:

    If the starter isn't new, I'd take it off the bike and take it apart.
    It isn't that hard of a job.
    You can clean up the innards and check to see if the magnets are still attached.
    Or you can just buy a new one.
    Getting stuck by the side of the road is no fun.

  8. #8
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by groceryrun View Post
    Hi badge502:

    If the starter isn't new, I'd take it off the bike and take it apart.
    It isn't that hard of a job.
    You can clean up the innards and check to see if the magnets are still attached.
    Or you can just buy a new one.
    Getting stuck by the side of the road is no fun.
    I second this approach. There is also a cover over the planetary gears inside the starter which can get magnetically pulled onto the armature causing the same problem as the magnets--binding the rotor.

  9. #9
    Jeff
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    Quote Originally Posted by groceryrun View Post
    Hi badge502:

    If the starter isn't new, I'd take it off the bike and take it apart.
    It isn't that hard of a job.
    You can clean up the innards and check to see if the magnets are still attached.
    Or you can just buy a new one.
    Getting stuck by the side of the road is no fun.
    Yeah, it does kinda screw up your ride... Although bump starting it wasn't a big deal. Haven't done that in a LONG time. BUT, it seems to be working fine... FOR NOW.

  10. #10
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    It kind of sounds like one phase of the armature winding cooked on you. The only way to know for sure is take it to a place that has a growler to test. It could be just wonky brushes but a seized armature doesn't sound likely because it wouldn't turn at all. A couple tricks for getting the starter to turn is to engage the solenoid and smack the starter with a hammer, gently, kind of like you are tapping in finishing nails. Sometimes, you can turn the engine crankshaft a bit and by virtue of the helix on the starter drive, it will bounce the armature a bit to a spot that will allow the starter to turn.

    It takes about 150 amps to turn a healthy oilhead and about 30 amps to engage and turn the starter with free running amps dropping to about 10 amps. The solenoid only has the pull in winding it should be less than 5 ohms. The contact striker in the solenoid can develop chatter marks that looked like burn marks and generally, if you see those, give up.

    Valeo was one manufacturer and if you have a Valeo part number, they interchange with a wide variety of vehicles. Last one I bought for a friend was listed as fitting a Geo Metro and it was $80.00 CDN. Most rebuild shops should be in the forty buck range provided the armature isn't finished
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  11. #11
    ONE LESS HARLEY 04R1150RS's Avatar
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    another vote for inspecting the starter motor, could be loose magnets, or the gear reduction making contact w/ the armature.
    Richard
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    1984 R80 G/S
    2003 Suzuki DRZ 400S

  12. #12
    2004 1150RT deltaJim47's Avatar
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    Might want to check both battery cable connections at the starter solenoid as well. A small (almost not noticeable) amount of corrosion on a properly tightened connection there caused the same type problem for me. Cleaned both those terminal cable connectors and no problems since. Can also short across those two connectors temporarily to see if starter turns engine over----just make sure bike is NOT in gear first. If starter turns, then you have narrowed the problem down to the solenoid itself, connections there, or possibly no "start" signal to operate the solenoid. Good luck!
    "Don't worry 'bout the mules boy, just load the wagon!"

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