Honda Varadero XL125 - Starting Problem

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16/06/2006 at 16:11
Hi guys!

I'm relatively new to this motorcycle lark, so please exuse my ignorance if I'm asking something dull!

Went out to try and start my bike yesterday and it was almost as if the battery had run flat. Engine turned over a few times and then nothing but a loud *CLICK* from underneath the left hand side of the seat (near battery and alarm/immobiliser).

Thinking that I must've somehow run the battery down I gave it a full charge last night. Gave it another try this morning and was greeted by a couple of splutters from the engine and then more *CLICK*ing.

I'm pretty sure the battery is fine as it's been replaced about a month ago and was doing okay up till yesterday. The lights, speedo etc. are all fine too.. they don't dim when I try and start the bike which would suggest to me there's enough juice in there to get things running.

Any ideas before I start wheeling to the local garage?

Cheers in advance!
16/06/2006 at 18:38
Sounds odd. The click is probably the starter relay / starter clutch maybe. But if that had died then you wouldnt get any turning of the engine at all.
Is it possible the battery was dead til you charged it, now you're trying to start a flooded bike? Did you crank it over long before you gave up and took the battery out? Take the plugs out and crank it for a bit with rag over the plug hole. Let plugs dry out, give them a go with a soft wire brush. Might be enough to get you going. As you say, doesn't sound charging related.
Next thought is the alarm. Does it have a "service" mode? Engage that and see if it starts. Maybe it's draining your battery? Its only a small batt on a 125 of course, not really "meant" for any extra load.
17/06/2006 at 14:00
Ok.. update.

To answer your question - nope, didn't crank the motor very long, probably about 5 seconds.

Engine isn't turn over at all now and all I'm getting is that clicking sound when pressing the starter. I've traced the sound back to a fuse box containing a 30 amp fuse (which I assume is related to the starter motor?).

Going for a trip down to Maplin to pick up a spare fuse and will see whether that rectifies the problem.
17/06/2006 at 16:54
It won't be your fuse as if it had gone you will get nothing, no lights ignition nada. The clicking is your solenoid but as your battery is now run down the starter motor wont turn. Modern electronic ignitions require a good battery to make them perform. Charge your battery fully. Honda used to do a kill switch that disabled the spark, your doesn't have one of these does it?. Check that your lights werent left on in parking mode as this will flatten the battery. If you can afford one get an Optimate or similar especially if your bike has an alarm as it runs the battery down albeit slowly.

"THINK" it's not illegal yet.
17/06/2006 at 18:09
Get an Optimate, even if you can't afford it. It will save you buying batteries in the long run. Car chargers kill bike batteries.
17/06/2006 at 19:08
Should be in Workshop

Battery's dead dude buy a new one

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18/06/2006 at 18:03
Firstly, thanks for all the suggestions thus far.

The battery is only a month old and I gave it a full overnight charge with the old battery charger/conditioner before I did anything else. It's definately got a full charge now but still nowt but clicking when pushing the starter.

Any other suggestions?
G
18/06/2006 at 18:31
Battery is faulty / dead / not holding a proper charge

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18/06/2006 at 18:57
G wrote
Battery is faulty / dead / not holding a proper charge


Agree battery faulty.....Try jumpstarting the bike off a car.


No point replacing that 30A fuse unless its blown or corroded BTW.


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18/06/2006 at 19:56
Loose battery connections? Loose starter motor connections?
18/06/2006 at 20:59
Yes.... battery fucked.

Invest in a 5 quid multimeter and check the voltage is over 12.5v

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29/06/2006 at 17:53
Just to update my own thread for any other poor unfortunates having similar problems..

I took it down the garage and the starter motor was f**ked! Bolted a new in there and it's starting like a charm now!!
29/06/2006 at 18:11
jobs a good'n

********************************DISCLAIMER*******************************************
I accept no responsibility for profuse swearing, skinned knuckles, spontaneous motorcycle combustion or your pregnant teenage daughter.

My South America travel blog: www.touringted.com
12/12/2011 at 13:07
hi guys,

i hope people are still looking at these.

I have the same problem as this guy but with a twist. It starts but after a mile it cuts out as if my battery is dead. then the lights/ clocks go dim and all i get is that "clicking sound" and again it sounds like its from the fuse's but nothing wrong with them. after trying to turn it over a few times all lights/clocks dont light and can only hear the clicking again. nothing wrong with the battery and had a new rectifier fitted. im thinking electrical?

I would love to hear any thoughts. its driving me crazy.

Cheers.
12/12/2011 at 23:25

Something is dropping the system voltage so low that it can't hold the main relay or the starter relay closed. This can either be a massive current draw (short circuit), massive resistance, or a battery problem.

What makes you say the battery's OK? They can be breaking up inside and shorting etc and do all sorts of strange things. Is it new? What's its history? An intermittent thing like this is hard to test for, but what tests have you done?

Massive resistances can be things like battery terminals coming loose, the main chassis earth being lose or in poor condition, or poor connections elsewhere. Given that everything's dying it's likely to be somewhere "upstream". In the past I've had problems with starter relays - they have solid internal current paths and this eventually rot, causing similar symptoms to yours.

There appears to be a wiring diagram here

If it's a short circuit then it should be blowing a fuse unless it's in the first non-fused part of the circuit between the battery and the starter relay (top right) that has an integral 30A fuse. So if it's not blowing fuses then first check that they are all actual fuses and not bits of tin foil / wire / nails courtesy of some bodge artist. Then if they all check OK, check the wiring between the battery, starter relay etc.

The final possibility is that the battery is goosed, such that once you're underway the only thing keeping the bike running is the alternator. If there was a short circuit between the reg/rec and the battery this could then cause a similar problem, so although it's unlikely, it's worth checking all that wiring too.

Does it always cut out after a mile or does it vary? Is it always on the same corner / manoeuvre, or pretty random?

My favourite place to start looking would be the starter relay. Be careful - if it IS rotten then it'll pretty much fall apart. M&P do pattern replacements for a lot of bikes, and if they don't do one for yours you can probably make one of them fit OK.

Give me a yell if you need any more help


arrrf.
04/03/2012 at 18:50
checked both spark plugs? One of them may be arcing if the insulation is gone and this seemed to drop the voltage real low on my Vara last week. Replaced both and its working fine now. They cost about £8 from Halfords
Gdd
04/04/2012 at 17:18

I have a Honda 125 Classic bike and I charged the batarry after long time idle. I forgot the charger (a normal car battery charger), and while press the starter I heard a CHAFF... and went off. Checked the fuce (32 amps) found it OK. I do not have a transport to take it anywhere. I would appreciate if someone can give me hint as to what could have gone wrong.

 brgrds   

10/04/2012 at 18:14
Gdd wrote (see)

I have a Honda 125 Classic bike and I charged the batarry after long time idle. I forgot the charger (a normal car battery charger), and while press the starter I heard a CHAFF... and went off. Checked the fuce (32 amps) found it OK. I do not have a transport to take it anywhere. I would appreciate if someone can give me hint as to what could have gone wrong.

 brgrds   

The battery is most likely knackered if it has been left discharged for a long time and charging with a car battery charger will not have done it any favours as the charge rate is too high.


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20/10/2012 at 01:01

Hi, interesting reading. I have a 2003 XL125 with the clicking problem from the fuse box when attempting electric start. Multimeter reads 12.8v across battery. All lights light up. Push start works fine and bike then runs ok. Any suggestions. Thanks a lot.

20/10/2012 at 11:30

Bit confused there Callum - you seem to be saying you have a problem, but your bike starts & runs OK. So errrr, what's the problem?


arrrf.
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