Bike won't turnover, how can you test starter motor to tell if it's at fault?

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Bike won't turnover, how can you test starter motor to tell if it's at fault?

The bike's been unused for a couple of years (2001 SV, 43k miles), I've bought a new battery stuck it in and the electrics start working properly (lights, dash, etc... although one indicator is flashing faster than the other which I'll look at later).

But the bike won't start, I can hear a repeated clicking noise coming from what the manual calls the starter relay (Solenoid?) and I've used a multi-meter to check there is actually a current going to the starter motor from the relay.

What else can I do to see if it is the starter motor at fault? Is it a case of tacking it apart which I'd rather not do if I can help it, or can bike shops test them for you?

Whip it out and clamp it (gently) in a vice. Connect a heavy lead from the Pos terminal of a battery to the connector stud on the motor. Then connect a heavy lead to the Neg terminal of the battery and touch it against the casing of the starter - it should spin.If it doesn't you can take it apart and clean/change the brushes and the comm ring.If you take it apart, mark both end caps against the main body so thery go back the same way, it is possible to mix them up and get it turning backwards.Typical starter motor .....Have you tried jump starting it off a car?

Before you rip it apart are you 100% sure the battery has a GOOD charge in it? If not put it on a charger for a few hours (preferably overnight) and then try it. Or you could always try jump starting it off a fully charged battery.

So want me to pop over and see?

easy way of testing it it is pull the main beam flash button and try and turn it over,If the light goes dim/out its probably your battery it it stays near enough the same brightness its your starter/selonoid.

Finglonga wrote

Before you rip it apart are you 100% sure the battery has a GOOD charge in it? If not put it on a charger for a few hours (preferably overnight) and then try it. Or you could always try jump starting it off a fully charged battery.

Agreed.Sounds like the battery's at fault here. Absolutely no point pulling the starter motor. That sound is typical of a weak battery.

size12 wrote

easy way of testing it it is pull the main beam flash button and try and turn it over,If the light goes dim/out its probably your battery it it stays near enough the same brightness its your starter/selonoid.

Assuming you don't have a relay that cuts power to the headlight when you thumb the starter.But it does sound like a battery issue. One thing that might be worth checking is that the engine does turn over manually. Either push it in gear or if there is a convenient way to turn it by hand.

fastfitter wrote

Have you tried jump starting it off a car?

I haven't tried that, I wasn't sure bike electrics would be up to it.

Finglonga wrote

Before you rip it apart are you 100% sure the battery has a GOOD charge in it? If not put it on a charger for a few hours (preferably overnight) and then try it. Or you could always try jump starting it off a fully charged battery.

I'm not 100% sure, I left the battery charging on trickle charge for a a few days, but that was a couple of weeks ago, so it may have lost some charge.

Katana wrote

So want me to pop over and see?

Cheers for the offer, the starter motor's with me in Hackney and the bikes in Essex (I took it out on Sunday). [strike]If[/strike] when I eventually get nowhere with it I'll drop you a line if that's ok.

Foxy wrote

One thing that might be worth checking is that the engine does turn over manually. Either push it in gear or if there is a convenient way to turn it by hand.

Yep tried that, put it in second and pushed it along, turns over ok although we needed to put some weight (me ) over the backwheel to stop is skidding rather than rolling.So my plan is, seeing as the starter motor is out anway, put it in a vice and connect it up to a fully charged battery, if it works then something else is up.

*Update*I turned out to be the battery in the end It's strange the battery charger thinks the battery is fully charged, but there's not enought power in it when connected to the bike to even power the headlights on main beam. So the battery is heading back to the shop on Saturday to see if they'll give me a replacement.

Clean up the area where the earth lead from the starter bolts to the engine. In fact I would check all the electrics for rust around the earthing points, and corrosion on any contacts, like inside the switches. Electricity needs a clean path to travel along.

11redrex wrote

Clean up the area where the earth lead from the starter bolts to the engine. In fact I would check all the electrics for rust around the earthing points, and corrosion on any contacts, like inside the switches. Electricity needs a clean path to travel along.

Sorry, I should of mentioned that I did manage to get the bike running (very roughly) over the weekend by jump starting it from a battery that's used on touring caravans , so would I be correct in assuming that the connections etc.. are fine and it's the battery at fault?

I have a kawasaki eliminator 125 cc 2007 I have a new battery a new starter relay new spark plug but when I go to start it up in hear the click sound but it just won't start but If I bump start it and ride it for a bit then then try and start it it will work but only for a short period then it goes back to not working again???? Any ideas thanks

Likely to be the regulator/rectifier. You can test the output from the generator with a multimeter then check the dc from the reg/rec. Your battery should be showing about 12.4 volts just sitting and when the bikes running should be anywhere up to about 14v.

For both the above problems it's a good idea to clean all the wiring connectors you can reach with contact cleaner and work them in and out a few times, then fill them with silicone grease.

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