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Bike not starting but can hear clicking

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by bonkerrs, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. I'm needing some help with my bike not starting so I did a vid to show what it is doing. There is a clicking sound but nothing happening.

    The youtube clip is here:

    I thought it was the battery so did a jump start but I don't think the battery is the problem.

    2011 Triumph Thruxton (efi)
  2. Stater solenoid
  3. ^^^^^ What he said but mis-typed, Starter solenoid.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. is this something i can change easily with a limited amount of bike handiness?
  5. I agree it is starter solenoid but it may be connections. You need a good quality high current path from the battery, through the solenoid to the starter motor. If you have a dodgy connection then everything can look Ok but as soon as you try and draw current the voltage collapses.

    Check the battery connections are clean and have a tight connection. Follow the large cable that runs to the solenoid (generally attached to the starter motor) and make sure the connection on to the starter terminal is clean and tight.
  6. can you get to your starter motor ,if so give it a technical tap at the same time as trying to start it . some times it is easier to do with 2 people
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. OK will give this a go. Will report back after I do it. Do you mean with the handle end of a screwdriver? Gentle taps while cranking it?

    If it starts with the 'technical' tap. Would the problem mean its something else?

    Found this on Google images. Where is the starter motor?
  8. might be obvious, but is the battery fully charged?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Yes @still_riding@still_riding is correct in that they jam sometimes. Reasonable size screw driver so the handle has some mass. You can also try rocking the bike forward and back while in gear, 3 or 4th if you can get there,

    Probably not, just that the starter motor is jamming, you may be able to pull it out and check its operation.

    Follow the cable that says to Starter motor ;)
  10. +1

    I would check the electrical system before going any further. Eliminate the obvious first.
    Have you checked there is power getting to where it is needed first? Pointless banging on the starter motor if there is no power getting to or through the solenoid. How about fuses... Have you checked the starter or main fuse?
    You may find the battery is be the issue... Sometime the battery will just fall over and although it will show it is charged or taking charge, the amps being drawn are higher than what the battery can/will supply.
    There is no doubt dozens of references for troubleshooting the electrical system and armed with a multi meter, go nuts!
  11. It sounds like the starter solenoid is working, but that the starter motor isn't.
    Either it's jammed (as per notes above ) or the bushes are worn out and no power is getting to the coils.
    Did Chris's tip about rocking the starter work ?

    If not you'll have to remove it and clean the bushes or replace them.
    While it's out you might want to check the coils to ensure that there's no break. It's rare but it does happen where a starter circuit gets burnt out. Just a multimeter from one side of the starter to the other will do to see if there's continuity.
  12. An easy way to check if it is the solenoid or starter motor, is to get a multimeter or test light, and attach positive lead to the solenoid lead/ terminal which goes to starter motor, and the negative lead to the battery negative or chasis earth. This way you can check if there is any power going to the starter motor when you press the starter button. If there is no power at the starter terminal/lead, when the solenoid clicks, then the solenoid is faulty. If there is power when solenoid clicks, then it must be a starter motor issue.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Found the starter motor. Tried tapping it, tried rocking bike in 3rd and 4th. checked the fuses.

    might have to invest in a multimeter (or a light pen as last suggested).
  14. Ok, battery charge state, make sure it is fully charged,
    High current path - are all the battery and solenoid high current (Large) connections are clean and tight.

    A multimeter is a good investment. I carry a cheapy meter under my seat.
  15. when did it last start? what have you done in between?
  16. last ride was last thursday, so a little over a week ago. that's why i thought it was the battery, the jumper leads from the car resulted in the same clicking noise. it fires up like usual.

    jaycar has a mini multimeter for $5! will this suffice? http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=QM1502
  17. it will work a few times :) an cheap enough to be disposable
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Take the battery to someone that can test it under load as a precaution. They have been known just to drop a cell or two and so will show it charges and is holding charge, but as soon as the load goes on, it falls over.
    Oh, and buy a good quality multimeter as they should be a key item in a toolbox.
  19. When I had it on the jumper leads to the car battery. Wouldn't that have been sufficient to start the bike?

    What would the local bike mechanic do to test it under load?
  20. Maybe, if the bike battery was stuffed enough it could be pulling the voltage low. A multimeter will show.

    Usually a battery place rather that a bike mechanic, testing a battery is not a simple thing, Battery people have boxes to do it. It is a combination of loading the battery and looking at the fall rate of voltage and then unloading it and looking at recovery rates. The test boxes battery people have do these tests automatically and do the appropriate calculations.