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Bike won't start but it's definitely not the battery.

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by toadcat, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. Hey all
    I finally get back on the bike for a short ride around the block to warm the chain up before it gets cleaned. A corner was paved in very slippery bricks with moss over it going into a storm water drain... So down I go at about 15 kmph (literally the first time I've ridden it since my last crash ](*,) ) and it landed on the brake lever, breaking that off. =D>

    However, now the bike won't start? I'm 99% sure it's not the battery. The headlight is still just as bright as ever and the bike started up fine 2 minutes :))) beforehand. I think it might have flooded the carbs since the throttle stuck open after it turned off (I think I've misrouted the cable during the fall, as it sticks open and has to be closed manually now ](*,)). However I've given it a good 9 hours or so since I fell off before trying to start it again however nothing has changed, the fuel should have evaporated by now right?

    It simply clicks once after pressing the button, doesn't sound at all like it's going to start like it usually does. Anyone know what the problem could be?

    Sigh, that was an expensive 200 metres.
  2. starter relay?
  3. So after hitting the start button you only hit one "click" or "turn" from it and it won't do more than that without hitting the start button again?

    If that's the case, just try another battery, but certainly check the voltage going to the starter motor. This will tell you if the relay is dead, and check the current too.

    You will need a multi meter.

    Have you inspected the spark plugs? Are they fouled?
  4. I'll take a look - maybe the connection came loose when I dropped it :\
    Thanks for the suggestion - it sounds like that is the problem.
  5. I don't have a multi-meter or another battery :( I'm really bad with motorbikes I think... I have no idea where to look really. I'll google a bit.

    I have no idea how to check the spark plugs to see if they're fouled but its a distinct possibility since it was tipped over for quite a while, the fuel could have stuck to them since they'd be hot.. ?
  6. If it is turning over on the starter motor the above electrical problem is not the case.

    It is common after a fall for the carbie float needles to get stuck up. So it floods on idle and you can't get it to fire. Try this:

    Hold the start button and slowly wind open the throttle. This should get it to fire.

    It'll probably still run rough for a bit, but it is likely to settle after a few starts. You may have to bump up your idle for a while.

    If after frigging around for a bit, you may have to pull the float bowls and give the bottom of the carbies a good clean.
  7. You said it clicks when you try and start it? I take that as meaning the starter motor is not turning at all? Is that correct? If it is, then the issue is probably either the starter motor, the relay or the battery. The light working is not an indication that the battery is not stuffed. It takes significantly more current to turn the starter motor than to light the lights. You may have 'sucked' the remaining charge out of the battery with the last start and not had the engine at sufficiently high enough revs to recharge the battery. Perhaps disconnect the light fuse or relay and try a push start. There are other threads on this board to show you how to do this.
  8. Sorry I missed this. It is simply a bad terminal connection somewhere. I'm betting at the battery but it could be at the solenoid or down on the starter motor.

    Pull them sequentially, clean them and reconnect.
  9. Bike fell over now it clicks when you try and start it?
    Seems like there is definitely a loose connection, maybe came loose when it fell over, could also have been battery acid spilling meaning the battery may not have as much punch.
    Check the terminals, check the battery then check the relays.
  10. It sounds like the starter pinion has taken a hit and is jammed. Try pushing the bike a few metres with the ignition OFF and in second or third gear, then retry the starter.
  11. A push start is going to be very hard as my left ankle is stuffed .. I'll go have a look at the battery connections, hopefully that's the problem :D
  12. I've had a look - its definitely the starter relay. I can clearly hear it clicking when I push the start button. Problem is I can't figure out where the fault is :X
  13. It is going to be a poorly connected terminal or as Hornet notes the starter is jammed.

    Be careful as repeated tries at starting a jammed starter will cause a blown fuse and maybe even an electrical fire.
  14. Hmm... How would I figure out what is jamming the starter motor? I haven't tried it that much , once it started clicking I knew something was up and left it alone.

    I've unplugged the spark plugs and tried turning over the engine to see if it was maybe flooded but it still clicks... If there was petrol inside the cylinders jamming the starter from turning over the engine wouldn't the petrol have been pushed out?

    I'm going to feel like an idiot if this is actually the case - but is there a safety switch of some sort if you aren't touching the front brake it won't start? If there is that could be the issue as there isn't a lever anymore. Anyone know if that exists? (similar to the sidestand + in gear thing) :-s
  15. A complete locking of the cylinders (due to flooding) is possible but unlikely. Leaving it for a while should see enough leak down to get it stared. Also you should smell petrol.

    As Hornet noted you should be able to turn your engine over with the back wheel in higher gears. If you cant do that then you know your problem lies there.

    To be honest the first thing I would be doing is disconnecting both battery terminals, giving everything a good clean up and tighten them firmly.
  16. If it is a repeated clicking, there is a good chance it is your battery as opposed to a single click which would indicate a stuffed relay or starter. As I said earlier, a 'bright' headlight is not an indication that the battery has sufficient charge to turn the starter motor. If you only had one click before, but now are getting a repeated click, I'd suggest you get the battery checked. The battery may have had some cells breakdown and be unable to hold a charge or produce sufficient current to turn the starter.
  17. its a single click right?

    mate, we tried starting your bike last time you fell after you got carted off in the ambo. It did exactly the same thing then.

    you took it to lloyd penn? give him a buzz and ask him how he fixed it.

    I'd say not starting after a fall is a pretty big design flaw in a bike.
  18. What's the bet his carbie has a missing part that has caused the needles to be stuffed after a fall. Exact thing happened to me after my bike had previously had the carbie done by the previous owner at lloyd pen. Took it to caringbah, first thing they checked, bam, problem solved. $1.25 for two [MISSING] parts and a few hours labor it was fixed.
  19. Try wacking your starter motor,just a sharp tap moving a spanner about 150mm while pushing the button.That has helped me on occasion.A bump start will also remove some posabilitys for a cause
  20. Nah it's a single click, it doesn't repeat.

    If it was a flooded engine wouldn't leaving it for over a day have let all the fuel evaporate by now? Also I pulled the spark plugs out (I'm assuming they are , they're the rubber things attached to the top of the engine..?) and they weren't wet or smelling of petrol so I'm not sure if its that...

    The battery has strange clip things that are really hard to get off , I don't want to break them :|