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Bike won't start - i'm a philistine.

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by smimble, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. Hi. I'm quite the philistine when it comes to motorbikes. Im a fairly new rider, own a Honda 2005 VTR250. This morning i started the bike no problems, then went to put it in gear but the stand was still down (like i said, philistine) so the engine stalled. I put the stand up and went to start it but it just chugged a couple of times then nothing. Subsequent try's resulted in a loud fast clicking, like the battery was dead (like on a car). The light is still working fine and being a newish bike i think it unlikley to be the bettery. Could it be the starter parhaps? Im reluctant to take it to a mechanic as it could be something really simple i can do myself. But again, i have no idea. Any ideas??? Any feedback would be most appreciated.

    Cheers. Smim.

  2. Hi Smim, first of all, welcome to Netrider, albeit in a bit of a panic.

    Your rapid clicking sound sounds like a jammed starter pinion. Can I suggest you put the bike into first or second gear and try rocking it backwards and forwards for a minute, then turn on the ignition and try starting it. The rocking movement should free up the pinion and you should be able to start the bike......
  3. Sounds good. I'll give it a shot tonight.

    Thanks for the suggestion, Paul! Lets hope it works.

  4. Sounds like a dead battery to me.

    The clicking noise will be the starter relay. Get to the battery and jump start it off a car.

    Edit: Push starting small vtwins is very easy also. Turn the ignition to on, put it in second gear, give it a push, jump on, clutch out and off you go.

    The age of the bike will not necessarily have anything to do with the battery, many factors can affect its performance.
  5. If the lights are working the battery isn't dead.......
  6. try holding the clutch in first then kick it over.
    theres a posibility of the side stand switch being faulty???
  7. thats what i'd try first.

    then if you could prove it wasnt the sidestand switch, go for the roll-start.
    you dont want to be pushing it all over the driveway/street if the switch is faulty.
  8. Sometimes a bit hard to tell how low the battery is from the lights in daylight, Paul.
    I've had issues with corroded battery terminals when the bike would "click" even though the headlight showed as on. Cleaned the terminals and away it went!
    (not discounting your starter pinion theory, though).

  9. Even when the battery doesn't have enough life to turn the starter, in my experience the light will often be on.
  10. true,
    headlights use wot? 55watts --> which is 12v and around 5A

    a starter uses ~120-200watts -->which is 12v and 10-20A

    starting it the first time may have used the only grunt the battery had and then it didnt run long enough to generate more power.
    get a multimeter and check the resting voltage of the battery.

    a good charged battery should rest between 12.6 and 13v
    it is officially flat at less than 12
  11. It's a good possibility. Batteries have a "surface charge" which is often good for only a couple of seconds cranking if the battery is run down. (you probably know that Joel, others may not).
    Sure sounds like flat battery to me, I guess a bike could sit in the dealers for a while, get jump started to sell it, and not really get a proper charge after that.
    My prescription is get it going, and ride for four hours, stat!

    Regards, Andrew.
  12. hay dave...you should of given me a call ;-) got the bike going yet?(nope its not after calling him)
  13. Cheers guys. All duly noted. Once I get home i'll test all theories.

    I have been riding the bike every day for the last month and had no problems so i just assumed the battery would be fine. We'll see.

  14. #14 smimble, Feb 12, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Back. Tried putting it in 2nd and rocking it back and forth. It didn't start but made the clicking faster.

    Anyway, here's a video of the problem. You can hear the clicking quite well and the footage at the end of the video is pointing at where the sound seems to be coming from.


    Look forward to seeing what the experts think...


  15. Sounds perhaps like the starter isn't engaging, maybe the starter clutch is shagged?
  16. I doubt it; it’s only an 05 model with VERY low K's on the clock...
  17. sounds like it has plenty of battery.

    IMO, it sounds as though the starter solenoid is not "throwing out" enough to engage the starter motor.
    this can happen if the solenoid becomes sticky for a million reasons.

    when you start yourbike, it hapens like this.

    press button
    solenoid throws out the starting gear
    starting gear engages and rolls motor over
    motor fires and away you go

    if the solenoid doesnt throw out far enough or hard enough it will make that "jackhammer" sound, as it is trying to engage and rotate.

    will the bike roll start??
    my other thoughts are that something is jammed....
  18. aaahhh!

    i have this problem - i too am a philistine with a clicky vtr - what was the solution??

    was it the butler in the pantry?

    yours, in foot tapping anticipation (mainly so i don't have to ring the bike shop again)

  19. hey

    after way too many attempts of roll starting with no luck, it was time to call in the big guns. MENTION: while trying to sort out the problen i was called for dinner...left the key in the ignition... while on... ran out the battery. say it once, say it again... PHILISTINE! i got MTS to pick up the bike and drop it off at Redwing Honda ($88). they charged the battery and it started first go. it idles great now and no problems since. maybe i was doing something wrong, maybe it was one of those things. maybe the moving between one place to another fixed what was jammed. maybe it was the battery after all (altho i dont know how and if it was i'd be concerned). sometimes philistines pay for service and its well worth it. BTW: im very interested in and beginner course in motorcycle maintenance course that has been mentioned before. we philistines need to start somewhere.

    best o luck.
  20. At least you can now go back to riding you bike and let that old sigma rot…. (Or had it already died…I forget :shock: )
    The subject of a beginner course in motorcycle maintenance has been brought up a few times and we have had a few spanner days where we did basic things like that there may be nother one, one day :grin: