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Warm bike has trouble starting

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by dbrain, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. Hey,

    Over the last week my bike has been having problems starting when warm. I ride from Pakenham to Melbourne CBD every day, every time I stop to fill up petrol when I get back on the bike it will make the engine rollover noises but not actually start for a long time compared to cold starts.
    When it does start it idles really slowly and then picks up to "normal"... after that the gear changes feel looser (although I could be imagining this).

    Any ideas? I was hoping it was a once off weirdy, but it has happened again tonight.
    The bike temperature gauge is showing its usual "freeway riding" temperature, nothing extreme, fan doesn't seem to be going or anything. It has oil.

    Another thing, most likely not related, if anyone feels like a second less important question. I've noticed a bit of a weird vibration in the handlebars over the last couple of weeks especially at low speeds (may happen at high but it just vibrates faster and less noticably).
    I've checked chain and rear wheel alignment, and looked around front for anything obvious. I guess if there's some engine issue it could be that chugging or something?

    Any suggestions would be awesome.

  2. Probably need to take it to a dealer so they can run their diagnostics. Vibration could be wheel balance? Is it still under warranty?
  3. Will do. Thought I'd ask here so I had some idea (something I may have dumbed) before throwing it at them tomorrow.
    I just had new wheels put on, but the issue was there before this. Is wheel balance something I could verify myself?

    Still under warranty, so hopefully the dealer will eat the cost.
  4. Agree with Twistngo, If it is wheel balance you won't get the vibration when not moving but reving the engine to the same revs. So see if you get the vibrations in Neutral.

    If you feel like getting techie you can buy a Vagcom OBD cable off Ebay and check if it has any Error codes up.

  5. Ah, good idea. I'll give it a shot tomorrow when I won't have upset neighbors.

    Ooh, didn't even know it had an OBD2 port, or that the cables were so cheap. Ordered one, but yeah hopefully I've taken it to the shop and had everything fixed up before that rocks up (from China).
    Be fun to play with from a software dev side of things. I'm useless mechanically though.
  6. Check the battery terminals are tight. When warm it won't conduct as much power.
  7. Had a quick look. The negative seems to be connected fine, the positive has a cover I can't seem to get off.. and when I attempted with a screw driver it yelled at me (sparked) which hopefully didn't fry anything. So gave up.

    I had hand grip warmers installed a bit over a month ago (by the dealer I'll be calling to look into the starting issue), so it's possible they didn't connect the battery terminal properly.

    * That being said, it has been starting fine for the almost a month leading up to this. Maybe it wasn't tightened properly and is slowly getting looser (or its another problem).
  8. Would seem unusual to be the battery if its still cranking over when warm, does the console dim or turn off when you crank?
    If its running bad while warm it could indicate a coil problem.
  9. Not that I've noticed. The bike lights up as usual and I'm pretty sure makes the same noise when attempting to start (usually doesn't happen for long enough to get a big feel of it) just takes a while to turn over.

    Cold its 2-3 "startey noises" then its good. Warm it'll get to about 8 and I'll worry I'm going to murder the battery, so I stop, then try again and get to 8 or so again before it kicks over.

    Might try to record it when I get home tonight, just so I can show the dealer in case they can't reproduce. Silly British~ bike needs clutch and starter at same time though, so camera holding will be difficult.
  10. What sort of bike is it?
  11. In sidebar thingy (hover over name), but '14 Triumph Street Triple 660.

    I'm thinking the front vibratey thing might be front brake related possibly, will have to check, but it was really noticeable this morning when coming to a stop at traffic lights (light front brake, lightly turning a bit)... more of a shudder than a vibration.
  12. One small thing to try. When the bike is warm, turn the ignition on and leave it for a few seconds before hitting the starter. See if this makes any difference.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. I do this usually anyway, when I turn it on the bike makes a robot noise and shows the full odometer reading for a couple of seconds then shows my trip meter.
    I tend to wait until all that calms down before starting. Probably 3 seconds at least. I'll try leaving it a bit longer again when I get home tonight though.

    The first time it happened I thought maybe it was because I was rolling backwards while starting it, which is kind of dumb, but I was trying to blame myself.
    Started it at home after this, after googling for a while, and it struggled a little but it had cooled down a bit at that point.

    Guy at work has a theory that it's a leaky valve or something, and that it's essentially flooding when I fill it up because of the extra pressure. No idea if that applies to bikes at all, or if EFI would prevent something like that. Probably doesn't work anyway, because I only ride for another 10-15km home and it starts fine in the morning (wouldn't use much petrol).

    Taking it into dealer tomorrow. Hopefully get it back quickly :( Bikes been in various states of not working for way too many days this month. Trains suck.
  14. I used to have a similar problem when I owned a 2011 Hyosung GT-650R. It would run fine until about 30 minutes or so when it was nice and warm, and then when I was in neutral or just with the clutch in, it would start to idle really lumpy and then just cut out. It would be a bit cranky to fire back up and take longer than usual too. No issues when cold.

    After doing my research and lots of thinking, I thought it was to do with something that was heating up and thus expanding. Thought again that if it was anything to do with the spark plugs or plug leads, that could to it.

    I ended up replacing my spark plugs and plug leads with newer components and the problem disappeared completely. I didn't touch anything else so I'm pretty sure it wasn't just a coincidence! See what your dealer thinks about that theory (you could physically inspect them yourself if you're slightly mechanically minded).
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  15. Oh right, interesting. Will chuck it past them when I hand over the key in the morning.
    They have the problem described on the service form, so I'd imagine the mechanical magicians should have some idea. The guy on the phone seemed to think it was electrical.

    I'm just hoping it's a warranty dealy so I can stop throwing my fun money at everyone. I keep saving money to buy new toys for bike / new gear for summer and just as I get to my happy number have to throw it all at someone for a different bike related issue.
  16. How many K's on it... Out of spec valve clearance make it hard to start.

    Not sure if it would be worse when hot, but others may have more experience.
  17. there's your issue!!

    find out where they wired it in and make sure it's not shorting or dodgy.... any loss of voltage will be worse when hot.
  18. It's sitting at around 17,000km (serviced last at 10,000km).

    Entirely likely it's something to do with the hand grip warmers, if it is an electrical issue. It's the only thing that's been done to the bike outside of tyre related headbutting.
    The dealer I'm taking it to is the place that installed the hand grip warmers, so hopefully they can work it out (and realise it was their shoddy installation and don't charge me).

    I tried to have a quick look last night as I mentioned above, but the positive terminal is covered weird like and the cover wasn't moving very easily.
    I'll have another attempt tonight.. see if its an obvious loose connection, what I could see seemed pretty solid though.
  19. Sounds a lot like warped discs, so I would get them to check that out as well. As to why they warped it could be the rim itself is out of shape - get that checked too if the discs are warped.

    Just Google Triumph brake shudder and start reading. In fact take out the Triumph and see that not just them.

    (Note to self - get mine checked before warranty expires)
  20. Oh right, that's a possibility. It sounds like it would produce what I'm experiencing. I'll ask about it tomorrow.
    I just had new front and rear tyres put on Thursday last week, so would have thought they would have noticed and mentioned if anything looked wrong, but who knows (the shuddering was there before new tyres, so shouldn't be related).