Won't start, battery charged, starter SPINS !!! - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Won't start, battery charged, starter SPINS !!!

Hey Everyone,
The bike will push start and run just fine.
My bike won't start by engaging the starter motor.
The starter spins like crazy, high pitch 'zing', 'whir' or whatever sound you like to use.
The starter was starting the bike but intermittently. Sometimes it would spin other times it would spin then engage firing-up the bike.
I'm suspecting the starter but I'm no bike mechanic but I'll become one when the starter runs $335 for something you can put in your back pocket.
Has anyone got the spin-whir-no-start.
Has anyone taken the starter off, tear it down, clean it and reassemble with positive results?

Thanks,
JoeCubicle in Omaha NE
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 01:34 PM
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I've never heard of this issue on a bike, but I did have this issue on a pickup truck once. Basically, on the truck there's a spring-loaded clutch of sorts that engages the starter, and once the the starter is turned off (start button released) it disengages the starter from the engine (so it's not just spinning like crazy attached to the engine!)

The fix was replacing the starter. At least with that one, you couldn't replace the clutch. HOWEVER, on the 900 there is a part # 13194-0009 that is the starter clutch.

I certainly can't say for sure that's the issue, you'll have to pull the starter and maybe find someone (maybe they'll chime in) who will know how to determine for sure that the clutch is bad. But, if I had to guess, if the starter is spinning but not engaging that would be the starter clutch right?

That's a $100 part. Not cheap, but better than just shy of $400 isn't it!

"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE
iPod Connector Kit, Kuryakyn Highway Pegs, Mustang Touring Seat, Marvella's Hitch, Kuryakyn Trailer Wiring Kit, Haul-Master Tag-a-Long Cargo Trailer

2011 Honda Shadow Aero 750 (Wife's)

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 01:47 PM
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just repeating what Romans said. Most starters are essentially the same. Just with most vehicle starter you can buy a new/reman starter for what a rebuild would cost. Motorcycles are cheaper to rebuild (typically). I have not torn in to one myself but what Romans says sounds about right. That is assuming you are saying to starter gear is not engaging but the starter is spinning.

1985 Honda Nighthawk 650 (First Bike)
2004 Vulcan 1500 Classic (First Big Bike)
2007 Vulcan 1600 Meanstreak (Love Affair)
1999 Yamaha 1100 V-Star Custom (Right Price at the Time)
2008 V2K Classic (Favorite Vulcan)
2014 HD Ultra Limited (Bells and Whistles)
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
I've never heard of this issue on a bike, but I did have this issue on a pickup truck once. Basically, on the truck there's a spring-loaded clutch of sorts that engages the starter, and once the the starter is turned off (start button released) it disengages the starter from the engine (so it's not just spinning like crazy attached to the engine!)

The fix was replacing the starter. At least with that one, you couldn't replace the clutch. HOWEVER, on the 900 there is a part # 13194-0009 that is the starter clutch.

I certainly can't say for sure that's the issue, you'll have to pull the starter and maybe find someone (maybe they'll chime in) who will know how to determine for sure that the clutch is bad. But, if I had to guess, if the starter is spinning but not engaging that would be the starter clutch right?

That's a $100 part. Not cheap, but better than just shy of $400 isn't it!
I have not heard of very many starter issues on any of these vulcans, nor have I ever had any myself. It seems like the Kaw starters seem to be rather rock solid reliable.

1985 Honda Nighthawk 650 (First Bike)
2004 Vulcan 1500 Classic (First Big Bike)
2007 Vulcan 1600 Meanstreak (Love Affair)
1999 Yamaha 1100 V-Star Custom (Right Price at the Time)
2008 V2K Classic (Favorite Vulcan)
2014 HD Ultra Limited (Bells and Whistles)
Who would have thought I would grow up to become "Spatially Educated" and play Connect-the-Dots for a living.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWVA_08V2k View Post
I have not heard of very many starter issues on any of these vulcans, nor have I ever had any myself. It seems like the Kaw starters seem to be rather rock solid reliable.
The 900's are plagued with a poor stator that fails REPEATEDLY for some in high mileage bikes. But we gladly yank and replace them because every other part (including the starter!) is so stupid reliable. I can recall in a couple years on this forum 2 fuel pump issues, but this is the first I've heard of a starter failure. Most of the discussion around here is for accesories- and that darn stator!

"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE
iPod Connector Kit, Kuryakyn Highway Pegs, Mustang Touring Seat, Marvella's Hitch, Kuryakyn Trailer Wiring Kit, Haul-Master Tag-a-Long Cargo Trailer

2011 Honda Shadow Aero 750 (Wife's)

Memphis shades quick-release windshield, OEM Solo Seat, Mustang Fender Bib, Chrome Solo Luggage Rack

Past: 2006 Vulcan 900 Classic LT
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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First hands on step

Thanks Roman and SWVA,
Maybe that is why I could not find ANYTHING out there on bad starters. Maybe I'll get a wrench on it, take it off, take it apart, clean it and other things and see if that licks the problem.
I've seen rebuild kits for around $15 but not real sure if that will solve my problem. I also have a mechanic friend here in town I will talk to next week as he's away for a few days. I'm patient. I might even post a video link of the problem and hopefully soon after... the fix.

Thanks again guys,
JoeCubicle
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 02:15 PM
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I am almost certain it is not a starter issue but rather the one way clutch or its associated gear train.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfair View Post
I am almost certain it is not a starter issue but rather the one way clutch or its associated gear train.
Can you elaborate on that. I have never had to tear in to that part of a bike before. Even if the OP needs to or not, please explain.

1985 Honda Nighthawk 650 (First Bike)
2004 Vulcan 1500 Classic (First Big Bike)
2007 Vulcan 1600 Meanstreak (Love Affair)
1999 Yamaha 1100 V-Star Custom (Right Price at the Time)
2008 V2K Classic (Favorite Vulcan)
2014 HD Ultra Limited (Bells and Whistles)
Who would have thought I would grow up to become "Spatially Educated" and play Connect-the-Dots for a living.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 02:50 PM
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May be a duh question but are you absolutely 100% certain battery is good?
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daboo311 View Post
May be a duh question but are you absolutely 100% certain battery is good?
The starter motor spinning, but not engaging, would not be indicative of a battery issue. Basically, like sfair said, it's likely the one-way clutch, which engages the starter. It's getting juice, it's just not getting connected to the engine!

OP; if I'm not mistaken, starter rebuild kits would rebuild the starter itself which seems fine. They probably wouldn't contain the parts necessary to repair a failed clutch.

"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE
iPod Connector Kit, Kuryakyn Highway Pegs, Mustang Touring Seat, Marvella's Hitch, Kuryakyn Trailer Wiring Kit, Haul-Master Tag-a-Long Cargo Trailer

2011 Honda Shadow Aero 750 (Wife's)

Memphis shades quick-release windshield, OEM Solo Seat, Mustang Fender Bib, Chrome Solo Luggage Rack

Past: 2006 Vulcan 900 Classic LT
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