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Discussion Starter #1
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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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!
 

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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.
 

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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!
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.
 

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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!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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May be a duh question but are you absolutely 100% certain battery is good?
Not a dumb question at all. The only dumb ones are the ones that are not asked. Starters do not require a lot of juice for the gear to engage. If you have ever noticed with a almost dead battery it will still engages.
 

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Starter solenoid is bad. Had the same thing happen on my car, and they did not sell the part by itself. Had to get a new starter.

Basically this is the part that engages the starter gear with the flywheel and then pulls it back when the engine is running. Without it, the starter just spins in place, which is what you're hearing.

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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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.
Instead of a Bendix, like most cars have, they employ a clutch consisting of roller bearings working in a tapered race which allows the starter to spin the engine but the engine will not spin the starter. What can happen is if the roller bearings or one of the two surfaces that they work against, develop a flat spot, then the starter will spin and not turn the engine over. Two nice things about this system is:

1. No starter gear grinding upon engagement, and
2. You can push starter button with engine running and no harm done.

You can Google one way clutch or Torrington clutch to get the idea if you wish.
 

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Starter solenoid is bad. Had the same thing happen on my car, and they did not sell the part by itself. Had to get a new starter.

Basically this is the part that engages the starter gear with the flywheel and then pulls it back when the engine is running. Without it, the starter just spins in place, which is what you're hearing.

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
Sorry, not correct.
 

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Instead of a Bendix, like most cars have, they employ a clutch consisting of roller bearings working in a tapered race which allows the starter to spin the engine but the engine will not spin the starter. What can happen is if the roller bearings or one of the two surfaces that they work against, develop a flat spot, then the starter will spin and not turn the engine over. Two nice things about this system is:

1. No starter gear grinding upon engagement, and
2. You can push starter button with engine running and no harm done.

You can Google one way clutch or Torrington clutch to get the idea if you wish.
Wow, great info!

I knew it had 'a clutch' but had no idea it was different than a car, or that that was how it worked. Cool!
 

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Not a dumb question at all. The only dumb ones are the ones that are not asked. Starters do not require a lot of juice for the gear to engage. If you have ever noticed with a almost dead battery it will still engages.
The starter is always "engaged", as such.
 

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Starter solenoid and throw might just need cleaning. I'd pull it off and inspect. Also, if your comfortable you can test the functionality (before re-installing) by using a spare battery and cables.
 

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Starter solenoid and throw might just need cleaning. I'd pull it off and inspect. Also, if your comfortable you can test the functionality (before re-installing) by using a spare battery and cables.
Opps...never mind...as I read back I was trumped by someone (sfair) that cleared up how bike starters really work. I assumed that all starters worked alike. That's why I own newer bikes. :)
 

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Opps...never mind...as I read back I was trumped by someone (sfair) that cleared up how bike starters really work. I assumed that all starters worked alike. That's why I own newer bikes. :)
Well the OP's bike IS newer! But he had a rare (seemingly) failure. Sometimes it happens!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
SFair & Romans,
I think I narrowed it down about the same time you guys did. Good ol' YouTube supplied me with some real good info! Some videos show just the parts changing while others will explain the symptoms. The one way clutch is more than likely the problem. I've already found some online but will stop by our local Mega MC Dealer part counter on the way home and see what they say (along with $$$).
I'll keep y'all posted.
 
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