Starter Troubleshooting

Ok, with ignition on and press start switch I get the crrrr noise from the relay switch but starter motor does not turn.

following manual troubleshooting - Battery good and have got to part where it says: Connect the starter motor terminal to the battery positive terminal directly( do not use thin wires).If motor turns then possible fault with relay and if motor does not turn then faulty motor.

I connected the two and turn ignition on a everything is dead, no lights nothing, disconnect and back to normal but motor does not turn.

What am i doing wrong? this may be a stupid question but if you connect starter terminal directly to battery are you not bypassing any switches, therefore if the motor is fine it would turn without having to press starter button?


If you short the starter directly from the battery it should turn over as soon as you touch the wires on both terminals.

Sounds like a dead starter.

If you can disconnect the starter mechanically so its not trying to drive anything and repeat the test this should identify whether its the motor or the drive, if there does not appear to be a problem in the in the driven mechanism i would check the condition and length of the brushes, even if the motor turns directly off the battery it could still be stalling under load.
You can also put a meter accross the motor and checkfor a break in the winding.

Cool, thanks for the advice. Next step disconnect starter motor.

I’m glad it’s raining today cos I’d be pissed off for missing another weekends riding if it were sunny:P

Ok, Motor off - repeated test and it works.

Further checks ongoing


Have you tried starting the bike off a known good battery. A car battery is fine to use.

Sometimes a battery can have enough power to do everything except crank a cold engine.

Could just be a bad earth on the starter - make sure the earth terminal is clean and try again…

The battery in the bike is only 3 months old and I charged it up with optimate and was reading 12,5 with the meter.

While the motor is off I will dismantle and check the brushes, although I have never worked on a starter motor before, so will follow manual closely.

I used to get this on the bandit - it was a loose fuse - have you checked your fuses?

err, no :ermm:

I have taken the starter motor apart. There was a layer of black soet on the inside of the back cover, I take it this is from ware of the brushes??

Cant find my verneer so will have to measure brushes tomorrow.

That’l be it,now your that far you may as well just renew the brushes anyway they should be dirt cheap , clean op the stator to get rid of all the carbon.
I,v used brushes meant for a black n decker drill in starter motors in the past, or was that the other way round ? :smiley:

Will bosch work? :smiley:

I work 5 minutes from Reading Honda, will pop in there tmorrow.

Batteries can die quickly if drained and left, or just not used much. Dead battery’s will also show correct readings just after a charge, but then the level can drop back off.

Usually if the started solenoid is making that buzzing/clicking sound but the starter does not turn, it’s because there’s not enough juice to close the circuit.

I’d try it from another battery you know to be good (bike shop or a mates bike)

Thanks for all advice so far

I have just finished putting in new brushes and did a test off the bike and it works, chuffed with myself so far cos it’s first time I’ve worked on a starter motor :smiley:

We shall se what happens when I put it back on the bike tomorrow.Hopefully it works, if not, then at least the brushes can be ticked off in the process of elimination :slight_smile:

Huge learning curve

Liamcbr and Lucky13 GSX you were right, it was the battery after all:ermm:

Put starter motor back on, checked fuses which I hadn’t done before, pressed starter and nothin, still the crrr.

Searched for my old battery which i had kept, swopped over and it started straight away.

Lessons learnt: Spose never assume that a new battery is a good battery even if showing fully charged.

The upside is that I learnt a little more on the mechanics of my bike:D

Downside: Missed out on a couple of weeks riding and spent a little more money than I needed to.:doze:

Trouble shooting a non-starter is always hard mate. Look at it this way, at least you did it yourself and its probably still worked out cheaper than getting a dealer to fix it.

eh no, not always the case, maybe on older bikes but be careful on newer bikes cos of the power going to the cdi’s etc, some people have blown cdi’s using car batteries.