625 smc starting gremlins

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by 4x4runer, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. 4x4runer

    4x4runer Adventurer

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    06 625 smc with 7 k, I'm the 3 rd owner. Here is the situation.
    When I go to start the bike cold, I pull the choke and hit the estarter. The starter starts to turn but dies real quick like not enough juice from the battery. Then I pull out out the kick starter and give it some assistance. When I get to the bottom of the kick starter motion, the starter dies. It takes 5 or so attempts then starts and runs fine. Starts much easier when warmed up, sometimes doesn't need the kick starter help. Seems random when the kick starter is not needed.
    The previous owner replaced the starter not to long ago. I keep a battery tender on it. When I pull the decamp lever, the starter has no problem trying to start the bike. I pulled the battery, had it tested on a load and the shop told me the battery is good, not fully charged but good otherwise. Battery is a yuasa and about 1 year old. The shop said it was the right size. I also took apart estarter switch because it was gummed up. I have a multi meter but not real good with it. So
    where do I go from here, simple stuff first. Cheers
    #1
  2. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    A simple thing to check is the wires that run into the starter relay behind and at the back of the right side panel... Sometimes these wires get worn through from abrasion to the point where only a strand or 2 are left giving erratic juice flow to the starting circuit...

    With only 7k on the bike I can't see the decomp cam been worn so the fault may lie inside the starter itself...


    I would remove the starter off the bike and disassemble it for a good cleaning, while it is apart you can check the condition of the 2 brushes... A bit of emery paper can be used to clean the armature to make sure it has good conductivity.... This all sounds difficult, but in actual fact the starter is quite easy to remove and service...

    You will then have a eliminated the starter as the probably cause and look elsewhere if the problem persists...
    #2
  3. dnrobertson

    dnrobertson Big Bike, Slow Rider

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    Do you hear the auto decomp kick in at low revs when the bike is running?

    I am having the same behaviour on my 640 and my cam was replaced only 6000kms ago (as a result of the infamous cam roller bearing failure) and the auto-decomp has stopped working.

    So I wouldn't discount the auto comp not working just for low mileage.

    But, I would (and will) look at the other things Gunner suggested.
    #3
  4. 4x4runer

    4x4runer Adventurer

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    What does the auto decamp sound like when it kicks in?
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  5. 4x4runer

    4x4runer Adventurer

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    I think the starter has two bolts holding it on and two bolts to crack it open. Will look into this and the wires to the relay. I thought the relay was under the seat behind the battery. I see a wire off the starter to this thing I thought was the relay. It has two fuses, a black wire that goes to the starter and what looks like a relay.
    #5
  6. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    If you turn the idle down you should start to hear a klacking sound coming from the valve cover area which tells you the auto decomp cam is tipping the Exhaust valve rocker as it should... The noise usually starts when you turn it down to around 1400 rpm or a little below...

    You should also hear this auto decomp give a click when you slowly roll the engine over with the kickstart or with the rear wheel while in gear...

    If the auto decomp is not working you can use the manual handlebar lever unit in it's place to help the engine spin up for cold starts... Not having or using some form of compression relief upon startup is hard on the E-start system and prolonged operation this way will usually lead to some sort of mechanical starting circuit failure...
    #6
  7. dnrobertson

    dnrobertson Big Bike, Slow Rider

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    To make either of these easier to achieve, remove the spark plug.

    And it's not a subtle click either. If the auto decomp is working, you will hear a LOUD click as the exhaust valves get opened then slam shut.
    #7
  8. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    If the SMC has twin pipes then the relay may be located in a different spot than on my Adventure... On the Adventure it sits under the right side cover just below the top frame rail and beside the back end of the air box... It's a round metal unit with 2 wires to the top and it sits in a rubber mounting sleeve...
    #8
  9. Alik

    Alik viertaKTMotor *****

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    Battery good but no fully charged... I would check the strap that connects the battery to the ground. On the left side of the battery, it should be firmly connected to the subframe.
    I second Gunner with checking the starter motor itself - it is basically an easy job to do.
    Other more complicated things comming to mind but check those first.
    You can help the starter with manual decompression lever - i usually do to prolong the life of the starter sprague. It is also accepted practice to kill the engine with it instead of the kill switch or key.
    #9
  10. 4x4runer

    4x4runer Adventurer

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    How do kill the engine with the decompression lever, just pull it while the engine is on. I usually let the engine idle for half a minute the turn the key off. I had problems with the estart/kill switch until I cleaned the switch really well. Thanks for the tips.
    The ground to the battery is firm connected to the subframe. I think the previous owner replaced the strap and possibly the location. The strap is very short and connects the battery to the subframe where the seats grabs tHe subframe. Are there any other grounds to check.
    #10
  11. 4x4runer

    4x4runer Adventurer

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    Yes, twins pipes. I just put heated grips on the bike and ran some of the wires under that side panel. There is a box under there with a lot of wires running to it but I don't it's the starter relay.
    #11
  12. 4x4runer

    4x4runer Adventurer

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    Yes there is a nice clack when using the kickstarter. It sems to be at the end motion of the kickstart motion. I was hoping that was normal.
    #12
  13. 4x4runer

    4x4runer Adventurer

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    Battery at 13.4 volts this am after a night on the tender. Off the charger with ignition on, tried to start once and volts dropped to 12.5 . Started the bike as per usual routine and volts at 13 .4 while running. Going to check grounds and wires to relay, then pull starter.
    #13
  14. 4x4runer

    4x4runer Adventurer

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    Removed the ground, pulled the starter, checked the wires to the relay, all seemed to check out. However I didn't know what to look for with the starter. The drive mech on the starter looked great, the flywheel that the starter turns looks fine meaning no broken teeth or excessive wear. Opened up the starter and all looked good. Tried to bring the starter into the motorcycle shop down the road but he was closing. He was nice enough to talk with me and he seemed to think it was a battery problem.
    I hooked everything back up hoping it would magically work, no luck. I tried to start the bike And smoke came from where the ground and subframe connect. I removed all the black paint from the subframe, removed that washer and hooked it back up and .... No luck, however it starts much easier. Instead of making the full motion with the kickstarter, I pulled the decompression lever, moved the kicker an inch or so and starts with ease. So, maybe a battery issue? Any other thoughts.
    #14
  15. Droptarotter

    Droptarotter Long timer

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    Have you tried putting a jumper battery onto it?
    It is starting to sound more like a bad battery.
    #15
  16. 4x4runer

    4x4runer Adventurer

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    Not yet, where do it connect it to? Do I connect it to the starter itself or connect it to the battery.
    Another question, if it is the battery, which battery to get?
    #16
  17. Droptarotter

    Droptarotter Long timer

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    If you can......positive to starter positive terminal.....negative to engine........or put both on the battery.

    As to what battery.............12V:D

    Just kidding...........I'm still partial to Yuasa's as they just bolt in. But there are many other alternatives.........it's kind of like an oil thread regarding what battery to buy.

    Good luck
    #17
  18. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    In one of your posts you mentioned that you had the battery load tested and checked out OK... A proper load test will focus on the battery reserve cranking amps, where did you get it tested at?

    All what you have mentioned does point toward a battery that no longer has any reserve left, but if a proper load test proved otherwise then your issue is likely elsewhere...

    Like Drop mentioned try a direct connection to the starter with a test battery and then your battery and see if both will spin the engine properly... As soon as the positive makes contact with the pole on the starter body the starter will spin so be ready for this... If the starter does spin properly with a direct hook up on each battery then you have eliminated a bad battery as the problem and need to look elsewhere...


    You mentioned that the internals of the starter looked fine, I'm assuming then that it was pretty clean and the brushes were fine? Here is a thread on the starter:http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=155071


    Also if you haven't already, spend a bit of time looking through the index to try locate similar issues and fixes:http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=86958
    #18
  19. 4x4runer

    4x4runer Adventurer

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    Gunner - I had the battery out and tested at batteries plus (they also had the same battery in stock - almost bought it). However he just had some big clamps for the test and really couldn't hook the clamps on the battery, just made contact with the clamps to the battery. I was wondering how accurate this was.

    The internals of the starter looked fine. A small to moderate amount of black powder came out of the starter in the form of small bb shaped pellets.

    I did try several searches on here but brought up alot of random stuff. I've got to work three 12 hr shifts comming up, wont be able to play with the bike till this weekend. Thanks for all the info. I'll look at those threads.
    #19
  20. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    I dont know about the test that B-Plus carried out, with out the proper hookup your right to wonder about the accuracy...
    I have taken batteries to Walmart for load testing, they do a good test and give a printout of the results...
    #20