Triumph Tiger 800XC Starter Heat Soak Issue

Discussion in 'Triumph Tigers' started by williamsdan94, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. williamsdan94

    williamsdan94 n00b

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    Hello All!!

    I just recently bought a used 2012 Triumph Tiger 800XC ABS and I'm absolutely loving it... Problem is... I was taking it out in the dirt the other day and got the rear wheel stuck in some sand/mud. I wrang out the throttle to get unstuck and ended up stalling the bike. When I tried to start the bike back up, the starter cranked super slow as if the battery was dead. Eventually after about 10-15 minutes, the bike fired right back up and I rode it back home. It seems that when the bike is cold or hasn't been ridden, it starts right up. Once I dump heat into the bike, the starter struggles to turn the bike over unless I let the bike chill for about 10-15 minutes. Mind you, this problem won't happen if I'm doing highway riding or any type of riding that doesn't put a lot of heat into the engine.

    Here are some YouTube videos showing my EXACT problem:




    When I got home I got my battery checked and it was strong and healthy. It had 12.6V and load test came back great with it putting out 95% of its rated CCA, so battery isn't an issue. The relay is clicking just fine so I ruled that out. Connectors look good with no corrosion. So after all the easy stuff was done, I am now thinking it is the starter motor that is the issue. I've looked online and it seems that the starter motor can "drag" or crank slow if it gets "heat soaked" which causes the resistance to increase in the starter which causes slow cranking.

    I've been looking high and low for people who have this issue with the Tiger but haven't had any luck... I'm noticing people stating they have these slow crank issues with this bike, but no one has actually really pin pointed it to a heat soaked starter. I was wondering if anyone here has had this problem and had it fixed by either fitting a heat shield around the starter motor or by replacing it with a new motor? I don't want to replace this motor with a new starter because I'm afraid that won't fix anything as the heat will eventually get to new starter and cause the same problems again in a short amount of time. I also want to know if anyone who has installed a heat shield on their starter motor (old starter or new) has had that fix their "heat soak" issues.

    This is a big deal for me because I live in Yuma, AZ... In the summer it gets up to 120° F at times with averages around 106° F and with those temps, I'm not sure this bike will be able to start after riding it some.

    I also plan on doing some long adventure rides (2000 + miles) around May of next year and I can't have the Tiger unreliably starting like that in the middle of nowhere. I need more confidence in my bike (even though I love this bike soo much HAHAHA).
    #1
  2. ferals5

    ferals5 Grumpa

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    I think triumph upgraded the early starters for the slow hot crank issue...
    #2
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  3. Raywoo

    Raywoo Adventurer Super Supporter

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    I had exactly the same thing on my 2012 Tiger 800XC. You need to have the valves adjusted. When the bike is hot the valve clearances change and the bike doesnt have enough torque to overcome the cylinder compression
    #3
  4. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

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    2011 and early 2012 models did have an issue with starters frying their brushes. Here is an old thread on the subject. https://www.tiger800.co.uk/index.php/topic,11947.0.html

    My 2011 800XC exhibited the same symptoms you describe but had no component problems. I found that by putting the bike in neutral, then cranking made the difference.
    #4
  5. williamsdan94

    williamsdan94 n00b

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    Definitely not my valves, I just did the 12k service and valves were fine!
    #5
  6. williamsdan94

    williamsdan94 n00b

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    Looks like I'll have to install a new starter and wrap it in heat shield just to be safe... Thanks for the link!! I'll talk to a Triumph dealer and see if they can get their hands on a starter for me that is good. I personally don't want to buy one since their price is hitting $500 after tax.... YIKES! Rick's Electric Motorsports sells them at $215 with a 1 year warranty so I might go with them. Hopefully this issue gets fixed! I believe this bike is one sweet ride...
    #6
  7. williamsdan94

    williamsdan94 n00b

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    Do you happen to know if there is a part number for the upgraded starter motor? Just want to make sure I'm getting the correct one... Thanks for the reply!
    #7
  8. WolvesLower

    WolvesLower Been here awhile

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    Had the hot start. 2011 800 XC.

    Older: Denso 428000-5540; Triumph T1310060
    Newer: Denso 428000-5542; Triumph T1311112.

    Put in new starter, correct new part, all is good now.

    The new starter made in Korea. Old Japan made.
    #8
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  9. WolvesLower

    WolvesLower Been here awhile

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  10. williamsdan94

    williamsdan94 n00b

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    Thanks a TON! Ordering this part ASAP! :D
    #10
  11. strick909

    strick909 n00b

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    I have the same problem on my '13 Tiger 800 ABS. I plan on going with Rick's as they have such a great reputation on TriumphRat forums.
    #11
  12. williamsdan94

    williamsdan94 n00b

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    I'd make sure to contact Rick's before making the purchase...

    I gave Rick's a call about my 2012 Tiger 800XC ABS so I could get one of their starters in over the holidays and install it. I bought the starter that the website claimed was for my bike, and when it came in, it did not fit the bike at all. I have attached pictures to show my issue.

    starter1.jpg

    starter3.jpg
    It looks like the machined surface that the sealing o-ring goes on is not the same length as OEM which causes the mounting holes to not line up with the mounts on the motor. I was pretty frustrated to say the least.... I've been in contact with Rick's and they said they were willing to have me send back the starter and they would send a NEW starter with SLOTTED mounting holes and provide the hardware for install. While I loved their customer service and willingness to help me, there is no way in hell I'm going to throw in a starter motor on my bike that doesn't have the proper dimensions only to mount it with SLOTTED mounting holes. Not only could this cause some insane damage to the bike if it doesn't fit just like OEM, but if I need to replace the starter in the future, I now need some specially modified starter motor that I may not be able to get from Rick's...

    Now I'm not sure if they happened to send the wrong starter or what, but when they told me they needed to slot the mounting holes on a new starter, it seemed like they didn't truly have a starter that fits the bike properly. And don't get me wrong, I think Rick's is a great shop with amazing people! My incident is probably one of their rare cases. I highly recommend them as they take care of their customers and are incredibly responsive to emails and calls.

    In the end, I went to a Triumph dealer and just ordered the damn starter. And let me tell you....That pissed me off even more. I paid about $620 for that fucking starter. Sorry for the language, but I nearly lost it when they told me it cost that much. It was the strangest thing to...I had to provide the VIN number of my motorcycle in order to even order the part. They wouldn't just let me tell them the make, model, and year of my bike. All in all this issue has really tested my patience and wallet and I'm ready to throw in the towel for this bike/brand considering if I sell it, I could get an Africa Twin and never have to worry about any reliability issues, and even if there was a part I need to replace, I'd be able to do it without spending an insane amount of money to do it. While the bike has never left me stranded, it is quite nerve racking when I'm 50+ miles in the middle of nowhere and the bike struggles to start. One day it may not start at all and I just can't rely on waiting for the bike to "cool down". Especially where I live, where it gets to be 110°F or higher in the summer.
    #12
  13. WolvesLower

    WolvesLower Been here awhile

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    That is a bummer.
    I got my new starter off a salvaged Tiger for $200.
    It worked like a charm. Getting it in was not the easiest thing
    #13
  14. Hefeweizman

    Hefeweizman n00b Supporter

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    So I too ordered a starter from Ricks after getting the starter sticker shock from Triumph, And like WilliamsDan94 found the size a bit different. The machined O ring section was a bit shorter. But overall length of the entire starter was the same. The spline shaft was longer. My fear was the O ring would not be installed deep enough to seal the spline.
    I did try it out and am happy to report that it does insert deep enough and works just fine. It has been a couple weeks since the install and seems to work fine. It does spin up faster than the stock Denso unit. By the way my 2013 had the newer Denso 428000-5542 starter and died with 23,422 on the odometer.
    I did have my reservations, but I think the Ricks Electric starter is OK.
    #14
  15. foos

    foos pfft.

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    I had the same problem as the original poster, on a 2012 w/ 50k miles a lot of which was in the desert or single track. I did replace the brushes, cleaned the contacts and though it helped for a week.... i am back to where I started. So, I will be buying a Ricks' starter. Oh, well the rebuild was only 25 bux so it was worth a try.
    #15
  16. Ballisticstiger

    Ballisticstiger n00b

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    A year ago I ordered a Ricks Starter for my Tiger 800
    After a short while the starter acted up before a ride, I took it to a starter shop and they said it was weird that the brush holder flipped and broke and repair cost me $190 (also the cause of stress and not full spline contact on the idler gear)
    Then on a ride shortly after, far from home, it made a screeching noise and would not start
    I bump started to get home the 800km and the dealer found that the Starter spline was only making contact with the Idler gear 75% and putting stress on the gears and sheared off 3/4 of the teeth in places on the idler
    So I have had over $1000 labour taking it in/out all this time
    purchase of starter from Ricks
    Now having to buy a new expensive Idler gear and worrying about broken gears in the engine
    Wasted a new oil change and filter
    Plus need a new starter that makes full contact with the Idler gear the bike is apart and down again, waiting and the season is winding down

    I contacted Ricks last night and am waiting to hear how they will help me (if at all)

    I don't know if they have rectified this issue since and am waiting to hear back

    To anyone who has put a Ricks Starter on your bike

    I would recommend a quick easy check that wont loose any oil and lay the bike down on its side
    Undo the Stator side cover and check and see if your starter is making full contact with your idler gears, before you have a potentially bad situation like I am experiencing

    UPDATE

    Ricks got back to me showing me with pictures and measurements comparing there NEW DESIGN starter to the Denso one as being the same (as I had showed them pictures and calipher measurements that there OLD DESIGN was not the same)

    They sent me out a new one out ASAP (thank you for that) and I checked before installing

    I took off the Magneto cover before starting again to make sure it meshed with the idler gear and it does ;) But at another $40 cover gasket again, as it broke :(

    I just wish that they got it right the 1st time before all the stress ,costs and downtime , I had begun to think this was a Triumph design flaw and was thinking of getting rid of it, till I found the problem- now I still worry about the broken idler gears that I couldn't locate coming loose at sometime and causing major damage
    The new starter sounds different and much quieter than the old design :)

    I would recommend anyone with the OLD DESIGN starter
    Buy a magneto cover gasket
    Lay your bike on its side
    remove the magneto cover and inspect if you are getting full contact on the idler gear

    IF IT DOES NOT

    I recommend you stand it up
    drain the oil
    Order a new starter and remove the current one
    Pull off the idler ring gear and see if there was any damage to the inside gears in contact (The old starter was also tilted, along with not making full contact, which tore the gears apart)
    wrap heat reflective tape around the new starter
    Clean the contacts with sandpaper or a small file
    If it's the 1st time installing a Ricks starter you need to drill a 1/4" hole in the mount end (I like the Ricks mount over the original better)
    Install the new starter
    check to see if it meshes with the idler gear as it should,
    put the gasket and oil back in and hopefully never have that problem again


    I was told by the starter company that repaired my original Denso (to no avail) and my old design Ricks Starter once, that you should take apart any starter and clean the dust out before it shorts out (I am not sure how many kms I will wait to do that)

    Attached Files:

    #16
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