Question about 1985 Honda XL 125 R

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Bike will not start on the electric starter which cranks the engine over with lots of enthusiasm and the battery will keep this going longer than you need to figure its not going to fire.The bike starts really easily with a bump start(no kickstart on this model)and runs generally well. What could the problem be ? Mark.

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This sounds like your starter motor turns but slip or does not engage the motor properly .
you may also have a bad connection which the relay may be faulty and cuts the poiwer to the HT .
I would say the electrics have to be looked at first and make sure you do have a spark while using the starter motor .
If not , you have a electric problem like a relay that does not work properly

Posted on Sep 27, 2009


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93 Geo Storm standard Transmission 1.6 Engine Lately I have to push start it Replaced ignition switch Checked all the fuses Starters good Help 48 disabled female

bad fuel, is it old? fuel.
needs tuneup, air cleaner and spark plugs , at least.
if the starter cranks fast and dont' start,
but does push started. that means the spark is weak
when cranking, and marginal spark plugs can do that.
this car is really (under Geo snake skins) a
an Isuzu Impulse
and Isuzu is defunct there too. (double bad)

now my real guess......analysis...
im not sure your order stated.
the engine would not crank over with a key before the new switch or after?
and "starters good", does that mean , it still fails to crank start with key
but the hot wiring of starter does?
try this:
tell use what happens when you turn the key, is best.
I turn the key, and i get the dash board to light up,
lots of lights. and the CEL LaMP GLOWS.
the CEL lamp, means the ENGINE brain is alive.
then you turn the key to cranks (start) position.
  1. nothing happens.
  2. it only clicks
  3. it cranks slowly,
  4. it cranks fast, just like a new car does. fast. cranking.


and does jumper cable starts work>?
if this works , your battery is low. , discharged or dead, or bad.
if the battery keeps going low, its bad, or the alternator fails to charge the battery, or you have phantom drains , discharging it as you sleep.

my guess, (based on most common)
is #3, slow cranks, and spark plugs are long since gone.(fouled and gaps no longer in spec>)

Nov 01, 2014 | 1993 Geo Storm

1 Answer


Always very frustrating when you have an issue like this. Just to recap on my understanding what you have ruled out:
- not a battery issue as you have a car battery linked up!?
- not the starter motor as you have tried a second one!?
- rotation is only slightly better with the plugs removed ( trust this is all four? )
My suggestions would be:
1) remove all the plugs and with the bike in neutral, remove the timing cover at the crank and turn the crank clockwise and see how much resistance you get over a few full revolutions. Everything should move nice and easy, if it does not then there is something mechanically wrong in the engine.
2) when did you last change the oil and filter? I would suggest you do this to ensure you do not have a load of sludge in there which will certainly add lots of resistance when cranking a cold motor.
3) is it possible you are experiencing clutch drag? When cranking the bike pull the clutch in to ensure the clutch is truly disengaged and not dragging.
Try the above points and let me know how you get on.

Sep 02, 2013 | kawasaki ZZR 1100 Motorcycles

1 Answer

I have a 1988 honda shadow 1100,Ijust bought a new battery and it is charged up,go to start it it wont start until i hook cables from my car and then it starts right up..It does crank over without car...

Hmm, this can be starter brushes. Engine needs lot of electric power for starter and plugs. If starter is bad, it takes all power and nothing left for plugs and you can"t start the bike.

Feb 16, 2012 | 1988 Honda VT 1100 C Shadow

2 Answers

No electric power after attempting to jump start with a car

using a car battery, especially while the car is running is way too many cranking amps for a 12 volt bike starter. remove the bike starter to have it rebuilt or replaced. Internally the main power wire inside the starter will be burned/broken. check fuses as well

Apr 22, 2011 | 1998 Suzuki GSX 750 F (Katana)

1 Answer

When i try o put the battery in - with the key out, stand down, etc - it starts the engine

When you say Start the you mean the starter engages and starts cranking engine?
If thats the case most bikes use a starter relay (aka starter solenoid) that has a cable directly from the battery to it. The starter button with the key on, energizes the relay, so the solenoid sends power to crank the starter.
If the solenoid is stuck in the closed (electrically) position power will flow to starter whenever the battery cables are connected. So the solenoid needs to be could try tapping it to free the contacts but its probably damaged.

If the bike is cranking and starting and running without the key in, it would suggest multiple wiring issues or mods have been made.

Mar 18, 2011 | BMW K 1100 LT Motorcycles

2 Answers

I have a Suzuki Intruder 150 that sometimes won't start. There doesn't seem to be any consistancy when this happens but sometimes it starts fine and others it cranks but won't start. When it does it it's a...

It's electrical problem, it seems like something is draining your bike's battery, not letting enough current to go to starter for a strong engine cranking, I suspect there might be a short circuit within the ignition switch and/or wiring, as you said the bike keeps running even with the key out.

May 20, 2010 | 1999 Suzuki VS 1400 Intruder

1 Answer

Just went out to the garage to fire up my 2007 BMW R1200RT, and it will not start. The tank is full, the battery is charged and it turns over no problem, pops occasionally but will not start. It ran fine...

your bike may just have "dry pots" mine did this as well, i took the plugs out and give each pot a drop of engine oil in them and refited the plugs,, started up first time then,,,it could also be a blocked fule jet so there is very little fule getting into the engine,, keep trying to start it up but keep your battery changed up and dont crank it over for longer that 30 secons at a time before letting the starter cool down she will go in time

Jan 18, 2010 | 1996 BMW R 100 R

1 Answer

Bike wont start/turnover neutral light goes out when i press starter button oil light stays fully lit. replaced starter solenoid still the same. it was jumped by a car battery. any ideas

Did the starter work when it was jumped by a car battery? If so, the problem is probably the battery in the bike. Take the battery to an automotive parts house and have it tested. Usually, they'll test the battery for free.

What is the CCA of your battery? Those big engines are hard to start and you may not have a battery with enough "Cold Cranking Amps" to turn the engine over. The old Harley Sprint (1973 & '74) was notorious for this. You really had to have a strong battery in that bike for he electric starter to work.

Some bikes have wiring that disables the starter if the transmission is not in neutral. Check on this as well.

Nov 05, 2009 | Honda CB 750F2 Seven Fifty Motorcycles

1 Answer

The starter wont kick over bike engine

I had that problem with my Harley, ended up being in the switch on the handle bar.
switch was about $80 australian
Good luck

May 10, 2009 | Harley Davidson Harley-davidson...

1 Answer

After motor work starter runs when power applied

sounds like starter solenoid is staying energized sending continued power to starter. need to make sure you plugged the right wire from the starter button and not another hot wire w/ fulltime hot. also if thats ok need to test for power turning off to solenoid when releasing button. if thats ok try tapping on solenoid. lastly, make sure your positive cable from battery is hooked to starter solenoid, then another hot cable(longer) hooks from solenoid to starter, if you hook long hot cable directly from starter to battery, starter will continueous spin.

Feb 19, 2009 | 1996 Honda VT 1100 C Shadow Spirit

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