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Starter turns slow

Trying to start bike (1990 solftail) the starter turns real slow , battery has a good charge, inspected cables and they looked good. when i try to start the scooter it sounds like the battery is low. i put a new batt, in a same results.

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Re: starter turns slow

Poor connection or ground cables can look good and be bad just like me! also the sarter could be the problem if the relay isnt carrying enough amps when the starter engages

Posted on Apr 24, 2008

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When i start the bike, the starter will spin out a couple of times before it finally catches and turns the engine. this happened for about a week, until it finally stopped catching. now it just keeps...

You don't say what year/model your bike is. None the less, most likely the starter bendix is shot. This can happen in an instant (especially if you have a mechanical advance and the springs are weak or broken.) This would make a sort of "zing"ing sound when you try to start it. The solenoid's job is to push the bendix into position to engage the starter ring on the clutch hub. The starter motor won't turn until the solenoid is fully engaged. Check the bendix - it should turn freely in one direction and not at all in the other. Good luck.

Jul 29, 2009 | Harley Davidson Harley-Davidson Motorcycle...

1 Answer

Harley davidson evo motor wont turn over...just clicks

Pull the spark plugs out and hit the starter. This will make sure that the engine is not locked up. If the starter does not turn the engine, put the bike in first gear and have someone push you, making sure the engine is free. If the engine is OK, your starter is probably jammed and needs replaced. That wire getting hot is a dead giveaway something is locked up tight...starter or engine. If ya have a large hi-performance engine in the bike, chances are your stock starter won't do the job.

Jun 16, 2009 | Harley Davidson Harley-Davidson Motorcycle...

1 Answer

86 FXRS won't start

pull your right side cover and locate starter relay pull spade connector 1 at a time squeeze them with a pair of plyers to asure good contact put them back on sometimes it really is that simple

May 29, 2009 | Harley Davidson Harley-Davidson Motorcycle...

1 Answer

Sluggish Starter

The first thing that comes to mind is your battery. Are u sure its good ? Takes less amps to spin a starter than turn the motor. If you havent, I'd charge it up and try and turn the motor over a couple a times and then check the charge, or swap it out with another battery you know is good and see if you have the same problem

Sep 13, 2008 | Harley Davidson Harley-Davidson Motorcycle...

1 Answer

Dead Sporty

If the battery has a charge and the connections are all good, you have to have some juice goin through your system and should at the very least get a headlight, IF the bike knows its on. I'd check the starter switch on the handle bar.....did u kill it
accidently...its happened before.....maybe a leads popped off the key switch.
if that all fails
Sometimes battery connections look good, but arent. Try torquing them a little tighter.....good luck

Aug 18, 2008 | Harley Davidson Harley-Davidson Motorcycle...

1 Answer

Motorcycle wont start

Check the battery connections, especially if you hear a click just before it goes dead. I know that on my bike, when this happens, the screws that hold the battery cables in place have backed out and not getting a good contact. You would think that with a bad contact that it would stay dead when you turn the key off then back on, but oddly, everything comes back on normally until I hit the starter button. Check the cables.

Aug 05, 2008 | Harley Davidson Harley-Davidson Motorcycle...

1 Answer

1991 fatboy


Appreciate the vote of confidence but there are a few others who are likewise knowledgeable if not more..

On to your concern, it would seem you have two (2) issue, 1st if wont crank and the second will crank but not start.

No Crank: Due to the massive current required by the starter a component is installed between the starter button and the starter. This component then switches the battery to the starter motor. In cars this is the starting solenoid, in most bikes, this is the starter relay. Normally in the starter relay there would be 2 big terminals for the battery and the starter motor cables with 2 smaller wires for the starter switch and ground. Try this - try pushing the start button with the headlights on, if the headlight dims considerably, then the starting relay is good and the motor is bad; on the other hand if the headlight dims just slightly or not at all, it is the starting relay (the one with the clicking sound).

Most starter motor problems could be:
1. the bearings/bushings at the ends of the armature;
2. carbon brushes;
3. commutator segments (the multiple small copper plates that the brush contacts with).

However, it may be to your advantage to simply replace the motor should it be deemed defective, difficult to secure parts or not economically reasonable to go down component level repair.

Will Crank but not fire: There are 2 major requirement for a gasoline engine to fire, fuel and ignition. No fuel could be verified by removing the air cleaner and pouring a small amount of fuel down the throat, start the bike, if it start and runs (even for just a moment), you have verified the fuel problem. No ignition could be verified by removing one of the plugs, reinsert the high tension wire plug to the sparkplug and place the sparkplug atop any metal part, crank the engine, there should be a spark at the plugs.

Pls post back results whether fuel or ignition and we can go further from there.

Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Thank you for using FixYa.

Jul 02, 2008 | Harley Davidson Harley-Davidson Motorcycle...

2 Answers

Harley Davidson not starting

Disconnect the battery positive cable and yank straight up on it. If it seperates in two see a dealer. This was a recall so it will be repaired for free - no time limit, you don't have to be the original owner. If not, check the wire from the starter solenoid to the ignition switch. Also check the heavy ground cable from the battery to the frame, and the 10mm battery connections.

Jun 17, 2008 | Harley Davidson Harley-Davidson Motorcycle...

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