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Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

  1. #1
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650


    '99 SV650. This is my track toy. No electrics 'cept for a water temp gauge. Other than that it has been stripped of everything 'non essential'. This was somebody's race bike at one point.

    Sitting on the hot pit waiting for my session to start, I killed the engine. When my control rider took off I thumbed the starter button and nothing happened. I was able to get it started by putting the bike in 1st and nudging it forward a bit. This turned the engine over a bit and then the starter worked normally.

    Bike did this several other times throughout the day. Sometimes the starter would just work fine, other times it would not until I turned the engine a bit. I missed an entire session over this. I think it was a solid session with no red flags as well.

    I suspect a bad starter motor. I can't imagine this is electrical as I would think an electrical fault would leave me 100% dead.. bumping the engine shouldn't change anything.

    Any guesses? Is this at all typical for a dying motorcycle starter motor?

    Couple random guesses I got from helpful folks at the track suggested a flat battery. I had the battery on the tender just the other day in prep for the track day. And the bike starts strong when it starts. I really think the battery is okay.

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    Last edited by nhbubba; 08-13-13 at 12:15 PM.

  2. #2
    F.Y.Y.F.F jcbell1007's Avatar
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    Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    Dead spot in the starter is my guess. Get a new starter or have the old one rebuilt.

    If this happens again, have someone hold the start button and the give the starter case a good tap. The force from the tap should be hard enough to jar the windings, move the rotor off the dead spot and it'll fire up.

    I've had this in car starters starters before but never in a bike starter.

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  3. #3
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    Quote Originally Posted by jcbell1007 View Post
    Dead spot in the starter is my guess. Get a new starter or have the old one rebuilt.

    If this happens again, have someone hold the start button and the give the starter case a good tap. The force from the tap should be hard enough to jar the windings, move the rotor off the dead spot and it'll fire up.

    I've had this in car starters starters before but never in a bike starter.
    Sounds right to me.

    Could also be a flaky connection somewhere that works "most of the time" but doesn't "some of the time" and moving stuff around causes it to conduct (I see this a lot on the GL board, as the bikes see lots of mile and lots of weather (and have lots of connections and relays)). Check the connections on the battery, starter, and any relays (pull them make sure surfaces are clean, etc.). This is easy to rule out. My money is on the starter.

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  4. #4
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    I have not ruled out a flaky connection. Parts of this bike are held together by electrical tape and worry me a little. But thus far it has "just worked".

    But bumping the engine works too reliably for me to think it is a connection. Also if it were the harness to the kill switch/starter switch assembly, I would expect the bike to intermittently just die (kill switch toggled). It does not. Once started it runs string even with me bouncing 'round on it.

    I like the dead spot in the starter answer best so far.

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  5. #5
    Naked Rider SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    +1 to the starter. If it were mine, I'd disassemble the starter myself, check the brushes and the coil. Often it will get extremely gummed up and sometimes rusty (if water is getting in) which seizes it up. Often a good cleaning is all it needs to extend its life another couple years.

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  6. #6
    Day late, dollar short carsick's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    I have a spare starter, but you'd have to come to the track and be my pit slave to get it.
    Two other random things-
    I've had a broken wire to the start button in the throttle housing that was intermittent. Race bikes break shit that rarely happens on the street.
    Likely not your problem but an upgrade to consider, the stock reg/rec works harder and heats up as you remove loads like the headlight and raise the RPM, it has to dissipate the energy coming from the stator. Failure waiting to happen. A MOSFET reg/rec from a newer bike (I'm remembering a part # like FH008 from Hondas) gives stable voltage at all RPM's and runs cool.

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  7. #7
    First name on the shit list.... SVRACER01's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    could possibly be a clutch or neutral switch

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  8. #8
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    From the looks of things, a new/used starter via fleabay looks like it wouldn't kill me. Cheaper than being your pit bitch, sorry to say.

    Part number for the MOTOR ASSY, STARTER for the '99 SV650 is 31100-19F00. Same for a '11 V-Strom 650 is 31100-19F10. Wonder how different they are?!? I can't tell from the fiche or from looking at the bikes.

    Upgrading my electrical tape electrical system to a slightly cleaner soldered and heat shrunk setup seemed like an awful nice winter project to waste futzing with now. Besides, it "just works".. or just worked anyway. The starter/kill switch assembly is a Motion Pro and clearly newer than the rest of the bike. Although I hear he contacts can sometimes gum up.

    Still, the nudge in gear while swearing and mashing the starter switch technique worked too many times for me to think it was just a coincidence.


    If all else fails, maybe I can just get Maxim to head to all my track days and bump start my fat ass before each session. Although if I stall it on hot pit (it has happened) I am forked!

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  9. #9
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    Quote Originally Posted by SVRACER01 View Post
    could possibly be a clutch or neutral switch
    Disabled and/or removed from this puppy. She will start in gear with the clutch in or out.

    By the way, it is perfectly cooperative right now after sitting in the garage since yesterday. Wonder if heat is a factor. IIRC I didn't start having problems until the 4th session of the day or so.

    Seems like pulling and cleaning a starter is in my future.

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    Last edited by nhbubba; 08-13-13 at 04:03 PM.

  10. #10
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    Heat certainly can be a factor. Daughters car went through a starter. I replaced it. A couple months later it as "randomly" getting hard to start (according to her). I took it for a day. Cold starts were perfectly fine. Hot starts were a disaster. Let it sit for an hour, no problem. Run 10 miles. Turn it off and try to start it... I cringe at the damage done to the flywheel because the starter wasn't engaging. Another starter and no problem since.

    If you're going to bother taking it off find a local rebuilder and take it in. These guys are normally reasonably cheap and turn around time usually isn't too bad.

    While part numbers are close, unfortunately the starters look pretty different.
    http://www.partzilla.com/parts/searc...TOR/parts.html
    http://www.partzilla.com/parts/searc...TOR/parts.html

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  11. #11
    Dictionary quoting knob stoinkythepig's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    Before you replace it or take it to a rebuilder, make sure you look through the service manual about rebuilding it yourself. The factory service manual may have instructions for repairing it. When they fail intermittently, especially with heat, they usually just need brushes and those tend to be very easy and cheap to replace.

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  12. #12
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    Pulled the starter today. A lot more oil drained from the block than I expected.

    The starter looks better than I expected. Although I think the brushes may be pretty worn. I took a scotch pad to the contacts on the armature. They cleaned up nicely. Everything else got dunked in the ultrasonic and is getting scrubbed now. After this I will dry everything out and re-assemble.

    I have a product that is supposedly an electric motor cleaner leftover from my misspent youth screwing with R/C cars. It smells like it is mostly alcohol. But I figure it won't hurt anything.



    By my math, the best course of action, should this cleaning not work, is to pick up a used starter off fleabay. I think that's cheaper than a new brush assembly. Individual brushes are a non-starter as they are brazed to the assembly somehow. I am not interested in screwing with that.

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  13. #13
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    All is cleaned, back together and reinstalled. Bike starts.. let's see if it keeps starting through a track day.

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  14. #14
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    Just don't kill it mid lap. Otherwise I can push ya.

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  15. #15
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    "Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash."

    Either that, or you HAVE been workin' out!

    Thing runs like a dream off idle. So no worries once underway. Where it sometimes gets cranky is at idle before she's 100% warmed up. What worries me is I blip it the wrong way while waiting on hot-pit, it dies, and then I can't get it started again. That and I hate running a bike with NO FANS on hot-pit when not moving.

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  16. #16
    Take Chance, Shit Pants TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    Ha! That power shot brings me back!

    My dad used to refer to it is "motor douche". That is comic gold to a 14 year old.

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  17. #17
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    could be a starter relay on its way out as well

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  18. #18
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    Could be. But my rocking the bike forward in gear seemed to "fix" the issue. So I'm going with starter.

    Unfortunately (or not?!) the problem was intermittent. Whatever has gone wrong stops going wrong sometimes. I half would prefer it just went wrong all the time so I could narrow it down and replace the culprit.

    Until then I'll keep begging JC for bump starts. Seems Jason has volunteered to be my pit bitch too. Ahh, NESR.

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  19. #19
    Get Weird! maxim_X's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    I'll be more than happy to push that SV all day. I would hate to see anyone lose a session of track bliss when all it takes is a little jog and shove.

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  20. #20
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    Bike ran like a top at TTD on Monday. I am going to call this fixed, for now. Cleaning the contacts seems to have been enough. Thanks all.

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  21. #21
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    Bike ran like a top at TTD on Monday. I am going to call this fixed, for now. Cleaning the contacts seems to have been enough. Thanks all.
    I should learn not to say/post shit like this.

    Bike started doing its thing again intermittently. It would start fine at home, but once at the track after a couple sessions it would not. Bumping the bike in gear seemed to cure it.. until one of the afternoon sessions at Tony's last Monday. For the next two sessions I needed a push. God love you guys for pushing my fat-ass around the pits!!

    Naturally, without debugging the issue at all, I assumed it was the starter. Carsick, being the fine example of a packrat he is, happened to have a starter "over in my toolbox". Between sessions I swapped the starter and it worked! ... And then it didn't. Doug then diagnosed my issue with a little more throughly and declared it to be either my starter button or the wiring to it. This is a retired LRRS race bike. The wiring is ... uhm ... minimized. Last night I pulled the whole harness and started to clean it up.

    Hopefully this means nobody has to bump start me again.

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  22. #22
    Old and Slow Sheppo's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I should learn not to say/post shit like this.

    Bike started doing its thing again intermittently. It would start fine at home, but once at the track after a couple sessions it would not. Bumping the bike in gear seemed to cure it.. until one of the afternoon sessions at Tony's last Monday. For the next two sessions I needed a push. God love you guys for pushing my fat-ass around the pits!!

    Naturally, without debugging the issue at all, I assumed it was the starter. Carsick, being the fine example of a packrat he is, happened to have a starter "over in my toolbox". Between sessions I swapped the starter and it worked! ... And then it didn't. Doug then diagnosed my issue with a little more throughly and declared it to be either my starter button or the wiring to it. This is a retired LRRS race bike. The wiring is ... uhm ... minimized. Last night I pulled the whole harness and started to clean it up.

    Hopefully this means nobody has to bump start me again.
    I have a kill switch starter assembly from and SV it's your's should you want/need it.

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  23. #23
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Odd starting issue: gen 1 SV650

    I'd take it as a spare. I pulled the switch apart last night and there was some tarnish on the switch. The wiring is a little special and I am cleaning it up. Fortunately who ever did this retained the factory plugs.. so this is all plug 'n play and should work with an OE assembly.

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