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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2013 DL650 always starts but intermittently takes 2 -3 cranks before starting. When listening by the starter it sounds like it is either not getting enough power or there is too much resistance within the starter clutch. I've taken the following troubleshooting steps
  1. Installed a new battery
  2. Did voltage drop testing. With the problem I am seeing a
    1. .5 volt drop on the cable between the starter relay and starter motor.
    2. .33 voltage drop between battery positive terminal and starter relay.
    3. .3 voltage drop between starter motor case and battery negative terminal
    4. Between battery terminals is 7.43 with problem
    5. Across starter motor is 5.8 with problem
  3. I bought a used cable to replace the cable between the starter relay and starter motor, installed it, and had the same problem
  4. I put a jumper cable on the positive battery terminal and starter motor and had the same problem. I did have to use a long bolt on the jumper cable to touch the starter motor because of the small clearance to get the starter motor
  5. I connected my car battery (with the car off) to the battery and had the same problem
  6. I bench tested the starter motor and it ran fine
  7. I bench tested the entire battery, starter relay, and starter motor using the used cables I purchased and it ran fine
  8. I took apart the starter motor, verified the brushes looked good, cleaned it and put it back together

After doing the bench test, I'm now thinking the starter clutch is the problem. Based on the sound in the attached video do think that is the case? In the video there is a slight rattle at the end when it starts. I compared this to a KLX250s that I have and it has that sound as well so I figure that is fine...




 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I forgot to mention that I also cleaned all cable terminals with sandpaper including the ground terminal connected to the back of the engine
 

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Hi distill,
Seems you have done a fair amount to try and solve the problem including bypassing the starter switch.
I'm not sure what you mean with respect to "starter clutch", can you elaborate?
What's the new battery's resting voltage, you didn't say?
Did you put the new battery on a charger until its topped up?
Have you tried jump starting from a second battery? If you have not, and want to try jump starting, ensure the vehicle is NOT running if the second battery is installed in another vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Starter clutch is what the starter motor connects to. I'm thinking that something in the starter clutch idle gear, starter clutch, or freewheel may be getting caught on something.

battery resting voltage is 12.8 volts

battery is on a battery tender

I tried jump starting from a car battery and that didn't help
 

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How did you bench test the starter motor? How much load on the motor?
  1. Between battery terminals is 7.43 with problem
  2. Across starter motor is 5.8 with problem
Not sure I understand what these measurements are?

Since you tested and verified almost everything the starter motor may be the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I bench tested the starter motor by taking it off the motorcycle along with the battery. I connected the negative post of the battery to the starter motor body with a jumper cable. I connected the positive post of the battery to a jumper cable and touched it to the starter motor positive terminal and saw that it ran without a problem.

When I did the bench testing there was no load on the motor. I was just testing to make sure it worked.

The measurements are 7.4 volts between the battery terminals under load when it was cranking multiple times. 5.8 volts is the voltage across the starter motor when it was cranking multiple times. The measurements show that when starting with multiple cranks there was a large load on the battery. Battery shouldn't drop below 10 volts when cranking. Also, the fact that the starter motor consumed 5.8 volts shows that 7.4 - 5.8 = 1.6 volts is getting lost in the cables with the voltage drop. That leads me to think the problem is with bad cables, but I ran the bench test with the cables, starter relay, and starter motor connected to a battery and it ran fine. The only thing with the bench test is that the starter motor isn't under load as it would be if it was connected to the motorcycle

I opened starter motor, checked it out, and cleaned it. It looked pretty pristine. The brushes were well within specifications. The Vstrom only has 16,000 miles on it as well.
 

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Since you had the same problem with your new battery and a car battery I assume it/s not the battery dropping voltage under load. One way to verify is reading the resting voltage (without the charger attached for some hours, then the voltage with ignition and lights on. Is the voltage steady or does it drop over a minuet or 2? If this all tests out ok then looks to me that the starter motor is drawing much more amps that it should. Shortened windings? Assuming this is a new to you bike (correct?), why did the PO sell the bike? Did he have starting problems and cranked for ever and damaged the motor windings?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The resting voltage is steady without the battery tender connected. I have taken it on multiple all day rides and haven't had a problem. I'm just concerned that it may be the beginning of a bigger problem.

I agree, I think the starter motor is intermittently drawing more amps than it should. Is that because of the motor or additional load from the starter clutch getting stuck?

You are right that is a new bike to me. The PO sold the bike because he got a new bike. We did notice the multiple cranks but I didn't ask about how long he cranked it for.

The starter motor working perfectly fine in the bench testing and working about half the time when connected to the motorcycle. Given that, you think the starter motor could still be the problem?

Also, does the sound it makes when cranking sound like a problem between the battery and starter motor or do you think it could be related to the starter clutch?
 

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You did not verify:
One way to verify is reading the resting voltage (without the charger attached for some hours), then the voltage with ignition and lights on. Is the voltage steady or does it drop over a minute or 2?

I can't remember ever having read about starter motor clutch issues. That's not to say its impossible but I have no clue about it. 7.4V is certainly not enough to start the engine under "normal" conditions. I am amazed that it starts at all.

Just goggled it: Bike Won't Start - Starter Clutch / Rotor Problem
 

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Interesting case here. The voltage drop across the cables seems reasonable. The cranking rpm sounds way low, like not enough battery. Your new battery should confirm that is not the issue. Jumper leads can be very problematic as they may not or often do not get a good electrical connection.

then the voltage with ignition and lights on. Is the voltage steady or does it drop over a minute or 2?
My bike consumes around 13 amps in this state, I would expect the voltage to be falling but because of this load this test should confirm that your new battery is not somehow defective.

Assuming your new battery is good and/or the jumper connection was good, then weak starter output or too much load. Don't know about starter clutch but first, with the engine cold remove the generator cover plug and turn the engine by hand - with a socket and socket wrench. Is there excessive resistance?
 

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I was thinking similar. Could be something like starting in gear with a frayed clutch cable, or as above something strange in engine land.

And if you do the turn it over by hand test, you can also try with the easier to reach plug out of each pot, it doesn't spin freely like that but it also doesn't normally take any effort.
 

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Is there any improvement with the throttle open ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You did not verify:
One way to verify is reading the resting voltage (without the charger attached for some hours), then the voltage with ignition and lights on. Is the voltage steady or does it drop over a minute or 2?

I can't remember ever having read about starter motor clutch issues. That's not to say its impossible but I have no clue about it. 7.4V is certainly not enough to start the engine under "normal" conditions. I am amazed that it starts at all.

Just goggled it: Bike Won't Start - Starter Clutch / Rotor Problem
Yep, I saw those links too. I'll do your full resting voltage test and get back to you. I will say that when the DL650 actually starts the voltage jumps up to reasonable levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Interesting case here. The voltage drop across the cables seems reasonable. The cranking rpm sounds way low, like not enough battery. Your new battery should confirm that is not the issue. Jumper leads can be very problematic as they may not or often do not get a good electrical connection.



My bike consumes around 13 amps in this state, I would expect the voltage to be falling but because of this load this test should confirm that your new battery is not somehow defective.

Assuming your new battery is good and/or the jumper connection was good, then weak starter output or too much load. Don't know about starter clutch but first, with the engine cold remove the generator cover plug and turn the engine by hand - with a socket and socket wrench. Is there excessive resistance?
I'll try that and let you know
 

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That does not sound like a problem with the starter clutch. There is no failure mode of the starter clutch that results in the starter turning over slowly. Either it fails to engage fully or at all, in which case the engine won't turn over (properly, or at all) but the starter itself is going fast like gangbusters. Or it won't disengage after the start and the starter will stay engaged with the motor when the motor starts. That sounds like not enough watts getting to the starter, or the starter is defective.

To clarify, I believe the 7.4 volt figure is the voltage drop across the starter during the starting process. That's different than the voltage of the battery during the start.
I think we have not seen that number yet. What is the voltage at the battery during the start procedure? Resting voltage should be in the high 12.x volt range, and once you hit the starter button, it should drop to the middle 10.x range or thereabouts.
 

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What's the voltage at the battery terminals when the bike is running above 4K rpm? Should be 14v or so.

There is a recall for the stator on the Gen2 650. Check the Kawasaki site with your VIN.

The problem is the OEM shunt voltage regulator heating up the stator coils especially if there's excess current because of attempts to lower the bike's consumption (like installing LED lights).

The solution is to install a series regulator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Interesting case here. The voltage drop across the cables seems reasonable. The cranking rpm sounds way low, like not enough battery. Your new battery should confirm that is not the issue. Jumper leads can be very problematic as they may not or often do not get a good electrical connection.



My bike consumes around 13 amps in this state, I would expect the voltage to be falling but because of this load this test should confirm that your new battery is not somehow defective.

Assuming your new battery is good and/or the jumper connection was good, then weak starter output or too much load. Don't know about starter clutch but first, with the engine cold remove the generator cover plug and turn the engine by hand - with a socket and socket wrench. Is there excessive resistance?
How did you test the amps running through the starter circuit. I know the voltmeter has to be inline for amp testing but I was afraid to do it without knowing whether the thin voltmeter would get fried. I would logically think I could connect the voltmeter across the starter relay terminals to bypass that and get the amp reading. Does that make sense?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That does not sound like a problem with the starter clutch. There is no failure mode of the starter clutch that results in the starter turning over slowly. Either it fails to engage fully or at all, in which case the engine won't turn over (properly, or at all) but the starter itself is going fast like gangbusters. Or it won't disengage after the start and the starter will stay engaged with the motor when the motor starts. That sounds like not enough watts getting to the starter, or the starter is defective.

To clarify, I believe the 7.4 volt figure is the voltage drop across the starter during the starting process. That's different than the voltage of the battery during the start.
I think we have not seen that number yet. What is the voltage at the battery during the start procedure? Resting voltage should be in the high 12.x volt range, and once you hit the starter button, it should drop to the middle 10.x range or thereabouts.
7.4 volts is the voltage across the battery terminals during the starting process. 5.4 volts is the voltage across the starter during the starting process. Resting voltage is 12.8 with the battery tender connected. The battery voltage across the terminals when it starts fine is in the 10.x range. It's only when it is cranking multiple times that it goes down to 7.4 volts.
 
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