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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dr. Watson: Holmes, I've noticed that the starter on your V-Strom occasionally cranks slowly.
Sherlock Holmes: Indeed, Watson. Because the problem is occasional, it isn't the switch or the battery, and unlikely to be the relay. Therefore, we'll look into the starter motor.


The starter motor is the Mitsuba SM-14 that is widely used on many small engines, although the ends might be unique to the V-Strom. Brushes and the brush holder assembly are widely available from small engine parts suppliers at good prices. The starter motor drives the engine through an overrunning clutch. It looks kind'a like a roller bearing where it rolls freely in one direction (when the engine is running) and locks in the other direction (so the starter can turn the engine over). This overrunning clutch is inside the engine case; it stays there when the starter motor is removed.

http://www.cheapcycleparts.com/oemparts/a/suz/506b5d26f8700235b8767fd9/starting-motor

The motor is bolted to the bike by two mounting feet. Remove the two mounting bolts and the electrical cable, and expect the motor to be somewhat stuck into place by the o-ring oil seal on the left end (all left & right are the rider's left & right when seated on the bike). Wiggle it out or pry gently without breaking off a mounting foot. Take care removing the insulating rings from the power cable bolt. These rings need to go back on in the correct position and order to keep the power from shorting to ground.

Wipe out the mounting hole--no metal bits showed indicating excessive wear. I cleaned the motor exterior after it was out, then took it apart--note the marks on the exterior for correct alignment of the three parts of the housing.
--The left end had good shaft splines, the shaft was straight and not worn.
--The end cap had a good needle bearing and good internal oil seal.
--The armature windings are encapsulated in epoxy and looked good.
--The commutator was a good coffee-brown color with wear, no burned areas or pitting, and the mica insulators between the copper segments were still undercut.*
--The two thrust washers on each end of the shaft looked good.
--The brushes were good length with good spring tension. One possible cause for the intermittent slow cranking is a brush occasionally stuck in the brush holder due to a build up of carbon dust. I cleaned these well with electrical parts cleaner.
--The right end of the motor shaft showed a very small amount of bronze from the bushing plated on the steel shaft, and the bushing was dry. I think this was the main reason for the slow cranking--the dry bushing.

I cleaned everything with electrical parts cleaner, put a small dab of any good chassis & bearing grease in the bushing, very small dab on the thrust washers on the shaft, very small dab of grease on the oil seals, and put it back together matching the marks noted above. If it doesn't fit together just right, something inside isn't lined up--try again. Back in the bike with blue Loctite on the mounting bolt threads, attached the power cable, and it cranks great.


*The coffee-brown color of the copper commutator is good. It doesn't need cleaning. If the commutator had black burned spots or pitting, I would have sanded it with garnet sandpaper--the particles are non-conductive. Do not use emery cloth or aluminum oxide abrasive cloth due to the conductive particles. The mica between the copper segments needs to be slightly below the surface of the copper, and can be scraped down if needed.
 
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Great post

Thanks for the detailed posting. Contributions like yours are why why most of us belong to this forum.
 
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As we've learned the hard way over on the vintage Suzuki site, it's well worth replacing the o-ring on the nose of the starter (#10 on the diagram in your link) when you remove the starter. If this o-ring has gotten a bit flattened, it can lead to a very mystifying oil leak.

Probably not as much of an issue on a late-model bike, but if you have the time to order or find a metric o-ring of the same size, it's worth replacing.

Dimensions and part number on your fiche:
O RING (D:3.1,ID:24.4)
09280-24003
 

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Nice post. Encyclopedia Brown would be proud.:mrgreen:
 
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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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While it's not a common problem, it's a good enough description to make it a sticky. It isn't like there are a lot in this forum.
 

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This sounds like the same issue I am having. The only difference is mine will sometimes not start at all after it cranks slowly. I am curious, did this solved your issue permanently or if the problem has shown up again?

Also my bike is s 2007 DL1000. Not sure of that makes a difference.

Any info you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So far the starter motor spins vigorously every time.
 

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For the click,click,click and sometimes not even a click on my 06 VStrom I did an easy starter relay replacement (plug 'n play as they say)
and it solved all. Got a perfectly good relay via somewhere on Ebay for $ 22.
 

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At first, I did not look at the dates on this post. When I saw Greywolf's reply I thought I was loosing my mind. Kind of miss him.
 

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For those who may be in need, a few helpful pix can be found: Rob 27 - Changement des charbons du démarreur (Rob 27 - Change of starter coals) The coals referred to in the link (meaning carbon / brushes), is a result of google's translation from French to English.
The reported symptom: 'At startup, my K7 39,000 km gave the symptoms of a low battery and struggled to start...'
 

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*The coffee-brown color of the copper commutator is good. It doesn't need cleaning. If the commutator had black burned spots or pitting, I would have sanded it with garnet sandpaper--the particles are non-conductive. Do not use emery cloth or aluminum oxide abrasive cloth due to the conductive particles. The mica between the copper segments needs to be slightly below the surface of the copper, and can be scraped down if needed.


Neither emery nor aluminum oxide (both are the same material) are conductive. Aluminum oxide, better known as sapphire, is one of the best electrical insulators known.
One stands zero chance of shorting out their commutator with either product.

That said, one should strive to remove any and all abrasive particles from their commutator after polishing it; no matter what material they used.
 

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So, I've been following along with this thread and others to try to sort out my starting issue. This one seems to have the most recent posts, so I've decided to reply to it over the others.

HERE'S MY ISSUE:
My 2011 DL650 (Wee) will start with no issue when cold. Once I drive it for a few miles/minutes, though, it will USUALLY not restart again. After a couple of hours, it will restart.

WHAT I'VE DONE SO FAR:
Thanks to the faithful followers of this forum, I've been successful in completing the following.
- "rebuilt" starter button - cleaned it out, roughed contacts, packed with dielectric grease
- replaced starter relay
- upgraded regulator/rectifier - probably a non-issue, but wanted to try EVERYTHING. Was curious if the warm/cold correlation had anything to do with it.

ANY IDEAS? I haven't fiddled with the clutch sensor, but didn't think it could be that since it works when cold - didn't see the correlation.

THANKS!





The other threads I've tried/followed (couldn't post full links, I'm a newbie):
dl650-dl650a-2004-2011/61565-starting-problem
dl650-dl650a-2004-2011/311426-help-2008-dl650a-wont-start
v-strom-modifications-performance/51559-better-regulator-rectifier
 

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If and when the starter motor fails to swing / start, have you measured the voltage across the starter motor terminals while the starter button is depressed? If the voltage is present and of correct value, then you may well have an electrical failure inside the starter motor. If all OK, then work back from that point. A wiring diagram will be required to guide you.
 
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