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Dr800 starting issue

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:01 pm
by Nick65
Help and advice please. Dr800 1990.
Starting from cold, ignition on, decomp lever pulled in and released. Bike fires straight up without choke on the press of the starter. Ticks over and rides perfectly.

Then... when you stop engine and try to start again, decomp lever of course, it's as if the battery has no charge. Starter very sluggish and not even enough power to get a revolution out of engine. After a couple of tries, the starter stops and the solenoid clicks. I did manage to bump start it to get home and it ran perfectly. Once I got home I kept the engine running and check the charge which was over 14.2v and with the engine off, 12.8v.

I've read here that this could be either worn brushes in the starter or worse, the starter clutch (or of course the battery itself).

If anyone has experienced similar issues can you let me know what's the most likely cause.

Re: Dr800 starting issue

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:51 am
by BigBob
Could be several things really.
Check your battery terminal connections are tight.
Battery. They don`t tend to last too long on Bigs for some reason, so if it`s more than a couple of years old replace it with a Motobatt.
Try connecting up another battery to yours and see if it fires up no problem.
If it does then the problem lies with the solenoid or the starter itself.
Solenoids do die eventually, and connections to them get cruddy so check by jumping a screwdriver across the terminals to see if she fires up.
Starter motors don`t have brushes issues as far as I`m aware but have been known to fry themselves but the above check will show that up.
It`s unlikely, but your secondary starter cogs could be damaged and jamming.
If your starter clutch is cream crackered then the starter will just spin over and not engage the crank, so it`s not that.
Try electrics first as they are usually at fault and most of the time it`s a bad earth.
Report back with your findings

Re: Dr800 starting issue

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:54 am
by Nick65
Thanks for the advice bob, I'll check everything out and keep you posted. Just to say, when you press the starter button and the starter begins to turn, on first start up it fires in a fraction of a second but it feels like if it didn't catch straight away there's not enough power to even turn the engine for even one revolution let alone cranking it.

When it doesnt fire, you can definitely hear the starter turning engine, then the starter changes tone like it is spinning as you describe but not turning engine over and then eventually the solenoid clicks. I'll keep you posted.

Re: Dr800 starting issue

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:01 pm
by wundis
Don't trust the 12.8 volts on the idle battery.

I had an experience with the BIG when a yuasa (worst overpriced shit nowadays) battery was showing good voltage, but had failed cells inside = the CCA went down dramatically.

Re: Dr800 starting issue

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:05 pm
by Nick65
Thanks wundis. I thought that might be the case, amps rather than volts for cranking power. I'm going to do the checks that bob suggested and if that all turns out all right I'll focus on the battery itself. It's a generic Chinese brand so probably crap when new.

Re: Dr800 starting issue

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:39 am
by wundis
Also, keep in mind, cheap chinese shit-start cables won't put through 200 amps :crazy: