Can't explain why my V Star 650 suddenly won't start - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Can't explain why my V Star 650 suddenly won't start

Since I picked it up last year, it has always started easily. Pepcock on. Full Choke. Key on. Neutral, Clutch, Just a bit of throttle, and hit the starter. Vrrrrrooom!

Now however, the starter cranks and cranks but it won't catch. After a while, I do get a strong smell of gas. Yesterday it took 5-7 minutes of cranking before it finally started. Then I rode it to work (~45 minutes). Almost the same thing coming home.

** I forgot to mention, that it has back fired a couple times during the cranking-but-not-starting phase. **

I'm a relative novice under the hood (so to speak), so I'm open to suggestions.

Bad Gas? I'm about 40 miles into this tank.

Did I get water somewhere I shouldn't last time I washed it? No, I don't use a power washer, and although it does get wet, I don't focus the hose on the engine.

This just seems kind of sudden.

Ideas?
-PH

Last edited by Parrothead1809; 07-19-2018 at 01:42 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention the backfiring.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 01:43 PM
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** Check all electrical connection & grounds to make sure they are good & tight.

** Check you battery to make sure it is putting out the voltage needed.

** If you are worried about this tank of gas, drain it and pour fresh. (You can save that "bad" gas for your lawn mower. At least that is what I did.)

** Check you air filter. Make sure you did not suck something into it. and it is blocking the intake.

** Check you spark. It is strong, weak or ... nonexistent?

Those are just the first thoughts that popped into my head.

No matter what you ride. Just ride!
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 02:00 PM
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Couple things: how has your weather been? If its pretty warm out you dont need to pull the choke out all the way on a cold bike - maybe halfway. If your bike is jetted a little rich, pulling the choke out all the way when its 90 out might be flooding the engine.

how old is your battery? the electronic ignition has a voltage level, below which it will not fire the plugs. As the battery slowly ages some grey day you will crank your bike, and since the battery has been slowly degrading, it will sound normal... maybe a little slow, but the plugs wont fire. Sometimes if you crank it for a few seconds then let off the starter, the voltage comes up while the flywheel is still spinning and it will start. If you have a volt meter check your battery voltage, and check it while you are cranking the starter. If the battery is weak you can push start the bike (about 10mph down a hill in neutral, then clutch in and kick it up into 2nd gear, clutch out and off you go). If the bike will push / coast start easily then definitely need a new battery.

If you are using 10% ethanol gas then a little bit of water in the tank will get absorbed and wont cause any problems.

if you are smelling gas it is probably flooding - but check the overflow tube between the cylinders just on top of the right side of the engine case to make sure gas is not pouring out (stuck float bowl).

The fact that the bike runs ok once it starts points to either the battery being weak, or something is not right with the choke (or you dont need it on all the way).

Running some Seafoam through the gas tank can only help.

BTW, dont crank your starter for more than 10 seconds at a time, then let it sit for a minute. If it doesnt start after ten seconds its not going to, and cranking the starter longer will cook it like you would not believe. If it smells like gas (flooding) push the choke back in all the way the next time (after a minute for the starter to cool down).
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Last edited by KCW; 07-19-2018 at 02:04 PM.
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 02:08 PM
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One other thought - check your plugs -if they are all fouled out black the bike will be very hard to start.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 02:11 PM
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Just want to add that in over two years of riding the 650 I have never had to give it "just a bit of throttle" to start it... seems to me I read on here somewhere that this is a no-no.

Glen
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 02:14 PM
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True .. I dirty plug gives a weak spark.

No matter what you ride. Just ride!
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camperbc View Post
... riding the 650 I have never had to give it "just a bit of throttle" to start it... seems to me I read on here somewhere that this is a no-no....
good catch, I missed that - keep the throttle off while cranking it...

on the 650 you can give it just a bit when it fires. On the 1100 if you give it throttle while the starter clutch is still engaged it will back spin the starter and blow the clutch bearings into metal confetti!

Times like this I wish we could step into a transporter and beam over to your garage with tool box in hand...
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KCW View Post
Times like this I wish we could step into a transporter and beam over to your garage with tool box in hand...

Ditto! I got a fridge of beer waiting for ya! I drained the old fuel and put in some new “Plus” along with some Seafoam. Still no go.

Plugs?




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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 05:32 PM
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usually when I ride home after work, the bike has been sitting in the sun all afternoon and I dont need any choke to start the bike. Its not 'running' warm from 8 hours earlier.

Definitely pulls the plugs and have a look.

this is a good time to say to everone, if you dont have a torque wrench, then get one before you put the plugs back in. Motorcycles have almost all aluminum heads and engine blocks, and its really easy to strip a thread out going by feel. Aluminum has no wrench 'give' or feel to it, like steel. It just strips if you over torque it.

Last edited by KCW; 07-19-2018 at 05:34 PM.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KCW View Post
usually when I ride home after work, the bike has been sitting in the sun all afternoon and I dont need any choke to start the bike. Its not 'running' warm from 8 hours earlier.



Definitely pulls the plugs and have a look.


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