Won't start all of a sudden - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Won't start all of a sudden

2013 VStar 950 tourer. Stored in garage and never an issue starting. Nice day today so got it out and hit the start button. She turns over but doesn't want to catch and fire up. Tried several times but then all I smell is fuel. Let it sit for 6 hours and tried again, same thing. Never a spec of trouble with this bike and this came on very abruptly. Was working fine up until yesterday. I'm stumped.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 05:06 AM
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Sounds like no spark. You need to pull the spark plugs out and allow the cylinders to air out. Disable the fuel system and check for spark while spinning the engine over. DO NOT do it near the open holes in the cyl as there will be fuel in there that could ignite if by chance there is spark. If there is no spark I would suggest finding a service manual to find out where the pickup is and the ohm resistance on the coil to test it. Good luck!!!!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks NGM! I started with the battery and found the negative terminal was loose. Tightened it up last night and tried again but still wouldn't start. Tried again this morning and after a minute or so it fired up. Shut it down and pulled the battery out. Took it to the shop and they are going to test it to make sure it's still good. If it is I am going to get a service manual and check all the other posibilities. Hoping at this point it was just the terminal being loose but wondering why it didn't fire up right away after I tightened it. Maybe fouled the plugs or something.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 09:33 AM
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A loose battery terminal can cause all kinds of weird stuff to happen. Electrical is weird.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 09:09 PM
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If the terminal is loose the battery may not have been charging while you were riding it.

On my 650 if the battery is on its last leg it will have enough power to spin the engine, but the electronic ignition wont have enough voltage to fire the spark plugs while the starter is cranking. Sometimes if you crank it for a couple seconds, when you release the starter button, the battery comes back up enough to fire the ignition and the bike will start just as you let the button go. Thats when you know your battery is dying and needs to be replaced.

But yeah, a loose connection will cause problems starting and charging the battery back up after it starts. A MC battery at most is good for 4 years, whether you ride the bike alot or not.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Had the battery tested and it needs to be replaced. The bike charging system is working fine so looks like the loose terminal was the cause of the battery dying.

Thought about not replacing it until next season but couldn't stand it if we got a few more beautiful days and my bike was sitting in the garage with no battery so ordered a new one. I'll be back on the road Monday.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 08:10 AM
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just out of curiosity where did you order your battery?

When mine gave up last year I looked on amazon to see what they were selling for at the best prices

I do appreciate having a local Yamaha dealer, so I figured if they have one for bit more I will buy it locally...

The only battery the dealer had for my bike was a "high performance battery" with a matching high performance price - over $200


you can get about 6 batteries online for $200, and have 5 brand new spares in your garage and one of your bike.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 08:26 AM
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KCW - that's a lot of cash for a battery!
OP - +1 to weak battery no fire. Had the same thing happen. Plenty of power to spin the engine but not enough to fire the plugs. First time it happened totally stumped me because on all my old trucks if it would spin it would fire unless something else was wrong. Deceiving!


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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I got the top of the line $200 battery. I had options of getting the cheaper ones in any price range from $40 and up but I always figure you get what you pay for. The $200 battery is supposed to last 3 times longer so we'll see if that's true. I put a lot of miles on my bike and I don't want to have to buy a new battery every year or so. When I'm travelling I want to know that when I hit that igintion button the bike is going to start and I'm willing to pay for that. I cheap out on a lot of things but my motorcycle is not one of them.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 08:36 AM
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To be fair I have not looked into what constitutes a high performance motor cycle battery.

It could be NiMH or some variation of a lithium Ion battery with internal charge and protection circuits - in which case it might very well last 10 years or more.

There are some pretty amazing battery technologies out now. EverReady has a AA lithium primary cell that last 4 times as long as a standard alkaline battery, and they managed to get its voltage to match 1.5V (lithium cells are normally 2.4V) so it works in just about anything. Primary cells are not rechargeable, but if you have a flash light or camera or GPS unit that you want to use for a long time without having to swap batteries, they are ideal.

Where I live it snows from December to March and we put our bikes away for the winter, either taking the battery off the bike into the house or putting a keeper on it which is another whole thread (the keeper they sell at Walmart costs more than a battery from amazon).

But that is why I asked - my bike is almost totally stock and I have not added anything that will load the electrical system. For me a standard lead acid battery is fine every 3 to 4 years. I was curious where the requirement for these $200 batteries came from, because if the dealers are only selling those, there must be people buying them.

One thing that no one has mentioned - when your battery is weak and the bike will spin over but will not start, you can push-start it down a bit of a slope, Kick it up into second gear, and it will fire 95% of the time. Cranking the starter pulls the weak battery voltage down far enough that the electronic ignition and/or fuel injection (if you have it) will not fire. When you push-start the bike the starter load is not there. Also the perfect indication that you need to replace an old battery.

Last edited by KCW; 10-16-2016 at 08:39 AM.
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