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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I'm new to the forum. I just bought a 2012 speedmaster with 15xxx miles today, the battery was completly dead and we pushed start it. Everything was fine once it started but the battery won't charge so I couldn't check if the starter works or not. The seller seems a honest person and he told me there's nothing wrong with the bike other than the battery. So we finished deal and rode it home, bought a new baterry and put it on, all lights and meters works. Then, when I try to start it, the starter spins but seems like the gear is not engaged. I tried to search through the forum but seems like most people had problems either there's only click or nothing and nobody have similar problem like mine: the starter spins but gear not engaged. So I know normally it should be a bad starter solenoid for cars with the same symptons but not really sure what could be broken and where to start to look. Any info and help will be appreciated!
 

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Welcome to the forum Don,
There was a member that had the starter motor internals coming apart. Have you removed the starter motor to visually inspect it yet? Seems there were loose magnets. Also remember one with 2 broken teeth on the gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks MattyMo, I haven’t got a chance to remove the starter to inspect it. But I’m pretty sure the starter works because it spins. And I don’t think it got broken teeth since it doesn’t make any unusual noise when the starter spins. Really just like a car starter with bad starter solenoid but I don’t see any solenoid on the starter like normal car do. Sorry about my broken English and hope you guys under stand what I’m saying :)
 

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It's gotta be there somewhere. On my 2008, it's behind the RH side cover, but on the '14 (and likely your '12) the ECU is there, so they moved it elsewhere. I didn't see it though. What's more, I don't see in the shop manual that they even differentiated between the years!
 

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But I’m pretty sure the starter works because it spins. And I don’t think it got broken teeth since it doesn’t make any unusual noise when the starter spins. Really just like a car starter with bad starter solenoid but I don’t see any solenoid on the starter like normal car
Sounds like you may need to remove the starter to verify if it is spinning and throwing out the the gear to engage the motor.
The starter solenoid should be down low behind the motor on your later generation model. Should be next to the reg/rec behind the motor, forward of the swing arm.
 

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Possible that it's simply a loose/damaged wire at the solenoid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for reply. I’ve try “by pass” the solenoid by using a screw driver to connect two nuts on the solenoid. There was spark and the starter spins just like use the start button. I’ll remove the starter to inspect the starter and update to the forum. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Recent update. The start problem is “fixed”, at least for now. I removed the starter to do a visual inspection and didn’t see anything wrong with it. Drain the oil first ! Don’t learn that the hard way as I did:ROFLMAO: so I clean it up a little bit and then put everything back on and ready to remove the clutch cover to do a further investigation later. And I tried to test the starter just to make sure I put everything back right , guess what : the bike starts right up just like it suppose to be. Very happy but also confused. So the problem is solved at least for now. I’ll try to contact the seller to see if he would be honest with me to tell me what was wrong. I’ll keep a eye on it and hope this problem won’t come back. At last , thanks for all the info and fees back. Really appreciate it !
 

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I bought an 05 Speedmaster a week ago which I haven't even had a chance to ride yet other than the initial test ride. Yesterday I went to start it and now have the same exact symptoms that Don had.
Mine acted like the battery was low with a slow couple of turns of the motor then a click,click,click,click. I tried again after waiting a few seconds and the same thing but this time it turned over slowly maybe once then kind of a pop which I thought was a backfire. I hope it wasn't something breaking. After that all I'm getting is the spinning of the starter but no engagement. It was suggested on another site to try jumping from a car battery (not running) for better voltage. I'll try that tonight but I did hook up my car charger and tried the 100A "start" position but got the same result, just the spinning of the starter.

Before I start tearing stuff apart anybody have other ideas or suggestions?

Thanks
 

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I bought an 05 Speedmaster a week ago which I haven't even had a chance to ride yet other than the initial test ride. Yesterday I went to start it and now have the same exact symptoms that Don had.
Mine acted like the battery was low with a slow couple of turns of the motor then a click,click,click,click. I tried again after waiting a few seconds and the same thing but this time it turned over slowly maybe once then kind of a pop which I thought was a backfire. I hope it wasn't something breaking. After that all I'm getting is the spinning of the starter but no engagement. It was suggested on another site to try jumping from a car battery (not running) for better voltage. I'll try that tonight but I did hook up my car charger and tried the 100A "start" position but got the same result, just the spinning of the starter.

Before I start tearing stuff apart anybody have other ideas or suggestions?

Thanks
tschanne, do make sure the battery is charged before continuing. If you can't charge the battery then yes, you can use jumper cables and the car battery with the car not running as a last resort.
You may want to remove that starter itself to verify condition and operation. The noise you describe is suspicious. Not sure of the year/VIN break but there were some idler boss failures in the case on some early models. You may want to search about it and the Safe-Start reinforcement for more info.
 

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I took the starter out and bench tested it with the battery from the bike.The starter worked fine and strong and the teeth on the starter gear are in good shape as is the gear in the motor the starter engages. I buttoned everything back up, filled the motor with fresh oil and I'm getting the same results. If I put my hand on the starter and push the start button I can feel the starter working , it's just not turning the motor over.
Is the starter clutch gear suspect and if so is it a big deal to replace?

Thanks
Tom
 

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Sounds like it is time to remove the clutch cover for further inspection. As noted above, search for info on the idler boss issue experience by a few owners before the engine case was reinforced.
 

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This situation has my stomach in knots!! :( After reading all the posts and watching videos on the idler boss issue I'm hoping for the best but expecting the worst when I take the clutch cover off tonight.

As I mentioned earlier, I just bought the bike a week ago and due to DMV being shut down until the 29th I haven't even ridden it yet. ***!!

I'll report back tomorrow with my findings, wish me luck.

Tom
 
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