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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if I'm being paranoid or not but since the weather has turned decidedly cooler this last week my America 06 is reluctant to start and takes quite a time with my thumb on the starter button for any action, regardless if the choke is in or out. I have noticed that (hot or cold weather) there seems to be a point when I am pressing the starter button that it only fires up when I start to release the pressure on the button. I read a while ago that someone else posted a similar anomaly with the starter button but I can't find the post now.
On a positive note the battery is new this year, and normally sits at around 12.9v. Also 18 months ago I replaced the ECU unit with a TTP unit and have had no trouble with this.
Thanks for your time.
 

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The starter switch could be dirty or greasy. Grease gets hard in the cold. Also, are you unconciously moving the clutch lever as you struggle with the start button? On my bike, if I haven't recently cleaned out the switch, even a slight movement in or out can cause the interlock in the lever to engage. Not that, as a coastal Californian, I know much about this cold you speak of ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for that 1arryb. Not sure about the clutch lever but will definitely remember you comments when I try to start it tomorrow. Will also have a look at the starter contacts as you suggest but assumed (wrongly or rightly) that by pressing the tit, the starting circuit is working - ie: the starter motor turns, the relay that momentarily turns the headlight off is working etc etc. With regards to the temperature, it's not too cold here in Bulgaria at present - round about 2 to 5 deg (Celsius) first thing in the morning which would normally be ok for starting bike, but just a bit odd that the slight drop in temp recently seems to have affected the starting.
 

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I have had a few issues over the years when starting. Mostly EFI related low battery voltage (12.4VDC being just below ECU threshold for engaging the starter). But have also had the poor contact issue at the starter button. During troubleshooting I opened the switch gear and inspected the button parts. Didn't really have any corrosion of the spring & contact, more like tarnish on the surfaces. Cleaned them up and that starting issue went away. The above mentioned clutch switch is certainly worth a look. A good clean and/or spay of the little clutch sensor switch would help eliminate that as a cause. And of course, double or triple check the battery terminal connections. There are other starter lockouts like side stand and neutral switches but from your description they don't seem likely, guessing the carb versions had the same "safety" switches as the later EFI models.
Have you made any modifications recently, like any changes to the lighting, air intake or exhaust? Have you pulled the air filter and inspected it recently or does it just seem to be a delayed engaging of the starter?
 

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Not sure if I'm being paranoid or not but since the weather has turned decidedly cooler this last week my America 06 is reluctant to start and takes quite a time with my thumb on the starter button for any action, regardless if the choke is in or out. I have noticed that (hot or cold weather) there seems to be a point when I am pressing the starter button that it only fires up when I start to release the pressure on the button.
My initial thought when reading this was that the starter does not have a problem engaging and spinning the engine over when the starter button is pushed, it's just that the engine won't fire until that moment when the starter button is released. Is that the case papageno? With your battery voltage being good, it almost seems like the starter is soaking up too much juice for the ingnition system to operate correctly. The moment the starter button is released, it lets the ignition have enough juice to start the engine. I have run into this before on other vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for the replies and will try to comment on all of them here. I checked the starter button which appeared to be ok but cleaned it anyway. I also checked and sprayed the clutch sensor, again ok. I went to start it this morning and it gave the same symptoms as described before. ie: Full choke - did a couple of blips on throttle - starter motor engages but no firing - kept thumb on button for what seemed an eternity then as soon as pressure released from button the engine fired up but died. Managed to catch it the next time and with a bit of coaxing it picked up and after it warmed up it behaved normally. I actually took it for a run for around 40 miles and it behaved ok. However, I did stop 3 times on this trip and noticed that each time I started the engine again it only fired up when I took pressure off the starter tit, so yes Sanckinel you may be onto something here. Have you any checks or remedies to ascertain this?
BTW Mattymo have checked the air filter and no mods have been done and it does just appear to be delayed starting. Regards to all
 

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You might also check your carburetor heaters (yes, it has one on each carburetor). As I remember the thermostat allows them to come on at 40°f or below. ...J.D.
 

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The only checks I can think of would be to try to verify if there was an extrordinarily high amperage draw when pressing the starter button. Maybe watch battery voltage and see how much it drops when trying to start it. Could be an indicator of something in the ignition system (ignitor, plugs, plug wires?) starting to fail although the only way to test for that would be to switch out for a known good one. Sorry I'm not any more help.
Edit: reread and see ignitor has been replaced already.
 

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If it fires just after you take your finger off the button, that would indicate something is drawing too much power. As in volts.
On my 79 1100 Yamaha, I removed the headlight relay, as it was not working as planned. So the headlight comes on when the key is turned on. Yami fires right away, even without a headlight cut out switch. The starter is usually the biggest current draw, or it should be.
I may have more to say after it gets closer to freezing, about my 900 Trophy.

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Have you tried tweaking your idle speed up a 1/4-turn, or opening the throttle just a crack while you crank?
My Trophy responds to a slight throttle opening after a couple of cranks, and the first indication of fire. The manual says to leave it alone. But I would prefer to have it start. My XS400 is the same as it gets colder. My SV1000 Suzuki also the same. The 79 Yamaha is the only one that fires right away, and does not require any throttle.
All have carbs except the Suzuki which is FI with a magic box. ECU I suppose.
We have come a long way from tickling the carbs and push starting.

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We have come a long way from tickling the carbs and push starting.
One frosty morning in Saltillo I had to hold my lighter under the bowl of my KLR650 for a few seconds to get the gas to vaporize enough to get it to start. Unlike in Canada and the USA, it seems Mexico does not change formulations to account for seasonal changes, even though several regions can get freezing temps at night in the winter. In cold temps, I find boosting idle speed 1/4-1/2 turn helps starting on any bike I have owned (Honda CM250, KLR650, Ural), even my 2014 FI Bonnie. The Bonnie seems to need some throttle on very humid days as well as cold ones. I love being able to push start. I get nervous out on the highway on my Bonnie because the battery is 4 years old now and push starting is impossible afaik.
 

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You might also consider having it's valve clearances checked. This is known to cause these issues. These carburetted twins usually start like a dream. Mine ('02) has stock everything. Just big jets and aftermerket mufflers. It starts in about 2-3 revolutions every time, hot or cold, even on this crappy gas we get here in California. They seem to be a lot more trouble free than the injected ones. ...J.D.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks to all who posted replies. Weather is now against me to ride so time to put it into hibernation. However I will be checking and testing the components that have been suggested by your goodselves. It may take a while but will let you know how I get on (or not).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Starting Problem Sorted

Hi Guys,
Thanks to all who suggested various fixes for my starting problems last year.

Eventually I found that Both ignition coils were suspect. Off-load secondary coil resistance checks didn't bear any resemblance to those specified in the Haynes manual. The primary windings appeared to be in-spec.
I purchased a new pair of coils last month and after fitting them the bike started up immediately as it should with no delay or prolonged turning of the starter motor. Now just waiting for good weather to give it a blast.

Still can't see why both coils failed at the same time.

Thanks again:smile2:
Papageno
 

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Older thread I know. But now that it is cooling off in the North, my Noddy, 96 Trophy 900, takes many turns before he fires. All systems work fine. Battery is good. He just takes more cranks to fire. It is not super critical as I will be parking him for the winter real soon. On my winter bike, an 83 XS400, I turn the pet cock to prime, and that speeds up starting, if he has been sitting a while. I have not tried this with Noddy.

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