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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone it's been awhile since I posted anything although I am an avid follower.

I would like to draw on the vast experience of this forum and ask for help with a starting problem I have. My bike is an 04 model with 9500 miles on it. Up untill October I could not fault the bike. I went on a touring holday to France and covered 2000 miles. It was during this trip that the problem began. The bike stood overnight in the morning the bike was covered in dew as it was cold and grotty weather. Turned the ignition on lovely bright lights however the starter was really lazy and the bike would not start. A mate used jump lead and got me going. No repeat of the problemfor the rest of the trip. Went to the dealer they said everything seems fine. Fully charged battery alternator working etc. However the bike now refuses to start even after standing for around 4 hours when it has been running ok. The real bummer is that the bike is out of warranty.
The battery has been tested and is fully charged the dealer even put it on another Rocket to prove the battery was okay.
I have done the obvious and cleaned up the earth strap connections etc both ends.
Can anybody suggest anything else before I take the starter motor off? The Triumph manual says that the silences and cat box have to be removed before the starter can be taken off? That sounds a right pain in the rear end. I hope I don't end up having a love hate relationship with this bike because at the moment I love it, although all the Hinkley Triumphs I have owned (4 from new)have caused me varying amounts of grief unlike the Kwaka's I moved from. Thanks guys and keep sniffing the glue :(
 

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Well, the silencers and cat box come off easily enough. I have close to 19,000 miles on my '04 model and have not had this problem. BUT, I did have this problem at about 12,000 miles on my '00 Thunderbird Sport and it turned out the brushes in the starter were worn away. I replaced them and it's never had a problem again with over 40,000 miles on it now.
I don't know if this is your case, but a weak battery can cause premature wear on starter brushes. And our batteries are coming up on 2 1/2 - 3 years old..

Dave
 

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Before I'd do anything I'd try a new battery, if it turns over real slow, but turns over beautifully with jump leads then it's the battery, see what voltage you've got should be 13.5 or so after a charge, any less and it's failing. Gunson sell a little gizmo at Halfords which you can clip onto the battery which will test alternator and charge rates. If you have to remove the silencers and Catbox, then allow 45 minutes max, it's that easy really.
Cheers
Bonniet
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies, I did think it was the battery but I am confident that THE BATTERY IS OKAY. I took it to my dealer and watched them test it. It has plenty of charge. They attached it to some kind of load tester. It passed the load test. Then for good measure they put it on another Rocket and the bike started first touch of the button.

I found that the lead on the starter motor was loose. I cleaned everything up and put it all back nice and tight. But it still wont start. I have even threatened the bike with mindless violence and sworn at it but it still wont start.

How big a job is stripping the cat box off? I am thinking of taking the starter motor to bits to see what is going on.

I am told that the starter motor is the same one used on Land Rover FreeLanders how about that? :hammer:
 

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You mention clearing up the ground strap. By this I assume you cleaned the end on the battery. My first bike was a BMW R70/5, used and abused and also cranky to start. As much as my father disliked the fact that I owned a motorcycle, he did help me trouble shoot it. What I learned was to not overlook the obvious and or the cheapest to fix first. Double check the ground strap, either by testing it with a volt meter or by mocking up a replacement strap from another source before going after the starter. This will eliminate the cables as the cause. He also taught me how to replace the brushes, ( and I understand that someone actually makes a tool to compress all those springs) using paperclips and tons of patience.

There is an earlier posting, where I learned that the headlight is also part of the starting circuit. If you haven't already replaced the bulbs, you might as a long shot consider this a right field potential solution. Maybe the bulb is either lose in the socket or about to fail.

Best of luck running the problem to ground.
 

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After 38 thousand miles my bike starting doing the same thing last september. I have not yet checked the battery and just assume it is on its last legs. It will hold a charge fine in warm weather but not in anything below about 45 degrees. Another factor is in cold weather I run the heated grips and corbin heated seat so the battery may not be charging fully except during freeway runs.

Being Scottish and unwilling to buy a new battery yet, I have rigged a covered wire connected to the battery that exits the seat so I can easily jump start the bike without taking the seat off. The wire is the hot line, and I connect the negative to the foot rail tube. I carry a portable jumper in my top case all the time and will continue to do so even after I get a new battery.

I have cleaned and sanded the terminals and that helped a lot, but did not completely fix the problem.
 

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If you can undo nuts with a socket set you can remove the catbox, I wasn't joking about 45 minutes, it really is that easy.
Cheers
BonnieT
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You are right about removing the exhaust etc. Only two snapped exhaust clamp bolts which were completly rusted through. I have taken the starter off and plan to take it to a specialist to check out. If its not a fault with the starter motor I suppose I will end up getting ripped off for Triumph labour charges to get it sorted! :???:
 

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Have you tried disconnecting the battery ground and let the bike sit overnight, then reconnecting the battery to see if the bike starts? Could be that you have a voltage drain somewhere. Also, you can put a testlight between the removed ground strap and the battery terminal to check for a draw. If the test light lights up, youv'e got a current draw.
Bigern
 

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Had this happen to me yesterday also, for the 2nd time and my bike is only 11 months old, but on pulling the baterry out, find its date of manufacture is near on 2 1/2 years old, so will be popping to dealership tomorrow to see whats to be done. Its a***** try to bump start a 320kilo bike on a flat road wife a 5 foot tall wife pushing.
 

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Excuse the ignorance, what has the headlight bulb/s got to do with starting, other than the fact that it is drawing on the battery before you turn the engine over, thus drawing valuble power from said battery?????
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you all for the advice. I am resigned to the fact that I may have to put it all back together and get the dealer to look at it. This no doubt will mean majour open wallet surgery!
 

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forty... check your headlight bulbs first... then bite the bullet and get a new battery. mine went south and it was less than a year old.. this has nothing to do with the r3.. dealer claimed battery tested good.. ya right...replaced it and now no probs.
when you ride it in it'll probably have a full charge.. doesn't mean it will hold that charge... batteries do this kinda stuff in cars etc.
warntire... single /both bulbs out triggers a no start safety feature. ie. burned out bulb no starting..
 
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