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  1. #1

    Starting Woes

    I have an 04 R1150RT and have been having starting issues which I had been attributing to a weak battery and cold temps.
    It is now to the point where it won't rotate the engine at all.
    I have tested the 2 year old battery for voltage and load testing which it has passed both tests. When trying to start the engine the voltage across the terminals drops from around 13 to around 5.
    I removed the starter tested it on the floor using the battery in the bike. It seems slow and weak to me but I have nothing to compare it to. I also hooked it up to the battery in my truck and got identical results. So, I don't feel the battery is the issue.
    I realize this also leaves the starter relay, but I wanted to rule out the starter before I replace the relay. All connections look good and corrosion free.

    Here is the link to the video I made of testing the starter on the floor.
    Jim McGill
    '87 K100RS
    '04 R1150RT

  2. #2
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Florida & Massachusetts
    Good video. It seems like your starter needs to be rebuilt or replaced. There are some common things that go wrong:

    --Magnets break free and jam the rotor.

    --Planetary Gear cover inside the starter drops on to the rotor, jamming it (happened on mine)

    If you can open it up, you may find the problem. These guys have a lot of starter parts:

  3. #3
    Assuming the battery tests are valid, the starter is dragging significantly. The probable cause is one or more of the carbon magnets coming loose and dragging on the armature, being ground to magnetic chunks with every turn. This is a very common problem on those starters. Occasionally a worn nose bushing can cause similar symptoms but far and away loose magnets are what kills these starters usually.

    The newer Valeo starters seem to have eliminated that problem. The Enduralast starters are also more robust than the old Valeo units.

    If you take the starter apart you will quickly find the problem.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  4. #4
    Thanks for the info guys.

    I opened the starter up to find the magnets still firmly attached to the housing and no signs of abrasion on the armature. Nothing appears burnt either. The one thing I did notice is uneven wear on the outer surface of the bushing in the armature housing. It indicates to me a worn nose bushing.

    The brushes measure 0.667" and 0.675" long.

    The planetary gears seem smooth and free as well.

    I guess I will order a tune up kit from and replace the bushings.
    Jim McGill
    '87 K100RS
    '04 R1150RT

  5. #5
    Best of luck to you Jim but my guess is that you're going to end up buying a new starter.
    You have enough time before Spring to try the bushing first but if that starter drops a good battery down to 5V it's wasting a pile of current.
    Mike Marr
    1978 Yamaha XS750 (Needs rings), 1996 BMW R1100RS, 2004 Honda CRF230F

  6. #6
    2-up and havin' fun sugarhillctd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Just above the Notch, NH
    Had the same thing last fall with my Boxer Cup.

    Starting became slower over time. New battery- no change.

    Hello Beemerboneyard.

    John & Cathy
    '92 K100RS4v 2009 R1200RT
    SS1000, BBG, 50CC- NYC to SF

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