Starter replacement?

Bike started this morning but turned over slowly, like dead battery. Checked the battery and it was 12.8 volts..voltage drop on start to 10.2 volts. I am think the starter is failing. Is it easier to rebuild or just buy a new one? I replaced the brushes last year..I am thinking the armature is shorted. Any advice appreciated.

Try jumping it off of your can and see how it turns over , it sounds more like a weak battery.

8 hours ago, dochawken said:


...Any advice appreciated.


No doubt easier to buy new...if you've got the money.  2 bolts, 2 nuts, and 10 minutes and you're 99% sure it isn't the starter causing your problem...but the problem may still be there. 

If you've got a DC ammeter that can handle the load let me know and, even though the book doesn't specify it, I'll check a couple and figure out about what it should draw and you can quickly check it that way. 

If you don't want to just waste all that money then it's really easy to check for a shorted armature.  Remove the brushes and check for continuity from each commutator segment to the armature shaft as well as for continuity between coils/segments.  The segment to segment check may take some figuring because I really have no idea how these armatures are wound.  Probably regular wave wound so opposite segments would be attached to the same armature coil.  Anyway, there shouldn't be any continuity to the shaft or between adjacent coils. 

If you just replaced the brushes without cleaning the carbon out of the grooves between the segments then you may just be losing efficiency.  The brush material worn away is nearly just as conductive as the brushes themselves and will short coil to coil.  The armature has to begin working much harder to get over the next hump.

Of course, you may just need to clean and check the cable connections or load test the battery (which should be the first checks I'd do before opening up the starter).

Edited by Hollerhead

Thanks for the reply..battery and solenoid check out. There is a 4.5 volt drop at the starter..for me it is easier to replace..then rebuild the old one at my leisure...My riding partner has one at his home that he has rebuilt..will try that one tomorrow

Just put my buddy's rebuilt starter in my great..paid him for the rebuild kit and we are good to go for a jaunt today. Nice to have good friends!! Ride safe!

I have a slightly used starter that is available if anyone is interested.  I bought it when mine failed, then rebuilt my old one and was happy with that.  Send me a PM if you want it.

I didn't think that it was all that hard to rebuild the starter, but you need to keep track of the order of all of the shims and stuff so that you can put it back together properly.

My old one had worn the brushes down to where they couldn't make proper contact.  It was a significant amount of wear, like 8-10mm.

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