starter relay is buzzing?

so i go to ride today, and instead of starting up, the bike starts buzzing (like the school bell or something), and won't start. open it up, and the starter relay is buzzing and shaking slightly. i went for a ride last week, and no problems. have not done anything to the bike since. did the relay just go bad?

(by the way, i double-checked, and it's part #1 on here:

what's the deal?

you got a dead or very drained battery, most likely

really? i just replaced the battery a week ago! (i charged it fully before using it)

Take a look at your headlight while you're trying to start it, if it gets very dim you have a dead/bad battery. My battery just took a dive and my starter relay makes that same sound when I try to start it. If the headlight stays nice and bright maybe you have a bad relay???

really? i just replaced the battery a week ago! (i charged it fully before using it)

well, better charge it back up, and check your charging system. A simple voltage drop test will tell you quickly if your battery is low on charge, if you have a voltmeter handy.

A simple voltage drop test will tell you quickly if your battery is low on charge, if you have a voltmeter handy.

unfortunately, i don't. i guess i'll have to charge it up and see how it goes.

what's the best way to check the charging system (i have a buddy with a voltmeter)? charing should read higher than 12v, right? i'd hate to get stuck in the middle of nowhere....

with the voltmeter hooked up, with the bike held at 3000 RPM's (aka, a little off idle) the voltage should be at least 13V. Sometimes it takes a small amount of time for the battery to recover from starting, but it should never get below 12.4V while its running. If you see 10V, for example, then you know for sure its not charging

cool. thanks, man.

i can tell you with confidence that your problem is a dirty starter button switch.

take the switch apart and clean with contact cleaner.

the switch contacts have crap on them and cant pass the current required for the starter relay.

have seen this problem many times.


That is a BS answer. I heard it b4 and opened mine on my 03 and it looked fresh from the factory.

Black - only early model S's will the headlight stay on when you press the start button. All SM and S since SM were introduced the head light goes out when the start button is depressed.

uwj - Check FAQ for a complete electrically system troubleshooting guide. And of course check out the "Free Power" charging system up grade. Worth it to go buy a decent volt meter.

As a general rule the buzzing or ranching from a starter relay means low battery but it could also be bad (corroded) terminals or anything that results in a voltage drop to the relay as it is activated. Generally the stater button (control circuit) to a relay will not do that but not to say it couldn't.

UncleBob - How you doin?

UncleBob - How you doin?

:cheers::lol::bonk::lol: Who knows :thumbsup: you two are answering questions to a 4 year old thread..:thumbsup:

Got me there, I missed that. It has been a year or more since I've seen "Bob" in Seattle.

That is my bad - I have had the same issue for over a year now. I even bought a $150 lithium battery and hooked it up with the same effect. Traced all leads I could find from the battery and applied dielectric grease though they all looked fine.

I use a trickle charger and as soon as I hit the starter button I get the buzz. Somethmes I can keep trying and it will turn over a few times or even start. Mostly I have to push start and it fires right up and even restarts for a few hours after the ride.

Having it FULLY charged (so the charger says) makes me think its other than the battery, which is only a year old...

Any help ? (Besides the FREE POWER MOD unless you think its a cure).



Free power mod is a charging system fix/mod.. not a starting system deal.

You need to check voltage at the starter when you are trying to start, and both sides of the relay as well.

If that is all well, then an inductive amp meter to check amp draw at the starter , then again both sides of the relay would help diagnose this.

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