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Starter spins on bench but won’t crank bike

2050 Views 25 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Tim.catherwood
Hello new member here and would appreciate any assistance. I live in Guelph Ontario Canada which is about 45 ride from Toronto. My 82 CX500 Custom was my daily driver all season and after sitting for just a couple of weeks won’t crank.
I tried a few known good batteries and even load tested them but wouldn’t crank. Solenoid just clicks. I have full voltage >12V through solenoid (power side). I pulled the starter and cleaned everything, replaced brushes and performed ground mod. On the bench it spins with power but in the bike it doesn’t. I can spin the engine over easily with a small rachet on the crank bolt.
The engine isn’t seized and plugs are out. Could I have a weak starter? I can’t seem to locate a new one online. Any suggestions?
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You might want to check the cables from the battery to the solenoid and solenoid to the starter, it's not unknown for them to go bad after a long time on the bike due to internal corrosion. CXPHREAK's advise will check this issue, just make sure you use a jumper that's the same size or larger (lower AWG number). I'd also check the ground wire from the battery to the frame. Also don't forget the battery terminals as well.

I've had issues with DC motors before with the commutator being dirty and not getting full current to the windings. Check to make sure that the slots between the copper bars of the commutator aren't full of carbon or the bars are worn down to the insulation. You can use a firm plastic brush or a plastic knife to clean out the carbon of the slots. If you have access to an Amp Clamp (clamp on ammeter) you can check to see if you're getting full current through the motor. Power is Volts times Amps so even if you have Voltage the motor won't turn if there isn't enough Amperage.
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