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Starter spins on bench but won’t crank bike

2049 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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So it'll spin on the bench but it won't spin under load.

First... is the engine locked up? Put it in 5th gear on the center stand and rotate the rear wheel. If you can't rotate it, the engine might be frozen or hydro-locked. Second.... are you sure the battery is good and fully charged? Try jump-starting the bike off a running car or one of those lithium jump boxes.

If that's not it, then you likely have a bad winding in the armature, and it's time for a new starter.

Engine spins over quite easily from crank bolt with plugs out. I tried a couple of batteries to be sure and also load tested them and they tested acceptable.
I think I need a new starter armature or a new starter but they are hard to find and not supported in the aftermarket
I tested my spare starter today. It cranks the engine. I expect that it would be a good idea to open and clean the starter. I'll leave that to you.

We need to arrange delivery of the starter. I could meet you about half way if necessary.
Oh that is terrific news!! I can’t ask you to take time out of your busy life and meet me. What do I owe you for it?
No charge, I'm giving it to you.
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You have no idea how much I appreciate that. My 2022 riding season was looking to be in jeopardy! How can I get in touch with you to lock down a place and time? You are in London area?
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