Starter motor

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Apr 13, 2015
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I've tried to start it 2 or 3 times this morning to no avail and now the starter motor is grinding . Sounds like something is broken? Any ideas?
 

ntst8

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I think there was a post somewhere about the starter making odd noises and not starting the bike if the battery was not fully charged - hopefully it is something as easy as that.
best of luck.
 
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Apr 13, 2015
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I hope to God it's as simple as that

There's other posts about the ring shearing off and wrecking the whole starter motor!
 
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Have you found the battery charging plug yet ? It is there like Der said. I found it on my bike today . If what you need is to charge the battery , and cannot get the tank off. Then you must find this plug. It is behind (directly behind the top l/h shock bolt) . It is in a recess , just look for a cable going into the frame by /behind the top l/h shock bolt. It is a white plastic two prong plug at the end of this wire. Again left hand (as you are sitting on the bike). You may need to adapt your charger to this type of plug or install your own plug.
 
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Maybe too late now, but if it helps, my dad had a low battery that sounded like it was causing the same problems. A good charge solved all.
 
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One of the most destructive happenings for any Sprag bearing is for the starter to be used with a battery in a low state of charge. When battery voltage is low, the sprags do not bite properly and slip, making an awful noise. The slippage can quickly destroy the Sprag and related drive parts. Unfortunately batteries in a low voltage condition after Winter or other storage are a pretty common occurrence on motorcycles in general, so this problem is widespread.
Hinckley Triumph warns about this in their rider's manual and it is a potential problem with any sprag type starter. On the early Hinckley triples (t595), when the sprag went, the entire engine was toast. They have since improved the design so that the sprag is more easily replaced.
Hard to imagine that you could destroy a beautiful, otherwise perfect motorcycle simply by trying to start it with a low battery, but this has occurred in the past.

Does the 961 use a sprag? The sprag is a one way bearing often used for motorcycle starter drives.

Glen
 

BritTwit

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There is no spag in the 961 engine.
The starter assembly contains a Bendix style clutch/release mechanism to protect the starter. Similar to the design used by Harley according to my mechanic.
When you press the starter button, the Bendix rotates and locks the pinion gear to the starter.
The pinion is then extended into the primary to engage the ring gear attached to the cultch basket.
Then the clutch hub gear rotates the balancer gear, which in turn, rotates the crankshaft.

The design has a couple of failure points.
The Bendix on a starter relies on an internal clutch mechanism that can become over worked with heavy use, and fail. This will result in the starter spinning up quickly, and not engaging the pinion gear. This has happened to my 961, recently.

The pinion gear is often slammed into the ring gear on startup. The pinion may have to rotate several times after contact with the ring gear before the two mesh properly. Obviously this is less than optimal for long term reliability, and can produce audible and unpleasant noises.

Finally, from postings on the UK NOC site there are some reports that the early 961’s may have ring gears with teeth that have the wrong pitch to mesh with the pinions. The effect can be grinding/grating noises coming from the primary on startup.

A more modern pre-engagement starter design with a spag would certainly be better, but the 961 starter design is what it is, and we have to live with it unless the factory is willing to redesign the thing.
 
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Probably not enough juice to engage the starter. Happened to me after the bike sat at the dealership for four months. Would have been nice if the threw a real charge on there instead of a quick charge just to get me home and out of their hair.
 
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It seems modern bikes like modern cars need to be on a tender or charger very frequently. My Harley will go all winter and start without a charger, I don't think many new bikes can do that!
 
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New designs with ECU and clocks and alarms seem to drain the battery in just a few weeks. From the design of the starters I recommend keeping new bikes on a tender as often as possible. With the plugs on our bikes it is easy to do this!
 

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