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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am beginning to have minor starting issue. This happens when the bike has sat a few days and is cold. It does not happen every time but just sporadically.

When I turn the key on, the fuel pump primes and the bike goes though the self check mode just fine. When I press the starter button nothing happens. I will then turn the key off and try again. I will repeat this 2-3 times and then it will start and run just fine. I am still getting use to this bike, could it be when starting for the first time you must hold the starter in longer than normal?

After it is hot it does not do it again. So my question is if this sounds like the starter relay or the start button itself.

Both are pretty cheap on ebay, and I will be removing fairings etc. to install frame sliders so this might be a good time to replace those.

When I bought the bike the PO said the battery was fairly new and I will test this, but it does not seem like the strongest to me.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I did take some compressed air and tried to blow it through the switch housing but Im sure that did not good.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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When the bike is cold, and you try to start it with no joy, can you hear the solenoid in the relay clicking over? That will at least tell you if any voltage or current is getting through from the battery to the starter relay. Also, what is your battery condition? Batteries will deteriorate a little when cold, and the dukes need a good amperage to turn over. That's my opinion for a starting point.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Cold(?)

Now when I say cold its 90 deg. down here in Mississippi. Just mean that the engine is at ambient temp.

But no, hit the starter button and don't hear anything. If I heard the relay, I would then know its something with the starter.

No click or anything.

When I turn the key on battery voltage on gauge shows 11.3v but I assume that's because the key is on. I am not crazy
about the battery in this thing, just does not feel right. I keep the battery on tender when not in use. Also I have not had the fairings off yet to inspect everything, but based on how clean this bike is I assume all is ok there. But will inspect first chance I get

Does Odessey make a battery for this bike? Have one in my GS and I am sold on it
 

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Now when I say cold its 90 deg. down here in Mississippi. Just mean that the engine is at ambient temp.

But no, hit the starter button and don't hear anything. If I heard the relay, I would then know its something with the starter.

No click or anything.

When I turn the key on battery voltage on gauge shows 11.3v but I assume that's because the key is on. I am not crazy
about the battery in this thing, just does not feel right. I keep the battery on tender when not in use. Also I have not had the fairings off yet to inspect everything, but based on how clean this bike is I assume all is ok there. But will inspect first chance I get

Does Odessey make a battery for this bike? Have one in my GS and I am sold on it
Should have told me you were from Mississippi and I would not have mentioned the chicken strips on the other forum.
I bought my '03 new and at around 20k miles I noticed the starter getting slower over time.

This year with 22k miles, when I press the starter button, I could hear the starter engage but the engine would not turn over for the first three or four seconds and then the starter would start turning. But a couple of months back, a friend rode over on his 899 for a morning ride, it started at the house, but after gassing up at he local station (2.5 miles away) before hitting the twisties, the starter died. Would not start. So I rode his to my house, grabbed the truck and trailer and retrieved the bike.

At the house I checked the starter solenoid wiring and found it good. I then jumped a car battery directly to the starter and it would not turn over. I suggest you try this before replacing starter buttons and solenoids. Of course check your fuses too!

I pulled and disassembled the starter and found a charred commuter which cleaned up with sandpaper. Still had brushes left and I later found a brush replacement kit for around forty bucks on the web that I will eventually order.

So all is well now now with the starter but yesterday when I turned the ignition switch on to ride, I heard no fuel pump run so no start. ALWAY SOMETHING! :ahhh: Feel free to pm me a number if ya wanna talk.
 

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The starter motor will turn over when bad, it just turns over slowly.

It could be a few things… I like the relay idea because thats a common failure point. I also like the connector on the relay, that can also be a problem on these bikes.

Finally, pay attention to the dash next time this happens, see if it displays a little picture of a key on the LCD panel. It may be an immobilizer issue, which is very common on these bikes.
 

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The starter motor will turn over when bad, it just turns over slowly.
That's amazing tye that you've never experienced a starter that never turns over! What luck! Does this include auto, marine, tractor and aircraft starters?
 

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That's amazing tye that you've never experienced a starter that never turns over! What luck! Does this include auto, marine, tractor and aircraft starters?
With car's/trucks, you see failed starters all the time. With Ducati Superbikes with the Denso starter, its a little bit more unusual. Before they completely outright fail, they generally give you a bit of spinning, even if its not enough to turn it over past the compression stroke. I've re-built a few Ducati Denso starters and had varying success at brining them back to life. But every single one of them was a slow-spinner prior to completely kicking the bucket. The brush assembly on these motors is a weak point, the cabling is very weak. So I've seen starters missing one of the brush connectors entirely, or burned brushes. Needless to say, I have a bunch of starters in a box that I've re-built for fun, which work great. :)
 

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Tye, I totally agree with brushes being the weak point. My commutator on the 999s looked like the surface of the moon and the brushes were charred as well. Mine just got to the point of not turning and I'm sure it wasn't helping to hold the start button down while the arching and sparking was going on inside. Bad brushes, bad brushes! Cheers
 

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Hi 2ducs

I came on here today planning to start a thread on starter motors.
My 1999 st4 had the starter die last week after 14 years and 140,000km
The only other time it failed to start was with an obviously flat battery.
I've been through all the usual diagnostic / eliminations and I'm convinced
that it's the starter at fault.

Could you answer a couple of questions please ?

Can you get the brushes out without removing the entire motor ?
Where did you find replacement brushes ?

Thanks !
 

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Not really feasible to rebuild a starter motor without removing it from the engine. You need to access it through 360 degrees.

After 140,000 kms it might be time for a new starter motor.

But I know they are rebuildable, and have (sometimes) been overhauled successfully.

Why not pull it off and strip it down for a look, and make a decision from there?
 

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And to the 999 which doesn't always start.

With less than 12V the battery is obviously contributing to the problem. Which may indicate a charging deficiency.

The first step is to clean and tighten all the heavy cable terminals, to eliminate resistance here. This may be where your variability is stemming from. (And it may also be reducing its charging - it's a circuit remember).

So check the terminals at the battery, the main earth, the solenoid, and the starter motor. Charge the battery and try again.

And worth checking out the main connector (three yellow wires) between the alternator and the regulator while you are in there. The connector is not rated for the load it can be subjected to, and may show signs of heat or corrosion.
 

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Hi 2ducs

I came on here today planning to start a thread on starter motors.
My 1999 st4 had the starter die last week after 14 years and 140,000km
The only other time it failed to start was with an obviously flat battery.
I've been through all the usual diagnostic / eliminations and I'm convinced
that it's the starter at fault.

Could you answer a couple of questions please ?

Can you get the brushes out without removing the entire motor ?
Where did you find replacement brushes ?

Thanks !
Repair Kit, for Denso Starters on Ducati Motorcycle Applications 52013 - RK52013

Try this link for a brush kit. The engine needn't be removed to pull the starter, however, you will need to pull the left engine side cover to access the allen head bolts securing the starter. So plan on changing the oil and coolant. Not a difficult task to perform.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Lives on a battery tender

When parked in my shop the bike lives on a battery tender. So she is quick to spin over and start there. Just wonder if parked away for any length of time how that will go.

Even though the PO says it bike had a new battery, am still considering a Shorai battery.

Wonder how long the Shorai lasts with the imobilizer blinking?
 

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The flashing light of the 'immobiliser' is just that - a flashing LED. It goes out after about eight hours, and draws very little.

The Shorai should give you a stronger start than a conventional battery. Mine is three years old, and still starts it easily. And they hold their charge well between rides.

I recommend you get the dedicated Shorai charger at the same time as the battery if you go this way, even though you shouldn't need it for a year or so. It saves on the freight.
 

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thanks pat1098 and 2ducs for helpful advice

I'll take the starter motor out and strip it down ....
.... I've repaired starter motors before , but never on a Ducati.

I did some searching for prices for a new motor and they seem to vary a LOT !

This looks like the cheapest but it isn't the original Denso ....

....... has anybody tried one ?

http://www.electrexworld.co.uk/acatalog/SM9162.html
 
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