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(I'll preface this with saying I have very limited mechanical knowledge, and definitely no electric start knowledge).
Long story short, bike was running fine. No real problems.. I fitted a rear rack and to do so had to disconnect the rear indicators. So I put everything back in place, tested indicators, worked fine.. then pressed e-start and 'click', tried again 'click'... tried again and it started.
I say 'click', the sound wasn't coming from the engine, was something in the starting assembly.
From here, I tried switching the indicator connections incase I'd plugged them in the wrong sockets and restarting and got the same hit or miss 'click' or start.. .prob started 1 in 5 times.
Kept experimenting trying to start and it started making a load of new weird noises. Now it won't start at all.
Listened to your recording.
Can you find your solenoid and bridge the two thick cables that are bolted to it with an old spanner or something to make a connection and see if it still refuses to turn over. You're just basically doing the job of the solenoid really.
If it's the same check all the earth connections and battery connections, remove and clean and make sure they are making a nice clean contact.
Are you sure your battery is ok!
Most car shops can do a high rate discharge test for you to check it!
Let me know how you get on mate.
All the best. Dave.
Thanks a lot for your input and for checking the audio file.
I just checked the battery with a multimeter and it said 12v, so between that and the green light on the charger I 'presume' the batt is doing its job.
The odd thing is, it kind of got worse. Which makes me wonder if its some kind of part that wears, like I said, at first it was starting 1 in 5 times, and that gradually got less and now it just makes weird noises!
Not sure where to find the solenoid, will check manual and have a google.
Will have a go at removing, cleaning and reconnecting batt too.
To me it sounds most likely like a weak battery. It could show 12V, but be still too weak in amps (?). Or the contacts can be oxidized, but you would see that right away.
Solenoid could be also faulty, you would see that after checking like djorob suggested - with a wrench or something else, to shorten the solenoid's contacts (to do it's job). If that doesn't help, I guess you should try jumper cables and crank if from your car's battery.
My guess is that it's the battery, I would give 99% that it's too old/flat/dead/etc.
But don't use a battery that's too powerful, it might damage your solenoid or starter motor. For example diesel car or tractor battery might be too powerful. Best would be another bike's battery or gas powered car battery with lower amperage.
Before leaving for a long trip I would suggest you to change the battery anyway, because you have e-start only. If the battery dies, you have to push your bike God knows how far...
Another solenoid for a long trip would not hurt too, just in case... But I don't think it's a must-have.
If you keep trying you will simply murder your battery completely. But I guess it's dead anyway. I heard in the recording that the solenoid is not always keeping the connection, and that is probably because of low power in the battery. The solenoid is an electromagnet, you give it a little current, and the magnet connects two big wires. There's not enough power to keep the electromagnet connected.
From what you've said the battery does seem suspect.
A good battery at full charge should show 13.2v (2.2v per cell) so your voltage seems low.
If you can jump to a similar Amp-Hour battery this will show it up.
Is the bike battery a sealed one?
If not have a look at the electrolyte levels.
If your new batt or jumping doesn't change things then look at connections and starter motor next.
With the info you've given it does point to the battery.
Odyssey batteries have a rep for good perfofmance/life.
Yeah, that's what I wouuld expect from a dodgy battery: it regressed with each try because the already-insufficient power is depleting further. Also, if you're UK-based, it's just starting to get a tad chilly, which will also affect your battery. It may have only just been 'getting by' in recent weeks but is now really struggling because the ambient temperature is significantly lower and it may be beyond its serviceable life, anyway.
A motorbike-battery 'smart charger' may be worth getting: I had a similar problem once, bought one of those Oxford Oxymisers and coaxed the battery back to life (even though the Oxymiser initially indicated that the battery was shot). I used that battery - which I'd originally presumed to be knackered - for a couple of years, after that.
Originally Posted by fraserbyrne
I just found it odd the way what ever is happening wasn't consistent, it almost regressed with each try and now its making a totally new noise than it was at the start.
You think I could have caused any damage to starter motor from trying to start it so many times?
I don't think so.
The solenoid cannot hold connection, and disconnects. If so would happen, and only IF, that you would (for example) connect the two solenoid terminals by, let's say again, a wrench, and hold it too long, it might be bad for the motor. Current would be too low to turn the motor, but might be just enough to heat the starter motor's coils and maybe shorten it.
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