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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The headlight and guage light comes on, it wants to start but it just won't turn over. Sometimes I'll get a good backfire out of it but nothin else. I cleaned the plugs, and tried with the choke open and closed. Could this just be a battery issue? I'm quite a noob to this so I appriciate any help (and your patience). It started in the morning. We rode to my in-laws, and 2 hrs later it wouldn't restart.
 

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two squirts of $3 starter fluid in the carbs will start that sucker right up. remember to squirt it into the intake with the key out of the ignition, then roll the choke open insert key, and it should come to life.
 

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just reread your post -- it is probably flooded as well at this point. try starting it with throttle and choke BOTH closed, let it crank over a couple of times and it may come to life. If that doesn't work, try the starter fluid -- sounds like you just have really flooded the cylinders...note that you will probably get one hell of a backfire when it finally turns over. [cheeky]
 

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Could this just be a battery issue?
I would start w that since it won`t turn over. Try to jump start it.
If it starts = very likely battery issue.
 

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greenmonster said:
I would start w that since it won`t turn over. Try to jump start it.
If it starts = very likely battery issue.
Yeah, kinda hard to tell from your description, but if the engine is not turning over, starting fluid, new plugs... none of that will help. You need to charge your battery or get a jump start. As a side note... make sure it is in neutral if you get a jump... sounds obvious, but I've done it before. Makes you feel real stupid.

If this happens again (low/dead battery) then you will need to diagnose the problem. If the battery is old, it is likely time for replacement. It could also be a faulty voltage regulator or even a short in the wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The first thing I tried was to jump it. I've done it before succesfully, but I guess that was too much to ask on Christmas day. ::) If I had never charged it after jumping it could that be the problem. I've yet to run it for any longer than a 1/2hour nonstop. I asked, but alas no battery tender under my tree.
 

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rj03 said:
The first thing I tried was to jump it. I've done it before succesfully, but I guess that was too much to ask on Christmas day. ::) If I had never charged it after jumping it could that be the problem. I've yet to run it for any longer than a 1/2hour nonstop. I asked, but alas no battery tender under my tree.
Option 1: go spend the damn $50 and get a battery tender that will last you for the next 20 years. If your battery is still dead after an overnight charging then you need a new battery (note- there IS a difference between a battery tender and a battery charger)

Option 2: take your battery to AutoZone or equivalent and have then test the battery. They can tell you if it is bad.

Option 3: Jump the bike again and ride it around for a good 1-2 hours, then test battery.
 

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The first thing I tried was to jump it.
And it did not turn over?

If I had never charged it after jumping it could that be the problem. I've yet to run it for any longer than a 1/2hour nonstop.
Normally a ride would charge it OK.


Still sounds most likely a weak battery.
+1 on KHM`s advice.
 

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rj03 said:
The headlight and guage light comes on, it wants to start but it just won't turn over. Sometimes I'll get a good backfire out of it but nothin else. I cleaned the plugs, and tried with the choke open and closed. Could this just be a battery issue? I'm quite a noob to this so I appriciate any help (and your patience). It started in the morning. We rode to my in-laws, and 2 hrs later it wouldn't restart.
It won't turn over at all,,,or it won't start but will turn over?
My 98 starter has given me hell, could be part of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh for the want of a nice audio clip. It does the whole "t-kow, t-kow, t-kow" thing but it just wont catch. Every couple of tries I'll get a nice wump from the exhaust, but that's it.
 

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So far nobody has remembered for you to check the cable connections. A 98 model has had plenty of time for the connector on the underside of the starter to corrode away to nothingness. Been there, fixed that. Lots of the same symptoms, which is to say it acts one way on a given day, and another way the next.

Also check the little ground cable from the right rear of the crankcase to the inside of the right footpeg bracket. Some times the end doesn't get reconnected on the back side of one of the rearset mounting bolts and can affect the starting circuit. It made no difference on my Monster if that little cable was connected or not, but on the 900SS it would not even crank over without it.

IMHO all the 90s models should have the starter cables and grounds upgraded to AWG 6 cable with marine type lugs and heatshrink at all the connectors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It is not the battery. I had it tested last night. I've checked all my cables. There is gas in the tank. Should I look at the starter? It is kept in a warm place so it shouldn't be the ambiant temp...
 

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rj03 said:
It is not the battery. I had it tested last night. I've checked all my cables. There is gas in the tank. Should I look at the starter? It is kept in a warm place so it shouldn't be the ambiant temp...
I would first check the starter. If you have access to a battery charger, the easiest way is to directly connect power to the starter from the charger. Another possibility is the start button.
 

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rj03 said:
Oh for the want of a nice audio clip. It does the whole "t-kow, t-kow, t-kow" thing but it just wont catch. Every couple of tries I'll get a nice wump from the exhaust, but that's it.
If the sound is the same as the times when it would start I would reccomend checking spark (ignition). Pull the plugs, inspect, clean and check for spark by starting with a plug in the socket, out of the engine. Don't forget to hold it against earth (bare metal on the bike) and watch out for the 20,000 V!

to start you need:

proper fuel/air mix (smell the gas)
spark (check as above)
engine turning over at a decent speed (listen)

can't be that difficult!

If you're sure about those three thing then you can start checking exotic failures like bad gas, intermittant cable faults, scrambled ECU's, blocked injectors, negative tank pressure, vapor lock, wrong plugs after service and on and on.....
 

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rj03 said:
It is not the battery. I had it tested last night. I've checked all my cables. There is gas in the tank. Should I look at the starter? It is kept in a warm place so it shouldn't be the ambiant temp...
Pull your plugs and see if it will turn over. You need to take the load of the starter to see if it is dead. If it spins with the plugs out but not with them in, that beast is done.
 

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Oh for the want of a nice audio clip. It does the whole "t-kow, t-kow, t-kow" thing but it just wont catch. Every couple of tries I'll get a nice wump from the exhaust, but that's it.
So it turns over but don`t catch. So no battery/starter issue then.
+1 on opwierde`s suggestions then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Battery: check, sparkplugs: check, starter:check, cables: check. So I called a Duc shop, they told me to check my fuel pump. They said that once I get down to half a tank of fuel the vaccum of the pump takes over. If the pump is bad...well than there you go. Any advice on how to go about getting to, and checking the pump?

You guys have been a lot of help. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Oh yeah, i forgot. I'm going to try spraying the carb tonight. A bad childhood experience has kept me from trying that sooner. :(
 
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