Ducati Monster Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just picked up a 1994 m900 with the 944 kit and flat slide carbs. The thing runs great but its a pain to start. You have to turn it on, hit the start button, and then turn the throttle back and forth untill its just right for it to kick over. It wont even make a sound untill the throttle position is right and then it kicks. The old owner said it is due to the high compression so im thinking an aftermarket, stronger starter might help. Anybody got any suggestions?
 
H

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
heavier starter cables will make a difference in starter motor performance.
Provided the battery is in good shape. That detail wasn't mentioned. Throw some jumpers on it from another battery(not from a running car) to see how it turns over.
I would definitely upgrade the cables, though. That's like free voltage at the starter. The resistance in a smaller cable could cause a full volt of drop under full load.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
A high performance coil kit like the Dyna coils that Ca-Cycleworks sells will probably help.

Also, since they don't have a choke, it helps to give the throttle a couple of twists before you hit the starter. Additionally, make sure that the idle is set to 1000 to 1100 rpm.

If it's not turning over at all, then it does sound like you either have a starter issue, or (more likely) need more juice to the starter. Try a high CCA battery like an Odyssey and the larger cables as Howie suggested.

--Fillmore
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,952 Posts
Before I even scrolled down to Howie's answer, I thought the same thing. The starter cables and the connectors on them are marginal at best.

I replaced mine with AWG 6 GA. All marine cable and fittings from the local West Marine store. I used marine grade heat shrink for waterproof seals where the lugs go on the cables. (I used to do electrical fabrication in a Sea Ray factory for about 3 1/2 years)

Made all the difference in the world spinning the motor over.

If you don't upgrade the ground cables along with the postive cables, at least clean all those connections. Don't overlook the second ground cable from the frame to the right rear of the engine case as well. If it's not there, someone left it off when the engine was rebuilt. Just a short one from the back of the rear footpeg bracket to the engine case. The short length and duality of the ground cables allows you to get away with not upgrading them without losing too much current capacity in the circuit.
 
H

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
An electrical circuit is a closed loop, so the ground cable is just as important, as the pos. cable. The ground cables also supplies the ground to all the other loads in the system(ignition, headlights, etc) which are under load while you're attempting a start.
I would suggest that if you upgrade the pos. cable to the starter motor, do the same for the groung to the engine case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Great, so upgrade starter cables, coils and battery. Thats a good start.
I had the battery on the tender last night and it got to where it says its over 80% charged but never got fully charged. When I put my ear close to it I could hear it fizzing. Never heard that before. I checked the fluid levels in it and that is fine also no leaks at all.
Should I go to a Ducati dealer for the coils, cables , and battery?
Oh, Id post up a pic but I have not figured out how to yet.
 
H

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Make the cables yourself. Ducati doesn't offer heavier gauge cables. Most better autoparts or marine stores should be able to assemble them for you, if you don't have the tools.
If the battery never gets to full charge, it's time for a new one. Be carefull which one you get. Theck the "battery" thread for more info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, I just found the Ca. cycleworks site so I see the coils I need, $189 is not too bad.
I can make the cables, but are we just talking about the one cable that runs from the starter to the little round, gold colored, fuse thing (sorry not sure what it is, maybe a voltage regulator?) Or should I replace the wires from that to the battery as well?

Oh, is it the odyssey pc 535 that I need for this bike? They dont list a battery for an M900 but this seems to have the right dimensions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks alot Herb, youve been much help!
 
M

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
I had a bad starter on my 916SP that had the exact same symptoms. The bearings were shot and it was hanging up. I'd press the button and nothing would happen until it could free itself. We replaced the starter and starter sprag.

On my M944 with flat slides (with a good starter), I twist the throttle twice and press the button with the throttle closed. Since it has no choke, I have to hold the throttle open until it warms up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Yep, sounds just like you explained. Could be the starter, that was my first guess. How much did a new starter cost you?

I just checked and....
Holy crap! a new starter from Ducati is $569 do I have any options or is that the only place to get one? There has to be a parts place that is cheaper.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
Oh, is it the odyssey pc 535 that I need for this bike? They dont list a battery for an M900 but this seems to have the right dimensions.
I use the PC680. Heavier, but higher current. Fits in the OEM battery box if you remove the rubber mat in the bottom.

I've gotten a couple from this guy on eBay. No problems, and I haven't found a better price.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=34284&item=2448861199

Also, for battery cables, I recommend making them from welding cable. It has very low resistance and it's made of very fine strands so it's more flexible that most other heavy gauge wire. It conducts heat as well as electricity, so you may have to solder it using a propane torch.

If it is starter related, it could be the sprag clutch assembly instead of the starter itself. Google up 'ducati sprag' and you'll find details on other sprag failures and a modification that can be done. Unless the starter is totally screwed, you can probably have it re-wrapped and new brushes put into it by an automotive electrical shop for about a tenth of the cost of a new one from Ducati.
 
M

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
We have a starter re-build kit in stock that I originally bought but did not need since it only replaces the brushes (my starter bearings were toast).

You might want to contact [email protected]. He recently went though the entire electrical system on the 916SP. They changed to larger wires, dry cell battery, starter gear, sprag, starter gears, solenoid...

The 916SP always had starting problems. The bad starter took a toll on all the other parts so we changed everything since it was all apart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
So are you saying you have a starter rebuild kit for sale?
I did a search on this site for ducati sprag and went back 1365 days with no finds.
Allright, I searched google and found some info on it. I did not read about the symptoms of a bad sprag. Does it do what mine does and not make a sound untill one time you try and it just goes, or does it click, try to turn, chug chug, etc. ?
I am also getting conflicting opinions, some say it is just the coils, battery, and wiring and others sprag and starter. Since the starter is SOOO expensive I think I will try that last.
I did get it fired up today, had to use my charger to do it, and It runs great. I just did a short little ride but what a blast.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
Ya wanna add one more possibillity? It could be the starter button itself...

If it's not turning over at all, you can leave out the coils as a possible culprit. They help a bike like yours start faster, but don't have anything to do with the starter actually cranking.

If your battery wont take a full charge, that needs to be replaced anyway, so that's the safest place to start. Of course, you could just try jump starting it off your car battery (engine not running on the car) and see if that changes anything.

The cables are cheap and easy to do, and actually give you a known good state for the rest of your troubleshooting, so that's an easy thing to do as well.

I've seen far more solenoids and switches die than starters, so They'd be higher up on my list of suspects. Also, cheaper than a starter.

You should be able to test the starter before springing for one.
You could just jump a wire from the positive terminal on a known good battery to the terminal on the starter. If the bike cranks right over, you know it's something to the battery side of the starter.
If it doesn't crank over, you can pull the starter from the case (unfortunately, this requires removing the left engine cover) and try the starter by itself (you'll have to ground the starter case this time as well). If the starter still has issues, then look into starter replacement or re-build. If the starter spins right up, then you gotta take a look at the sprag.

HTH,
--Fillmore
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
So you are saying just run a wire from another bike battery's positive straight to the terminal on the starter, with the key in the "on" position and if the starter is good it should start right up? Ill try that. Thank you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
796 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Well, I got some 6 gauge wire and put clamps on each end of it. I put one clamp on the positive terminal of my other bikes battery (it was still wired in the bike) and then I turned the key for the monster on and touched the hot clamp(other end) to the terminal on the bottom of the starter.
Nothing, not even a sound. Did I need to run grounds? It should have current since the other battery is grounded in the other bike. Im guessing this means that the starter is just not turning at all. Im going to start searching for alternatives to buying a new starter from ducati.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top