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Still a winger at heart.
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assume I have a starter off of a 1200.

If I wanted to test it, how? Just juice it and listen?
 

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Vintage Rider
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That's one way to do it. You can use a car battery and jumper cables, connect the positive cable to the terminal on the starter, and the negative cable to the starter case. I would have the starter clamped down somehow, if it turns over, it is going to jump. If it does not turn over, connect a multimeter between the positive terminal on the starter and the starter. If you get nothing, you have an open circuit in the starter. 1200 starters can be rebuilt, but if the winding is bad, it will be easier to find a used starter. Rebuilding basically consists of replacing the brushes.
 

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Vintage Rider
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I just have to ask this, no offense intended. Seventeen THOUSAND posts? And you don't know how to check a starter? Are you serious? Again, no offense intended. Just thought it might be a joke.
 

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Testing it on the bench will only tell you if the wiring is still connected. It probably will spin like crazy on the bench, but won't move the motor 1 revolution when you put it back in.,,
 

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Vintage Rider
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If it spins good on the bench, it is likely something else besides the starter. Obviously if it just barely turns over, it is toast. But that little motor puts out a LOT of power for it's size, and I have never seen one that really turned over good that would not turn the engine over, unless something is wrong with the starter drive, which I believe uses a chain on the 1200.

Cars are completely different, they actually have a solenoid (electrically activated plunger) which pushes the starter drive into engagement with the flywheel, and if it fails, the starter will spin good on the engine, but will not turn it over, because it is not physically connected to the engine flywheel. Motorcycle starters do not have a solenoid, only a relay, and the only reason for that is because that little starter button cannot handle the large amount of current that a starter motor draws. They usually engage and disengage with some type of clutch.
 

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Still a winger at heart.
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JerryH wrote:
I just have to ask this, no offense intended. Seventeen THOUSAND posts? And you don't know how to check a starter? Are you serious? Again, no offense intended. Just thought it might be a joke.
No, no offense taken...

I asked what you would look for, or how you would test it. I know how I would do it, but I already know that part... its what YOU know that I am interested in...

I have already rebuilt it once, about two years ago. It hasnt seen much use, but I am getting a gawdawful clunking sound as it engages.

I will be pulling it later in the week. This question is part of me thinking it through before I work on it=things go better...

I have also bookmarked a few rebuild kits, and a couple of used on ebay.
 

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Junior Grue
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UBarW wrote:

I have already rebuilt it once, about two years ago. It hasnt seen much use, but I am getting a gawdawful clunking sound as it engages.
That sounds more like the starter clutch slipping then grabbing after the starter is already turning.
 

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Vintage Rider
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Again, sorry about that. 17555 posts is a LOT. I agree, there really is nothing about the starter itself that should clunk, and to get to the starter clutch assembly, you have to pull the engine and remove the back cover. Another one of those things that Honda COULD have designed to be much easier to work on, but like I said before, I don't really think they thought anyone would still be working on them 36 years later, when they first designed the engine.
 

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There could be a clunk if the engine hasn't been run for a longish time. The rollers in the over running clutch could be sticky after the oil has dried on them. That can cause the clutch to spin more before the clutch engages. As long as I had a starter off the bike I'd take it apart to see how the brushes and commutator looked. Never hurts to clean things up in that area, also good idea to look at the grease in the planetary gear box on the other end. One thing to be careful with when disassembling starters is to watch that the washer looking spacers and the wave washers stay on the ends of the shaft. They position the armature fore and aft to prevent binding. I made an error putting a couple spacers in an 1100 starter after they fell off during disassembly. The starter ran just fine on the bench after reworkingbut bound up and wouldn't turn over the engine when on the bike. I removed the starter, connected it to a 12V source and found the starter would run fine if level but bound up if one end were tipped up a bit. Sorting out the spacers solved the problem.
 

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Ditto exavid ., starters dont usually " clunck " but sticky starter clutches do. If you have rebuilt said starter already and are confidant about it then try an engine flush with Seafoam or whatever you choose to try to clean up the clutch rollers . You might get lucky .
 
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