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The starter in my '82 1100 will sometimes spin up but doesn't engage the engine. Usually it happens during low temperature starts. I'll hit the start button, will hear the starter motor spin up, but it doesn't mesh with the engine. When I let go of the starter button, I'll hear the starter motor spin down then, near the end of it's spinning, I'll hear some gear grinding. Touch the button again and the engine starts fine.

Is there a solenoid type setup that is maybe sticking and not pushing the starter's drive gear into a flywheel? I'm more accustom to automotive starter motors if ya couldn't tell
:cheesygrin:

Appreciate any advice you might have.
 

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Junior Grue
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It's the starter clutch located in the rear of the engine and requires engine removal to service.

As it's only happening in cold weather a lighter and clean oil in winter will probably mitigate the problem.
 

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The clutch inside the engine isn't engaging. It is a roller sprag clutch. When the starter spins it sends the rollers up a ramp to wedge between the inner and outer parts of the clutch.

Your problem is usually the result of heavy oil and cold weather. Change the oil to a lighter weight or just live with it until spring. As long as it starts on the second or third try you should be alright.
 

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I agree with the previous posters about the oil . Mine did this in low temps also . Though I would recommend that before you change the oil out , add some Sea Foam and take a 50-100 mile ride . then do the oil change . Sea foam has the instructions on the can for use as a cleaner agent . Also you could use Marvel Mystery Oil and it should have instructions on can as well for using in crankcase .

The pupose of the cleaning agent is to help clean the sprague clutch so it works smoother . After I did this one time I kept using the DELO 400 15/40 and no more issues . I'll admit though I dont have your constant cold tmeps to deal with .
 

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Vintage Rider
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My '85 just recently started doing this. I have 20w50 oil in it, and it happens mostly when trying to start it in temperatures around 40-50 degrees, about as cold as it gets in south central AZ. It almost left me stranded once. I will replace the oil with 10w40 with some Seafoam in it and see if that helps.

I had just finished rebuilding it from a pile of junk a few months ago, and it has run fine with no problems for the past 7,000+ miles, then this started happening. Hopefully it will not require an engine removal, if so the bike is going to be down for several months.
 

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Mine does it too. Just when it is cold. The shaft that the sprag rollers grip becomes worn and that causes the slippage. I ran a quart of MMO in mine for a few miles and then cnanged it. It helped but did not completely stop the slippage. A large PIA to remove the engine and I wouldn't and won't do it until I absolutely have to.
Try the oil first.
Bobby
 
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