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Okabout six months ago I tried starting my fathers 1980 Goldwing GL1100 Interstate I had never started it before I turned the key on pushed it to run it was in Neutral I tried starting it and it made a starting noise like it was trying to start I kept the button pushed then released an tried again I tried a couple of times before noticing that the Fuel shutoff valve was turned off. Then when I tried starting it with the valve on it made a clicking noise and the headlights went off while the start button was held when released the lights came back on. So now a couple days ago after being given the bike I cleaned it and tried starting it did the same clicking thing so I put the battery on a charger overnight now the battery is fully charged I could see the water boiling inside the battery, but still when I try to start I get the click and dead lights. I don't have any idea what's wrong with it I would like to know how to check the starter before I pay 100 dollars for a new one. Any ideas what it could be?
 

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First, the headlights are supposed to go off when you push the start button. You need a volt meter to check some things for the starting system. Check the battery for at least 12.5 volts. Check that the battery voltage stays above 12 volts when you push the start button. Check at the starter on the stud where the cable connects for voltage, if it shows battery voltage there when you push the button the starter is bad. If no voltage check at the solenoid( to the rear of the battery) If it has volts on the stud where the cable from the battery connects and not the other one where the cable to the starter connects when pushing the button the solenoid is bad. If all this checks out good then check the ground side of the battery by connecting the +(red) lead of the meter to the - post of the battery and the - (black) lead of the meter to a bolt on the engine and push the button, if it shows more than 1 volt the ground connections are bad. The ground cable from the battery connects behind the triangle shaped engine mount on the left rear of the engine and is prone to corrode.
 

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430 knows a lot more than me..but a quick check for the starter is jump it directly..cable from the battery positive to the starter stud..of course the battery has to be good IE 12.5+ V's just sitting there and not less than 10.5 V's when you are trying to crank the starter. You need help, someone to hold your meter on the battery while you crank it over..unless you have alligator clips on your meter probes. Just touch it for a second or two either it cranks or doesn't.

A battery can show 12+ volts but under load crap out..due to a bad cell or two..and not have the amps to carry the load.

If the clicking you hear is coming from the little cylinder just back of the battery that's the solenoid and clicking means it's working..it's jsut connects the positive of the battery to the starter cable when the starter button is pushed. It has a spring loaded magnet thingy(technical term) in inside.
 

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How many amps does your charger push & is it a charger that drops down in power as the battery comes up? Im asking because those smaller bike batteries cant take amperage like a car battery can. Was your battery boiling or were there just some bubble movement?

Try cranking your wing with booster cables on your wing battery hooked to a non running car. this will ensure max power while you trouble shoot. If the wing spins over that way, your battery might need a closer look.
 
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