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had a problem with this last week but here it is again, keep in mind its cold here. Ill go start the bikeand think or it sounds like the starter is spinning but wont catch to start the bike, but after about 3 tries it will catch and the bike starts, any opinion on this?
 

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This is a typical problem when oil is too thick... I wouldn't worry about it unless it acts up under more normal circumstances

Basically, what is happening is that the friction clutch (or sprag clutch) that must engage before the starter can turn the engine is not engaging. Sometimes this is due to engine deposits of sludge and sometimes it is oil that is too thick.. In your case, it seems most likely to be oil..
 

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I hope your right re the oil........ Ive been starting it up in this cold weather and after it runs awhile Ill restart it and that noise keeps happening like somethings not catchingthen after a couple more trys itll start....whats the worst case scenario??
 

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Sounds like both 1200s that I have had
 

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Like Sandiegobrass has already stated the problem seems to be with the starter clucth as opposed to the starter itself. Sometimes just changing the oil and using the bike on a regular basis will cure the problem or you can try draining out a litre of oil, replace that with a litre of MMO, drive the bike easily for a 100 k or so ,then change the oil and filter as you normally would. The "worst case scenario "would be having to remove the engine and replace/repair the starter clutch..........GM
 

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I am also having the same problem on my 84 - Int., I try to start it a couple times a week in this cold weather. Mine started doing the same thing when it turned cold, I also thought it was because the oil was too thick.

I just replaced the stator so I hope it isn't the starter clutch, I would hate to pull that engine again.
 

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Sounds like it might be worth the seafoam in the oil trick. A few ounces of seaform in the oil-maybe 6 ounces-and run it for a while- less than 100 miles and change the oil & filter while the engine is still warm.

Might clean enuf sludge & varnish out to take care of that starter problem.
 

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looks like some are saying its an oil problem but that intriques me cause how would that account for the grinding sound,not 100% grind but at the end of the starting cycle, like Ill hit the start then hear the starter andwhen it winds down Ill hear this grinding noise , so thats what concerns me
 

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That grinding at the end of the starter cycle sounds like bearings, either dry or mis-aligned. Since the DC starter motor develops it torque at the highest point from stop to full on there is a toque set up that want to pull the motor out of alignment. Shims may be missing., or the bearings may be shot and the cold amplifies the condition. If this continues in warm weather the motor would have to be pulled and an inspection made. But for now keep listening for worsening conditions.
 

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sneaky pete wrote:
looks like some are saying its an oil problem but that intriques me cause how would that account for the grinding sound,not 100% grind but at the end of the starting cycle, like Ill hit the start then hear the starter andwhen it winds down Ill hear this grinding noise , so thats what concerns me
The obvious is reason for the slipping is the oil issue.. if there are other things (like noisey brushes, bearings, etc.) it is not likely to cause the slipping that you observe.. also, this sprag clutch is driven by a chain.. maybe you are hearing chain noises.. tear into it if you want, but, personally, I wouldn't yet...
 

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I believe the COLD had something to do for sure. Saturday it got up to 70 here in Ohio and it started and ran perfect. Those cold temps really thicken the oil.
 
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