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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

Sorry in advance for the long post, but I want to make sure that I can get
enough information in here to make sense.

The symptom is that when I tried to start up my '01 929 (about 8K miles on
it) I heard something that resembled a ticking and buzzing sound and the
bike didn't start. Now for the details.
I started 'er up yesterday morning to go to work. Bike started fine, no
problems at all. I rode about 2 houses' distance away and my neighbor came
out to chat. I killed the engine and chatted it up for a bit. Maybe 5
minutes later I restarted the bike (again without incident) and went to
work. The commute was a little crappy - a lot of stop and go. Nothing
seemed out of sorts though - fan came on when it should, etc. I arrived at
work, parked in the garage and started my day.

I walked out after work - pretty hot out, if that matters; around 90
degrees. Got to the garage, put the key in and got the usual - FI
pressurized, neutral light, headlight - they were all good. Hit the
starter button (kill switch was off, sidestand up, in neutral but clutch
was in) and got that sound that I mentioned above and the engine wouldn't
turn over at all. I tried a couple of times to no avail. I checked the
bike for damage thinking that perhaps someone had knocked it over but
everything was fine. I ended up putting it into second and running around
the garage to jump start it (which I'm sure I looked like a tool, as I'm
running in pants, a collared long-sleeve shirt and shoes). After I
remebered "oh yeah, I should probably turn it on so there's fuel going
somewhere" (doh), I jumped it and rode home.

During the ride home, everything seemed normal.

Got home and went inside. A few hours later I went out to the garage and
tried to start it. Turn the key, hit the starter button and it started
right up. I tried to start it again this morning and it worked again (but
I didn't ride to work). I'm wondering if this is a symptom of a bad
starter or something else. I'm guessing that maybe I was hearing a dead
spot in the starter.

Any ideas or opinions greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone.

Mike
 

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If it's your original battery and you usually do short trips or trips in traffic, I'd start with the battery. It takes long trips at higher rpms to charge the battery on the bike. There is a point in the stored charge where there is enough power to light up everything, but not enough to run the starter (highest load).

Put the battery on a trickle charger/battery tender overnight and see what happens. You could also get a volt meter and measure the voltage across the battery with the bike just sitting there (should be 13.4 V or so) and while running the starter (should still be in the 12V range). There are more complete electrical trouble-shooting guides out there if you're so inclined.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I did put it on the battery tender last night because I about killed the battery trying to start it while it was in the parking garage. I took the ride home (in fairly moderate to light traffic) in low gears so I could keep the revs up so it could change a bit.
When I get home I'll check those voltages and see how they're reading.

Thanks for the reply...

Mike
 

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starters hardly ever "die" but batteries do and it sure sounds like it's your battery that is giving you warning signs it's on it last legs.
 
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