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Starting noises
Sometimes when I try to start my '87 1200 the starter whirls and I hear a clatter but the engine doesn't turn over. It isn't real predictable but most often happens if I haven't choked properly. Also I sometimes hear a squeal immediately after the engine starts. Not every time and not predictable at all. Most of the time the bike starts right away. The immediate squeal after start up is more common than the non-starting clatter. Confused? Me too! Starter problem? Starter clutch problem? Both?
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#1 10-07-2008, 08:59 PM,
having dealt with a fried alternator i know when the battery is discharged it will do it (make grinding noises and not engage) even tho i might not grind on a second try. You might try a voltage reading when it does it. if you were in stop and go riding (for instance of an example) and the fan kick on and you parked (assuming your charging sys is in good order) your battery might be less charged then at other times. Just a thought. My free advice is always worth every cent!!! good luck! phil

a little light is going off in my head. something about hot 'wings and extra resistance in the starting circuit causing them to be difficult to turnover when they are real warm...now that lite is getting a little brighter...my gl1000 had that problem...i'm probably no help....
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#2 10-14-2008, 10:34 PM,
Sure sounds like the starter clutch is dirty or worn. Sometimes guys will use cleaning agent additives in the engine oil to remove varnish from internal components of the engine. These cleaning agents are available at your local auto parts stores, make sure you get one that is compatible for a motorcycle engine that shares the transmission with the engine. If the cleaner does not work you will have to remove the engine and replace the starter clutch.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of gl1200goldwings.com

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#3 12-19-2008, 10:53 AM,


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