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04-22-2017, 01:31 PM,
Intermittent Starting Problem
Two days ago, I went to start the bike, and it acted like it had a dead battery. The engine sluggishly tried to turn over and then would rotate back, I assume on a compression stroke, as if it just didn't have enough power to rotate the engine. Check engine light comes on then goes off. When it starts to "give up" and rotates back I let off the starter button and let the check engine light go back off, then try again after 10 seconds or so. After several attempts the engine finally turned over and fired up, only to run very rough, spitting some white smoke. Lots of popping and misfiring, and wanting to die unless I gave it throttle. After a minute it was able to run by itself and I slowly pushed the choke back in. Still running rough... I shut it down for the night and decided I would check it out after work. My first suspect was low battery- I pulled it out, checked it at 12.6 volts. Read online to do a load test by starting the bike and making sure its not below 9-10 volts. It dropped briefly to 10 something volts and fired right up, and ran pretty smooth. Idle was reading 13.5 volts or so- I did not check at higher RPM. Took it for a ride, it's running good, with good power through out the range.
This starting difficulty has happened 2 or 3 times in the last 6 months, but would run fine once started. I was hoping the battery was going bad, but now I'm not sure what I should be checking.
Probably not related, but I did get a little seafoam crazy a few weeks ago, and stuck a tube in the bottle and the other end on the nipple of the intake boots. I pinched the line to give a slow feed, but would let go and let it get a big sip at a time (just a split second dose at a time). I've noticed a very small amount of white smoke here and there lately when I give it throttle. Is it possible my cylinder are filling with oil cause a hydraulic lock situation? My oil level was low when I checked, but I noticed some oil residue under the motor so it may be from that.

Any direction would be really appreciated. Thanks guys!

2003 V-Star 650 Custom
05-14-2017, 09:31 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-14-2017, 09:34 PM by TwoWheels.)
RE: Intermittent Starting Problem
Updates: Symtoms of weak start increasing.

I caught it tonight.. grabbed the multimeter. Voltage dropping down to 6 volts if either piston is on the compression stroke, and the starter stops (actually it sounds like it just gets so weak it seems to be off, but is still trying to work.). I rotated the crankshaft by hand through several rotations. I can hear blow by from the crankcase, however, on the front cylinder there is gurgling with the blow by but not on the rear cylinder. Is hydraulic lock possible? After rotating the crankshaft through several rotations, I started the bike. The engine readily turned over with voltage sitting between 10-11 volts, and the bike started, tried to idle, shut off. Reduced choke a little bit, started bike again with a couple throttle pops and she's idling. Excessive popping out of the exhaust on steady throttle and acceleration. Tested voltage, 13.34 volts at idle. Increased RPM to maybe 3,000rpm (maybe a quarter throttle), and NO increase in voltage. Is my charging voltage low?


edit: problem is still intermittent. I can sometimes just fire up the bike, warm up, and ride. If it has a starting issue, I can shut it off and come back 10 minutes later and the thing might start like nothing is wrong.

2003 V-Star 650 Custom
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