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Rubber Mount Sportster Motorcycle Talk (2004-2006) This area is to discuss issues, problems and anything else unique to the 2004 and above Sportster motorcycles

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View Poll Results: '04+ Starter Issues
Yes I have encountered this and yes I've reported it. 77 15.91%
Yes I have encountered this but no I haven't reported it. 407 84.09%
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  #301  
Old 30th April 2017
greer greer is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: XL1200R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wedge View Post
It's called heat soak. When you stop briefly (like getting gas). The engine stops up against compression as you shut it off as you would expect, then the heat seems to expand the charge that is in the cylinder that it stopped against. So when you try to start it hot, it will come up against that compression immediately and since we run high compression (like around 200# cranking pressure to begin with), and since our starter coupled with the stock battery is barely able to do the job when all is perfect, it grinds to a halt briefly. Then if you keep the button depressed it forces the piston past the pressure and then it cranks as usual and fires up.

Makes a terrible noise and really gets attention at gas stations.


Cures...

1. Make good cables from 4 ga. fine strand welding cable using soldered brass lugs to replace the crappy 6 ga. cables with crimped ends that come stock. Also make sure every connection is clean and tight.

2. Never run the star washers on battery terminals, they corrode and burn on the tips, and your connection turns to crap. Use flat washers, and make sure you get them tight. Also, make sure you have good clean bolts that have enough thread length to get inside as far as possible so you can get some decent torque on that connection.

3. High cranking amp battery.

4. High torque starter.


Mine has been doing this for the last 70,000 miles, and I have done the cables and everything is totally clean and tight. So it's noisy, but it won't kill the parts apparently.
Just wanted to say thanks for this thread and the info posted here. Holy crap, these things can make a terrible racket, as we found out yesterday at a crowded gas station, dang!. We will check our battery connections and try to get in the habit of bumping backward before hitting the button.

Sarah
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  #302  
Old 24th December 2017
glbsportster glbsportster is offline
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Not being a mechanic in any sense of the word.....but reading in here and other places....I read as the Sportster engine gets hotter the timing is retarded (at least at a certain engine temperature) is that correct?. Air cooled engines are great for lawnmowers or any other IC engines that have a fan constantly removing heat, after that, not such a smart thing to build an air cooled engine with no heat remover besides constant movement, well, unless you are also in the business of fixing them......IMHO. It appears that "Love Jugs" are working well enough to somewhat indicate that the air cooled engines are running much better with air movement other than driving the motorcycle.
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  #303  
Old 4th January 2018
PetesPonies PetesPonies is offline
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So the literal millions and millions of air cooled bikes were designed by idiots? Air cooling is engineered just like everything else is. The size and amount of fins, the materials used, the thickness of the cylinder and surrounding pieces . .its all engineered. It works. Liquid cooling does more for multi cylinder engines ( in my case, more than 2 ). It helps greatly with MPGs and emissions. Typically two things I don't care too much about, when describing my bikes.
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  #304  
Old 4th March 2018
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Toejam503 Toejam503 is offline
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Default clunking when hot

I had this problem start when my '06 1200 was about 4 years old. Had the same problem back in the 80's with my '81 sporty. I cleaned the battery cables where they connected to the engine and starter, this would help for a while unless it got ungodly hot outside. After a couple of summers of putting up with this I replaced my fuel petcock with a new H-D one and the problem stopped. Apparently the little rubber bladder inside got weak and distorted causing fuel starvation and hard starting when hot. It also was drawing fuel directly into the intake manifold when hot causing the clunk and kick-back that was happening.
Thank god it's not a kicker or else some of those clunks could send you over the handlebars.
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  #305  
Old 4th March 2018
PetesPonies PetesPonies is offline
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How an electrical problem and a fuel problem can be equated as the same thing . . is just beyond my ability to understand the masses.
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  #306  
Old 4th March 2018
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Not enough juice to the starter causes the engine to turn over slower making it easier for the cylinders to kick back especially if it already has a large charge of gasoline in the combustion chamber. This scenario is known to break starter motors.
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  #307  
Old 4th March 2018
PetesPonies PetesPonies is offline
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Retired auto teacher . . . . I'm out of this now.
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  #308  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
3dognate 3dognate is offline
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I have a starting issue with 05 XL1200C and it's always on the first start... cold or hot. I'll hit the starter and it takes a LOT of juice to turn the motor over initially. I've seen a puff of smoke under the seat produced from the current draw. I'm running stock heads, stock coil, Andrews N4 cams, SE Ignition module. I have considered switching to a TC88A ignition module to reduce the initial timing for an easier start...

So yeah... I have starting issues.
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  #309  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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If it's happening on cold and hot starts, I'd say it's a timing issue.
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  #310  
Old 1 Week Ago
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spitfirechopper spitfirechopper is offline
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i had this on my 2005 xlc1200, i replaced the started with a bigger kw model and now it spins the motor with no problem, even ''hot stops'' are no problem now, starter just powers through it. Changed it about 10,000 miles ago, no problems
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