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Hard Starting 1400

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I'm hoping to get some guidance from you guys on what may be causing my starting problem.  The bike is a 2014 California Touring 1400 with about 38K on it.  Always garaged but also ran in all kinds of weather.  Just yesterday it developed a problem when starting where the starter would engage every time for about a second and then stop.  It would do this for 5 or 10 tries, then engage and run perfectly.  It has done this for a while but only one time every once in a while, never several times in a row.  I found a post from SmithSwede describing the exact same symptom on a V7 that turned out to be the phase sensor but the difference is my bike will eventually start and run like a top, this post is located here:

I've noticed the starter winds down like a 60's Dodge starter after disengaging, I'm fairly certain this is a new thing.  I think it used to just stop like modern starters but I can't be 100% sure because the engine noise would drown it out if it starts.  But I often have to give it a few tries when warm and I don't remember this sound.

I've confirmed the battery is good and cleaned the ground connection, the battery terminals and connectors and the spade connector on the starter.  The bike started right up when moving it to the garage to check things out but went back to the described problem after removing the starter and cleaning connections.  The starter had a small amount of rust on the housing but otherwise looked OK.

All of the above leads me to believe it is probably the starter but I'm open to suggestions. 

One last thing is I was surprised by the amount of oil on the components under the plastic covers, but thankfully not on the cylinders.  I've never been really low on oil between changes and these covers have never been off this 10 yr old bike so probably a slow leak on one of the hoses, just guessing.  There is oil on top of the phase sensor but no more than anywhere else.


Symptomatic of a starter on it's way out, but 38K seems kinda early for that malady.


Anyone close by that could run a diagnostic check? Notice anything on dash?
Look at where starter is made, if China it may need a rebuild or replace. They are reliable till they are not.

Thanks, guys. Starter was made in China, I’ll see who has a replacement in stock tomorrow. Nothing abnormal on the dash, just the whirring sound as the starter winds down after disengaging. I haven’t heard a starter do that since I sold my ‘69 Dodge Coronet about 40 yrs ago.

blu guzz:
Maybe try one from a 50 year old Dodge? LOL


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