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Electric start turns over but won’t fire

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Joesxs650bobjob, May 23, 2018.

  1. hey there so I’ve got an 84xs650 kickstart works awesome an runs good just diled in carbs... but the electric start turns over but won’t fire clutch an kickstand safety switches have been bypassed... battery’s at 12.7 an charging systems good any tips on where to head next would be appreciated.....waiting on manual in the mail cheers
  2. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge, is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Try jumping with another (extra) battery. If the existing batt. is weak, volts might be dropping enough that the TCI (electronic ignition) is be dropping out. Adding another batt. might tell you something.
  3. Ccanady

    Ccanady XS650 Addict

    Check the basics (if you haven’t already) make sure your getting fuel, check plugs for spark and wires to make sure nothings disconnected.
  4. Yeah all that’s fine it runs w kickstart ...just the electric start won’t fire it. it seems like it’s not getting enough power when cranking but the coil seems to be good......battery drops to 10.8 when cranking think I’ve heard that’s still in spec for cranking ...pulling my hair out on this one
  5. weekendrider

    weekendrider Iron Horse cowboy Top Contributor

    S.W. MO
    10.8 volts is kinda low for these.
  6. Starter safety relay?
    IIRC I bypassed mine on an '83. I believe the Haynes manual shows a schematic of it.
  7. 650Skull

    650Skull SSSSSSSSSlither Top Contributor

    Starter motor Brushes????
  8. hooser

    hooser XS650 Addict

    Had a similar problem, replaced battery and was good to go.
  9. Superjet

    Superjet XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Mine did that and was a weak battery.
    Jim likes this.
  10. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Check ground straps, ground connection at head.
    Jim and robinc like this.
  11. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Joe,
    the "usual suspect" for the problem is a weak battery. And the stock battery is marginal even when new.
    Me too with the '84.
    When my bike was new it's starter would spin the motor just fine but it wouldn't start until I took my thumb off the starter button.
    It'd fire up In the instant when the starter motor wasn't sucking up all the power but the engine was still turning.
    The problem lessened after the engine was worn in enough to spin over easier but never fully went away until
    I hung a sidecar on the bike. The rig had a big ol' car battery in a box on the sidecar frame.
    550 Cold Cranking Amps and instant Vroom!
    Joesxs650bobjob, Jim and robinc like this.
  12. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I've had this happen on a few bikes (and cars) and while a weak battery is #1 a bad connection or wire somewhere can also do it. Rotted ground straps are so common that remove inspect and replace as needed is part of my wake up drill. I'd guess 30% of them have needed replacing. I got lucky and found a bundle of 20 "will fit" ground straps at a local surplus store, they are nearly gone.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  13. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    As an experiment, pull the headlight fuse so it doesn't come on while cranking. If it fires then that will confirm the battery issue. I think something else that may contribute to this issue on the later Specials is their 2 bulb tail/brake light and separate license plate light. They all turn on with the key. Earlier models have just one bulb doing all those things.
  14. xjwmx

    xjwmx It's just the unknown. Top Contributor

    If it kick starts, and turns over but doesn't start with the starter with a car battery connected (car engine off!) then it might be a problem with the starter as Skull implied. They can actually fill up with oil if the seal around the starter shaft goes bad.
  15. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I suspect an oil filled starter on survivor. Was completely normal last fall then this spring not so much, changed to a battery known to crank an XS with gusto and changed the ground strap to a new one (I actually follow my own advice!) It cranks over but slowly and just sounds "oily as a used car salesman".
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  16. xjwmx

    xjwmx It's just the unknown. Top Contributor

    Another thing, I've noticed mine will start a lot more readily with kick than starter if my plugs are old (like several years). It probably takes more voltage to make a good spark with them, and could be the starter drags the voltage under that threshold. Also sometimes it will start more readily with kick if the engine is hot.
    gggGary likes this.
  17. Hey thanks for all the replies I moved the ground strap an bam fired right up......also while I’m here haha I’ve got the mid range sputter going on that seems to be super common..all ignition system components are new and I’ve tested over an over changed the mains from 132.5 to 135 had the needle clip in every position...new uni pods new diaphragms an carb boots look good no leaks ...it’s seems to sputter at 1/2 throttle right around when the vacuum slides should kick in starting to pull my hair out....any ideas are appreciated thanks!!
    gggGary likes this.
  18. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    What air filters, boxes carbs?

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