XS650 Electric Start System

inxs

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XS650 E-start

- by now youve probably figured i dont like XS650 starter motors…a lot of energy, time and money went into creating the ‘männer’ machines we all like so much…these looked the part, were reliable, didn’t leak oil and, like everything else, had their weaknesses…the starter motor wasn’t one of them…it didn’t have one, wasn’t meant to…the XS1 cases were round and full, exactly where they should be-the yammy bunny, and stayed that way, until the press’ moaning and bleating compelled Yamaha to compromise with the XS2 and install one

XS1 head showing the triangular front left tappet inspection cover
04012009415gb9.jpg


- and compromise it was…tucked away, down in the back 40, a bitch to work on, the starter motor was forced to work its magic through an array of transfer and reduction gears and shafts before connecting with the crankshaft…what a fucking balls-up

P3100004.jpg


- costing 500W and drawing 42A, it meant the battery wasn’t strong enough, and pushed the charging system almost to its limits

- the answer?...actually, quite ingeniously taking a lesson from the british thumpers, whose market share was getting, well, thumped, Yamaha did a quick redesign of the head and cover, and installed a decompression device…this worked also as the starter button, pull the lever, on the bars, by the clutch, and the starter kicked in

Item60-7P.jpg


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Bku6V5Q2kKGrHqQH-DoEs-ZqQDpMBLYmjBV.jpg


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- come the TXA, however, and a larger battery replaced the sexier decompression system, gone forever were the balanced quartet of XS1 triangular valve covers, the front left cover, a decompressive legacy, remaining bulky and square, scarring the face of future XS650 generations

- and that’s progress…the whole proceedure unaesthetically added about 4,5kg and reduced the oil quantity by around 200ml

Problems

- draws heaps of current, 42A, electrical weaknesses can lead to ignition problems, especially with electronic systems

- make sure the starter motor shaft anchor point, in the motor end plate, rotates freely without resistance and that the end plate bushes have no play…there is a tendency to wear these leading to armature wear…the result is increased operating power drain

xs650starter04.jpg


- if the seal, S 17-28-8, located in the inner end plate leaks the starter will begin to fill with oil and crud, further stressing the electrical system

- the other seal, SD 34-46-10.5, located in the crankcase, sealing to the starter end plate rarely leaks…if the inspection plate is covered in wet oil and crud clean with spray on brake cleaner, scrub with a toothbrush and wash off, go for a ride, you will soon find the source…may be the front sprocket shaft seal leaking because the sprocket is loose-tighten the nut, or the shift shaft or clutch push rod seals

- unlike autos, where the starter-gear meshes with the crank-gear before the starter kicks in, the XS starter rotates at full power before attempting to mesh with the crank…this is the awful ratcheting noise you hear when the transfer gear is worn and clacks on the crank-gear…this full power has 2 side effects, the most noticeable is the wearing of the transfer-gear and, if not fixed, the subsequent wearing of the crank-gear-which cant be fixed, you will find metal filings in your sump…the other effect is, as the transfer-gear whacks into the crank-gear the shock loading has a twisting effect on the crank, the rhs wants to move faster than the lhs, this has been known to manifest itself as deformed crankshaft alignment, sometimes up to 2mm, especially apparent in increased capacity motors when the cranks havent been welded…misfiring exacerbates this problem…the bearings, of course, don’t like this…my crank builder recommends not to use the e-start as a matter of rule on a rebuilt crank before it has had time to settle and to weld the crank as a matter of course

not engaged
bendix1.jpg

engaged
bendix2.jpg

worn ... new
bendixABC.jpg


- worn spring clips and springs prevent correct engaging and disengaging of the starter…once the spring-clip has lost its shape and tension, although it can be rebent into shape, the tension generally doesn’t last long, better to replace…when replacing don’t slide down through the receiving groove-instead locate one side first then ease the other side into place

an014_02_jpg.jpg


bendixABC2.jpg


- when working here, unless you are planning to split the cases, dont remove the tab holding the small gear that drives the bendix...this gear sits on a shaft that runs through the gearbox and has another gear loose on the end that is driven by the starter reduction gears...if you try to remove this shaft the gear will fall off, you wont get the shaft out anyway-why make work for yourself

the little gear bottom left
bendix1.jpg


Electrics

P3170013.jpg


1. Solenoid
2. Safety Relay
3. Kill Switch
4. Main Switch
5. Start Switch

- although the XS2 starter is switched through the decompression lever and subsequent models via a button in the rhs handlebar controls the switch itself simply earths one side of the solenoid or relay allowing a current to pass through it…this sets up a magnetic field that operates the low resistance power feed from the battery to the starter

- the starter, through the labyrinth of reduction and transfer gears, rotates the crankshaft and therefore the alternator, when this is spinning fast enough to generate 4V the yellow cable from the alternater feeds the safety relay enough current to open the contact which automatically shuts the starter circuit down

IMG_0165_640_480-1.jpg

safety relays..top right non US, bottom right US
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starter relay
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solenoid

Problems

- weak battery
- weak charging system..worn alternator brushes
- dirty electrical connections
- loose electrical connections
- broken wires
- worn starter motor brushes
- burnt contact in the solenoid…short contacts with a heavy screw driver
- safety relay not operating…bypass battery to solenoid
- system not earthing properly...check especially starter button, just because you earth to the handlebar doesnt mean the bar is earthed either-rubber mounted

- starting circuits
XS650 H-SH ...corrected version-hattip pamopete
lockout2.jpg

- clutch and neutral switches prevent starter operation in gear
XS650 SJ-SK
P3180002.jpg

- add ons are sidestand switch, on the sidestand and a starter cut-off relay, attached to the safety relay
 
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inxs

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Starter Motor

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xs650starter01.jpg


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Removal

- don’t forget to drain the oil first
- release the power cable from the solenoid…feed it through as you remove the starter
- remove the 4 bolts, Yamaha recommends using an offset ring spanner…easier to come from the right hand side with the bike on its side stand or on a lift

P3170016.jpg


- when installing, make sure the gear engages
- torque to 2kg m

Problems

- is basically strong enough, a couple of points however…
- the shaft seal located in the end plate wears and leaks filling the body with oil and crud, costing power…clean with solvent and dry with compressed air
- the shaft anchor bush wears allowing play during operation, this wears the outer ends of the armature also costing power…this play can also lead to gears locking during operation, a consequence of the after-thought nature of the total design concept
xs650starter04.jpg

- brushes wear, the limit is 4.5mm
- the brush holders get dirty and can hinder brush movement, clean with solvent and a toothbrush, air dry
9df7_12.jpg

- make sure the springs are working…800g pressure…or a firm contact with the commutator
- the commutator wears with time, original diameter is 33mm…wear limit to 32mm-post ‘77 yamaha manuals say 30mm…the mica between the commutator segments can be cleaned or regapped using a broken hacksaw blade to a depth of 0.5-0.8mm..0.002-0.003in
xs650starter09.jpg

- signs of solder melting on the armature and in the yoke or wear on the edges indicate wider problems wrt open circuits and worn anchor bushes
-comm. scoring is caused by tracking and subsequent surface burning or partial melting, it can sometimes be resurfaced on a lathe…if dirty, yamaha say toclean with 600 grit sandpaper, haynes says use glass paper and not emery cloth or wet and dry paper
xs650starter11.jpg

- resistance between comm. segments should be nil...this shows a closed circuitwith low resistance
xs650starter06.jpg

- resitance between the comm. and the armature core should be min 3Mohms
xs650starter07.jpg

to be finished
 
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72XS2

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Thanks for this detailed info inxs. I just removed my engine from the frame yesterday. I had "this awful ratcheting noise" sometimes when I tried to use the electric starter last summer. I will repair it but according to the information that you give, I will only use the kickstart now.
 

650Skull

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Important: Note the changed position of the clip on the bendix gear when installing on the case, Yamaha Technical Bulletin
 

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retiredgentleman

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inxs;
That's an excellent thread on the starter motor system. As you said, you don't like the electric starting system, but I want to say that others need not fear the system. Yes, it is somewhat complicated with all those shafts and gears and springs. However, I do believe its well designed.

I took my starter motor apart (on my 78SE) to check for wear, and I must say the Hitachi motor is very well built. I expected to have to replace parts, but found that the brushes and commutator had minimal wear. All it needed was cleaning of the commutator and some minor undercutting/cleaning of the segments.

I use the electric starter everyday during riding season, and the engine starts perfectly everytime. If your battery and charging system is healthy, you will have no problems with ignition ( I have used both points and Pamco ignition). If your bike does not start well, don't blame the electric starter...................its likely bad battery/poor charging, ignition or carb problems.

For older guys like myself...............the electric starting is the only way to go. For the younger crowd..................enjoy your kickstarting:bike:
 

inxs

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- i agree that the actual motor is fine, i would like to see needle bearings instead of bushes in the end plates, but apart from that i have no complaints there...my problem is how the action works its way to the crank
 

hein weijers

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Good evening everybody,

Correct me if I am wrong, but somewhere here I read that the return spring can be left out the starter mechanisme and that only the clip is used. Can someone give the link to that topic?

Kind regards, Hein
 

XSLeo

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I don't have a link, but I think it was 5twins or Pamcopete who did that. You might find it by searching for starter return spring or PMing 5twins or Pamcopete.
 

XSLeo

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Just went back and looked at some of your pics. In one you show some electrical parts. You say the upper right was the non US safety relay, the lower right a US relay.
I think they all used the upper right relay on the models when the safety relay was just for the starter. They used the lower relay when they removed the headlight off/on switch and used the safety relay to turn the headlight on.
It may have been different with non US bikes, but in the US that was how things worked.
 

gggGary

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I think the XS650 starters are good, haven't had one with an issue yet. Considering how long nearly every old bike has had someone grinding on the starter instead of overhauling the carbs it's remarkable ANY of them work. Now the Honda FT500 had a seriously bad added on electric start Kludge. Gears and bearing would self destruct and hand grenade all the time, often taking the engine case with it.
 

jetero41

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OK dumbA__ me. How the H___ do you get to the 4th bolt?????!!!!!!#*^@#$&#@!
Sat there for an hour (maybe 2 ) and tried every damn tool in the box. Different angles, wrenches, changed the way I held my mouth......
SOB is still on the bike. Reread the thread. "from the right" ?? = long wrench from right side to left hand rear bolt ?????? The 1 thing I didn't try.... and I'm not sure I have an offset that long.
Great article though.
Last thought, any downside to going to an earlier head w/ decompression start?????
 

jetero41

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Additional Question.
I am going to eliminate the blasted sidestand safety. Pulled it out to remove and then figure out whether to wire it closed or just insulate the wire ends and the blasted thing is a sealed switch. PLEEEASE save a little heartache and sweat until I can build my new harness.

Also had to Google "Glasspaper" anyone know of a source?

Thanks again.
 

gggGary

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So I have one with an "issue" now. Spins, no clunk, chunk or chatter doesn't even attempt to engage. Side cover's off, clutch next. Stay tuned for more of today's exciting events. 80 special 20K miles. The kick start lever is bent down too. Someone spent a LOT of time trying to make it run. Funny thing is I rebuilt the carbs and she fired off on the first kick, go figure.
 
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