Dr Big

Full Version: Starter Motor Not Working
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Hi Guys,

Could do with your help again I think.

The starter motor is now not working on my Big. When I got to start the Neutral light dims and a whimper can be heard from the starter motor but it wont turn over. Battery is fine and when bumped she starts up no problem.

I'm currently doing a night class in motorcycle maintenance and electrics is next week so hope that will help but wondered in the meantime if you guys could shine any light on this.

As always, any help appreciated.


Check all the connections at the battery, starter relay and starter motor are clean and tight.
If it still doesn`t turn over, try jumping across the two terminals on the s/relay, which should kick the old girl into life.
If you just get sparks and clicking, either the relay is cream crackered or the starter motor has a fault.
Possibly also the relay earth is poor but unlikely as you are getting some sign of life.
It`s not uncommon for the s/motor connection to be at fault, and if you give it a bit of a tweak to the nut under the rubber with a 10mm spanner it often sorts it out.
The reason your neutral light dims is that all the power is going into the starter system which is jammed somewhere.
:wave: where in the toon ya at ?
i'm just in blaydon and more than willing to offer a hand if needed Thumbup


Thanks for the reply BigBob, very useful! I wont be able to work on my Big till Saturday but I'll swat up using the manual in the meantime so I have an idea of what i'm doing.

Thanks for the offer obrut. I live at Seriff Hill near the QE hospital so not far from you but the bike is currently living in Blyth at my parents as I don't currently have room to keep it in Gateshead. Will have to meet up sometime. What local routes do you take your big on?
Anth Wrote:Thanks for the offer obrut. I live at Seriff Hill near the QE hospital so not far from you but the bike is currently living in Blyth at my parents as I don't currently have room to keep it in Gateshead. Will have to meet up sometime. What local routes do you take your big on?

if you get stuck the offer's always there fella ....as for local routes it's usually blanchland moor/keilder/castleside quarry or sometimes up round otterburn range...
a friend of a friend has said i can go play on his land up by alwinton/clennal hall where there used to be a route over the moors into scotland before a TRO was put on it.


Just to clarify are the starter solenoid and starter relay just different names for the same thing?

If so I've checked all of the connections from the battery to starter motor which are fine. I tried jumping across the relay but only got sparks, clicking and lots of heat! Where would I find the earth for the starter relay? The wiring on this machine is awful with electricians tape everywhere and wires lashed together, wrapped up in bin liners and cable tied together!

Whilst checking the connections with the body work off and my street relatively quiet I noticed that the whirring is coming from the starter motor as it if is trying to turn the engine over, albeit pathetically. Would this point towards a knackered starter motor? If so what does this mean. Alarm bells are ringing as i'm thinking either pricey, complicated or both!

Yep, relay and solenoid are the same widget.
Get a well charged spare battery, and make sure the -ve is well earthed on the bike, and very carefully touch the +ve to the connection on the s/motor under the little rubber johnny Wink
This will bypass everything you have on the bike, and you won`t even have to have the ignition on for it to work.
If the s/motor is good, it will crank over (make sure the decompressor lever is activated first) which means the problem is back up the system somewhere.
No turning means either your starter is cream crackered or your battery is. Showing 13v at the battery doesn`t always mean it has the grunt that it should have.
Quite possibly, your starter gears are chewed up as well, but only a visual inspection will tell.
New starter motor from those thieving swine at Suzuki £509.02 :o :o
They are rocking horse as well, so don`t expect to find one on Ebay
I have a spare one if all else fails.


Using my CBR's battery I jumped the starter motor which fired the DR BIG up straight away!

This left me puzzled as the connections all checked out fine and my Optomiser said that the battery was full of charge. A local garage had the starter relay in stock so I thought I would give it a go as it seemed the only thing left to try. When I went to buy it the mechanic asked to have a look at the bike. He said he had a hunch it was the battery and on fitting another battery the bike started up first time! Needless to say I felt like a right idiot!

The battery my DR came with looked new and in good nic but closer inspection showed that one of the plates had buckled and was starting to swell!

Thanks for your advice Big Bob. It all helped. I'm relieved it was the battery like you said and not the starter motor!
Hey good result!
Buy this and never be in doubt about yer battery again
Glad it`s now up and running again Thumbup
For future reference, the s/relay is common to a lot of other models from the 80s and 90s, ie Gixxers, Teapots, Bandits etc so should be plentiful on Ebay, and it`s worth getting one just as a spare.
There`s a whole bunch on there now starting at a fiver BIN. http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Motorcycle-Par...op=2&_sc=1
New from Suzuki part no 31800-49100 @ £68
Don`t buy the new aftermarket ones on Ebay as they are Chinese shite and fall to bits
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