Starter motor troubles

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buddys_n_blasters
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Starter motor troubles

Post by buddys_n_blasters »

Hey everyone, I’m having some trouble with the electric start on my buddy 50 (1500 miles), and I think it’s going. It doesn’t work if the bike has been sitting for a while, so I have to kick it instead, and that works no problem. It’ll work if the bike is still hot though, but my fear is that it’s on it’s way out.

My questions:
1) what could cause these symptoms ?
2) how hard is a starter motor replacement ?
3) where is the starter motor, I couldn’t find it in the service manual.
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babblefish
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Post by babblefish »

I'm thinking you have a bad battery. How old is your battery? Do you live somewhere where it drops to or close to freezing in the Winter? Do you let your scooter sit for long periods (weeks) between rides? Is it parked outside most of the time? Any of these things can reduce the life of a battery. BTW, a battery's life averages around 4-5 years even if the scooter is used daily. Definitely shorter if any of the above variables is/are part of your scooters daily life.
Some people can break a crowbar in a sandbox.
Feral_Sparky
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Post by Feral_Sparky »

babblefish wrote:I'm thinking you have a bad battery. How old is your battery? Do you live somewhere where it drops to or close to freezing in the Winter? Do you let your scooter sit for long periods (weeks) between rides? Is it parked outside most of the time? Any of these things can reduce the life of a battery. BTW, a battery's life averages around 4-5 years even if the scooter is used daily. Definitely shorter if any of the above variables is/are part of your scooters daily life.
This reminds me that I really need to replace my battery as well. I'm using the one that came with the yamaha razz I gave away as junk. It claimed it was dead but letting it sit in the roughhouse brought it back to life enough to ride.

But yeah mine is having a hard time starting as well. Time to replace it.
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johnk
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Post by johnk »

I agree that it sounds like a problem with your battery, and not your starter motor. (This is because the battery gets charged by riding the scooter, which would explain why it works when it's hot.) Specifically, your battery is either drained (and can be recharged) or dead (and needs to be replaced). If it's more than a few years old, it's probably dead.

If it's just drained, then you can charge it with a Battery Tender Junior. Charging it periodically with a Battery Tender also helps to keep it healthy for as long as possible. Every motorcyclist I know uses a Battery Tender regularly.
sc00ter
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Post by sc00ter »

Sometimes a dab of grease on the starter kickout/bendix gear will do the trick. It seems the grease gets a bit thin, causing the hang-up.
buddys_n_blasters
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Post by buddys_n_blasters »

It definitely could be the battery. I only ride it on weekends and don’t have it on a tender.

Kind of annoying that i need one though. Are there any workaround for that? Maybe just get a bigger battery?
ucandoit
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Post by ucandoit »

It's quite easy to remove the battery and take it to a Batteries Plus or similar store to have it tested for free. I've done that. If it's bad, you'll need to buy a new one. I'd much rather buy a new battery than replace the starter.
When removing the battery disconnect the negative lead first, then the positive.
Also, check the leads that attach to the battery and make sure they are not corroded. If so, shine them up with some sandpaper.
If you're riding enough miles on the weekend, I would think that would be enough to charge a good battery for a week.
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johnk
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Post by johnk »

I think the workaround is just to kickstart it.

The nature of lead-acid batteries is that they discharge over time, especially without regular use. If you want to upgrade to a battery that doesn't self-discharge as much, you can look into AGM (absorbed glass mat) or lithium-ion batteries. Both will be more expensive. AGMs are good for off-roaders (because they don't contain spillable battery acid) and lithium-ions are good for riders looking to shave a few pounds off their bikes.

I think the $25 Battery Tender on a lead-acid battery is a manageable system, especially because it comes with a connector you can leave attached to your battery, making it very simple to plug in and unplug.
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Stanza
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Post by Stanza »

If you have a buddy 50, you can actually fit a #7 battery in there, which is what's used on the buddy 125. All you'll need to do is cut the spacer fins off of the battery cover plate. That will give you considerably more starting amperage, and more of a reserve. The flip side to that, though, is that it will take longer to charge on that little buddy 50 stator/generator.
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