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  • starting problem

    figured this would be the best place to ask. my sportster has a hard time starting. to the point it sometimes doesn't start and i have to jump it. its a 2013 and gets a new battery from harley every year and still starts slow. someone told me to take the battery tender off others say it needs it. i took the bike to the shop and they ran test and everything came back fine. im thinking of just getting a better battery. would the 1250 upgrade cause an issue as in needing a stronger starter.

    thanks guys

  • #2
    How radical did we do?
    If you're over 10.5:1 CR, you might need compression releases or a stronger starter motor.

    Can do CRs quick and cheap if you need.

    Z
    Livin the dream

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    • #3
      So jumping it slows the bike to start?

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      • #4
        And why do you need a new battery every year?

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        • #5
          the bike always starts like the battery is low. every battery i have put it in dies within the year. i went ahead and bought a drag specialties battery. figured a stronger starter motor would be a good choice as well. figured dan might know i put the nhrs 1250 kit on the bike. figured he would know if that will need a stronger starter or not.

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          • #6
            I'm not a sportster specialist but, have been a automotive and, more recently, city bus mechanic for quite some time so, in know basic theory and operation. So, when it doesn't start have you verified the battery voltage was low?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by shreddomorph View Post
              the bike always starts like the battery is low. every battery i have put it in dies within the year. i went ahead and bought a drag specialties battery. figured a stronger starter motor would be a good choice as well. figured dan might know i put the nhrs 1250 kit on the bike. figured he would know if that will need a stronger starter or not.
              I'm not a mechanic, and I'm certainly no expert or anything of the sort.... but I'll make a couple of comments anyway.

              1 ) When you say the bike always starts like the battery is low, I assume you mean that the cranking speed is slow or seems to be slow. Like Zak said above, higher compression forces the starter to work harder (MUCH more so than simply having to move larger pistons in their bores). More displacement alone isn't the deal-breaker.... it is not like the MoCo puts super heavy-duty, ultra powerful starters on the 1200's and pathetic, wimpy starters on the 883's.
              Since this problem seems to have plagued you for multiple years (and multiple batteries - which is NOT normal!), I would try to find someone who will let you borrow and install a known-good starter - and see how (and how fast) the good starter cranks your engine. A starter with internal mechanical or electrical problems MAY be a reason for the slow cranking speed and high drain on your battery.

              2 ) Regarding the battery tender.... if it truly is a tender (as opposed to a CHARGER), most of these are low amperage (approx. 2 amps is typical) trickle-type units and the modern so-called SMART chargers will automatically shut themselves off and go into a cycling mode when the battery is up to charge. It won't destroy your battery if left connected and plugged in for prolonged time periods - I've left mine 'on' for 3 months at a time without any negative effects. I'm talking about 'conventional' batteries here, I know nothing about the new lithium-ion batteries as I have yet to own one.

              3 ) Wouldn't hurt to have the bike's charging system checked with a multi-meter for output, just so you know that a low output isn't contributing to your ongoing battery / cranking issues. This is more of a 'just to know' thing, as the fuel-injected bikes want the computer to see a minimum voltage to operate.... if you can get it firing, it is obviously meeting that minimum voltage requirement.

              Bottom line - before shelling out the bucks for a high performance, more powerful starter.... try running a known-good starter to see if that changes the cranking. If your problem is something OTHER than the starter, installing a hot-rod starter will only COMPOUND your problem as they demand more of the battery to operate and will kill the battery faster.

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              • #8
                Something is killing the battery. Period. First, a battery tender will maintain a regular charge, as long as it is a battery tender and not a charger like dude above said. Do you have the security system ? I have seen these run battery's down if used for long periods. Check all your connections, make sure all your ground points are clean and tight. Even if the starter is dragging the battery down at start up, it will recharge when you ride it. Make sure all your connections to the battery are clean and tight. Far as stronger battery's because of more compression. One of the bike's is 12.5-1 compression and a stock battery has been starting it for 6 years. No compression release.

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                • #9
                  the 1250 kit will not make it any more difficult to start than it is stock. But it sounds to me like you have another issue.

                  When a bike is difficult to start like you are describing normally that is due to having too much ignition advance at 500-1,000 rpms. What are you using for an ECM tuner if anything?
                  Bonneville might have beat us this year but that White Bitch is going down in 2017!!!

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                  • #10
                    the bike doesn't have a security system. i used to have neon lights on it but i took them off. it is a tender not a charger. i had a check of the charging system done and they said everything was in working order. not sure on the tuner i'll have to check. still waiting on my battery to come in so we will see if that helps.

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                    • #11
                      feel free to write me directly with any questions:

                      sales@nrhsperformance.com
                      Bonneville might have beat us this year but that White Bitch is going down in 2017!!!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NRHS-Dan View Post
                        feel free to write me directly with any questions:

                        sales@nrhsperformance.com
                        thank you but you already answered it. just wanted to see if the displacement change was substantial enough that i would need a stronger starter.

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                        • #13
                          Things to look for:
                          First, check your heavy gauge battery and ground cables that there are no broken strands of wire and the connections are solid with no paint or rust in the mix.
                          If that's all good, try a known good starter.
                          You should watch battery voltage when cranking to see how low it goes, should stay above 10v or so.

                          I've never seen the need for comp releases on a 1250 kit.

                          Charging system is almost as simple as start.
                          Parts are rotor/stator, wires, rectifier/regulator and battery.
                          Start at the stator output, either single or 3 phase AC, 20-30 VAC and increasing with rpm.
                          Single is 2 wires, 3 has 3 and position is not important A-B, A-C and B-C.
                          Output to battery should be in the upper 12s at idle no higher than14.3-14.6VDC.

                          HTH
                          Z
                          Livin the dream

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