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Discussion Starter #1
hope you can help..i have a 1985 gpz 900. i thought the starter clutch was bad but when i took the right side cover off and removed the chain between the alternator shaft and the crank the alternator shaft damper and sprocket only turns one way making me think the starter clutch is o.k.. if i try to start the bike though with a car battery hooked directly to the starter the starter just wizzes and the alternator shaft does not turn ( this is with the chain on )..if i try this with the right side chain off the alternator shaft the starter will turn the alternator shaft..the bike did start once last summer so i dont think the engine is locked up..any ideas i dont want to drop the engine if i dont have too...thanks..scott
 

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This is a guide I made for the older larger 4's, but should be helpful for your problem:

Starter Solenoid Checkout

Some simple steps to determine what is working and what's not:

1.Fully charge and test the battery(most bike shops can load test the battery, and then use a floating ball hydrometer to check specific gravity in the charged cells).

2.Clean all battery terminals of corrosion.

3.Tighten all starting related connections(Positive RED(+) battery terminal, Negative BLACK(-)terminal) and from the terminal to the engine case. All connections must be clean and tight.

4.Clean the cable from the starter solenoid to the starter motor.

5.Clean and check the "bullet connectors" going to the coil side of the starter solenoid.

6.Try again to start the bike.

7.If no luck, go to step #8

8.Wearing eye protection, bridge with pliers or a screwdriver the two heavy duty(large)terminals on the solenoid. If the bike cranks, your solenoid may be bad.

9. If the starter won’t turn over, one of several things has happened; The starter motor has seized due to brushes binding up, lack of lubrication in the bushings of the motor, the battery is weak , the engine has seized or it could be a combination of any of the above. Some websites for starter motor rebuild kits are:
A. RICK'S MOTORSPORT ELECTRIC STARTER BRUSHES
B.http://www.cyclewareables.com/pages/street_startermotor_repair_kits/startmtrkit.htm


10.The dealer may want $$$ for a new solenoid, but take your old one along and visit the nearest riding lawn mower shop. They have solenoids for about $15 that with a little work will fit.

11. I’d recommend upgrading from the existing battery cables to at least 6 gauge welding cables.
They are available in two colors(RED and BLACK) have more flexibility due to being constructed with finer conductors, and will fit in tighter areas.

12. The welding cable is sold by the foot ,so take careful measurements or bring your old cables along. Most battery shops might be able to supply the cable too, so call to find out. The battery shop should be able to crimp/swage on the end of the welding cable the terminal ends or lugs using either a dedicated crimping machine or a tool that looks like a bolt cutter that has special dies to terminate the cable.
 

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I was gonna say that if you pull the starter and the gear only moves one way, the clutch should be good.

I think what you are saying is: the starter spins good with no load but no good with a load on.

You can spin the starter in the opposite direction by hooking leads from the battery to the opposite poles and see if you can get some contact cleaning done that way (with starter removed from the bike!), but I am betting that you have just went the hard way to figure out your starter was bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
o.k. I just pulled the plugs out and with a car battery hooked to the starter directly the starter clutch does engage and crank the bike most of the time..once in a while though it acts like the starter just doesnt have the cranking power to start things spinning..scott
 

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Starter Motor Rebuild Kits
RICK'S MOTORSPORT ELECTRIC STARTER BRUSHES
http://www.cyclewareables.com/pages/street_startermotor_repair_kits/startmtrkit.htm
MITSUBA STARTER MOTORS PAGE 2

Starter motors need some inspection/repair once in a while. For the most part plain bushings are used for the shaft supports and the lubrication can dry up over time.

Brush wear is another concern as the dust from the carbon brushes needs to be blown out or removed from the commutator.

Carbon brushes(actually a solid piece of specially made carbon with wires attached) rub against the commutator converting electrical energy to mechanical energy as the motor spins starting the engine.
 

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If the starter spins but the clutch doesn't engage then I'd suspect weak/broken springs in the clutch. If the starter just hums when it gets a full load on it then I'd suspect the starter.
 
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