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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So 2001 Sabre 1100. Vt1100c2. Starts up every day just fine. When I need gas after riding even for 5 - 10 minutes or if I stop for anything really. It won't start again for a while. And sometimes it'll start right back up. What happens when it won't is I turn the key on. Get all my lights, hear the pump, press the start button, hear the starter relay click. Starter will start to turn the bike. Then just stops. I turn the key off. Turn it back on and sometimes it'll do that again. Or it'll just not do anything. Turn key off and on and then it'll do the same thing again. Turn key off. Put it in gear. Push it forward to turn the motor some. Put in neutral. Turn key on. Press start button. Attempts to start very short period of attempt and the just does nothing again. Wait till it cools down alot more and then it'll either keep doing it. Or start. But every time I need to stop or get gas I'm scared it'll not start again. Could it be the start button or like the brushes in the starter?
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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Cleaning the start button is a very common thing. The contacts get corroded and can be cleaned and greased with dielectric grease.
Maybe the start solenoid is going bad also.
If it doesn't have a lot of miles, the starter is probably fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I recently changed the solenoid. And the start switch was replaced not too long ago but before I owned it.
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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Quick test is when it happens, tap on the starter housing while pushing the start switch, to see if the brushes are worn down and loosing contact from all the carbon dust.
 

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'83 VT750C
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When it’s not turning the engine, do you hear any kind of sound from the starter area? Can you consistently push the bike forward to ‘turn’ the gears and have it engage EVERY time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When I turn the key on all I hear is the fuel pump. When I push the start button I hear the click from the solenoid the starter turns the motor. Then just cuts out to nothing. And then I try again and I'll get the click but nothing else. Or it'll crank for a second and then stop again. I can put it in first every time and push it to rotate it. But even after doing that it is hit or miss same symptoms. If it doesn't start right back up. It has to sit for 10+ minutes and then it's still hit or miss with the same symptoms.
 

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2003 VT1100C Spirit
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607 Posts
Almost sounds like your battery is weak...

When you let the starter button go after the bike not starting, does the headlight come back on right away? (This would be before you turn the key off and then back on.)
 

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'83 VT750C
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Can you run a set of jumper cables from your car battery (not running) to it and see if there’s any difference?
 

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Just for Kicks, I`d check & clean the connections at the battery and other ends of those cables, JUST to be sure they`re Clean & Tight...
It won`t cost a dime, sure won`t hurt none & will also clear it off the suspected list...

Yeah,
Dennis
 

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When I turn the key on all I hear is the fuel pump.
There is just something wrong with that statement???

In all these decades of working on VT1100 engine'd bikes, I have never heard the fuel pump click when the key was turned to the on position???

I am not saying it is impossible, only that I (me) have never heard it.

You are the mechanic on site so I will take your word on that.

Any chance that you have a jumper attached to your fuel cut-off relay???

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm not saying the fuel pump clicks. It's the starter relay or solenoid. The battery is from last season. Put on a battery tender Jr. When not running. All the lights are on and bright. Headlight comes on fine when this happens. I've tried starting it by jumping I battery to battery at a gas station when this happened once. No difference. I just recently changed the starter relay and the main ground wire. I'm going to check clean and grease everything and clean the start button. The last like 3 days I haven't had the issue except today again but it did it once then started. I don't believe there is a jumper on the fuel cut off relay. Thanks guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just the initial prime. It's a slight hum for a second. All the shadows I've owned have done the same. From what I've experienced and read the fuel pump does an initial prime when starting the bike then isn't used at all. I could be wrong about that. Never looked into it because in the years of owning shadows they all have primed or sounded the same from the fuel pump when the key is turned on.
 

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'83 VT750C
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Okay. The last thing I would have you try before looking at the starter itself is, when it is no longer trying to crank the engine, short directly across the two ‘big‘ wire connections on your starter solenoid (or put direct battery power to the starter some other way) and see if the starter runs every time. That’ll be a hard one to do if it’s behaving more often, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I will try that Troy. Now say the starter does run every time I short it directly across the solenoid. Would that indicate an issue with the solenoid or say the power wire going from the battery to the solenoid then
 

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What type of battery are you attaching the "tender" to? Flooded wet cell or AGM?
 

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'83 VT750C
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Shorting directly across the solenoid will show either the solenoid itself as being flakey, or it could still be the starter button or wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I replaced the solenoid last year with one from dB electrical. I just had the same issue I was going to attempt to jump the solenoid but don't have a 10mm to take my seat off so I jiggled the positive wire off the battery and she started. I think I'm going to buy a new power wire going from battery to starter solenoid, new solenoid, and wire going from solenoid to starter, and battery. And clean the starter button. If it continues after that I'm going to replace the starter and if that doesn't fix it I'll probably light the thing on fire.
 
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