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About stinky

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    Occasional Poster
  • Location Springfield, OR, USA
  1. After hard wiring in a "starter circuit bypass" for testing/emergency use, it never acted up again. I used the bike for another trip or two to the dunes but have now sold it and upgraded my son to a TRX250. I suspect that the battery was the only problem all along and that my make shift jump start method wasn't as good as I thought it was. Thank you to all who offered help.
  2. stinky


  3. The bike has been starting fine the last few days but I don't trust it as it previously wouldn't start in it's current configuration and I have done nothing to change that. I had some time to work on it today and pulled the starter to open it up. It's like new... clean, no signs of wear, bearings spin free and smooth, no leaks, brushes 7mm at their smallest point (spec is 5mm). While the starter was out I could very easily spin the starter clutch one way and it easily locked solid the other direction. Based on symptoms I saw with the bike when it wouldn't start I believe the issue is that the electrical system is not getting enough "juice" from the battery to the starter due to bad connections, worn relay contacts, too small of wires, or maybe a combination of them all. Since the bike is currently starting I can't really confirm this though, so today I hard wired some significantly larger than stock wires directly from the starter to the battery compartment. The ground I permanently connected at both ends. The hot I connected at the starter and left unconnected near the battery. Next time the bike wont turn over I'll quickly and easily be able to bypass the factory wiring and determine if that's the problem or not. After I did this I realized that the factory ground could have been the issue just as well as the positive side so my new ground could potentially be bypassing the problem... I might go back in there and disconnect it from the battery for now. The factory ground wire is tiny... about half the size of the hot wires.
  4. Today I pulled the starter relay out to check for water damage/corrosion. It is (was) sealed very well and water definitely did not damage it. BUT... the contacts don't look the greatest to me. Now I'm no pro, but I have been repairing electronics for about 35 years and have seen relay contacts worse than these before and still be in service. My experience is with stuff that's usually lower current than this though (stereos, 2 way radios, computers/laptops, video games, etc.). Does anybody here have any input on the likelihood that these contacts are the source of my troubles? In the meantime I'm going to find out how much a replacement would be and possibly try to clean this one up.
  5. Well it turns out my fears of throwing money at incorrect solutions were justified... I guess. Received a new battery, activated it, fully charged it, no change in starting ability (well it MAYBE turns over a very tiny bit better, but still wouldn't start without a jump). After the battery didn't fix it, I thought I found the problem... a little corrosion at the starters positive wire connection. Cleaned that up and again maybe another small improvement but it still isn't turning over like it used to and didn't start without a jump. It seems to turn over great when I hardwire a 12v car battery directly to the starter input, so I'm going to dig up my starter relay and check wires, etc.
  6. I believe these collars require a data plan/connection which I think would work just fine where we go, but if I were going to have a "connected" device I might as well just give him a cell phone with tracking set up... which isn't a bad idea at all actually.
  7. These GPS radios are sweet. Probably overkill for us but something I will consider. We just ride in the Oregon sand dunes which is a pretty small area relatively speaking, and far from being remote.
  8. I am a licensed HAM... or at least I used to be. I lost interest and let it expire 10 or 20 years ago. I hadn't thought about whether or not my son might have any interest in it. He's in Scouts so it would go along well with that... at least when he gets a little older anyway.
  9. Last time I was out with my 8 year old son we got separated just enough that we lost communication (helmet intercoms). I was looking for ideas as a "backup plan" for this situation. I'm considering FRS handheld radios. Any other/better ideas out there? Ideally I would put somebody behind him, but it's normally just him and I so that's not an option.
  10. Oregon sand dunes. Iv'e got a mild interest in riding some forest trails, but it'll probably never happen.
  11. I'm not sure if my battery was original or not... I bought the bike about a year ago when it was about a year old already. The battery is branded "GS". I kept it on a Battery Tender but not sure about the previous owner. I think I would have been quicker to blame the battery if I hadn't been keeping it on a tender. Not only did I have a feeling of invincibility because I was properly maintaining it, but when I was loading up for the trip I unplugged it and the bike started right up giving no clue the battery was troubled. A day or two later at the campground... different story. I ordered a Yuasa as I've had good luck with them in the past.
  12. Well now that I'm back home and had some time to mess with it, I did a proper jump start and it did make a big difference (I was camping earlier and my "jump start" wasn't the best setup). This leads me to believe the battery is defective after all. I have ordered one and will report back.
  13. I'm aware this doesn't prevent batteries from failing, but I do keep all our bikes connected to Battery Tenders while at home via hard wired plugs.
  14. I agree... it does seem similar to a bad battery, and I haven't yet ruled that out 100%. I didn't recharge it after the last time I was trying to start the bike and it's still sitting at 12.52v (after more than 24 hours of rest). The problems arose while we were out camping, so my resources were limited at the time. Now that we're back home I'll be able to do some better testing but based on what the bike did while we were jumping it, I would be surprised if it turns out to be the battery. It has paddles on it as we only use it in the sand, but it does seem to roll perfectly freely otherwise.
  15. I have an Outlaw 110 that will struggle to turn the engine over. Jump starting doesn't help other than the battery will drain LONG before the bike eventually starts, so is required. If you keep messing with it long enough it will eventually magically begin to crank fine and sometimes finally start. Once we finally get the bike to start and warm it up thoroughly, it will turn over and start just fine the rest of the day like nothing ever happened... next day it won't turn over again. Internet research has found lots of people saying they replaced starters, starter clutch, wiring, etc. but with only about 50/50 success rate for their particular problems... and I never found anybody describing a problem like mine, so I'm looking for advice/experience. Would rather not just start blindly throwing parts at it. Does anybody have any thoughts/ideas?

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