« Lifetime Earnings of College Degrees | Main | Getting the Bikes Running Again »

September 8, 2015

2007 Honda XR650L Won't Start - Starter Relay Makes Clicking Sound

Update on the California Bike (XR650L) - May 3, 2012

I've been struggling with an issue on my bike that I've never seen before. Battery was weak when I got the bike, and it would barely turn over. But, over time, it seemed to get better, as though the battery was starting to hold a charge fairly well, so long as it was a daily driver.

Then, a few weeks ago, it started failing to turn over when I pushed the starter. What was odd was that it didn't seem to me that the battery was drained, only that it wouldn't turn over and made a "clicking" noise from the battery compartment.

After getting two new batteries, a trickle charger, and putting a battery I knew to be charged and working on this morning, I finally came to the conclusion that it wasn't the battery. So what is it then? What's making that clicking noise?

Turns out, my best theory at this point is that the clicking noise is the starter solenoid, which I didn't even know it had before today.

So, I called up my buddies at Golden Gate Cycles, and they're closing their doors for good, unfortunately. It really sucks because I liked having them here in the city. They were always able to help me out. Now, they're telling me to go to City Cycle Werkes on Ellis.

But of course, I can't find a starter solenoid for an XR650L in the city. Great. I think I'll turn one of my bikes in Colorado into a "parts" bike and just start flying it to the left coast in pieces.

XR650L Starter Problems in California - May 8, 2012

I'm still struggling to solve my starter problems on my XR650L in California. I've replaced the battery and the starter solenoid, but this hasn't alleviated my issues. Sometimes the bike makes a clicking noise in the battery box. Sometimes it doesn't make any sound at all. I'm beginning to think it's an issue with my starter. I don't think it's an issue with the "safety switches" (i.e. kickstand, neutral, clutch), as if it were related to these issues, then it wouldn't even make a clicking noise.

So, I'm beginning to think that my starter is bad. I'm also beginning to think that I'm doing to drive this thing into the bay at SFO and drive one of my other bikes out here, as this one is cursed.

Doug hits the Road

The SF motorcycle has been giving me fits lately. Last week, I finally decided that it was the starter, so yesterday I pulled the starter from one of my bikes in CO. Only after I removed it from the bike did it dawn on me that I'd have to some-how get it past the goons at the TSA.

It smelled like gas and was not really shiny and clean or anything, so I cleaned it up so it looked like a nice, shiny pipe bomb, instead of a dirty gas-smelling pipe-bomb. I pulled the wires off of it so it didn't look quite so scary.

I flew it out last night in my carry-on luggage. With the wires attached, it was pretty scary looking.

They did notice it when it went through the X-ray, and they pulled it out and looked at it real close. Then they ran it through again, but in the end, they let me keep it. Now, I've got to put it on my bike in CA, and roll down to meet Doug.

Day 0: Denver to SFO

Day 1: San Francisco to Carmel-By-The-Sea

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 8, 2015 at 7:52 PM


Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)