Thursday, September 12, 2013

GSF1250 Bandit starter problem

I had been away on holiday for 3 weeks and despite the battery being on an Oxford Oximiser, on trying to start the bike it wouldn't turn over. I replaced the battery with a Motobatt and it started immediately, so I went for a 2 hour ride the next day.  The battery was fully charged when I left but I noticed on the ride it was getting sluggish turning over and by the time I got home it would not start at all.  Putting the meter across the battery after trying to start it showed around 12V, but checking the voltage when running showed no voltage increase at 5000 RPM (Suzuki say 14.5 - 15 volts at 5000 RPM).

It gave all of the symptoms of a flat battery due to it not charging, as jump starting it off car leads worked fine.

So, what was it?  The magnets inside the starter had come unglued and were smashed inside.  It could not be turned by hand, but sufficient current would occasionally turn it.  It gave a sluggish start and drew sufficient current to mean the battery struggled and of course you won't get peak charging system voltage until it is charged again.  It very much duplicated a faulty charging system as there was no untoward noise from the starter

Fortunately, I was aware of the issue on the 1250 Bandits and happened to have a spare starter I had scored at a low price from a late model bike a few months ago for this very eventuality (the starters are nearly $1100 NZD).    The bike is all fixed again, and I referred the issue to Suzuki NZ as a starter should not collapse like this on a 40,000 km well maintained bike.  I heard back, but they were unsympathetic, which isn't surprising given the bike is a K8 model.

Here's the pic of the interior showing the magnets.  Not repairable.


16 comments:

  1. You said spare starter from a late model bike..... With which model we have compatibility ??? I have the same problem gsf 1250s k8. Thanks

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  2. All model years of the GSF1250 and GSX1250FA will fit

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    1. Hi I am having the same problem u had with the starter motor could u tell me the easiest way to get the two bolts out holding the starter in thanks

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  3. Someone asked how to remove the starter.

    My friend advises to do this. (Mine was done by the shop). His way was to remove the Alternator cover, try to preserve the gasket. Remove the Rectifier / regulator. Unplug the water temp plug. Move all wires out the way to the right. The alternator cover is a bit awkward to get off because of the magnets in the alternator, he used a couple of wooden wedges to gently move it away.
    Now comes the bush mechanic method. Unscrew the left hand bolt which secures the Rectifier bracket (it's hidden from view, he used an inspection mirror. Now bend the bracket towards you to about 90 degrees. You can also remove the sprocket cover and unbolt the rectifier bracket completely.

    The Starter Motor bolts are partially hidden ( use mirror), slide wire boot up to give more clearance. He used a 1/4" drive ratchet (with short extensions) to get into the tight space. A magnet on a telescopic wand is very useful to pick up the bolts.

    Put the starter reduction gear in a safe place. Slide Starter Motor out and lift back of motor at the same time. It's tight getting past the Water Temp housing but take your time the motor will just fit through. Next undo the positive starter wire off the back of the motor. And voila you will have horrible Starter Motor in your hands. With just 2 bolts to disassemble the motor. If magnets are loose, mark then with vivid marker before extracting.

    After refitting Starter motor (oil the o-ring) bend the bracket back (just push it). Fitting the left hand bolt is awkward because it totally hidden, just persevere and keep the magnet wand handy in case you drop the bolt

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  4. Hi thank you for that I have managed to get it off but the prices are stupid even second hand 250 pound do u know if a gsxr 1100 starter will fit

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    1. No other bike has the same starter. There's one on EBay now reference 311154264323

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  5. Mine had started doing this, I bought a new battery and it started, but failed again after 2 more attempts, I jump started it from the car, but now fear I'm at the mercy of a dealer now that I'm 150km from home :( fingers crossed it starts

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    1. Where are you? The dealer price for new is hideous

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  6. I got the bike home, I was able to bump start it then fortunately in the 3rd attempt after getting fuel it started... I'm going to ring dealers today, I've bought BMW parts from usa for half of au prices, so may check that out. Any feedback on the aftermarket ones that you tweeted about on eBay ?

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  7. The seller said they are ok (as one would expect), but I have heard no feedback either way.

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  8. i replaced mine with one off a Honda.
    It turned in the opposite direction, but all you need to do is turn the main body around to change the rotation.
    It cost me 40 quid on e-bay!

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  9. Model of Honda or starter PN?

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  10. I honestly can not remember which Honda it came from, it was a mitsuba sm17. I believe that they were also fitted to a Kawasaki ninja.
    As I posted above you will need to reverse the main body to change the rotation. This is a simple task and can be carried out in a few minutes.
    Its been on my bike now for a couple of years, without any issues

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  11. Mine is a GSF1250S 2011. had the same warning signs as Kenwig, then the motor went through a short period of making a higher pitched sound, then just the click of the relay. Removed motor (requires patience +) and magnets are rooted- looks just like that picture above. At 29000km's of careful use I am annoyed to say the least . I feel I should be able to find another motor body with magnets in place and will see what b/s eminates from Suzuki dealers close to hand.There are a zillion quad bikes etc in addition to bikes in NZ all with similar starters so I am sure I can "make a plan" other than doing the easy thing ie getting fleeced for a new motor.

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  12. Got a 2008 used motor from breakers type MS17 Mitsuba same as original equipment- the magnets in this one are glued with epoxy which to my mind is better in this application than thin cynoacrylate (superglue) that was on my 2011 model. removing motor is easy if you have correct tools eg 1/4inch drive socket set with short swivel extension and some patience. The regulator must also be removed plus the bracket which holds it to the frame -then it is easy. I actually removed mine without removing that bracket , with a lot of trouble but before re-installing I removed said bracket and it was a p.o.p. I don't believe the ones with epoxied magnets will give trouble.....

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  13. Mines just gone the same way. And I think it's taken the battery with it..... Price has come down now though, theres one on ebay for £152.

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